First and foremost, thanks for the support, especially Ellie. While I've tried to make my running habit (err addiction) not something that gets in the way of family activities, it still occasionally does. I'm not sure why I've taken it so serious. I guess I get something in my head, and it stays there and just keeps getting bigger. Boston has always been a goal, but not one I took all that seriously until this year, after my sister ran in it last year. So thanks, Ellie, I owe you a trip to London. And a Mini. And a bulldog named Marge. :)
Also, thanks to my buddy Brock, the guy who got this whole running thing started. In fact, Ellie, you can blame him for this. He's always been more of a friend than I can ever explain, and when we get together, it's like we're sophomores in high school again. It's a lot of dumb jokes, a lot of arguing about whether Michael Jordan is or isn't a "ball hog," (he isn't), but most of all friendship.
I look forward to Chicago for many reasons, but seeing Brock cheering on the sidelines is always one of the best parts. He's also known for his text messages, which I receive during the run. Last year it was: I just saw Oprah. I tripped her. Oprah is down! I repeat, Oprah is down!
As for Chicago, I'm really ready to get down there. It's gonna be warm, possibly even into the 80's, so that will be a change from previous Chicago Marathons I've run, especially last year! I'm starting in Corral C and I plan to be in the front row of that corral. When the corrals get joined together before the start, I'm going to politely as possible make my way forward in Corral B with a destination goal of the 3:10 pace group. I'm not sure I'll make it all the way to them, but I want to get closer, to the point I can follow the little sign the pace leader holds up when he runs. My goal for the first 10K of the race is to smile, NOT WEAVE, keep a slower pace, and continually say, "NEGATIVE SPLIT." That's the motto for Sunday. Negative Split.
I'll see my cheering sections (that's right, I have more than one--damn I love my family!) a couple times in the first 13 miles, so I need to keep my energy expenditure low when I see them. No dancing, hand clapping, and other stuff that is simply wasted energy. We can do all that at about 11:30.
The second half of the marathon is when I hope to be relatively close to the pacing group. I'll have taken shot blocks and gatorade continuously for the first half, and that will help delay the struggles I feel I'm going to run into around mile 22. My last 20 mile training run was done at an average pace of 7:18, with the last two miles at 7:00, so I'm pretty pumped about getting to 20. It's that last 10K that will be interesting.
My bib number is 6933, so feel free to check on me if you'd like. Thanks again to all the people I've met since starting this up, and good luck to Jen, Doug, Tom, and everyone else tackling Chicago!
Just remember: Negative Split!