oh hey y’all!
It’s only been, what? six months? I never wrote a Boston recap? What the heck is wrong with me! It was glorious! Sure, it was my slowest marathon at the time (3:47:03 but don’t worry, I went even slower in Chicago!) but it was an unbelievable experience that I will never forget. I also went to rehearsal THE NIGHT OF THE MARATHON. Then got engaged.
So, y’know, pretty typical day in the life of Chelsea and by typical I mean it was definitely the best day of my life? Feels weird to say that, but it’s true.
This year has gone by SO GODDAMN FAST. I ran Chicago this past weekend and it completely re-invigorated me. It was my slowest marathon EVER (4 hours) because my training sucked giant donkey balls. Why? Because I’m insane. During the first 8 weeks of my “training cycle” I had work everyday from 8ish to 5 then rehearsal from 6 – 10. SO YEAH. NOT IDEAL FOR MARATHON TRAINING. I know there are folks who can wake up at 5am and earlier to pop off runs, but I am not one of those people. Especially if I don’t get home ’til midnight. So I just didn’t run. I fit in a few runs here and there, but it was pretty bleak. I was a sad runless lady.
And then for three of the six weeks leading up to the marathon I was on tour which turned out to be great. I was able to build up to a 17 miler with Jefe (running buddy extraordinaire!) after consistently running the entire time. Very little speed work. Just running as much as I possibly could. I would not recommend my little ramshackle 6 week marathon training plan to ANYBODY, but my main goal was to just survive the marathon.
I had exactly two goals for this race: 1) START OUT AS SLOW AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE 2) Just soak up my surroundings. Chicago is an incredible city.
On another note I have an amazing group of friends. We’d been planning this trip to Chicago for months and months. Lauren actually bought my plane tickets as a Christmas present. If supporting my insane dream to run a marathon in all 50 states isn’t love I don’t know what is. Not only that, but her Dad and Stepmom let five hooligans in their twenties stay in their swanky downtown apartment. I walked to the start line. Again, I have the best friends in the entire world. It’s just science. and facts. Facts of science.
Oh, and did I mention I walked to the starting line hopped up on dayquil because I had a lovely little head cold? In summary, the trip itself had been absolutely perfect, but this race did not seem like it was going to go well.
The first few miles were ominous. I thought “oh dear god. My knee is tweaky. I feel like I’m running through with molasses. What kind of person thinks they can survive a marathon after only six weeks of training. I am a dingbat”.
But I pushed those thoughts out of my head (there was a lot of self talk this race, let me tell you!). I had lots of strange pieces of logic “If I make it to double digits I can definitely finish!” (what, that makes no sense, but let’s believe it). “I just have to get through one mile at a time. one foot in front of the other. move.”. I just convinced myself to keep moving and then, well, something would happen.
And you know what?
I went through the half at 2:06:22 and it was suddenly like running Chelsea had awoken from a deep, dark slumber. All of a sudden I was joyfully picking up the pace. Passing people like crazy. Smiling like a lunatic. I kid you not, this was the STRONGEST I’ve ever felt on the back half of a marathon. It certainly helped that the crowds were awe-inspiring. The course was gorgeous. The weather was perfect.
Thoughts of “This is exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now” danced through my head as the miles ticked by effortlessly. I felt in my element. All was right with the world.
And I was not bummed at all with my 4:00:54 finish. In fact, I was elated. Inspired. If I could finish a marathon feeling strong with half assed training what could I accomplish with really committing to a plan? With really focusing?
So I came out of the race grinning. Feeling so loved and supported by friends and family, and ready for the next big race.
That race? The Vermont City Marathon on May 24th. I’m gunning for a sub 3:30. I’m going to spend this winter building a nice, solid base. I’m going to run a few shorter distance races. Build some healthy strength habits. Then saddle up for an intensive training plan come February.
2015 is going to be a big year.