So what reasons do I have to run the marathon this year? I went through it over and over and over again in my head. As happy as I was to finish last year, I just did not think I did my best. I know that finishing a marathon is quite an accomplishment, and I absolutely admire anyone who has enough within themselves to go year after year training for one sometimes multiple marathons in a year. I don’t know what kind of marathon runner I will be, but I did not want to be a one and done kind of runner. The moment I crossed the finish line last year at an agonizing 6 hours and 49 minutes, I knew the race got the best of me. Let’s admit it, I knew halfway through that it beat me to a submission and step after step, I cursed the idea of running 26.2 miles. I kept thinking “I can’t wait to be done with the $%*# race!”
This was absolutely not the way I wanted to remember my first marathon. I felt like I cheated myself from such a wonderful experience that everyone always talks about when they talk about finishing a marathon. Experienced runners that I spoke to always told me that the first marathon is mainly about finishing, and that’s all I thought of when I was in so much pain that I had to walk through parts of Chinatown. And the second I crossed the finish line, I immediately thought to myself, “Alright, FIRST one is now done.” I flip-flopped for months about signing up for another one, but the fact is that I am competitive. Sure, I may not ever be able to truly compete for any awards or age rankings, but sometimes your biggest motivation is your past. And I want to beat my 2010 self, and I have a score to settle with the Chicago Marathon.
You got me good the first time around, and I know not to take you lightly. I will truly be ready for you this year, friend. Can’t wait to see you in October!