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William C. Altreuter
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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Notes on the Chicago Marathon (and pictures!) will be forthcoming at the KRAC Blog for the next few days-- as I sort out the experience in my head. Over the course of my career as an athlete I have often heard people say "you never know what your body is capable of until you try." I'm not buying into that completely-- I know, for example, that my body isn't capable of going that much faster than I have made it go in the past-- but it is true that preparation can accomplish a great deal, and that the mind is the hardest thing to train.

I'll say this also-- the miles flew by. It was an different experience from the training, but the training was there, too, every step, and particularly over the last steps.

I can't say exactly how long I've wanted to run a marathon, or for how long I've known that it was something that I knew I could do-- on one level I didn't know I could do it until some point this summer. Maybe at 16 miles, maybe at 20. Maybe I just always thought I could, and then I knew I could when I had the miles in the bank.

I slept like a baby Saturday night, out when my head hit the pillow at 9:30. At about two in the morning I came awake, the kind of waking that feels like being underwater and swimming to the surface. I thought to myself, "I feel tired, but good. I guess it was okay." Then I realized, "I can't remember anything about the race!" I had six hours to go before the gun went off, but I was so sure that I could do it that I thought I already had. I drank some water, and went back to sleep, knowing that I'd remember what the race was like the next night.

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