I ran 16 miles this morning. I must say, I rock. What’s really cool is that I used the Nike+iPod thingy that tracks the distance I ran, total time, pace, good stuff like that. Steve and Eric gave this to me as a gift last Christmas and I just now got it calibrated. I don’t know what took me so long, but it was awesome! I was orginially going to go out and do two six mile loops plus a four mile loop. Instead, I was able to just go.
I ran south and headed towards downtown. When I started out, there was just a hint of light in the eastern sky. As I was running down Michigan/ Inner Lakeshore, I noticed that sunrise was not that far away, so I decided to cut east on Oak to see the sun more and hopefully catch the sunrise. I went south on a road (can’t think of the name) and decided to head over to Navy Pier.
Well, in the time it took me to weave over to head to Navy Pier, I missed the sunrise. Oh well, the sun still looked really cool. It was glowing a deep orange just above the horizon. I made it onto the north side of the pier and it was loaded with fishermen. Packed! I’m not sure what they were fishing for, but there sure were a lot of them out there. Something made me giggle to myself as I was running past the fishermen. There were guys decked out, head-to-toe, in camoflage. We are in downtown Chicago on a filthy urban river, surrounded by pavement and they are in camoflage. They did not blend. I’m sure this is just their weekend outdoor outfit which they probably wear when they go hunting as well. It still was funny looking.
I made it to the end of the pier and started heading back down the south side of the pier. The sun was still low on the horizon and my shadow was at least thirty feet long. It was nice out there with the main noise not being traffic, but rather seagulls. I got to the end of the pier and decided to head north along the lake. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve run along the lake. It was nice to be in the sunshine the whole time instead of having it peek out from behind buildings at each block. I’ve avoided running on the lake for two reasons. One it that I’ve spent many a Saturday morning running on it with all the training I’ve done in the past three years, I’m a bit bored with it. The other is that the mapping software I use online to map out my runs doesn’t have the bike path on it, so it’s hard for me to know the exact miles. Ah, but that changed today, with my trusty iPod thingy, it kept track for me.
I continued north until the Belmont underpass. I cut over to the running path and down to Diversey. At this point, I had been running for about eight or so miles and wanted to take a pitt stop. I remembered that there’s a 7-11 just a little west on Diversey. I saw it and thought to myself, “Oh thank heaven for 7-11!” I must say, this training has made me truly appreciate, and almost love, 7-11. Whenever I need one, there’s one just a block or two away.
I popped in and browsed my plethora of options. There was a rack of Power Bars which will work in a pinch, but they are not my favorite food. Then I saw the section that was built for me. Cookies, crackers, and other sandwiched goodness. I went for Fig Newtons and some peanut butter and cracker sandwiches. I grabbed a water out the cooler, paid, and sunk my teeth into my convenience store feast. I had just a couple of the crackers, focusing on the Fig Newtons. I must say, these taste better than I remember as a kid. It could be because I was so hungry and in need of fuel, but it also could be because as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to enjoy figs.
Anywho, I had about five or so miles left and decided I should just get it all overwith instead of heading home and going out for two or three more miles. I wove in and out of streets and had to start dodging the growing number of pedestrians and dog walkers. I powered on and made it home strong. I am feeling fine as I type, but I know I will hobble when I stand up.
A marathon is 26.2 miles, 10 more miles than I ran today. I could have definitely run more today, but ten more? Not sure about that. If my life depended on it, of course I could do it. The marathon is seven weeks away and I have two more run longer than 16 miles left. At this point, I am feeling pretty darn good!