Monday, October 10, 2005

Raru runs the Chicago Marathon

Yes. I ran the Chicago Marathon, my first, on Sunday. I didn't plan to run it because I hadn't followed the training regimen I laid out for myself, and in fact finished almost an hour slower than my desired time of four hours. But I finished it, and that's enough of an accomplishment for now. Next year I know I will do better. I still may not be able to beat my brother Ken, who has more of a runner's physique than me, but I'd like to come a little closer.

Pace: 11:22

Overall: 25279
Gender: 15473
Division: 2640

I really enjoyed seeing downtown Chicago and the surrounding neighborhoods from the middle of the street. My favorite ethnic neighborhood was Chinatown because the streets were closely-packed with people and all the restaurants have cool banners and colorful signs in Chinese symbols. The gays of Boystown put on a great drag revue, and numerous blues bands entertained the runners. Towards the end of the race my fatigue and pain kept me from appreciating the scenery, but the crowd cheered me onward and kept me from giving up.

I went into the race with the plan to pull out around mile 10, close to Ken's apartment. But I felt so good at that point that I decided to keep going. And when I reached mile 15 I figured, why not tough it out and finish this thing. Though I was sore and aching at that point, I had no reason to stop going. My trail-hardened legs carried me all the way to the finish line.

I found a spot under a tree off Buckingham Fountain and rested while I watched a small bird go about its business of feeding and chirping with its neighbors. Ken said running a marathon is like hitting yourself in the face repeatedly with a red rubber ball, like in that great movie, "I (heart) Huckabees." In the movie, the characters report not being able to think for about 30 seconds. After the marathon, I entered this non-state of restive bliss for a good half an hour before hobbling to my feet and making my way to the State Street L for the Red Line back out to Ken's.

It's not every day I get to check off an accomplishment from my Life List of things-to-do.