Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Esctasy and the Agony

Here is your intrepid Chicago reporter with a first hand account from the Chicago Marathon.  Got up early on my own before the alarm disturbed Laura.  Forgot to lay out my stuff the night before so rushed through breakfast, taped my right foot, loaded my running belt with cash, bus card and gels, pulled on the compression sleeves, grabbed ipod, paper towel, and strolled to the corner to...

join the race in progress at mile 8.5 with the folks running 3:50-4:00 pace.  low forties, overcast, some wind, smaller crowds than usual, runners not too bunched.  Goal was 10-11.5 to prep for a half marathon in two weeks.  Kept the pace for most of the time but my knee started hurting after about 3 miles.  It had been hurting off and on but I took it very easy the past week but to save myself for this morning and because like Max I had a bad cold mid-week.  Things got worse and worse and at mile 18.5 I had a rare moment of clarity.  I could walk but not really run at this point without a serious limp.  Anything more would send me in a direction away from the el  and anything more would be a real bad idea for my knee.  Four blocks later I was on the el and 25 minutes I was home.

Its such a friendly crowd and familiar course that I had a great time, but depressed about starting back at the beginning of training if knee turns out to be serious.  For now a couple of days off, and then strictly on the bike, elliptical and running in the pool until I can make a decision on the half on the 21st and the 15K on November 4th.

The only thing that bothered me was the presumed sense of originality of sign makers which turned up with depressing regularity multiple times along the course.  These included:

Chuck Norris never ran a marathon.

Go Total Stranger!

Worst Parade Ever!

various bible quotes


Run Bitches! (sometimes spelled with a z).

 Any repeat offenders you guys have noticed?


  1. Way to go my man, but I'm worried about this knee! Rest and ice and all that jazz. Would good ol ITB stretches help?

  2. World's greatest chiro tells me that the head of my left fibia dropped plus pulled a muscle on the back of my knee. Prescription is for rest, massage and lots of ice. Plus he kind of shoved it back into place which helped with range of motion but still super sore. Long way of saying I dislocated my knee. Just happy no Ligament or tendon tears, no crutches, no visits rob the ER, and no knives or scopes involved. But not looking good for half marathon in 2 weeks.

  3. Wow! a good prognosis I hope...but ow ow ow. as you rest and recuperate take some solace that in my sleepy head this will morph easily into "my friend Spencer ran the Chicago Marathon with a broken leg"!!

  4. Get well!

    A proposal for an original sign for next year (aping Philip): "Dude, I did this on a dislocated knee, what's holding you up?"

  5. More on signs -- turns out has a list of "20 great marathon signs." Scrolling through this list I realize that Spencer is right. Not only are none of them original, none of them are remotely amusing the 20th or so time around. My least favorite: "Pain is just weakness leaving the body."

    I'm going to make one up for the Marine Corps Marathon (2 1/2 weeks): "No, this won't change your life." Or maybe that's just mean spirited.

  6. On the mend, but no running for a couple of weeks missing the half marathon on the 21st and probably the 15K on November 4th. Had a helpful but intensely painful massage therapy session. One hour of just working on knee and related muscles that were also out of whack. Even when he announced a visit from "Mr. Ice" it still hurt, just in a different way. Honestly, he could have been a Bond villain. Ultimately helpful, but remind me why people enjoy massages?