Monday, August 01, 2005

Run for the hills. . .

I don't often get pissed about things. On occasion, I get a little "amped up" as my husband likes to call it. Sometimes I get moody. But today I'm pissed, mostly fueled by a disappointment that could have been avoided.

I ran 16 miles this weekend, kicking my marathon training into full gear. I found some great girls to run with (one a MA student in Lit, one a chemistry/algebra teacher here in Chicago) and we had a great time. I finally felt like I can do this thing- that actually completing the marathon is not a pie in the sky. I've been running competitively since high school track season of 1990, which puts me well into my 15th year of running. I ran in college to fund my education and since, I've trained for and competed in 4 marathons, qualifying for Boston each time (but never actually running it. . .hmmm). My last marathon was the 2003 Chicago Marathin where I logged a slightly impressive 3:36:36 (though my marathon PR is 3:29 as a younger pup). Then only about 6 weeks later, I got pregnant and the priority to run became a quick second to taking care of myself and resting. I ballooned to a unbelieveable monstrosity of a pregnant lady, even though I continued to run up until about the 6 month mark. Because of the c-section (what a nightmare) I ended up taking about 6 months off of running, total. I started running again (using the term "running" very loosely here. . .) in November and have been working hard ever since. I got the idea to train for Chicago again because I needed an external motivation to continue to run and get in shape- and it's been working! I feel great and even look forward to getting up at 5:30 am to run because I have something to train for. It's been great and really given me something to focus on.
So why am I pissed? Well, I have been a little wishy-washy about whether I REALLY thought I could do the marathon. I mean, it's a grueling experience, both the training and the actual running-of. I've been putting off shelling out the nearly $100 to register for the race. . until last night when I decided I could really do it. I could commit. But guess what? Registration is closed. 40,000 crazy mo fo's already shelled out their $100 and the marathon closed in RECORD time- 1 month earlier than last year and much, much earlier than the year before (when I ran it). I guess I should have committed earlier, taken the gamble and just plunged in. I should have payed closer attention. But I wanted to be sure, and now I'm screwed. I'm pissed for a lot of reasons that are selfish and surely have to do with issues of entitlement- like I've been running for a long time, paid my dues, and this marathon really meant a lot to me while joe blow is trudging his fat never-run-before ass and taking up all the room in the marathon. (I know, I'm a bitch, but I'm mad. . .) I feel like I deserve to run this race, even if I missed the deadline. But there's just no way. So what now?
I think I might run the Portland Marathon, which is the same weekend, so I can maintain my training schedule and still run on the same day (just not in chicago). My best friend is working a contract in Portland and will hopefully still be there on October 9th, so hopefully I can just stay with her and run a smaller, more relaxed, cooler, and less congested race. The Chicago Marathon really is a nightmare. I was forced to walk the first few miles in 2003 and then when we finally could run, it took so much energy dodging people and trying not to trip that it surely affected my time. When all is said and done, I'm probably better off doing something smaller anyway. But I'm still pissed because now I have to race all by myself, which is excruciating for 26.2 miles (especially the last 4.2 miles or so. . .that's when the pain really seeps in.)

I can't wait to move from Chicago, and this just really is the icing on the cake. I've lived in Wrigleyville for 3 years and have only been to one Cubs game because the tickets were given to me at the grocery store. We've tried for years to get tickets but they sell out on the day they go on sale-- for the WHOLE season! Even trying to get tickets the day they go on sale is a nightmare, so we watch them on TV with our windows open and listen to the crowd a mere two blocks away. I'm not going to watch from the perifery for this race, though. It means too much to me. I'll run a marathon on October 9th, even if it's on a treadmill in my gym or as a "rogue runner" numberless in the Chicago marathon. But most likely it'll be somewhere else. . .maybe I'll pick a city that has a baseball team and actually go see a game!

1 comment:

Scott Glassman said...

Mackenzie, I'm sorry you got locked out of the race! I guess it's even more motivation to kick ass in Portland. It's a shame the race organizers couldn't make an exception, I mean, what's one more than 40,000. Anyhow, good luck.