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The Road to Chicago

They say that if you want to accomplish something, you must first write it down, otherwise it becomes lost among the many things you may or may not get around to doing. While I have no idea exactly who they are, I do agree that writing things down increases their chance of becoming reality.

I love running. I’m quite obsessed with it actually. I have done my share of running, a stint in high school track, a fun-run here and there, Bloomsday. But I have never seriously trained for anything. Even Bloomsday was a little more difficult than it needed to be. I never took my training as seriously as I should have. I had too many easy days, too many missed runs. I let myself take it easy when what I really needed to do was push it. I was a slacker, and I paid for it. But I made it, and crossing the finish line was thrilling. An addictable high. A feeling I wanted to experience again and again. That was a year and a half ago.

It is time to train for another race.

Running a marathon has always been on my Someday List. 26.2 miles of pure insanity, and yet every inch of me is desperate to do it. But every year I put it off. I come up with a new excuse as to why I am not out there running with the rest of the them. Then I sit at home, wishing that I were.

So I guess I have two options. I can either sit back and watch all the runners, wishing I were one of them, or I can actually get out there and join them. I guess I am getting brave in my old age, because I have decided to join them. So here are the questions floating around inside this big empty head of mine. Do I have it in me to seriously train for a marathon? Do I have enough confidence in myself and my abilities to accomplish such a race? Have I dreamt of it long enough to finally be able to dedicate myself 110% to making it a reality? The surprising answer to all three of these questions is… yes. Yes. I can do it. I know I can.

But, if I fail to set a date, pick a target race and get myself registered, I know that I will put it off for another year. And then another, until eventually I find myself regretting never getting around to it. I cannot allow that to happen. I need a goal. A time frame. So which race? There are so many marathons, how do I go about choosing one?

I looked at multiple lists of marathons recommended for beginners, and the Chicago Marathon was on every one. It is known for being fast and flat, and while I don’t care much about the fast part, I am very excited about the flat. It also has no qualifying time, so anyone can register. October 13, 2013. A little less than a year away. Time enough to train but not so far out that I will lose steam or put off training. Registration is not yet open, but it will be soon. Will my name be on the list? Yes, I am almost certain that it will be.

Rob and I have run races together, but he is going to sit this one out, partly because he thinks (knows) I have completely lost my mind, and partly because he knows how much time and dedication the training will take. This is not going to be easy, so he and the kids are going to be my cheering squad. They will be the ones who push me out the door when I really don’t feel like it. The ones who drag me out of bed when I want desperately to sleep. The ones who will keep me going, even when I am ready for a rest. I know for a fact, even at this early stage just prior to training, that I will not be able to do it without them.

I am not expecting a time fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which would be 3:40 for my age group, but I do hope to finish within the course limit time of 6:30:59. Mostly, I just want to finish. I want to accomplish something I have always dreamt of. I want to prove to myself that I really can do it. At the very least, I will be able to cross an item off of my Someday List, and even if I never want to run another mile, at least I will not have to live with the regret of never having tried.

10 thoughts on “The Road to Chicago

    • I suppose that depends on your definition of “well.” 🙂 Either way, I intend to do my very best. Hope you are enjoying your Hawaiian vacation! I am loving all the pictures! (Happy Birthday Eve!)

  1. you really are amazing! there are no words that can describe how proud I feel that you should even consider doing this. You are a lady full of guts, determination and above all willpower. You can do anything that you want to do…so dear Mariah..go ahead…run your race and
    face the challenge. I know that you can do it.!
    It is not the winning which is important..it is the taking part…lots of love P

  2. I think to start and to finish is one of life’s greatest accomplishment. And also one of the most difficult. I admire perseverance and I wish you all the best even as you set your mind to start training and fix your eyes on the finishing line. You know you have a cheering squad. I’m one of them! You go girl! Hugs, Sharon

  3. Mariah-
    Good Luck! I trained for a marathon and even got the long 20 miler in and life happened and did not get to run. Lots of training programs out there-main thing is to not get hurt or run through an injury!! Enjoy your blogs-great talent you have to make everyday life interesting!

    • I am taking it slow to start in order to avoid over-doing it in the beginning. There are lots of programs for a varitey of skill levels, so that is helpful. Hopefully, in the end, I will be well prepared and will have the opportunity to run, but if not, then, well, at least I will have tried. I think I will feel better about that. Maybe you are up for training again?? 🙂

      • Thank you for the vote of confidence to think I could fire it up again-I found I was hurt more times than not when running-plus an Achilles tendon bothers me when the milage gets up there-so I train for the specific activity I enjoy the most-hiking/hunting. This includes finding steep hills and hiking them with a weighted pack and like last winter and spring Mary Beth (she is awesome) and I are hitting the workout room this winter doing P90X. This workout helps keep cardio fitness along with creating a core strength that I did not have before.
        Glad to see you are starting slow. Please remember to carry ID, cell phone, reflective vest/lights for dark, and consider pepper spray to carry in your HAND. It is like bear spray-if packed away it does no good.
        After reading about minimalist shoes if I started running again I would give those a shot-I wonder if all my injuries back then were from to soft of a shoe?
        Take care-train smart!

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