After a little more than four months of training, running over 350-miles, who would have thought a little marathon would be so difficult!
Race day started at 5:30AM with a banana and some Gatorade. After putting on the crazy shoes, the timing chip, my race bib, and an entire bottle of sun block I was ready to head out of the hotel. The majority of people I trained with all season were running a marathon in San Francisco, but fortunately there were a few of us from the team in Chicago.
As we walked to the starting line, about a mile from the hotel, we all quickly started to realize what an amazing day was in store!
When someone says, “the support in Chicago is fantastic” it’s true, but I didn’t really appreciate that statement until I saw it for myself. From the start line through to the 5K mark I don’t think there was a single foot of sidewalk, on either side of the street, that was empty. People everywhere, sometimes four deep, cheering and clapping, smiles and big signs pushing you on. There of course were some places along the course, around mile 21 and 22, where the side walks were a little empty, but not for very far. The support truly was amazing!
During my training a few people told me I might be setting a lofty goal, that was to finish in under 4-hours… My perspective was simple, if you can achieve a goal the first time out, you didn’t set the bar high enough! I missed that mark… I completed my run in 4-hours, 31-minutes and 19-seconds. For what I accomplished, on that particular day, I’m happy. But, that goal still remains!
To all of you who donated, you’re donations and more importantly your support and encouragement turned this entire process into an absolutely wonderful experience! So wonderful in fact, I’ve decided to return to the Team in Training program as a mentor for their winter season and will be continuing my training to run a marathon in Rome, Italy in March (don’t worry, I won’t be hounding you for donations this time around.)
So, we shall see… lessons learned, training plans reworked, happy feet in their crazy shoes… after a few hundred more training miles I may just achieve that goal!
Thank you again for all your support, donations and encouragement!! I could not have done it without you!
PS. Your donations helped the San Francisco Chapter of Team in Training raise over $650,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!!! Simply put, YOU ROCK!
For the curious, here are my results, and thanks again!