Running pic

Running pic
Yup, that's me!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spirit of the Marathon

So, the weather here in Chicago is pretty shitty.  Cold, rainy and windy.  But, our outing for tonight to Goose Island Brewery is still on! I figure this will give me a chance to try out the Sugoi Hydrolite jacket that I found – AT THE SALVATION ARMY. Yes, that’s right, THE SALVATION ARMY.  I picked it up when I went in to find a throw away shirt for the marathon and in addition to a decent throw-away tech shirt, I scored the hydrolite jacket for $5 and a like new Mountain Hardware shell for $12.  Who knew?  What’s funny is when I was picking up my Bucktown 5K packet I was oogling the hydrolite jackets at Running Away Multisport but couldn’t justify spending $90 for a jacket that I’d only wear if it happened to rain when I had a run scheduled.  Yeah, yeah, the new ones are shiny and white and mine’s the old grey version, and yes it’s a men’s XS which fits – just barely – but you can’t beat it for $5. Anyway, the run is only 4 miles so how bad can it be?
I’ve been watching the documentary Spirit of the Marathon on Hulu in bits and pieces over my lunchbreak and I have to say it was very inspiring, especially since it was filmed in Chicago and I recognize the course and the paths that the runners trained on.  I know I should embrace all the runners profiled, but I thought the guy who hurt his knee and couldn’t run was sort of douchy.  He exemplified the sort of driven ultra-competitiveness that some guys seem to have and that attitude seems to suck the fun out of running.  And Deena Kastor came off somewhat badly, but I think that was mostly editing.  There were all the shots of her getting world-class training and support put right next to shots of people making do with whatever they had and the one really bad comparison was when this older runner was talking about how he needed to buy a new pair of shoes because his pair was miles overdue for replacement paired with a shot of Deena Kastor opening a big box of free shoes and gear from Asics.  I mean, I know she’s a professional athlete and for chrissakes, she WON the Chicago Marathon that year (1st woman), but she seems to not realize how special that is – to get free shit, access to awesome training facilities and top-notch medical care, and have a crew of (mostly hot male) pacers to keep her on track timewise. Also, Jesus Christ lady – eat a sandwich.  Paula Radcliffe looked positively plump compared to Deena Kastor. OK, enough complaining.  If you haven’t seen Spirit of the Marathon it’s on Hulu for free (just a few ads) and it’s a really nice documentary.
I’m starting to get worried about the half I’m running on Saturday.  Apparently one of the hills is called Killer Hill.  Hills with names are bad news.  When I did my first 20 mile run, this huge hill on the Sag Valley trail almost killed me. As I dragged my sorry ass up a woman passed me and yelled at the top, “Suck it Big Bertha!”   See? Hills with names = despair.  Despair with a side of exhaustion topped with a big swirl of doubt.  On the up side, my foot doesn’t hurt anymore - which is good because I’m figuring that everything else will after Saturday.

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