The date, 10-10-10…the event….the 2010 Chicago Marathon.  After about 10 months of preparing for this run, I finally made it.  I completed the run with a time of 4:57:14.  My goal for this run was to simply cross the finish line with a descent time.  This time isn’t bad considering the temperature.  That day had a relatively warm or hot temperature for a long run.  The temperature range for that day was between 60 degrees and 82 degrees.

I ran this race with my sister-in-law.  We stuck together for the first half.  As a result her half marathon time and mine were exactly the same:  2:25:31…not bad.

As part of a charitable effort, I ran for a cause–St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Some of my friends supported me there.  My wife contacted others and was also able to get pledges.  I estimate that the total pledges comes out to be around $1000.  I will be happy if this effort will make a difference in the life of one child.

There is one thing very different from this run–many people running are running for a cause.  I don’t see this on 12K or lesser runs, and I’ve done many such runs.  I think a marathon is different and that it takes a special dedication and determination to complete such a challenge.  Drawing from my own experience, the dedication and determination were definitely there.  Since December of 2009, I have been training for this run, waking up at 4:30am and running at around 5:00 am.  Not too many people can do this.  Sometime during the training, I suffered through multiple injuries:  plantar fasciitis, knee soreness, and maybe even IT.  I rested and recovered.  As a matter of fact, I was still recovering from a knee sprain/soreness/inflammation when I ran this marathon.  The good thing was that my knee didn’t even bother me during the run!

Observing the crowd, I saw many people from different walks of life, some people stood out in that they obviously had some form of injury or disability as can be seen in the way they run, yet they are there doing the marathon.  That is very inspiring.  I have never seen this kind of determination in any race I’ve been to.

Running a marathon has been an experience.  Knowing that not many people can complete such a challenge makes one feel somewhat special.  Now that it is over, it seems that I have caught the marathon bug.  Which one should I do next?  Someone suggested the NYC marathon.  Hmmm…maybe.

Today’s temperature (lows in the mid 60s, highs in mid 90s) wasn’t ideal for a long run, but I had to make do. I know I can no longer deal with running later in the day when the temperature gets too high. So I woke up early, real early–about 4:30 am! By around 5am I was loosening up.

Based on my own estimate, I figured today’s run was going to take me around 3 hours. I took it easy, with the goal of basically just  finishing this long run.

At the onset, my legs felt somewhat heavy. By mile 10 they were getting sore; and by mile 15 they were hurting, and the hot weather didn’t help either.

I finished the run in 2 hours and 56 minutes. This put me at an average pace of around 9 minutes 20 seconds per mile. Not too bad.

Overall, I’m glad I was able to run today.

 Next weeks run is going to be even tougher–20 miles!

Right now as I type this, I am reminded of this morning’s run as my legs are still sore.  I might just take 2 days to recover; I’ll know by tomorrow.

The next Chicago Marathon is going to be held on October 10, 2010 (or 10-10-10).  The magic number seems to be “10”.

Anyway, if you are interested in participating in this event, registration opens on February 1, 2010.

The registration ceiling for this event is supposed to be 45,000, and I read somewhere that this ceiling is hit 6 months before the event starts.   Thus if you want a good chance at making it in, you would have to register by April 10, 2010.   This means that registration ceiling is hit within 2 and a half months from registration opening!

I better make sure to sign up on registration opening day.

Here are more information regarding the Chicago Marathon:

Visit the Chicago Marathon web site for more information.

See you in Chicago!

Last Sunday was my long run.  On my plan, I have to  run at least 8 miles.  The course I layed out happened to be 8.5 miles.  Having just come back from a cruise where the primary activity was eating, I knew I had to take the run easy.  So I did. 

Since the run was long, I decided to bring a mini-water bottle which I held in my left hand for the entire run.  I took a sip of water at about every two miles.

The pace I ran–about 9:15 per mile–I think will be my marathon pace.  At this pace, I’m not gasping for air, but am able to breath comfortably.  I was doing pretty good, even at mile 4.   Even at the 6 mile mark, I was able to run uphill (on the Union Ave freeway overpass).  However, what I found is that after mile 7, I started noticing that my legs were getting sore.  I wasn’t tired, but needed to focus more on my form to ensure that the most minute sloppy movement doesn’t cause more problems.

Within the last half mile, I was able to increase my stride and finish the 8.5 mile run strong.  I then drank what was left in my mini-water bottle.

As I finished the run, I thought to myself…”this is just less than a third of a marathon…can I do this run 2 more times?”

The pessimist in me said “my legs are sore, I don’t think I’ll last”, but the optimist in me said “hey, I think I can make the entire marathon!  I’m not even tired.  My legs are sore, but with training, it will be better.”  So I listened and leaned more towards the optimist in me.

Before I left for the cruise this week, I made a reservation for a round trip to Chicago for me and my wife.  I also reserved a rental car.  My wife and I will arrive there on 08 Oct 2010, and we will depart on 11 Oct 2010.

There is no backing down now.  I am now committed to training and doing the Chicago Marathon.

All I have to do now is make sure I get registered early enough before they meet their 1000 45,000 quota.