At the start of 2015 I couldn’t decide whether or not I would once again embark on the long and trecherous journey of training for a marathon. With two marathons under my belt, I thought that I would focus on half marathons for the year. However, this all changed when I discovered that my company was going to give employees the opportunity to take part in one of the World Majors, the Chicago Marathon. The running geek inside of me couldn’t help but sign up. Maybe it would have been easier to pass up if it were any other race, but I thought back to when I watched the documentary, The Spirit of the Marathon, for the first time. This film followed 5 marathoners on their journey to Chicago and I had dreamed of being a marathon finisher just like them. Here I was, ready to take on marathon number three and follow in their footsteps. I found out in the spring that I would have this opportunity and trained hard through the summer and early fall for the start of the big race. I wanted to set a goal for myself.
How long would it take me to finish? I think it’s a constant struggle for every runner. Do you simply run free without questioning the time that you will get? Do you have somewhat of a goal time in mind? Or do you set a specific time and work dilligently towards the goal throughout training and keep your eyes glued to your gps watch on every training run? I wanted to be a “free spirit” runner and not care, but instead, I told myself I needed to break 4 hours and beat my previous personal record of 3:58. In those 16 weeks of training I kept my eyes on my goal and envisioned the finish line. With each training run I felt stronger and stronger. When it was finally race day, I let the cheers of the crowds carry me through each mile. I couldn’t believe it as I crossed the finish line in 3 hours and 47 minutes! Those 16 weeks all led up to that moment and it felt incredible!