drun4fun

Ideas, photos, routes, and how I fare doing all sorts of workouts. Riding, swimming, biking, etc. Dave Masterson's workout blog.

Chicago Marathon 2017

 

The second Abbott World Major Marathon of the year for me, and again I’m there in a unique capacity. Part cheer squad and spectator, part volunteer, this was an amazing weekend!

Is there such thing as an “Elite Spectator?” Trademark, Dave Masterson, All Rights Reserved!

I arrived Thursday morning before anything marathon-related was underway. I stayed in my brother’s hotel, he was in town early to attend meetings for his company. I ate lunch at Portillo’s first (a must!), then rented a Divvy bike for the day. I had a good time by myself reacquainting myself with the city. I used the bikes to see some of the 5k run course, the Lakefront, riverfront bridges, Grant Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, and the Loop. It was sunny weather and cooler than Florida – a welcome change! Dinner was at the Kerryman Irish Pub with John and his coworker, Ken.

Friday morning, I woke up and ran 6 miles around the lakefront and Grant Park area. The race facilities started taking shape, jeez this is a big production. Different than New York and Boston, all start and finish area things are in the same place. That is an amazing logistical feat, so many tents, trucks, and things to support 40,000 plus athletes and many more spectators. I moved our luggage to the Chicago Hilton while my brother, John, worked, this was our base for the weekend. Having a room up high in the race’s host hotel added so much to the experience!

Since I rented the Divvy bikes for a 24-hour day, I rode it to the Expo on Friday morning. It was very crowded! I thought the largest crowds would be Saturday, but Friday had McCormick Place Convention Center full of runners and run fans. I met Joan Benoit Samuelson and Deena Kastor, two cheery and personable lady running legends. One guy, I believe he was with RRCA, had old photos of Joan from in the 1980s. He gave them to her, I think she knew him from far-gone racing days. The expo had many vendors, this is one of the biggest and best-run shows anywhere. Nike as the shoe sponsor had a huge presence. They have a hip and “now” image, plenty of pumping music and lines around their booth with people waiting to pay for logoed apparel from the event. I left the expo after lunchtime once I picked up my 5k bib for Saturday’s Chicago International race. Last year they had 2710 finishers. This year the race had over 7000 signups, it was a big deal. Early registrants got their home country’s flag on their bib. The packet pickup for this event was way easier than for Sunday’s marathon. Since I registered later, my number was 7000-something. No line for me to get the bib, thank you!

I lingered and walked around near the downtown area until John finished his meetings, then we met at the hotel and both went to the expo for his race things. Surprisingly, there weren’t as many people there, the floor was way easier to navigate. We saw and got a pic with Deena, I think this got John excited for all the people we’d meet this weekend. Once I explained who she was and what she was famous for… he was on the running celeb spotting train!

Our hotel was getting crowded. I went down to the Media Center and met a gal named Tamrin. She gave me an official Media Guide which I really enjoyed. A full digest of the weekend events plus runner bios, race history, stats, everything the local announcers would reference for the audience. So that’s how they know all that stuff! I saw plenty of lean, elite looking Africans milling about in the lobby and common areas. I guess all the top guns stay at this hotel! I got photos of the Winner’s trophy, a large testament to 39 years of male and female past champions. Very impressive!

All the other runners from Florida were arriving Friday after dinner, I knew people staying in different parts of the city. On Saturday morning, I woke up early and went for a strider run outside the hotel. Then I met with Monica and we walked to the 5k start. It was in the middle of downtown. They had roped off corrals, sorted by minute per mile. This was considerably bigger than I thought it would be! I did more warmup intervals on a closed off street near the start, and also tossed in a “gut-check hurdle” of a police barrier. Two others were warming up and we were watching each other, you know, without watching each other. Those high-knees exercises and 50-yard sprints take second to a steeplechase-like hurdle at 7 am. Or so I believe! I then found Jen Rapaport and Chris McKnight in the corrals. It had rained only an hour before the race, so the white painted lines on the road were very slippery. That and puddles. A small kid ran next to me down the first straightaway street until we turned under the elevated railway. He stepped in so many puddles, splashing all who were close to him. I was glad he faded in the first ¾ of a mile. Joan Benoit and Paula Radcliffe were there to start the race, I also saw Carrie Tollefson and Khalid Kannouchi in the corral up front. Big names for a big city 5k!

My race was ok – right at my usual 5k time. I noticed the GPS signals were weird among all the buildings – sometimes I was running 4:35 miles (according to the watch) and other times no readout due to running under Chicago’s famous L trains. A good course, good number of fans out early, and a great finish area scene made this event something I was glad I entered. (5k race recap here) I found Jen and Chris at the finish, Chris’ daughter Laura and then Teresa, Janet and Tom joined us having watched the run. We took a walk to show them “Mt Roosevelt” at mile 26 so they’d know what to expect on race day. I think they benefitted from the reality check of knowing the hill wasn’t a big deal.

Teresa, Kathy and Cecelia and I walked back to the Hilton and had breakfast at Kitty O’Shea’s in the hotel. Before going in, I spotted Noah Droddy, the American “first timer” looking to score a good time at the marathon distance. He had the big mustache, the hair down to his beltline, and the baseball hat on backward. He was going across the street into the park for a run, we got a good photo with him.

Back at the Hilton, John and I had some breakfast then got a ride to River North to meet Christie Brinkley. She was in town to promote Little Smiles charity and also her new line of Prosecco drinks. John went along and we really had great laughs with her and the others that came out. It also made for some amazing photos!

John wanted to minimize his walking around, so we did local things near the hotel. I connected with Monica’s husband to shore up a good strategy for him and the kids to see their mom on the course. It’s really nice to be a part of all the race buzz minus the concern of actually having to run the marathon. I went out with Teresa, Kathy, Cecelia, Teresa’s aunt and Brenda to Miller’s Pub on Saturday night. (Teresa’s first view of it had her saying we should stop at “Killer’s Pub) A few drinks and laughs, why not. Back to the Hilton, where things were quieting down. The big race was tomorrow and most were already in their rooms sleeping or winding down.

My AWD volunteer duties had me up for a 5 am meet up with the group. I met Marcel Hug on the el

evator and recognized him easily. He was with his coach, who John and I saw and spoke with the night before. I asked him if the black fabric bag on his lap contained a certain chrome helmet, he replied, “Yes” with a big smile and I wished him good luck. I received a hat, jacket and Start and Finish Line credentials. AWD athletes were already in the lobby, they know the drill. It takes time to get them and their gear to the start, that was our first role. I walked over with Ernst Van Dyke, a pre-race favorite from South Africa.We had a special tent on Monroe Street where we helped athletes get settled and prepped for the start. I ushered a few up the hill and into the tents, then stood at Monroe and Michigan Street with a Chicago policeman answering questions and helping runners located the entrance to the general corrals. Once 6:25 am came, I headed to the tents and start line area. I helped some of the non-wheelchair bound runners across the start area to the restrooms. I got some great pics of the elite warmup zone. I met Jordan Hasay’s aunt, who was looking for her dad and the elite runners. Press, photographers and running “dignitaries” were all over. I saw Dave McGilvary walking around the starter’s area, Carey Pinkowski, the race director, and Alberto Salazar. The wheelchair athletes were warming up and doing equipment checks, the American athletes in the Development program had an area to wait in for the start, it was exciting to see. The elites had their own tent, porta-potties, and patch of Grant Park grass to warm up on. Jordan Hasay came out early, sat on the start line and adjusted her shoes and socks. I saw Dennis Kimetto, Sam Chelenga, Noah Droddy, Kirui the defending champ, all of them. When Galen walked towards the start area, a coach put his hands on Galen’s head, they bowed towards each other, then Galen blessed himself and got ready for the race. This was the whole show unfolding very close to me. And I took this video – look how calm the eventual race winner is!

All of the runners were in their corrals prior to the National Anthem being played. I couldn’t see the end of the corrals – it was so many people. I was right on the start line for the wheelchair start – getting good photos of the top male and female push rim athletes. A few minutes later, the rest of the runners from Wave #1 were sent out, led by the elite men and women. In between Wave #1 and #2, we moved all of the AWD day chairs and gear to the AWD finish zone. I met Kelly Breen, one of the AWD leaders in Chicago. She explained how it’s taken years for the Achilles and AWD organization to get the prominent placement in and around the start and finish area. The finishing tent was well appointed with coffee, drinks, food and massage tables for the finishing athletes. And private restrooms!

Once the athlete equipment was moved, we got to the Finish line area to begin waiting for the wheelchair finishers. Marcel Hug and Tatyana McFadden won the push rim races, I helped a guy with an Illinois jersey along with his female teammate back to the tent. I made another run back and forth with a different finisher before waiting at the finish for the men’s and women’s race winners. Galen Rupp sizzled around the final turn and won convincingly, that drew a huge roar from the full bleachers! Turunesh Dibaba was uncontested in her win, but the big deal was Jordan Hasay’s 3rd place finish in a new American woman course record and second fastest US lady marathon time ever. The whole finishing zone was amazing – great sunny weather, all sorts of buzz and great finishes by Americans. I saw Luke Puskedra and Noah Droddy finish strong also. As a group, we kept escorting athletes back to the AWD tent and cycling back to the finish to repeat the process.

I checked in on our locals using the race app. TCS made it very easy for fans to see where each runner was on course, including split times and estimated arrivals. Tom and Janet would be here first, Teresa and Missy not far behind them. My brother and Monica started in the third wave, so they were an hour off gun time. I waited in line to help athletes all while looking for those I knew to finish. I somehow missed Janet and Tom. I saw Jen Rapaport. Then I missed Missy and Teresa. It’s a real challenge to see all of the finishers coming across the line while trying to pick off their faces. It was considerably warmer now than when the first runners came across. It was going to be a long day for the Wave 2 and 3 runners.

I was in the right spot for Monica and John’s finish, getting a short iPhone video of each of them. I helped Teresa with a quick med tent visit, she was tired and dehydrated. The a/c in there was very cold, I think that aided her quick turnaround. Good staff and a personable 68-year-old physician made that a positive experience. Our group met in the Afterparty area, that was also well done by the Chicago Marathon team. Live music, happy runners, and beer flowing. Chicago’s runners had good weather this year. Too warm for some at the end, but most took advantage of it at the after party.

We went back to Kitty O’Shea’s to celebrate after the race – this made for good pics and laughs. I saw Sam Adams 26.2 Brew for sale, that was a surprise. The familiar taste and accompanying good cheer was not a surprise. Today, I saw running history with the Galen win and Chicago’s 40th anniversary of the big race. The course’s back half was very exposed to the sun and heat – but everyone adjusted and made it back – no runner dropouts among our group. I’d race Chicago again – this is a great scene for the runners and the people like me that came to be a part of the event.

We saw more pro athletes in and around our hotel on Monday. Marcel Hug at the coffee shop, Tatyana McFadden walking her dog outside the hotel, and John met Noah by the hotel entrance. He told John that he has 25 marathons in him, not to stop at “21 and done.” 


So that’s the advice a first timer like Noah is giving to the mortals?

Advertisements

Misty Morning for track

5mi. Today in when the “once a year runners” show up at track and tune in for the Run 4 The Pies. It was threatening rain, but I checked radar and spoke via text with Janet before committing and leaving to run. I ran from the car to the track, sloshing in more water on the grassy field than I would encounter in the whole workout.

1-mile warmup

300m w/100m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
500m w/100m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
1200m

1 mile cool down jog

(We went 200m too far I think)

There were only two people that came to cram for the Run 4 The Pies. It never rained on us. I cleared out my congested lungs.

First light

5mi Daylight Standard Time is back. So running half of the workout in the daylight always has me thinking I’m late for something. I went half speed just a few days after guide running NYC Marathon with Julie. It was good to see Janet at her first track session in months – she very much enjoys running fast. There was plenty of talk about Shalane Flanigan’s big win in the marathon and Gwen Jorgensen’s desire to now focus on a marathon gold medal in the next Olympics.

1 mile warmup jog

300m w/100m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
700m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
400m

1 mile cool down jog

55 is a great number

55 sign5 miles. Today was our seasonal first taste of cooler weather, our starting temp was 55 degrees at the Benjamin Track. Paul and Tim wore long sleeve shirts and cycling skullcaps. Two gals had on prior year Classics By the Sea shirts.

Our PBRR Fall Social was last night at Twisted Trunk Brewery. Although I didn’t have too much beer, the up later than usual and beer with pizza had me burping through several of the intervals. I stayed as close as I could to James Carpenter for each interval. He specializes in the shorter distances. On a 400m, he was almost 100m ahead of me. I worked to keep within 100m of him on the 600m, 800m, and 1200m jaunts.

1 mile warmup jog

300m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
400m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
800m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
1200m

1 mile cool down

(We went 200m too far for this workout)

DSC_1447

More on the intervals

5mi. Today I used a different approach. If my challenge is breathing, I worked harder on the intervals and didn’t jog all of the 100m recoveries. I wanted to spend the energy on the track while the time was elapsing.

It worked out ok, no tremendous breakthroughs. I ran behind James and Steve. Seth was running but had a knee popping issue. My best 400m was 1:17

1 mile warmup jog

300m w/100m recovery
400m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
400m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
400m w/100m recovery
800m w/200m recovery
400m w/100m recovery
900m

1 mile cooldown jog

It began raining when we finished. Maybe this is the beginning of cooler weather finally? I do believe that the hard work spent during the hot months will pay dividends once it cools off.

Chasing at sprints

8 miles.  Last week I skipped the sprints, so it happened today. I ran the first 5 with John Reback, he is healing from the Achilles issue. Good enough to run in front of me or zip me from behind on each one. There wasn’t much of a wind, unlike the last few weeks. Maureen, Mary and I caught a crescent moon rising, that was neat. My times for the 6 approx 1/4 mile sprints were…   1:23, 1:23, 1:24, 1:22, 1:21, 1:20

Low attendance for the leader

5 miles NOT any cooler nor was there a breeze today. I was the first one around the loop today, no Steve, James or Seth. I felt good, timing the intervals and resetting before the start of each one. I spun a 1:18 400m, the rest were good considering I didn’t have a person to chase. During the walk cooldown, I reviewed the Galen Rupp win in Chicago earlier in my week.

1 mile warmup jog

100m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
700m w/200m recovery
900m w/200m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
900m

1 mile recovery jog

Some are slower

8 miles. Some meaning intervals, whole workouts, etc. Yes it was still and as Paul said, “toasty” at the bridge today. Two parking lot laps led to me to visit the men’s room, empty of toilet paper, then the ladies room. Maureen and Mary had used it and reported there was paper in both stalls. And a woman passed out in stall #3. Two lady runners came as we were finishing, they saw the person sleeping on the floor and called 911. One EMT truck and two fire trucks came, they didn’t stay long.

I did the six intervals with Maureen, Matt and John R. Mine were all slower than last weeks efforts. Today’s sprints to the top were completed in 1:25, 1:27, 1:25, 1:23, 1:25, 1:23.

It was taxing and I couldn’t figure why each one was hovering at 5:45 pace. I tried counting a rhythm to my pace, keeping a heads up as I climbed, but no improvement. Last night I had a smoothie and half chicken wrap for dinner, nnothing out of the ordinary there.

Sometimes you don’t have the energy and the workout doesn’t shine.

-dm

Track for Jewish New Year

5 miles. School’s out today for the holiday, and 22 people came to run this morning. Many of the intervals had a 100m short recovery. Paul said near the end he was considering a 1500m “metric mile” but we ended with the 1000, 300, and 200 meter intervals.

1 mile warm up jog

100m w/100m recovery
100m w/100m recovery
800m w/200m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
1000m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
300m w/200m recovery
1000m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery

1 mile cooldown jog

Long run with the Chicago folks

16 mi. Tom and Janet’s second 16-mile run tops out their Hansons-Brooks method schedule for the Chicago marathon prep. We did the last one together, followed by a breakfast at Maureen’s house. This time, we will have Mary Monks running some of the miles with us. And breakfast is at Toojay’s.

We started a little later than the 5:15 am meet up time, Janet and Tom brought everything for this one. Tom had a scale to weigh in pre and post run to track his fluid loss and consumption.

This time Tom, Janet, and Maureen had better plans to fuel during the run. Salt pills and things to eat before running made their 16 miles considerably better than last time. I had a salt pill at every 4th mile and some ProBar chewy blocks at miles 5 and 10. I put tri quick change laces in the New Balance Zante shoes after yesterday’s 10-mile run, they are better but still were too tight on my left foot. We had a small breeze from the north which was good. I think today’s start temp and humidity was better than yesterday’s run on the same route.

The road still has sand and storm junk on it, so stepping around or over things is necessary. I felt good after this one. My groin area is tight after today’s run, I should stretch that in a more focused manner. Tom and Janet gained a bunch of confidence for their race, which I will be witnessing from the sidelines.

The breakfast was very good, plenty of delicious food, just what I needed!

 

Post Navigation