Friday, October 11, 2013

It's Marathon Weekend!

Wow, can it really, finally be here? I just put the finishing touches on my training with a 2-miler this morning -- all that is left it to line up and run the race.

It's a bit of a weird day as I'm usually downtown covering the elite athlete's press conference. I have done that several times when I was working for the Beacon News and the last two years I had been a correspondent for the website LetsRun.com. It was actually covering the race the last two years that got me motivated to run one again.

It's fun being a part of that. Elite runners are great people who are (mostly) accommodating with their time. I've had some great conversations with lots of runners who have won marathons or run in the Olympics. More than any other athletes in other sports, they respect and appreciate everyone who runs. In years where I was running the race, they seemed genuinely happy and supportive if I brought it up. One runner, Deena Kastor, even said she hoped she saw me at the finish line

She might just be the nicest pro athlete I have ever spoken to. When I interviewed her in 2005 (she won the Chicago Marathon that year) she was so nice and even sent me a follow-up e-mail to thank me for taking the time to talk to her. We went well over the designated 15 minutes I was supposed to have -- and I wasn't the only interview she was doing that day -- but she couldn't have been nicer.

That's what is so funny...people love to talk about running! I once did an interview with a guy named Roger Craig, who was a running back for the San Francisco 49ers in the 80's and 90's. No lie we were on the phone for 45 minutes and I couldn't get him off the phone.

And at the end of the interview, we somehow got onto the subject of Body Glide -- which everyone who runs knows it is a necessity to live, and running -- and he delivered the greatest quote I have ever gathered in my years as a sportswriter.

"Gotta have the Glide, baby."

Yes indeed, you do, Roger.

But I digress. If you read this often you know I do that a lot.

Anyway, after the press conference I would usually head over to the expo if I were running to pick up my stuff. There is something exciting about finally having your number in your hands. Then it becomes super real. You also get an idea of the scope and enormity of what you are about to get yourself into. There are a lot of people speaking a lot of different languages, but they neat thing is that you are all in this together.

I won't be going to the expo until tomorrow, but the carb loading begins in earnest tonight. My kids are going to hate me by the time the weekend is over. More than anything, I just want to focus on eating fairly well and keep my hydration level up. If I do it right, I won't have to swig a boatload of Gatorade on Sunday or anything, which is my hope because last year for the Hot Chocolate run I overdid it and had to jump out of the corral four times to use the bathroom!

You can do that for a race like that because there aren't many spectators, but with the marathon, not so much.

Lots to think about and lots to plan...can't believe it's almost here!

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