Taper Town: Less than 2 Weeks Away From Chicago Marathon

This is the third marathon that I’ve trained for, and by far, this is the best training cycle I’ve had.  I did have some runs where I didn’t feel great but overall, I couldn’t ask for better performance.  My last 22 miler was unexpectedly great.  Don’t get me wrong, I was winded and tired after 22 miles and wondered how I would be able to go 4 more miles if that marathon was that day, but I did what I needed to do that day.  And, usually I feel horrible after 20+ miles.  I mean usually I feel nauseous, lightheaded, very tired.  This time I felt tired of course, but not the other side effects I usually have, and that is very encouraging.   Maybe I am finally figuring out my hydration/fueling needs.

This past Sunday I ran 15 miles up in PA, which is the longest distance I will do before marathon day, and I felt really strong on rolling hills.  I was able to keep a steady pace, close to my marathon pace.  With that, I felt pretty good about being ready for Chicago, until I heard this…..

Extended Forecast for Chicago, IL

Of course this forecast is 10 days away, but as of now, Weather Channel is predicting a low of 62F and high of 80F.  That’s a bit warmer than I’d like to see.  Usually for this race, Chicago has a 50F start!  Even this summer, a lot of my long runs were done with temps at 60F or below.  My slowest ones were when it was 63-65F at the start, so this does concern me, as I am not a great runner in the heat.  Some runners can tolerate heat better than others, and I am not one of them.  I guess it is a bit early to be too concerned about it being 10 days away, but I need to be prepared, as I have trained for a race to be in cooler temps.   Some adjustments might have to be made, including pace, which could mean not obtaining a PR this race.  That would be bitter sweet, as I trained so hard, to have it snatched away from warmer weather.  That is how running goes though. We train knowing that the race could be extremely windy (especially Chicago).  We train knowing that we could see torrential down pour of rain the entire time.  We train knowing that a race could be cancelled due to weather even.  So all we can do is hope for great weather, and if we do not get that, we must do the best we can with the hand we’re dealt.

That is what I keep telling myself!  There will be other races to PR if it doesn’t happen here.  I will just do what I can.

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