|Nate's poster! Very encouraging, right?|
Tuesday's 6 miles in the morning felt almost the same way. Not quite as ugly, but not nearly what 6 miles should be. So, I opted out of the PM's optional 4 mile run. I would never do this... so you know the last two days weren't good.
Wednesday I had company for my 2 mile @ GMP. Pat came, even though I wasn't dire for a pacer (vs. those 6-8 mile tempo workouts of the past!) - mostly just to have that one last "huh-rah!" workout with me :). So awesome. Craig and Anders were also there. What did I finish my 2 miles in 12:26 (Per Pat, I didn't run with a watch so I could internalize the pace). I told him he pressed stop a few tenths of a second too slow - that really we came in at 12:25.8 (6:12.9 is the standard's mile pace). :). Although perfectly paced (I can not BELIEVE how my internal clock has somehow learned this pace, despite doing so little training at it!)
Pat and I talked about my legs and we agreed that it didn't matter. All it takes is one day.
I decided to take Thursday completely off. It wasn't scheduled (although, I usually take the Thur or Fri off before a marathon - so the fact that there wasn't one scheduled was a new change anyway.
I went in to see Jim for one last adjustment and for him to work on that hip muscle that is oh-so-bugging me. I also went in for one last massage at Willow Creek to try to loosen the hips and increase blood flow to the legs.
So - fast forward to Friday, 2 days before the race. Nate and I made it to Chicago thanks to a ride to the airport from a friend and a quick Spirit Airlines flight. I was actually impressed with the airline (haven't flown them before), although Nate lamented the lack of leg room :). Obviously, not something that is even on my radar. Ha.
|Rocking the CW-X compression on the flight! Oh, and a few other Brooks things as well :)|
Friday afternoon was filled with the Expo and catching up with the mother- and sister-in-law who are both out here cheering for me (awesome).
|On the Chicago bus down to the expo. Yes, this is the same outfit I flew in. Don't judge :)|
|The expo. I got goosebumps when entering!|
|Nate, his mom,and sister. Planning their attack for Friday. So studious looking!|
Now, the rest of my cheer
I've been asked the significance of the cow costumes. Here's the (not-so-short) story.
Jessica, my sister-in-law has cheered for the last 5 Birkiebiners (ski marathon) in the suit. There are a ton of cow-bells on the course, but no cows! Obviously, the course needs some cow cheerleaders.
THEN, the in-laws found a cow suit for Mesa. So I decided to cheer with Mesa at the Birkie Trail Marathon. We were a hit.
And THEN, since I was a little stressed about the whole Chicago-thing, when friends proposed cheering for Chicago, on bikes, in COW costumes, I immediately knew that's what I needed to lighten the mood.
And, so - the rest will be history. Because honestly, even if I'm hurting REALLY bad at mile 24, I can't slow down. After all, I made all of these people drive to, and bike all around Chicago. And in cow suits, nonetheless! Plus, I love that it just brings more laughs and embodies everything non-pressure and fun that I could possibly ask for :).
I trust that my legs are ready, and my heart is ready to push through any of that pain that might get in my way of a OTQ time. I'm ready to lay it all out there on the line. If it's there, I intend to grab it :). Mooove over Chicago, I have dreams to achieve :).
|Nate's Friday night meal from Five Guys. Wow, that looks so great... I meanwhile, had oatmeal, bagels, and strawberry jam. Yummmm, carbs!|