A long and rambling recap of the highs and lows from the amazing Chicago Marathon experience

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It was a tad congested as we made our way to the start line of the Chicago Marathon.

Close your eyes and imagine a race where all your family and friends are cheering you on, loudly with horns and drums and wild shouts of delight.

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Popular photo spot at Expo site.

Now imagine you are running 5k, then 10k and this support does not end, seemingly increasing in volume and intensity along a 26.2 mile route, not stopping for more than four hours.

Now imagine that enthusiasm takes place on a gorgeous Sunday morning with an infinite amount of signs and cheers and food and drink (yes, beer was offered) and encouragement every step of the way.

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Another popular photo site.

But imagine that instead of family and friends, these shouts and cheers and music and passion are from complete strangers, an international brethren who have bonded in one goal, your goal, regardless of how fast, how slow you are going. Continue reading

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Mid-training notebook; Limited miles, wedding, travel and my wife is out of town

Just a series of notes in a rather limited week of training this week, which I need to address.

Marathon By the Sea

Last year, the Marathon By The Sea represented my third half marathon and after a 1:42:53 effort in Fredericton a few months earlier, I was pumped for a better result in Saint John. The course was hilly, and I did not really taper for the event as it was part of the plan for Moncton and the full marathon at Legs for Literacy in October. With that as the background, I may have got a little too confident and when I encountered plenty of hills in the early going of the annual mid-summer event in Saint John, I ran past my new (reduced) level of fitness. Fredericton was flat and fast and I tried to carry that to MBTS and in short, it did not happen, crashing after 8-10 km of hills, fog, rain and humidity and essentially limping home. I learned a lot on that day, how to deal with a number of hills, big humidity and pacing when it is not your day. I finished just shy of 1:53.00 and vowed revenge this year!

However, a family commitment (see below) has me out of town this weekend and as a result, I will have to resume the battle with MBTS next year. Still, I look forward to reading the results and hearing the details of this year’s event, which rates as difficult compared to many in the region. But a large field is expected, in part because of a neat three-part medal that is given out at the three big races in Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton.

Training

I have struggled this week juggling a few things and I have missed several runs after the 29-km effort on Monday. The personal schedule is not great for medium runs this weekend, so I want to get in a few shorties and then one long effort Sunday. Mileage was supposed to be in the 50 mile range but it will not be that great. The training guide says every now and again, life takes over. This is one of those times. The good news is the under 7 Soaring Blue Eagles have really progressed this year and have made some great strides on the pitch. The season wraps up Tuesday!

Wedding

The girls and I are headed to PEI again, this time for my cousin’s wedding, where, among other things, I am going to follow the bride around for the day and get lots of photos to chronicle the day. That should be a lot of fun. That also opens an opportunity for a long run Sunday over the final part of the course for the P.E.I. Marathon. Really looking forward to that.

Wife’s journey

Kathy will not be in PEI and after a solid 14 km effort last week, her job takes her across the Atlantic Ocean for the next week or so. She left Thursday, with work gear in hand as well as her Garmin, iPhone and running gear. Some 5km runs in the Scottish Highlands or along the Norwegian coastline may be in order. How good is that!

Good luck to all on the roads this weekend, training or racing!