Today I received the first list of participants who I will be a Mentor to for the 2015 Chicago Marathon! I'll be reaching out each of them today to introduce myself and to get them up-to-speed on DNation happenings and upcoming deadlines.
For those of us who reside in Chicago, we understand how difficult cold weather running can be. I can definitely attest to this-- after Chicago Marathon in October, I had to quickly recover and get back to the grind to train for my Walt Disney World Marathon in January. I braved the cold as long as I could, but inevitably ended up in the gym on the treadmill. I have a lot of running friends who did not have a winter race to train for, so they instead opted to regularly visit the gym and just keep in shape- sans long runs.
Looking ahead to warmer days, many of us will be back on the trail for the first time. This might seem daunting at first, but not to worry. Muscle memory is a real thing. “Even after a long break, you’re going to be running more efficiently and wasting less energy than someone who is new to the sport,” says Adam Knight, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomechanics at Mississippi State University said in an interview with Runners World. “You can make the assumption you’ll get back in shape more quickly because of that.” Just take your time and make sure you're only gradually ramping your mileage back up. Overexertion can cause you to suffer many injuries like Runner's Knee or Shin Splints-- neither are fun. Since we still have a chunk of bitterly cold weeks left to get through- I strongly recommend sticking to the gym and getting your cardio minutes in. Spinning classes and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) are great ways to get your heart rate up and your muscles moving. Supplement that with some treadmill time, and you'll be ahead of the game by the time it's warm enough for your first outdoor run.
Many Chicagoland runners like to participate in the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K, which will be on Sunday, March 29th this year. This 8K event is designed to be laid-back and fun. It's also often referred to as the "Official Start of the Chicago Running Season" as there are very few races in the area sooner than this date. Many runners also don't even train for this race-- they simply go out and run it just for fun. I encourage you to take a look at the race website and consider participating. The course mimics much of the first few miles of the Chicago Marathon, as it winds through the Loop and South Loop neighborhoods before finishing in the same place it starts-- beautiful Grant Park. This race is a great way to reignite your racing bug and to set your sights on your summer and fall racing goals. Registration is $50 and will sell out, so make sure to register soon.
We've been long awaiting details from the Chicago Marathon office about the fundraising structure for the 2015 season. Yesterday we finally got those details about fundraising minimums and how the lottery structure will work this year. The American Cancer Society DetermiNation office also announced a few additional details about free race entry opportunities as well as some Race Day logistics.
Firstly, similar to last year, there will be a lottery system used for general registration for the Chicago Marathon. The lottery entry period will last six weeks, beginning sometime in March (specific dates to be announced in the coming weeks). However, for those of you who want to fundraise for a charity, you will be given a guaranteed entry into the marathon, bypassing the lottery, if you commit to fundraising for one of the approved charity partners. The Chicago Marathon office governs the amount of money these participants must raise for their charity. Those participants committing to a charity before the lottery entry period ends will be required to fundraise a minimum of $1,000 for their charity. For participants who wait until after the lottery entry period ends, the fundraising minimum increases to $1,500. This is done to encourage participants to join a charity because they truly want to, not just because they didn't get chosen in the lottery. Please keep in mind that regardless of how you enter the Marathon, you still must pay the race entry fee* of $185 (or $210 if you reside outside of the U.S.A.).
*The American Cancer Society DetermiNation is offering FREE race entry if you commit to raising $1,900. Please contact me if you are interested in additional details.
Next, DetermiNation runners will again receive free training with their choice of either Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) or Chicago Endurance Sports (CES). Both companies offer a virtual coaching option for those who may not reside in the Chicagoland area. Keep an eye on the "Training" tab of this site for an upcoming post comparing these two great running companies.
Lastly, the Race Weekend experience provided for DetermiNation runners will once again include a VIP Race Day Resort. This year, the location of this will be at the Congress Hotel (520 S. Michigan Ave.), which is very close to the Marathon start line, as well as CARA & CES's respective VIP Race Day Resorts too.
I'm so glad to be able to share this info with you all. I will continue to share more with you as I am able!