Marathon #15

One week away from another Racecation.  My trip to Chicago!  A big marathon called the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a World Marathon Major, and fittingly a major achievement for me, as well.  Chicago will be my 15th marathon.

image

Yes, in just a week’s time I will be headed here….. Chicago’s Midway Airport.

image

….and then a ride here…McCormick’s Place.  The site of the BOA Chicago Marathon Expo.

image

…..and then here…  The Langham Chicago.  The #1 rated hotel in Chicago on TripAdvisor.

image

As I enjoy my coffee on a beautiful 60 degree morning, I can’t help but to reflect on what a positive impact running has had on my life.  It helps me stay in shape in my mid 40’s, it keeps me calm, and gives me time to myself.  It grounds me.  It gives me goals, and things to aspire to.  It gives me reason to be out in nature and enjoy our amazing world.  It gives me reason to travel, and experience places I never would have seen otherwise.  It makes me happy!

On the cusp of running my 15th marathon, I look back on the first 14.  My first in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Wow, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.  I ran an amazing race, mostly because I was a virgin and just gave it everything I had.  That 3:33:24 proved to be a hard PR to beat.  I had no idea then just how good that finish was.  My next marathon was a disaster, and had the most negative impact on me.  A 4:11:27 at Tobacco Road, scarred by injuries and extremely painful for the final 19 miles on the most boring marathon course ever.  I think it was here that I learned the most marathon lessons.

After a car accident, a broken metatarsal and much agony, my next marathon in the Outer Banks of NC proved to be, and still is, my worst marathon finish in 4:13:58.  I struggled with PF for almost 8 months.  I ran thought it, smart or not.  It sucked.  It was after that race that I figured out how to take care of my body.  How to listen to my body.  I took a month off.  No running at all from Thanksgiving through Christmas.  I began anew the start of the next year.

I ventured off to Asheville, NC and ran the exclusive inaugural marathon at the Biltmore Estate.  It snowed, windchill in the single digits.  It was beautiful, but I found it difficult to run that far while my toes were frozen, and I had icicles in my hair.  Another 4 hour marathon.  I won a contest, and got to travel to Virginia for what is touted to be “America’s Toughest Road Marathon”, the Blue Ridge Marathon.  With over 7,000 ft. of elevation change over the course of three mountains, I almost loved every moment still. A true test of grit and determination, my marathon focus turned positive again that day.  Although I finished in 4:04:59, I felt like the King of the world after conquering that course.  I was reborn.

That marathon, my fifth, was my last 4 hour plus finish.  I’ve run nine more since all sub-4.  That day was a turning point.  I adopted a catchphrase from the race, “You run Hills, I run Mountains”.  After that race I turned in times of 3:45 in Asheville, and then my current PR of 3:32:24 at Raleigh’s City of Oaks Marathon.  Too tough courses about six weeks apart, my mojo was certainly back!

Since then, I have traveled to Las Vegas, Charleston, Hilton Head and Wrightsville Beach, four flat courses (well mostly) in search of a new PR.  Hasn’t happened yet, but all solid races for the most part.  My Birthday marathon, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh, now that one was unique.  I just wanted to finish sub 4, and did.  My family at the finish.  Priceless birthday present.  Then the All American, a run with the military.  Amazing!  Meeting Meb!  Wow, I have had some great runs.  My last was Big Cottonwood, in Utah.  Talk about breathtaking beauty.

They have all led me and my marathon journey to Chicago for #15.  Grateful for my health, and happiness.  Anxious for another epic run.

I love marathoning!

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Marathon #15

  1. Good luck in Chicago, a great city to visit (be prepared for some strong wind off Lake Michigan). Glad you are staying injury free– as a fellow runner in his mid 40s and training for the MCM in a few weeks (2nd consecutive) I have discovered plantar fasciitis for the first time. I have taken a week off and considering another week off, and feeling down about it. Hopefully I can run through any pain.

    • Thank you! And good luck with the PF. It’s the worst. I found the only thing that helped, other than a steroid shot in my foot (which I did have done once), was the month of no running. Time off worked like a charm. After your race, take the time off to heal it completely. You won’t regret it. Best of luck at MCM. I have yet to run that race.

      • Unfortunately I’ve got the Richmond Marathon three weeks after MCM. I also planned to do the Savannah 10k bridge run (for like the 12th consecutive year) in early Dec, so if I can make it through all that I’ll take at a month off. One race, or one one mile, at a time. You should try for MCM next year, it is truly awesome!

  2. …jealous. You’re going to have a great time in Chicago. It’s been my favorite marathon course so far (don’t tell the LA Marathon I said that). It’s such a huge race (nice flat course) and the city turns out to support the runners. Enjoy!

  3. A catchphrase is now imprinted 😉 “You run hills,I run Mountains”. I think as far as being a runner goes you are the epitome of runners. Most of us who read your blog can relate . When things are good they are amazing and the tough times well they are part of a runners challenge on and off the track/road. “#Keep going” a catchy phrase from @therunnerstea & no I’m not trying to sell it to ye ;);) 2 words can mean so much..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s