I knew that this week would be exceptionally challenging for me to achieve a 25-mile week like I had in 3 out of the last 4. I was in Chicago for work from Monday through Friday. I attended group dinners on Tuesday and Wednesday and worked a some long days.
I didn't hit the 25 mile mark - or even the 20 mile mark for that matter. Nonetheless, I am proud of my week given my professional schedule!
- TIME: 22:11
- EST PACE: 7:10
- EST DIST: 3.1
Tue 10/4 -- Downtown Chicago run
I had to work quite late in the hotel on Monday night, so I knew getting in a Tuesday AM run would be really tough. Plane was delayed, which didn't help matters.
I love Chicago. I was attending a Innovation Team Building Session for a couple of days and had the fortunate opportunity to stay at the Chicago Swissotel. Dinner was scheduled for late on Tues eve, so I checked in around 5pm and headed out for a run. What a marvelous cityscape. I ran from Wacker Drive down to the Lakeshore Dr. bike path. I took this over to the Navy Pier. In my seemingly thousands of trips to Chicago, I had never ventured into the carnivalesque and truly unique commercial district that is Chicago's Navy Pier. I know I couldn't do my visit justice as I dashed from the front end of the pier to the back, but I did my best to take in all the sights in passing.
Only downside of my run was the daunting humidity and the fatigue that I felt kicking in from five consecutive days of running. Tuesday's high in Chicago was just shy of 90. I did a bit of walking and pausing on my run. I didn't beat myself up over it. It was great to be running out in plain view of Lake Michigan and the skyline. Ohio Street Beach was a place of viewing for me, after which I headed back toward the hotel.
- TIME: 29:39
- EST PACE: 8:00
- EST DIST: 3.7
Wednesday and Thursday were a flurry of work activities that keep me unavailable to run -- unless I wanted go down to 5.5 hours of sleep! Thursday eve was a possibility, but I was downright exhausted. I decided it would be best to have a quiet dinner on my own on Thursday night, and then get to bed early for a solid Friday AM run.
- TIME: 41:47
- EST PACE: 7:20
- EST DIST: 5.7
When I did get started, I took a new route in Burr Ridge that almost got me lost. I had pretty solid pace in the cool morning weather. Always can count on the Chicago 'burbs to be pancake flat and good for fast morning runs.
I was hoping that, despite this light week, that the past couple of solid weeks would get me appropriately prepared for this Sunday's Great Train Race in New Canaan. Saturday's rain was a wash-out. I needed to rest anyway.
Sun 10/7 -- GREAT TRAIN RACE -- NEW CANAAN TO WILTON, CT
I did the Great Train Race for the 1st time last year and it was a lot of fun. If you enjoy serene views of the best Connecticut's natural beauty has to offer, this is your race. If you don't like hills, don't sign up for this bad boy. It is a killer in terms of hills.
The objective of the race is to run from the New Canaan train station through the town's residential and extremely private rolling hills to the Wilton Train Station -- all with the hopes of beating the speeding train that starts in sync with the race. The distance is precisely 6.816 miles and the train supposedly takes 55 minutes.
This is the kind of race that offers hills that nearly force you to a crawl. I don't wear a heart monitor, but I am confident that it would have been blowing up when I peaked at the steepest hill on the course. A couple of the downhill terrains are almost steep enough where you feel like you are going to topple forward, since your quads are tired from climbing the prior hills. I love this race!
Today's conditions were outstanding. Low 50's with a breeze and moistness on the ground from yesterday's deluge of rainfall.
Going in, I didn't think I was prepared to beat last year's time. I just didn't feel up to it. What's more, we were out at a friend's party last night at which I was nursin' beers and eating birthday cake. Didn't think it would help my speed. Remarkably, I shaved 40 seconds off of my 2004 time.
COMPARISON OF RESULTS:
- 2004 Great Train Race: 48:04 (7:03)
- 2005 Great Train Race: 47:24 (6:57)
I do have to travel to Cincy for a couple of days this week, but there should be enough give in the schedule to get a nice mid-week run in. I'm going to target 25 miles with at least one good visit to the Gym.
Next week will be a thrilling challenge... getting some good running as I travel through Dublin, Ireland and the United Kingdom!
HANGING QUESTION: What will be my 2006 Marathon?? With Jen and I mulling over a potential transfer to Chicago, I may be enrolled in the Chicago Lasalle Bank Marathon exactly one year from today. Could be tough, since I am a Winter/Spring marathon runner. Who knows... may do one earlier in 2006 also.