Friday, October 09, 2015

Race Week: The day before

H.O.M.E. helps low-income seniors in Chicago live independently by providing home upkeep and repairs, a shopping bus, affordable housing and moving assistance! Will you help me raise monies for low-income seniors as I train for the Chicago Marathon? Donate Here. (See instructions)

Progress: $5,557.40 or 123% of goal! Let's raise even more to support Chicago seniors!

We woke up early and started on the pot of coffee. Soon the smoothies were made and the banana and pumpkin breads were on the coffee table. We woke up early and breakfasted till late. Laughing, talking, and lounging, we spent the day. It was wonderful. That was last year before the NYC marathon. And as I laid in bed last night typing this up and wondering about today (Saturday) and how I will spend it I am filled with happy memories of my little apartment in New York filled with John and Andrews and Leigh-Ann.

Andrews and John on the Highline.

I can't imagine a better way to prep for a marathon. I like running a marathon for all the indulgences one allows themselves to take because of it. I think this must be the mark of a continually novice marathon runner. I doubt the elites get so indulgent. I doubt even good athletes do. A cousin of mine is running an Ironman tomorrow. In case you don't know, an Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim immediately followed by a 112 mile ride immediately followed by a marathon. Yes, the thing I've been training for, talking on and on about, and generally feeling terrifically proud about doing is just the final segment of his adventure. I doubt he treats a single marathon with the same ridiculous fanfare. But then he is fast and strong with a will of steel and I am always looking for the next slice of pumpkin bread. So there are a few differences.

Picking up the bib and t-shirt and all the extra freebies was a smooth process. Chicago knows how to run an expo. As I entered I checked in with the QR code and was told to go to a specific number to retrieve my bib. As I reached #24 the smiling man behind the desk asked if I was Andrew. He then handed me my stuff which he had already retrieved. It was quick. It was painless. It is the way to handle 45,000 runners.

Goose Island Beer Bus.
I then tried a few samples of salty and sweet running supplements before boarding the Goose Island bus for a beer. For some reason they had an old style city bus in the giant room. One could board at the front, walk to the back, grab a beer and then exit. It wasn't the fastest way to distribute beer, but it was clever, the line was short, and the beer was good.

Today, between snacks and coffee I will spend my time sitting and thinking about numbers. We will plan where my cheering team will stand when I will arrive (if I'm running well, fair, poor, or not at all). I will calculate what time I should pass the half-way point if I am on schedule to beat my previous time, to be under four hours, or even to beat a certain old man's fabled time - 3:52. In short the day will be spent with plenty of planning and excitement and looking ahead.

And then in a flash even tomorrow will be over. The race will be done and work will be calling and life will flow ever on. But for today and tomorrow, for a few hours with family and friends, I will celebrate running. I will celebrate your wonderful generosity. And I will celebrate this life God has given me.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Best of luck Andrew. I'm sure all your hard work will pay off. And most of all, enjoy and appreciate your accomplishment.