Monday, October 23, 2006

A fine cold day in Chicago

It started off feeling cold, and finished feeling much colder; and yet the run was cold, not at all. With the rain Gods holding back for the duration of the race and more, it was a great day to be out there racing; sure can't say the same for the million and a half who were standing in the cold and cheering.

Chicago is always an electric experience, with its excess of 45000 runners ensuring absolutely no elbow-room all the way to the finish line; and its nearly two-million-strong chanting and cheering crowd ensuring that the mind prevailed over body through the length of the course.

What with changed plans and other such life-schemes, I landed in Chicago around midnight the night before, and was promptly greeted by a cold and rainy city. It was still cloudy and cold when I met up with Gaurav, Ganesh, Ani and Anurag at the startline. We warmed up fairly quickly, in about 2 miles, and the rest of the race went by in a breeze. I was pacing a little over 9 minute miles until mile 20, when I felt a twinge in my quads. What with the 50K race coming up next saturday, I decided to take it easy, and dropped to 11+ minute miles and finished with an average of an even 10 mi/mile (4h:22m:26s). The good part is that I shaved 8 minutes off my best time. Ani did far better, she took off a full hour from her best marathon time. Santhosh and Gaurav, our fast boys, were pacing others, so no PRs for them. Ganesh did his usual 4:40-ish, not sure if that was a PR.

For the past few long runs, I've been starting off with legs feeling like lead, and this sunday was an exception. Felt great start to finish, and there does not seem to be much after effects either. In all, a day and a race to remember.


Gaurav Agarwal said...

So Steve's advice did prove right - The best way to PR is to take up trail running. Good job!! And all this after landing in Chicago 6-7 hours before the marathon.

Vinod said...

Thanks man. Yeah Steve's advice did come true. However, it wasnt fun running the Tue and Wed runs this week. Lets see how Rocky shapes up, a good chance we'll turn up really late for that as well, what with Arvind Kejriwal's talk in town the friday evening.