Chicago Marathon Training Week 16 – Tentative but Ready to Rock

The race is tomorrow. After my accident last Saturday, I have steadily recovered with each passing day. I can’t say that I am back to 100%; but the pain has eased. Ibuprofen has helped. When I take a deep breath, it still hurts to inhale and exhale. Maybe “hurt” is too strong a word, it’s more of a nagging discomfort. When one has to run a marathon, discomfort easily turns to pain! Therefore, I will take Ibuprofen a few hours before the race, go easy for the first few miles and see how it goes. That about sums up my race plan. It will be miraculous if I can meet the following pace times:

  • Mile 1 to 3: 8:40 per mile
  • Mile 4 to 7: 8:35 per mile
  • Mile 8 to 11: 8:30 per mile
  • Mile 12 to 20: 8:25 per mile
  • Mile 21 to end: 8:20 per mile

I’m optimistic that I will be able to run the first 11 miles at the above pace (unless of course I completely fall apart). After the 11th mile, I have no idea what’s going to show up. My best guess is that I will finish in a time anywhere from 3:45 to 4:15. Let’s see what transpires.

Here is how my week has gone so far:

Monday: Still in pain, I ran 4 easy miles around The Village. Every step hurt, every breath hurt but I sucked it up and ran. My chest felt like it had 100 lbs of weight on it. I had band-aids on my elbows and knees. My wounds were burning. I stopped a couple of times just to catch my breath. I was super uncomfortable but at least I could run. At least nothing was broken.

Tuesday: The pain continued, but it wasn’t worse than yesterday. It was just slightly better. Once again, I sucked it up and ran easy and stopped when I felt like it. My total distance was only 3.3 miles. I took my first dosage of Ibuprofen to counter the pain today.

Wednesday: My training plan called for a short interval run. From my experience on Monday and Tuesday, I knew that running hard would be extra-painful I did feel slightly better today but did my intervals on a spin bike at The Village. I could barely get my heart-rate up. Breathing deep still hurt a lot! Total spin time was only 36 minutes but for the first time I felt like the chest-pain was bearable. Still, before going to bed, I took another dose of Ibuprofen.

Thursday: Early in the morning, we flew to Chicago. The flight was uneventful. We arrived at the condo on Michigan Ave and met Marty and Brian briefly before heading out to dinner and then watching Hamilton. Amit and Dana met us for dinner and the show. Hamilton is superb. Thanks Amit for hooking us up! As for training, it was a rest day.

Our condo is a short 10-minute walk from the starting line. It is also on the race route less than half-a-mile from the finish line. Binita found the condo and reserved it back in March (that’s a whole another story that I will not blog about; if you want to hear the story, you will just have to call me).

My Ibuprofen habit continued with another dose.

Friday: I walked to McCormick Place to the Expo and picked up my bib. Race nerves were setting in. I was still hurting but considerably less than earlier in the week. Injured or not, I was running the Chicago Marathon. My bib number (as you can see from the picture) is 18618. I am in Corral E in Wave 1. I ran 4 miles by the lake. It was a windy and warm run. Still painful, it was easier than Monday or Tuesday.

At the Expo – bib 18618 – Chicago Marathon

I met Sande for coffee at Starbucks briefly. She’s major gung-ho about my race and is going to make signs with a flag of India and a flag of Chicago. We made plans to go back to the Expo to pick up blank signs and walk around.

Flag of India | Flag of Chicago

Julie and Len arrived earlier in the day. For dinner, we ordered in pizza from Giordano (I had pasta of course). It’s always nice and warm to see them.

Before bedtime, it was time for another Ibuprofen!

Saturday: I started the day with a short run of 2.5 miles before walking over to the Expo to meet up with Sande. I needed a few things. First, I needed safety pins for my bib. Second, I needed some tape to tape up the back of my salt-pill vial. I found both! Third, I ended up buying the official Saucony Kinvara 8 Chicago Marathon shoes. We had beet salad for lunch (apparently, beets are performance enhancers). Binita was out all day to see the Chicago architecture tour and brought me back some pasta from Vapiano. I ate heartily at around 6PM.

Pre-race Chicago Marathon run

Before going to bed, I will take another Ibuprofen and will take one more a couple of hours before race time. My start time is 7:30AM (Wave 1, corral E).

Nutrition Plan: Usually, I carry my own race nutrition. Since this is no longer a high-pressure race for me, I am going to try something different. Sande is going to see me at mile 4.5 and mile 10.5. This is close enough for me to consume my first 300 calories on the course. She is going to hand me salted-caramel Stinger waffles (150 calories each). If I don’t see her, well…my race plan will be kaput:

  • 10 minutes before start of race: Eat 150 calories (Picky Bar)
  • 4.5 Miles: Sande to hand me a Stinger (150 calories)
  • 10.5 Miles: Sande to hand me another Stinger (150 calories)
  • 12.5 Miles: Gatorade Endurance Chews (150 calories)
  • 17.5 Miles: Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel (150 calories)
  • 22.5 Miles: Stinger that I will carry (150 calories)
  • 24.5 Miles: Another Stinger that I will carry (150 calories)

As for salt, I am carrying a small vial with 6 salt-pills. I expect to eat 2 pills every hour.

So I’m all set. The weather is expected to be warm (mostly in the 60s and sunny). As you can see from the picture below, I am going to wear (from top to bottom) my Boston Marathon visor, Rudy Project snglasses, Under Armor white tech-shirt, a simple blue scarf (thinking you Missy and Simi), Lululemon blue shorts, Zensah yellow and orange calf sleeves (colors of India), Wigwam Ironman white socks and Saucony Kinvara Tokyo Marathon shoes (nicknamed Windy Arigato). As usual, I will carry music and my Garmin Forerunner 35. My power song is a remake of Wicked Games by Parra for Cuva featuring Anna Neklab.

All set for the Chicago Marathon 201

I’m pretty sure I will sleep sparingly tonight. That’s par for the course on race eve. Wish me luck on Instagram.

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