A blog by runners. For runners.

Chicago Marathon 2006

On Sunday morning we woke up to watch the Chicago Marathon come past our building at Lakeshore and Addison. We watched the start on TV before heading downstairs to catch the elite runners. We are just after mile 7 on the course so the runners were upon us in about 35 minutes. I missed the winners of the mens race but have some great photos of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed women over at Flickr.
No running for me later that day or on Monday but on Tuesday I chose to try the Interval Training 1 track with Alberto Salazar on my iPod Nano. The weather here in Chicago is down to 32 degrees at 6am when I run so it's time to wear the windcheater pants, jacket, fleece headband and gloves in addition to the usual undershorts, shorts and a t-shirt. Outside it felt a little chilly but not cold so it was probably the right amount to be wearing for a hard training workout.
The track starts with some warm up music and after a short while, Alberto cuts in to describe the workout and has you run 10 minutes of warm up. I ran my warm up at around 8:45 per mile Just before the 10 minutes is up he joins you again to describe the next section where you run 4 minutes at a challenging but comfortable pace or seven out of ten in terms of intensity. When instructed I sped up to a 7:30 pace for the four minutes and then back down to a comfortable recovery pace of 8:15 for four more when Alberto told me too. The next segment is 3 minutes at an eight out of ten intensity so I cranked it up to 7:00 per mile and the n 3 minutes at recovery pace again. The trick came at interval three where the goal is 2 minutes at a race pace or nine out of ten intensity. I pushed my pace to 6:50 and held there for a minute before starting to dry heave and after another thirty seconds I had stopped just in case. After ten seconds or so I started running again at the recovery pace until the last interval was announced. This section is 1 minute at all out effort and I was able to get 6:40 per mile out for the whole period. The workout ends with a 10 minute cool down at the warmup pace.
I covered 5.3 miles in 44 minutes during the workout and I felt really energized despite the heaving part way through. At the end of the workout Alberto comforts you by saying “it's hard now but it will get easier”. I'm going to try it once a week for now to see how I do. I had read lots of negative reviews on the Apple store about the music for the workout but I found it to be pretty good. I listened to the tracks on their own without the commentary and thought they were all pretty average but as a fully integrated mix track alongside the different phases of the workout it works for me.
Today I got out early again in the 32 degree cool to run 4 miles over 33:04 / 8:11 pace. I used the idea from the training run yesterday of a 10 minute warm up and 10 minute cool down but then maintained a 7:50 pace for the 2 miles in the middle. It felt good yesterday after the workout and no soreness which I attributed to the 10 minute cooldown and some stretching which I don't usually do. Since I feel good today too I think stretching and cooldown will be a permanent part of my runs to avoid the stiffness that sometimes strikes after my faster runs.
On a different note, I'm 3.8 miles ahead of my goal to hit 55 miles over 4 weeks with 14 days left. In answer to a question from my friend and groomsman Kieran, in the light of the reality of trying to pay for a flight to Arizona in January I think my next marathon will be around March so I'm considering the inaugural ING Georgia Marathon.