Chicago Marathon 2023

When (Finish Line)

in depth training words.


Working up from zero is not a trivial task. After recovering from a knee injury last year, I'm effectively starting from about the lowest level of fitness I've had in nearly 15 years in an effort to run an marathon eight months out.

marathon plan overview.

Task Main Task Due Date Task Status
[distance] 5k MILESTONE 09 - Complete
[distance] 6k [distance] 10k 09 - Complete
[distance] 7k [distance] 10k 09 - Complete
[distance] 8k [distance] 10k 09 - Complete
[distance] 9k [distance] 10k 09 - Complete
[distance] 10k MILESTONE 09 - Complete
[distance] 11k [distance] 15k 09 - Complete
[distance] 12k [distance] 15k 09 - Complete
[distance] 13k [distance] 15k 09 - Complete
[distance] 14k [distance] 15k 04 - In Progress
[hills] 3 repeats [hills] 6 repeats 02 - Planning
[distance] 15k MILESTONE 04 - In Progress
[hills] 4 repeats [hills] 6 repeats 02 - Planning
[hills] 5 repeats [hills] 6 repeats 02 - Planning
[hills] 6 repeats MILESTONE 02 - Planning
[hills] 12 repeats MILESTONE 02 - Planning
[distance] 21.1k MILESTONE 02 - Planning
[distance] 25k MILESTONE 02 - Planning
[distance] 32k MILESTONE 02 - Planning
[run] last long run MILESTONE 02 - Planning
[race] Chicago Marathon MILESTONE 02 - Planning

specifically racing words.

Chicago Route Map

Submitted by 8r4d on March 5 2023

I've been mucking around with adding new technology to this site, including the ability to add some maps to some of my pages. So... why not add a map to my Chicago Marathon planning?

I haven't yet run Chicago so this map is from the Strava community page for the Marathon itself. I've already had a bit of a look at the various loops and various doglegs of the course. It also has an interested elevation profile, particularly that little climb at the end... which seems pretty trivial now, but may not after running for four-plus hours.

vision: start line

Submitted by 8r4d on January 27 2023

It's going to be weeks, maybe months, before I stop feeling like I'm jinxing myself or getting ahead of the recovery process in writing this kind of thing.

That said, last night I hit another minor milestone: I ran with the crew.

I haven't run with the crew since last July.

Sure, it was a short 6 klick run. And sure, I fell behind at the last kilometer because my cardio endurance hit a bit of hump that it took me an extra bit of energy to climb over.

But it was a group run, and yet another destination reached on the road map to the Chicago Marathon start line.

And that has been on my mind a lot lately, not just because it's in my mind as this thing I know I've registered for. It's been on my mind because I've needed to start telling people: letting work know that I need vacation time, booking hotels and (imminently) flights, and answering questions from curious friends, coworkers, and others about why I'm suddenly pushing to start training so much.

Eight months is a long way away, but I mapped out that metaphorical roadmap into a training plan across the upcoming spring and summer and ... it's tight. That thought of getting to the start line in Chicago with the training and confidence to actually run it means that I've got some aggressive timelines to live up to and checkboxes on training, recovery, endurance, and overall fitness to mark off.

It's not trivial. It's not simple. It's not obvious that I can do it.

Right now it's not much more than a plan and an idea. A vision on a start line, eight months, countless training hours, a healed knee, a couple thousand kilometers, and a mountain of motivation between here and there away.

marathon, what?

Submitted by 8r4d on October 20 2022

Neglecting to write here in a while has been something of a deliberate choice as I turned October into an excuse to reduce my screen time. I've been writing ... on paper. Journaling, etc.

But I figure at some point I'll wander back here and start writing and tracking again, and when that day comes I may want to mark this week as important in the long, dark story of my declining sanity.

So. I registered for a marathon.


Back in 2019 I put my name in for the lottery for Chicago. 2020.

If you've studied your recent history you may have heard of a little thing called "the world shut down for two years because of a viral disease!" that happened. Chicago 2020 did not happen. Not for me. Not for anyone.

The folks who organize it, kindly sent a note letting all of us 2020 lottery winners know that we could instead run in a later year, either 2021, 2022, or 2023.

In 2021 things were getting back to normal but international travel was not on that normal list.

The 2022 race happened about ten days ago.

And the 2023 registration, my last chance to use my deferral, opened up with an invitation email about 48 hours prior to me writing this.

So. I registered for a marathon.

It's in about fifty and a half weeks. Almost a full year away. And though I haven't run in three months and can barely walk, my physiotherapy seems to be paying dividends. I'm hopeful. Or crazy. Probably both.