if you are going to run Chicago, do it with Team World Vision
I have run the Chicago Marathon three times. Twice with Team World Vision. The 2nd time I ran Chicago TWV was just beginning. Last year it was the biggest charity in the race.
Why run with TMV?
First and most important the money raised goes to a great cause. Water in Africa. Huge! There is something special about running for something bigger than yourself.
They have training groups all over Chicagoland. I would rather run by myself but if you want partners and support they have a great program.
But the best reason is their pre and post race events. The night before the race they put on an epic pasta dinner. The food is fine, but the inspiration is over the top great.
After the race they have a huge tent for your family to enjoy while they wait for you to finish. They had free pizza and snacks for everyone. Most people just finish the race, and go home, I guess. But if you run with TWV you have a great place to sit and recover. They will keep your gear so you don’t have to wait in ridiculous long lines. They will have instajohns for you to use again without waiting. This is a huge after you finish the race!
winter is almost over
Saturday was the first outdoor run in over a month. Most of the Prairie Path was clear, just a few icy patches on the sides. I was able to put in 9 miles. The transition off the dreadmill is hard. It is easier to run on a moving belt in a temperature controlled climate with 8 tv’s in front of you. The longs runs are torturous on a treadmill, but it is better than not running at all!
I ran outside again this morning. I was sore. I ran about 5.5 miles. The IPP was slippery with a thin coating of dusty snow. Newton shoes are terrible in slippery conditions. But it was still better than the dreadmill.
Looks like Winters back will be broken this week! Looking forward to running in just a regular shirt and shorts on Saturday. No more tights or pullovers, hats or gloves. Well, maybe a hat.
First blog on prairie path running
In 2005 I decided I wanted to run a marathon. Actually that is not totally true I decided I wanted to run a marathon when I was in junior high. Back then I was running 5k’s in 19:00 minutes. By my sophmore year in high school my 5k PR was 16:34 and I could run a sub 5:00 mile. Then I took about a 25 year break from running.
In 2005 I was 50 lbs heavier than I was in High School and my 40th was on the horizon. So I decided to run. I grabbed some shoes and ran in a local park. I think I ran two miles and thought I was going to die.
But I was committed, I had already paid the fees for the Chicago Marathon. I was going to do it. I started running in April after the snow melted and the sun came out. The CHI marathon is in October.
I made it to the finish (actually it is harder to get to the starting line) in 4:50. I would have been a couple of minutes faster but I had severe hamstring cramping 100ft from the finish. I still remember clinging to the chain link fence just before the finish line to keep from falling.
It was such a tough experience it took me 4 years to attempt it again. I decided to train with Team World Vision, maybe with a group of people it would be less painful and more fun. It wasn’t. OK it was slightly more fun, but it was more painful. It was a hot summer. Which did not even come close to preparing me the race! That race will go down in history as the hottest CHI marathon ever. I think it was 96F when I hit the finish over 5 and half hours after I started!
The say you run your next marathon when you forget your last one.
In 2010 I said enough is enough with my weight. I was about 65 pounds over my BMI. My wife had just lost a bunch of lbs after joining Weight Watchers. It was my turn.
I attended meetings almost every week for over a year. In June of 2012 I was within about 20 lbs. of my BMI. A friend who runs Team World Vision talked me into running with the team. He had an unused admission into the Chicago Marathon which was already sold out. Due to a super warm spring I had already begun to put in some long runs of over 16 miles. I was wondering if I should sign up for a fall race.
It was around this time that I read Phil Maffetone’s “The Big Book of Endurance”. This book inspired me to change the way I run and further change the way I ate. I switched from a heel to a midfoot striker. I bought a pair of Newtons, and I just about eliminated all carbs from my diet. I easily lost the remaing weight by July, and went beyond my goal weight by about 8 pounds. By the end of the summer I had lost 65 lbs. and was running on average 2 minutes per mile faster during my workouts.
I ran a 3:40 marathon! I took nearly two hours off the killer 2009 time, and more than an hour off my 2007 time. Woah!
More importantly I learned to love to run again. I don’t have any regrets in life, but if I could go back I would have never quit running in high school. I won’t ever be quite that fast again. But I have some goals. I would love to qualify for Boston. I would love to run a sub 1:30 half marathon. I think in a year or two both of those goals are attainable.
I run because it brings balance. I have a stressful job. I have a growing, exciting family. I need the time on the Prarie Path during my runs to clear my head. Running help me stay energized. It helps me get to sleep faster. It allows me to think. It allows me to compete with myself, which is all I need.
This blog will be a reminder of the lessons I learn.
This Fall I will be running in the Milwaukee Marathon. Can’t wait.