The Final Push
The last few weeks have proved mighty busy (and a little painful) for Emily. Two weeks ago, she ran the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) 20-miler only to realize a few miles in that she had outpaced herself.
“I signed up for the 9-minute pace group when I first registered for the race,” she says. “But when I actually went out there, I quickly realized that the pace was too fast for me.”
She slowed down a bit and regained her balance. Although her calf was screaming in pain, she kept going. A few hours later, she had finished but was feeling down.
“I didn’t walk away with that ethereal feeling; I was in pain,” she says. “I took three or four days off and iced my calf.”
The TLC worked wonders. Now Emily says she is feeling “100 percent.”
“I’m just really, really nervous,” she says about the big race on Sunday. “I know I’ve done everything I can to prepare, but sometimes I think, ‘ohmygosh, it’s already been two weeks since I last ran 20 miles.’”
Race weekend plans are already mapped out. Her parents will arrive in Chicago from Kansas City on Friday night and stay at a downtown hotel. The following day, they will map out meet-up points along the route. And the day of the race, she and her boyfriend Shawn will do a short (1/2 mile or so) warm-up run before the start.
Is she aiming for a specific time?
“I just want to cross the finish line, but I would be happy with a 4:15 or 4:20,” she says.
What are her plans after the race?
“We will go to Sun Wah BBQ in Uptown for a Peking duck dinner; I’m looking forward to it,” Emily says. “It will be a nice end to a long journey.”