Yesterday I crossed the finish line of my second marathon and checked another 26.2 miler off of my list. I’m still completely in awe of the fact that my body is able to run a marathon and beyond grateful for all of the support I’ve received from near and far as I’ve trained and fundraised over the past few months.
While my second Chicago Marathon was not quite the race I had hoped for, I’ve decided not to dwell on finish times or personal records and instead look back on the race as a whole and give a little glimpse into the incredible experience that is marathoning:
- Being a part of Nike’s NTC Lincoln Park Marathon CREW was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. From our 18 week training plan to all of the perks along the way training with the CREW really changed the entire marathon experience for me versus doing everything solo. I am so thankful for how much thought Nike put into every aspect of our training for us and all of the awesome ladies I was able to meet and celebrate the accomplishment of running the Chicago Marathon with. If you’re in Chicago you should definitely check out NTC, it’s a women’s only Nike retail store / studio hybrid with free classes 7 days a week. Cannot recommend it enough (and there’s a gigantic photo of me on the wall upstairs right now, which is kind of the coolest thing ever)
- The entire city of Chicago truly comes together on marathon day – for me it’s not just about running the race, it’s about sharing the same goal with 45,000 other people and having 1.5 million people come out to support that. And that’s pretty darn awesome.
- Life can change immensely in one year – last year I had one spectator along the course (shout out to Molly, you’re the best) and I simply crossed the finish line, grabbed my medal and walked home to my apartment alone. This year I had so much support during the race, at the Race Day Resort, back at my apartment with champagne & a stocked fridge thanks to my boyfriend and then back at NTC where we celebrated with champagne and ice cream. I am so grateful and truly feel like the luckiest girl around.
This time around I’m not left with the high of the accomplishment or the urge to immediately sign up to do it all over again but I wouldn’t change a thing. Every single run is something to be grateful for, as I’m always reminding myself with what’s become my running mantra, “Running is a privilege”.
Thank you to every single one of you who have supported me along my second marathon journey. Every single tweet, email, comment and donation to the American Cancer Society in support of my fundraising reminded me of just why I love being a part of the blogging community.
And for those of you looking for some new running jams, here’s this year’s #OwnChicago playlist: