It’s hard to believe that it’s been one year since my life changed at the Chicago Marathon. My journey brought laughter, tears, puking, and pain, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. As the city prepares for the marathon this weekend, I sit here a little depressed about it. All summer I’ve watched Chicago’s amazing runners train, and I accepted that I wouldn’t be able to toe the start line. But now it’s real. Now the barricades are going up, the runners are flocking the streets, and I’m trying not to be jealous. Don’t get me wrong runners, I am so excited for you, but I’m ready for this marathon to be over, so I can focus on next year’s!
Chicago marathoners, I pray that you toe the start line with confidence. Your nerves will be high, but take a deep breath and remember what brought you to that start line in the first place. For some it’s a charity, for others a personal goal. Continue to fall back on that reason when the run gets tough.
Embrace the fans. 1.7 million people are waking up early on a Sunday morning to cheer you on! Most will never dream of running a marathon, but they play such an important role in your marathon journey. Read their signs, high five them, acknowledge them, and most of all thank them for sharing this journey with you. At mile 20 when you want to be done, those fans will carry you through. Turn the music down, and listen to them. They are the voice of Chicago.
Finally, my friends, whether this is your first, last, or tenth marathon never take a single stride for granted. So many people wish they could do what you are doing, so run for those who can’t. Be strong! Stride through the pain! Smile when you want to cry! And enjoy your journey.
Most of all…. TRUST YOUR TRAINING. YOU ARE PREPARED TO OWN CHICAGO!