I’m heading to Chicago to watch a friend run the Chicago marathon. Races are so exciting. For those that have never cheered someone you know, or a total stranger for that matter, on during a race, you have no idea what you’re missing. Being at a race when people are in their zone and are warming up and then watching them run, step after step past you and then to follow them through the finish line, is just an incredible experience. The things you see during a race are somethings straight out of the movies. You see the young and old do things that sometimes quite frankly a human body was never designed to do. Running 26.2 miles, I’m pretty sure is something the body wasn’t originally set up to do. But just watching a marathon, or any race for that matter, without knowing the back story or knowing the training that went into it, can be a bit anti-climatic. If you don’t know the stories of the training in the rain, running through a heat wave, the ice packs on the knees, the Flex-All on all the other body parts and the countless social occasions missed due to a training run and you won’t realize the sacrifice and effort that’s put into what ends up being a 3 to 5 hour marathon. It’s not about the marathon itself. It’s about the 5 months leading up to the marathon.
That’s why I chronicled my first marathon and why I’m going to do it again. It’s about what it is that gets me out the door 6 days a week to run. It’s about the “why”, not about “the run”. I don’t know what my “why” is yet for this marathon. The first marathon, my way was “to see if I could do it”. That coupled with the fact that my mom had passed away just as I had started to run and when running 3 miles was a big deal for me and she told me to “keep at it”. So, I did. There was nothing that was going to stop me from running that first marathon. Not even the expensive advice of some highly trained medical professionals that told me I couldn’t run anymore without the pain I was experiencing getting worse. I had the “nothings going to stop me from achieving this goal” attitude. But now that I’ve already done one marathon and the thrill is gone can I still do it? Now that I know how incredibly hard this really is, do I have the grit and determination to do it again? Ignorance was definitely bliss the first time around. Not knowing how hard it truly was going to be, was a godsend. But now I know. And now I’m scared.
So, I’m really hoping to use the Chicago marathon as an energy booster for me. I am excited about training for another race. But will I still be excited in March when I have to log 50 miles for the week and it’s below zero with 30 mph headwinds? I don’t have the answer to that at this time. But rest assured, when I get that answer… I’ll let the rest of you know. I’ll also let you know which neighbor’s don’t shovel their sidewalks, what the best technique for spitting in sub zero temps is, how to sneak out ahead of the training group to give yourself the illusion of being somewhat speedy and how to accessorize to compensate for a lack of speed or athleticism.
I don’t know what this training holds, but I hope you stayed tuned. It could be an interesting 500 miles!