Saturday I flew to Indiana with my daughter to get her back to her mom’s place. Amelia is an incredible flying partner and really a blast to go through airports with. I had been warned that there were storms going through the Midwest over the weekend and to be prepared for an unexpected overnight stay. We were met at the airport, I saw them off, and then went back through security to get some dinner and wait at the gait. While eating I got an alert the flight was delayed. Not surprising and it was going to be tight but my connection in Chicago was still doable. I walked around the airport wishing that I could go for a run and periodically swinging by the gate just to check. Its a good thing I did. On one of my fly-by’s I saw that we were back to an “on-time” departure. Got on the plane and settled in with the latest Runner’s World for the short flight. I always get the latest Runner’s world to read on flights.
In Chicago is where the trouble really began. The flight was delayed a hal hour, then an hour, then an hour and a half and this continued until my 8:30 flight was delayed until 11:30. The whole time the gate personnel told us that they didn’t have pilots and where waiting on them to come in. Finally, the flight canceled. This was not looking good for the race on Sunday morning. I got on my phone and quickly re-booked for the 5 am flight and resigned myself to meeting Coach V at the finish line. American Airline was incredibly unapologetic about the cancellation and didn’t even offer vouchers for hotels. I was simply told that there was an emergency shelter area set up in Terminal 2.
So, after giving the customer assistance people an earful, I went to the shelter area and was shown to a cot. I think I got a couple of hours of sleep before I had to head back to the gate for my 5 am flight.
I have yet to be very successful sleeping on planes. I continued to read Runner’s World and watched a movie.
To my surprise we landed a little early. I called coach V and she was just heading to the start corrals. “You might be able to get here in time” Coach V seemed pretty excited. And a plan was hatched.
She left my race bib at the information tent right beside bag check. When I get there I checked my bag, got my number and took off. I missed the start and they where just about to shut down the start line when I went through like a bat out of hell. Coach V had a pretty good lead on me and while I knew that she was going to stay with the 14 min/mile pacer I still wanted to catch her as quickly as possible. I caught up with her after about a mile and a quarter.
After spending the night at the airport, a 4 hour plane ride, and a Lyft to the race site I ran a 9 min mile. IN BLUE JEANS!
OK, so, I was kinda impressed.
We did the rest of the run together at a walk run interval. Coach V hadn’t trained for the run very much and being 5 months pregnant I was impressed she did it at all. But, she REALLY loves chocolate. Admittedly, it was really good chocolate. And it was so nice to see her after the night I had.
That race was the middle of “the Taper”. That magical time before a marathon when you scale back the mileage in preparation for the impending race. And as the theme has gone for the year I got another respiratory infection. It started on Thanksgiving day as a mild sore throat which eased off after a couple of days.
Then the cough started. I tried to deal with it on my own but after a week and reffing a soccer game I decided to head to a doctor. He confirmed the infection and started me on antibiotics and, my personal favorite, prednisone. Just what I wanted in the week leading up to the marathon that I’m trying to break my PR by over an hour in.
I have been jittery all week. I’ve been having such a hard time focusing that its taking me 3 days just to write this. I’m not sleeping a whole lot and when I do it isn’t great. Oh and I’ve reffed 4 of the 5 nights this week.
Yet I’m still hopeful that it will be a good run. The weather is looking like it will be just about perfect for a run tomorrow. I’ve been watching my diet this week and avoiding anything fried. The soccer games mean that I’ve been running 6-8 miles every night but its all stop and go. Light jogs, followed by standing, followed by full on sprints. Its actually a lot of fun but mentally taxing.
My goal tomorrow is under 5 hours. the trip, and Runner’s World, helped me think a lot about my running goals in the next several years. I’ve come up with some pretty aggressive goals over the next 4-5 years but I’ll save those for another time.
Tomorrow is the Buckeye Marathon. I’ve never been more prepared for a marathon than I am right now. Still I’m incredibly nervous and worried that the recent respiratory issues will create a problem. But, still I’m hopeful. Assuming I survive I’ll let you know how it goes.