Hi Everyone...Lisa is on her way to camp and asked me to post this for her!...-Colleen
Jay and I are so proud to join the Tucson Marathon this year as co-race directors with Pam Reed. We would love for you join us on
Visit the race website for more details:
If you were registered for the 2007 Chicago Marathon, we have a special discount registration fee offer for you. Read more.
I know many of you have asked about my students who participated in the Chicago Marathon and I am happy to report they are doing just great. Two students have been kind enough to write about their race experience and here are their stories:
In my case Lisa had already recommended a very conservative race plan. I had just finished a 2 month abstinence from running due an injury at the VT100. She had me on a steady diet of spinning, stair master, elliptical, rowing, etc. until I finally got the all-clear from my doctor 10 days before the race. Then she had me quickly work up to a base of a couple hours running using an 8/2 run/walk ratio.
For race day I was to put in 30 minutes at an easy pace before dropping into an 8/2 for each 10 minute period, and holding that until the 20 mile point. After that I would run or walk to the finish depending on what I had left.
Well I had run the previous 5 Chicago Marathons and had managed a personal best last year with a , but I was shocked at how different this one felt, and knew that target finish times would have to be adjusted. It was already very hot at the start, and also very humid. Later I heard it peaked at 88 and 86 respectively, but it felt way worse coming off the pavement on that wide open course. In any case, I worked our plan, walking and running, and not pushing too hard. It wasn't long before I realized how many others were walking. But none of them seemed to have a plan. They just knew they couldn't keep up their pace. By the halfway point I started to notice an alarming number of runners breaking down all over the place. By the 20 mile point more were walking than running, and I started my run to the finish line. Somewhere around 21 the police got out into the street and announced that the race had been cancelled. We were to stay on the course until the finish line, but we were to walk the whole way. So that's what I did, finishing in !
It was almost a surreal experience out there, with ambulance sirens nonstop for hours in the distance. From a personal standpoint, I never felt any distress at all. Even with so little running in preparation for the race. I had a conservative, realistic plan. And I had enough experience to adjust it as needed. Most of all that is important when the Marathoner mentality keeps pushing to not quit or even slow down. I know that my work with Lisa has given me a different mindset: equal parts mental toughness and good judgment!
On race morning, I met Ed, Anthony, Ira and two other friends outside the Hilton Chicago and we walked to the race. By the time we had checked gear bags and used the restroom, it was about 15 minutes from the start. We had intended to line up in the front of the corral but it was so crowded that we ended up way in the back. The heat and humidity was already stifling with the temperature at at about 80 degrees. My heart rate in the corral was over 100 (I was just standing). As the cannon went off, we shuffled forward to the start and started running. Ed and I paced out together and had to zig zag quite a bit to find clear running room. Even in the first few miles you could tell this was going to be a different day. There was no breeze and the mass of runners running through the canyons of downtown
Past mile 5, Ed and I ran together for another 3 or so miles when we lost each other in the crowd. I had picked up my pace after mile 5 to make up time for the slower pace we had to run out of the corral due to the crowds. By the time, I reached mile 10 people were in obvious distress and many more were walking. This was not normal. I was also feeling very hot and my heart rate was at 90%, which was way too high for the pace and this early in the race. At around this time, I made the decision that I was going to stick to my original goal of not pushing too hard and save myself for Ironman. I knew from my heart rate, the heat, and the situation around me that pushing for a PR would be a mistake under these conditions. I stopped racing and started thinking of this as a long training run. I backed off my pace and started to focus on sticking to my hydration plan. I brought my heart rate down. By mile 16, it was a meltdown. People were dropping all over the course and the sound of ambulances was constant. At mile 20, I saw some friends who were cheering for me, including one who was to do her first marathon with me in
As I have told people, this was not a race. This was a life experience. I made it because Lisa prepared me physically and mentally. I made it because I am self-reliant and carry what I need to get me through any event. This is something that Lisa has taught me and that has served me well on the very many lonely long training rides and runs. You have to be able to adapt and overcome and you can't always rely on others to take care of you. I am very sorry for all those who got hurt. We are endurance athletes and we understand the risks, but we also have to be prepared for the conditions and make our own decisions on whether or not to step off that starting line.