Well the time is finally here. This weekend is the Chicago Marathon. Since January 2012, when I ran my first Marathon, I have ran 6 full marathons with Chicago being my 7th and this is the one that I have looked forward to the most. I have ran many big marathons, including the New York City Marathon last year which was the largest marathon ever, in terms of number of finishers and there is nothing like feeling the energy from the crowds that are all over the course. I knew when I finished the NYC Marathon that I wanted to work to get into the Chicago Marathon this year and I was sure to register for the lottery on the first day that it was opened. The day that the lottery was picked was one of the most nerve racking day of my running career and when I finally got that e-mail I was so excited and couldn’t wait to turn on to Michigan Ave at the end of the race.
The Chicago Marathon has always been a goal of mine. I was born and raised in Illinois and even though Chicago is over 300 miles from my hometown it has always been a city that I have loved visiting and have many fond memories of. In just less than 72 hours I will be done with the race and I will be able to smile with my accomplishments and know that I have completed a major goal of mine. Each race is special and this one is going to be special for every person that crosses that finish line on Sunday and I will be no different. What will be different for me is with my own accomplishments and the large steps forward I have been able to take during the training.
I am, admittedly, a very busy person. Last year I got married, after proposing after my first marathon, and between working well over 40 hours most week, travelling and living it is was often tough for me to fit my training in. This cycle I strove to make sure that I got in as much training as possible and despite having to take approximately a month off due to some IT Band issues. I began to run in the morning to make sure that I got the miles in and allowed my miles to take a front seat to other activities. I got up early to run instead of letting my schedule dictate weather I got to run or not I found time in my schedule to run.
Going into next year I have taken many steps forward and I know that because of the Chicago Marathon I have become a better runner, gained a better sense of commitment to a cause and have become more focused on issues that I feel passionate about. I am thankful for all that the Marathon has done for me so far and I am sure that it will not disappoint.
Look for my race recap next week, but just a heads up, this will be a great race.