Saturday, September 18, 2010

Will I Be Ready To Run Tomorrow

In three weeks I will be anxiously anticipating my marathon debut. It will be October 9 the eve of the Chicago Marathon which I am running on behalf of sixteen year old twins, Elizabeth and Emily F as a member of Team GLASA. Tonight, I am anxious for another running reason. Tomorrow is the Chicago Area Runners Association's Ready To Run 20 Miler. It is not a race. It is simply an organized training run along Chicago's lakefront, but I am nervous about having to run twenty miles. It is difficult for me to find friends or runners able to go with me on long runs. As it is, many people in society lead busy lives so to find the time to go on long runs of double digit distances can be quite a chore. Add to that the responsibility of being a sighted guide for someone who can not see and it becomes a bit more daunting. I have plenty of friends who care about me who would want to help out, but arranging time in their busy schedules or having the comfort to be my eyes and communicating with me while running can be a scary proposition. As a result, I spend plenty of time getting my running in on a treadmill. I am still able to get my four, five, or six miles in, but since it is in a control environment, I do not get a chance to experience various weather elements or footing conditions that others do on their outdoor training runs which can make adjusting to them on race day all that much more difficult during the early stages of an event. I do not get a chance to run many double digit mile runs unless I register for ten mile races or half marathons. If I am able to sign up for these events, the next task becomes finding someone who is available or willing to be my sighted guide for these races. I sit here pensively typing this entry knowing in a few hours I will have an opportunity to run twenty miles guided by two individuals who will each run with me for ten miles. Rich Karnia and Jennifer Pfaff. I am sure both are also nervous since neither has ever guided a runner who can not see. On the bright side, this is an organized training run and not an official race. Many of the same pressures of race day will be present. For me, the fears of knowing I have not been able to get in a run of at least ten miles or more since I ran in the Soldier Field 10 this past May loom large. I have been getting in my miles on a daily basis, but not as many as I should to be properly prepared for the 20 Miler. Hopefully, I will make it through. On the positive side, running these twenty miles will teach my body what to expect come October 10. Yet, I also expect to continue running as often as I can putting in as many miles as I can so I will be in even greater shape in three weeks than I am today so maybe I will not be as nervous then as I am tonight. It is time to go make last minute preparations before going to bed. As the night before any race, I probably will not sleep much, but I am going to try so I can be as rested as possible to give it a solid try on Sunday morning.

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