The excitement is building as October 7th quickly approaches! It is almost hard to believe that in seven days, I will be toeing up to the Starting Line at the Chicago Marathon at 8AM, joining 45,000 runners from across the globe to participate in one of the World Marathon Majors. It is pretty cool that my first Full Marathon is one the biggest races in the world, and my 'hometown race' to boot.
My 'running year' began in January, with my very first Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. Since then, I have run for over 800 miles, wearing out three pair of running shoes in the process. This year, I have completed 13 races, with four more races scheduled by the end of 2012. I expect to reach 1000 total running miles this year, a figure that kinda blows my mind to be honest.
It took a lot of time and effort to get this point. Training for the Marathon started in June, right after my 39.3 mile AVON Walk. Four months later, I have accumulated 339 training miles, including three Half Marathons and one 20-Mile race. Running in the heat of the summer was tough but necessary -- always working with one purpose in mind: to prepare for and complete the race coming up in seven days.
Taper Week #2 concluded with my last Long Run before the race. I ran with members of my Road Runners running club who participated in a Marathon Training program together. It was a fun program with Long Runs on Sunday mornings. Today's 8-Mile run was our last group run before both the Chicago and Minneapolis races on the 7th. The Long Run was great! I was strong for the entire run and thoroughly enjoyed the energy and friendship within the group. I got a lot of encouragement to help me fight back those self-doubts that creep into my brain when I think about the race. Every bit of encouragement helps!
The weather is looking pretty chilly for race day so I think I might be spared having to run on a hot 'indian summer' day in Chicago. Gotta start thinking about wearing 'layers' for a cold race instead. No problem... I like running in cold weather!
So this week, it is all about resting, finalizing my racing strategy, and confirming the logistics of getting down to the race, checking out the Expo, and gathering all my gear. I just have to stay healthy, hydrated, and fueled for the big day.
I would LOVE to see YOU -- all my friends -- during the race. The Marathon is a big party downtown! So if you have the time, come down to Chicago, find a place to watch the race and look for me! Seeing and hearing you cheer would mean so very much to me, knowing that you were sharing this special event with me. I will post a photo of what I will be wearing on race day so that you will be able to pick me out of the crowd. I believe they will have real-time runner tracking online so you can follow me that way as well. Check the Chicago Marathon web site for information on runner tracking locations and online options.
SEVEN DAYS!!!! WooHoo!!!