It was a cold morning back in October 2009 when I sat down to watch the Chicago Marathon. I had been training on and off to compete in my first race that November, the Chicago Urbanathlon, presented by Men’s Health , and was oddly fascinated/curious to watch people gut it out for 26.2 miles. After watching the excitement, the sacrifice, the pain and that wonderful runner’s high for each person as they crossed the finish line, I found myself intrigued by 26.2 miles and all the why questions that go along with the lure of the marathon.
As a yourng athlete, running was always like a form of punishment rather than a sport or something to do for fun. Training for the Chicago Urbanathlon was a huge challenge. A challenge that was big enough to squash anyone’s spirits of running competitively. Despite the challenges I was relentless. I was going to finish the race! The pain and joy (runner’s high) that I experienced when I crossed the finish line further solidified my interest in running and my pursuit of 26.2. Immediately after the Urbanathalon I signed up for the HersheyHot Chocolate 5K , and after 3.1 miles, a cup of hot chocolate, and some marshmallows I was hooked…. I was going to run the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Once I allowed myself, I did fall in love with running and everything associated with it. I love studying the sport of running. I love the gear you can buy. I love the training, mapping long runs and analyzing my running statistics. I love the incremental increases in mileage each week would bring. I love setting goals and achieving them. I love setting PR’s. I love race day. I love crossing the finish line.
My quest to complete my first marathon was much more then achieving a bucket list wish. This 26.2 mile run was about gaining control of my life and taking on the self-doubt demons that were holding me back head-on. This was a life-changing event; a journey that made me a better athlete, a better professional, and most importantly a better person.
After finishing the 2010 Chicago marathon, I was hooked. Even when I hit that infamous marathon wall I was planning for 2011, Since I always set high expectations for myself, like any other serious marathoner with a day job, I want to Boston Qualify (BQ). Although the Boston Athletic Association has changed it’s qualifying times, making them tougher for average joe’s, a BQ remains my ultimate goal. In my quest/obsession for my first marathon, I learned a lot from my trials and errors and continue to work to find the balance between life, work, and running.
When I am not running or tweeting about it, I am a Human Resources Manager. I have a huge passion and respect for Endurance Sports and I look forward to sharing my “average Joe” experiences, best practices, and witty observations. Hopefully I can help inspire you to lace up and hit the road!