Three miles today, and it is a glorious morning for running, especially if you’re like me and do not get up at dawn and run when the air is in the forties. At this point, everything is sort of set for the race. I’m in shape—I’ve done all my long runs and I can’t lose much weight in a week, alas—so the one big factor that will influence the quality of my marathon experience this year is the weather.
Today’s the first day that ten-day forecasts incorporate the big day. My dream would be a day somewhat like today, where I could run in shorts and a t-shirt, and enjoy the city on a sunny day. Right now, the forecast is a high of 67 degrees, low of 51 degrees (perfect for me!) and some rain. Not very excited about the rain, though I’ve done my share of running in it, but if it’s light, and not freezing, it can actually help in some ways. My personal record in the half-marathon was set a couple years back in a pouring September rain. But the rain dampens the experience for spectators, and since Jan and I have a few folks coming to watch (including our daughter and her boyfriend from Seattle!), I want them to enjoy the day as well.
I’m not planning a big cover story this year, but rather this even more personal daily countdown blog. My hope is that, besides boring folks to tears, I can share some real-time observations about what it’s like to do the marathon, as well share some ideas that might relevant for those thinking about taking up running. It’s obviously too late, after all, to decide to do the marathon this year if you have not already done so, but I suspect many folks get caught up in the excitement at this time of the year and decide to give it a shot. I hope to cover footwear and apparel, which becomes much more important in Chicago as the weather turns against us, health, diet, race preparation and reading. Let me know if I miss anything.