I almost cried yesterday after the Chicago Marathon

Yesterday, I had a good day running the Chicago Marathon. The experience was not as draining or emotional as last year, but an accomplishment regardless. I plan on posting the Race Report later.

I was talking with my coach from nJoy Racing, Kimberly Shah, taking a chance to debrief about the race and the season. That whole conversation is going to be fodder for 3 blog entries, but I’m going to start with this one here.

Kimberly took the time to point out that I did improve massively over the past year, and it brought me into perspective. I didn’t realize it because I was looking at the minutiae and sweating the details. But that wasn’t the most profound moment.

Kimberly ended up calling me out on the carpet on something that I didn’t really expect. But at the same time, it was the same type of call that started this whole journey into endurance sports. The same one that got me into Triathlon this year. That insight, combined with the experience I had in the marathon this year, shook me to the core. But, I knew that she was right. I knew also, this could mean something special and extraordinary. When someone knows you very well, they also can see the truth that you tend to hide from yourself. They know what you are capable of, even if you don’t believe it yourself. But belief can only get you so far.

However, having this insight does me no good right now. For today, I have to keep this insight close to my vest.

If this comes true, I will re-post what she said to me in that moment. For today, this is just a time capsule. A reminder to my future self what is possible. And how blessed I am to know this ahead of time.

Weekly Update: The Story So Far

  • I finally purchased a bike.  2 weeks and $2,000+ later, I purchased a Scott CR-1 Team from Get A Grip Cycles.  I took the bike out for a few rides and had to get used to the clip pedals.  It takes pride to fall flat on my ass on Chicago Avenue in the middle of a busy street.   While it scared me initially and I stayed off the streets for awhile, I’ve learned to not fall, even though my courage to ride Chicago’s city streets on a bike isn’t up there yet.  Maybe I’ll get a steel frame bike for that.
  • I ran 57:08 at the Shamrock Shuffle 8k.  It was an unusually warm day compared to normal Chicago weather around March.  I had met up with my Chiropractor and received KTape on my left knee.  Also Pre-Race I got super stretched out by David Hardin and ran the race with no problems.  For a cold start and no training runs since last years Marathon, I felt fantastic and started looking forward to this years training season.
  • I nailed down the majority of my race schedule, which eliminated a few races and added others.  I have a full training plan up till my Rev3Tri Half-Ironman in September.  This is all thanks to Kimberly Shah at njoy Racing, whom I look forward to getting to know better as time goes on
  • I ran for redemption at the Race for Wrigley 5k.  Pulled out my best official 5k time to date at 31:26.   Even better? I capped my Heart Rate to 180 bpm and was able to sprint towards the finish.  Although my official time was about an hour because I started late, my runkeeper that day had me at about 41 minutes, which sounds about right.  I think I would have beat 27 minutes if I didn’t have to walk part of the race.   The race also seemed less staffed and very minimal camaraderie, but I digress.
  • Pulled an unofficial 35:10 the next week at the Sherryl Gaptka 5k in Lisle.  This was a new race and I wasn’t going for time, but I was able to yet again sprint at the end.  I had adjusted my run walk strategy to correspond with my heart rate.
  • My Triathlon Training Started (with nJoy) about three weeks ago, and while I’m trying to learn the ropes, I signed up with Chicago Endurance Sports half-ironman training.  This was so I have access to a coached swim, and I have options for workouts in case meetups with nJoy don’t work all that well.  That and Chicago Triathlon Club also has outings (I think mostly biking) as well.   The Triathlon Training has me working out 6 days a week.  Which is tougher than I thought.
  • Strength Training with David Hardin is the best decision I had ever made.  Not only does my body look fantastic after years of feeling ashamed, but it has improved all three sports as well.  I’m closer to the endurance-building phase with David, as the workouts are closer to not leaving me begging for mercy.  I puked for the first and hopefully only time in the Gym.  I’ve heard of this happening before, but experiencing it is quite different.
  • My first bike ride was fantastic. It was at Train Chicago Studios, found out that my Time Trial output is at 112 watts.  I was able to bike the entire time, only spinning for about a minute during the entire exercise, which shocked me.  I was also at 160 bpm as well after a stern warning from my coach.
  • My first swim however, was not so well.  I think that I have lost all memory of how to swim, because I distinctly remember being a fish, and finding excuses to be in the pool during the summers of my youth.  Heck, I remember diving to the bottom of the deep end of the pool to pick up weights, no problem.  However, all that has gone away and I can’t even move forward with a freestyle stroke.  So, this is the challenge before any of the other triathlons post Bigfoot.  At the Bigfoot Triathlon I can walk along the bottom so it’s not so bad, but I know that 70.3 will probably be in deeper water.