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Training -- Week 9!

Well, not every week can be a winner. This week was the first week the wheels fell off the wagon. Monday had a 4-mile run on the schedule, but I was in Nashville on a work trip and gosh, the sun goes down early in Nashville compared to home. By the time I finished work it was too dark to feel like I could run safely for an hour. The treadmill was an option, but my body really need to sleep and rest up for the long week ahead, so off to a quick dinner and bed I went instead.

Wednesday was a 5-mile run. I had a dinner AND a soccer game to attend that night, so if it didn’t happen in the morning, it didn’t happen. And, it didn’t happen. I had so much work to do, I chose to get started early on Wednesday instead. Friday was also a 5-mile run. I was home Friday morning, but I had another log day ahead with a few fundraising tasks, work, laundry, and packing for a trip to Chicago. I thought I’d get out for a walk after dinner, but I was just too tired.

Saturday concerned me. I hadn’t run all week and had 9.5 miles on the schedule. I haven’t run that long since April. I also had a flight to catch that afternoon, so I couldn’t completely just “walk the rest of the way.” On an out and back route – once you’re out, you gotta get back. (Unlike loops where you could just not do a loop or two.) Luckily, I was with my Team in Training teammates by the Chattahoochee River. It’s a mostly flat course and there were 6 water/snack stops. I ran the first 7 miles mostly on my own, but with teammates catching up to me and passing me, then me catching up to them at water stops, then them passing me again, and looping around. It makes such a difference to see friendly faces. The last 2 miles I had Coach Ed loop back to check in on me and it helped make the last miles easier. With Gatorade and peanut butter pretzels available at the water stops, I felt pretty fueled. I actually was surprised at how good I felt keeping a slower pace and having enough gas left in the tank to make my last mile my fastest mile. I should have taken a picture, but I thought, “I’ll get a bunch of pictures tomorrow in Chicago.” Little did I know…

Sunday was a race in Chicago. I was pretty excited to check off another state on my race map. Sam was running the half marathon, and I was running the 5k. We had paid an extra $40 for race day Will Call for our bibs, and the night before we looked at their website to figure out what time we needed to leave by. Will call opened at 5, half marathon corrals closed at 645, half marathon started at 7, the half marathon start line closed at 715, and the 5k started at 745. Our hotel was about 15 minutes away from the start line, so were going to leave by 545 to get there by 6, maybe 610 with traffic, and have plenty of time to get our race bibs and join the start lines.

Well, it took forever to get an Uber. Then the driver made a wrong turn. Then we got stuck in road closure traffic. At some point, we accepted that Sam wasn’t going to get to run the half. About 715, we get dropped off a little less than a mile from the start line. We’re running to the start line, hoping race bibs are on the way (they were not), because we realize the half marathon is still starting. Had Sam had his bib, he could have run it. We finally get pointed in the right direction of the open field with vendors. However, nothing said Will Call. I asked someone at Gear Check, and they directed us to the Race Results tent. As we’re getting there, we’re seeing a group of angry looking people. They tell us they don’t have our bibs. The employee (or volunteer) tells us we had to pay for Will Call. We all did. Then she said Will Call closed at – get this – 545 AM! Regardless of all our delays, we had no chance of getting our bibs because we weren’t leaving our hotel until 545! Then she says that it was clearly on the website. It was not (see above) and it also wasn't on any emails they sent us. Up until that point, I really thought I would be able to run. One other woman was from West Virginia and was in Chicago just to run. Another group had just been dropped off by a shuttle they had paid for - organized through the race itself - and couldn’t run. It was such a mess. Sam and I have been running for years and have well over 200 races between us. This is not our first rodeo, so to have such issues at such a large event, was pretty shocking. So anyway, I took a picture to document the races we didn’t run, and we headed back to our hotel to change and go out to eat a lovely breakfast instead.

Like I said, not every week can be a winner. And in a 24-week training program, I’ll take one hiccup. Let’s just hope it’s the last!

Week 9: Run 9.54 miles + Walk 0 miles = 9.54 total miles

Cumulative: Run 141.34 miles + Walk 12.58 miles = 153.92 cumulative miles

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