What's this? I'm actually going to run in a race?! If you've never seen adrenaline spurt out of someones ears, Sunday you will have your chance.
It's been 10 months, 7 days, 5 hours and 30 minutes since I ran competitively. But who's counting? Since then I've cross-trained for 3 1/2 months due to a stress fracture before the 2009 Chicago marathon, battled plantar fasciitis since February and have logged 425 miles running on actual roads. To say I'm excited is an understatement.
The North Shore Half Marathon will not be a PR. And for the first time in my 2 1/2 year running career, I don't care. I was running 55 miles a week when I PR'd last summer. I'm only in the mid-30's now. My short two mile tempo run two weeks ago only suggests a 1:46:xx time. I mainly want to see where my fitness is and put in a harder effort. If I can manage a marathon pace for a 3:30 marathon, I'll be satisfied with 17 weeks left to train for 2010 Chicago. I ran 8 miles yesterday and haven't decided if I'll run 10 tomorrow or not. There is a part of me that just wants to mix this race into my normal training. However it is supposed to be really warm on Sunday. An e-mail from the race director an hour ago with my Bib number also warned of less than ideal conditions with high temps and humidity. 67 degrees is the predicted low for Sunday. So this is probably another reason not to go all out.
The course is mainly flat with one big hill at the 7 mile marker. We will run through the historic Fort Sheridan area where General George Patton was once stationed way back in 1911. I'm kind of a World War II armchair historian so it adds to the lure of the race area. I wonder if old blood 'n guts himself ever ran 13.1 miles while there. Something most people do not know is that Patton competed in the 1912 Olympic games in the modern pentathlon. Swimming, fencing, riding and running and shooting. So maybe he did. He ran third in the 4000 meters. He finished fifth overall and ironically his worst event was the shooting marksmanship competition.
Anyways, I just hope to run a solid race. My first step to Boston 2011. Getting to Chicago healthy is my biggest concern and Sunday's race is my first step across the starting line