Ask anyone, I never pull out. Since 2012 I've registered and completed sixteen marathons through-out the United States. I've never had an issue with training or gaining the mental capacity to run 26.2 miles in under 3-hours. With all of this said, I've decided to defer my 2018 Chicago Marathon.
The Summer is a great time to get out, explore the outdoors, train for any upcoming Fall races, and have fun with community runs. With temperatures pretty reasonable in the mornings and evenings I have found that Summer has become one of my favorite sessions to run, train, and get faster.
One week ago from today I completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC marathon here in Washington, DC and yes it was miserable. Between the cold and rainy weather along with the unexpected hills I would say this was one of my toughest marathons I’ve completed. With that said, this marathon was the race that brought me back to my roots, reminded me of why I run and train so hard for marathons.
There’s only 3 days left until the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Series overtakes the Nation’s Capital, are ready? You’ve come this far with your training, short runs, long runs, days you wanted to give-up and days you felt like you could run further, so take these few days leading up to Saturday to hydrate, relax, and prepare for race-day logistics. There is no point to start stressing or to get in those extra miles that you weren’t able to log during your training session, your body is ready. Below I’ve listed a few things I personally do to prepare for race day, including hydration, shake-out runs, pre-race logistics, and refueling post race.
Chicago, also known as “The Windy City” due to its gusty winds and cold weather, offers a wide range of activities, sporting teams, and down to earth residents. With 237 squaremiles of land, Chicago is home to more than 2.7 million residents, 100 hundred different neighborhoods, and thousands of attractions that help bring more than 40 million visitors to the city each year.
One of the cities largest events is the Chicago Marathon. Each year thousands of residents and runners from all over the World come to Chicago to conquer the flat, fast course. This year’s marathon hosted 45,000 registered participants with 39,115 runners crossing the finish line. With the course going through 29 neighborhoods, runners get to experience all of Chicago; from Chinatown, Downtown, Boys Town, Old Town, and the many other attractions. Along with these great neighborhoods and attractions the Chicago community itself came out in the millions to help cheer, support, and make the marathon the most active and energetic race I have experienced (outside of the Marine Corps Marathon). With the estimated 1.2 million supporters there, there were no straight-a-ways, turns, or neighborhoods that didn’t have supporters cheering you on and giving runners the support they needed throughout the race.
For me, the first 2-3 miles I stayed on track with the 3:05 minute group, tracking with them but also wondering if this was the right speed. It seemed kinda slow, I mean I even got to stop and actually use the bathroom, which never happens in any of my past marathons. Following my bathroom break I decided to break away from the pack and run at my own pace, which was faster than 3:05. Through miles 5-12 everything seemed to be going very well, I was drinking water, eating my GU’s at the right times, and staying focused. Staying so focused and slightly increasing my pace throughout miles 13-22 lead me to mile 22, where my challenges started. At mile 22 I started to lose focus due to a knot in my right calf that then lead to leg pain in the same leg. Since running a marathon is 80 percent mental once you lose that focus and start thinking of the worst, things begin to go downhill and of course that is what happened to me. At mile 23, unfortunately I had to stop due to the sharp pains that were occurring and get assistance from the EMT Crew that were along the route. While being assisted by the EMT Crew I learned that by salt intake had dropped to zero and was the reason for my muscle issues. A few salt tablets and leg massages later I was back on the course, not feeling my best, but back to running and loving every minute of it due to the amazing crowd support. I was able to complete the Chicago Marathon in 3:17, placing 2,297 out of the 39,115 runners that completed the race that day.
The Chicago Marathon was a great course; fast, flat, friendly, energetic, but deceiving at the same time. With the reputation of being a flat and fast course myself and many other runners out paced themselves, running faster than intended, which then only lead to my injuries and slower pace at the end. I am very thankful that I was able to complete the race in the time I did, and can only look forward to racing the course again in the near future, with bigger goals and a more determined attitude.
Well, I’ve finally arrived to Chicago for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. My second marathon for the year following the Pittsburgh Marathon in May. Even though I am coming into the Chicago Marathon with a recent injury I am more than ever excited and ready to complete this dream marathon.
The Chicago Marathon is one of the top, most sought after marathons in the United States, with thousands of individuals registering from all over the U.S. and the World. Due to its statue, many of the top runners and athletes come together to complete this course hoping to either get a PR (Personal Record) or to qualify for the Boston Marathon. With a mostly flat course running through all of the Chicago neighborhoods individuals are looking to run their best and enjoy all the great views Chicago has to offer along the course.
As for me, following my Pittsburgh Marathon time of 3:15, my PR thus far in the marathon world, I too am looking to set a new PR. Although I am overcoming a recent ankle/leg injury I do still believe I can set a new PR here in Chicago, but have also mentally prepared myself for a slower race if needed. I have done everything I can through my training, eating healthy, mentally preparing, and listening it my Coaches. All I can do now is relax, have a good time, and enjoy Chicago for all it’s worth. As for the weather, Sunday is expected to be in the low 50s at the start of the race and increasing to the high 60s by the end of the race, perfect marathon conditions if you ask any runner. The time has come, time to complete yet another marathon in another city. There is no looking back, only looking forward and embracing the whole experience as it comes.
Once again I encourage all of my followers and supporters to follow me on Twitter @TravisSmith09. There you can cheer me on, see how my progress is going, and know when I complete the race. Join me, support me, and run with me for the 2013 Chicago Marathon!