Chicago Marathon 2012: Completed

In a change from my futile attempts at web development blogging, I’ve decided to be  more open ended in order to get more/any content up. First up on the agenda: Chicago Marathon 2012.

On October 7th I, along with my wife, and sister, completed the final part of this year’s long journey, running the Chicago Marathon. It has been an interesting time for me, going from rarely exercising (a couple hours of basketball every few weeks) to running a marathon in about 8 months. I had been relatively against running due the the fact that it seemed incredibly boring, and outside of a couple 5K’s for work, had never actually run over a mile and a half in my life (and those exhausted me at a reasonably slow pace).

However, once your wife decides that she wants to run a marathon and needs a training partner, you get volunteered to run a marathon as well.


After the initial shock wore off, we decided to use Hal Higdon’s Novice Supreme Training Program starting in early February, and began running with The Scout Running Club on Tuesdays. Additionally, we kept track of our runs with Joyce’s Garmin Forerunner (I later would get my own) and logged them on DailyMile, a website that tracks your runs. What began as running a mile 4 times a week evolved into a peak of 40 miles in a week. A progression of training races occurred, from Bay to Breakers during a well timed trip to San Francisco, the Solder Field 10 Mile, Rock & Roll Half Marathon, and the Elk Grove 20 Miler. Somehow during that time I evolved into being able to run for miles upon end without music, just staring ahead of me and looking at the environment (which doesn’t work so well on treadmills).

The marathon itself was a good time, as the crowd turnout was greater than I expected and the weather was perfect(ly cold). I received plenty of cheers from the crowd to boost my morale, a benefit of writing your name in bold letters on your shirt. With a time of 5:04:18, we were able to proudly say that we completed a marathon (though not proud enough to share any of the pictures). Of course I loaded up on memorabilia to celebrate this once in a lifetime achievement. Although, now that I am used to running 4 times a week, maybe I shouldn’t speak so soon.


The most interesting outcome of all this training is my perception of what a long running distance is. Previously a 5K was an enormous effort, but 3 miles was the shortest distance I’ve run in months, and I began to look at anything under 5 miles as a “quick run” considering anything longer started to take over an hour. I can honestly say I spent most of my training runs over 5 miles not pushing myself speed wise because I wanted to make sure I finished. With the knowledge that it is physically possible for me to complete these longer distances (I wouldn’t have believed that a year ago), my natural curiosity wants to know how fast I can run them when I am focused on improving my times instead of purely surviving…