Chicago and Other Stuff

A few months ago, after running my first marathon, a common emotion to have is along the lines of, “Now what? What’s next?” Of course I was asked these questions by countless different people. I had already signed up for my upcoming marathon which is now less than four weeks away, so I just told people I would keep running. Easy enough.

I had a few conversations that went exactly like this :

Them: “Well what about Chicago, why don’t you run the Chicago Marathon?” *goes on to explain how amazing Chicago is*
Me: “HA! HA! I don’t think I would ever like to do a big race like that. It seems overrated. Plus the people and congestion…no thanks. Running Chicago isn’t something I’ve ever really wanted to do. I’d love to visit, but forget the marathon.”

Actually, I believe I had this conversation with someone about a month ago. I have always wanted to go and spend time and visit Chicago, but not run 26.2 miles with 45,000 other people through the streets of the city! Marathon mornings can be stressful enough as is, let alone being in a new, huge city, relying on public transportation to get you to the start of the race on time, and who knows what else could happen.

Blah blah blah.

Says the girl who is registered to run the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Source

A month ago I made a resolution for this year to run four marathons in four states, but did NOT plan on one of those being Chicago. I was going for smaller, more familiar states such as Arkansas, Nebraska, and Texas. Texas is reallllllly comfortable (90% of my family lives there).

Turns out that God surprised me again and had dreams for me that were bigger than the ones I had for myself. You think that I would eventually get used to this by now, but no. It’s like an upgrade at a concert; I’m in the nosebleeds happy to be in the same room as the concert and God is all like, “No here, why don’t I just move you to the front row and give you VIP treatment and back stage passes and you can just go on the rest of the tour with the band and marry the lead singer, ok?” Or something along those lines.

You get my point, right? So I’m just taking what He’s giving me and running with it. Literally. Ha. Ha. No that wasn’t funny, I know.

So yes, last week I registered to run the Chicago Marathon which is exactly eight months away.

Another goal that I set for myself this year was to run a marathon to raise money for a charity. Two weeks ago on a recovery run I was racking my brain for which charity I wanted to raise money for, I mean come on, there are THOUSANDS!!! I asked myself a questions, “Which one am I most passionate about?” Because without passion behind what I do, it would be nothing. Suddenly, a light clicked on. How about the organization I volunteer for, Girls on the Run? That makes sense…raise money for an amazing organization that I love volunteering for, you think I would have imagined that sooner!

Upon registering I was also VERY happy to find that Girls on the Run is one of the main 2012 charity partners for the Chicago Marathon which means it will be even more impacted. Be on the lookout in the next few months for links to my fundraising page, and I’ll also have posts solely dedicated to talking more about Girls on the Run, why it means so much to me, how it has impacted my life as well as the lives of so many young women.

Needless to say, 2012 is already blowing my mind. I had dreams for this year, but my world has already been rocked by the awesome stuff that is going on and what is to come in the future months!

Now for the other stuff from my title.

1. I have a 22 mile long run looming over my head for Thursday. I was talking with a good friend at lunch on Sunday and we were discussing how even though you can be passionate about something and love it until no end, doesn’t mean that sometimes it doesn’t make you want to cuss. I love running. I love racing. But the idea of running for 22 miles (not in a race) is not something I exactly look forward to. Notice the use of ‘looming’? Pretty negative connotation there if I do say so myself.

2. With the coming of this super long run though means one thing–it’s almost time to taper! Yessss. I can taper. I am a master taper-er. After this Thursday I’ll be cutting down my mileage until it’s time to race in Little Rock. This training program I made for myself this time around is only 8 weeks long versus my first training plan that was 16 weeks (puke!) and it has flown by! I have found myself actually looking forward to most of my runs and enjoying them way more than I ever did on the last cycle, because I think I haven’t been a slave to training this time.

3. I will really be practicing my taper skills next week because I’m celebrating Valentine’s day by permanently getting my gallbladder detached from my insides and will have to recover, however long that takes. Loooong story short, about two years ago I would get insane cramps on my right side that would literally leave me in a whining mess on the floor because they hurt so bad that I couldn’t stand. I went through six weeks of tests only to be put on a probiotic by some doctor who was a complete idiot. A rude, old, fart.

The pain would only come back randomly, and me being as stubborn as I am just passed it off and figured it was something I would live with. Almost two months ago I was having symptoms that were getting on my nerves so I finally went to the doctor, got an abdominal ultrasound and they found that I have gallstones. Honestly, I was so relieved. I know that gallstones are something they can take care of and be done with. I don’t exactly fit the stereotype for people who develop gallstones, despite my healthy diet and active lifestyle, I still got those suckers. My biggest concern was obviously if it would affect training and potentially the marathon. The surgeon said that he is putting all restrictions on my activity for the first week, but after that I will be responsible for going based on how I feel and listening to my body.

Listening to my body was something I thought that I had mastered, but alas will be put to the test next week. I am really just looking forward to getting this thing over with because it has been a pain in my side. Literally.

4. Friday I am taking a pole dancing class with some girlfriends for my best friend’s very belated birthday celebration. There will be pictures. Aleeza you didn’t read that last part.

Happy Fat Tuesday y’all!

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4 thoughts on “Chicago and Other Stuff

  1. Congrats on getting into Chicago before it sold out. I’m trying for NY this year, but I might think about Chicago next year if I don’t get into NY. I’d love to run a big marathon in a major city, especially one that doesn’t have a 1/2 with it. I love the feeling of KC before the course splits off for the half turn, but after the turn off the marathon course gets so lonely!
    Which location do you volunteer at for GOTR? I ran the 5k a couple years ago and wanted to volunteer after that, but with my school schedule it’s never been a possibility. Now that I’m graduated I’ve been looking into doing it for the spring, but there are so many locations!

    • Thank you! I watched Spirit of the Marathon a few weeks ago on a long runs and that was when I knew I needed to do it. I made sure to get in early, I think my registration was confirmed 8 minutes after it opened, haha!

      I have helped out in the past at Benninghoven in Shawnee and Harmony in Blue Valley, and am returning to Harmony this spring. You can give them your preference of location but I told them to put me wherever they needed me, and I know they need a lot more coaches because there are so many girls in the program! Words can’t describe how much I love the program, the girls, and everything about it. It’s truly a life impacting experience 🙂

      • Thanks for the info. I have my form filled out and ready to send in after I verify my references. I’m excited to hopefully get the chance to coach this season. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for awhile, but never fit into my schedule!
        I thought the school in the pictures above looked familiar, Harmony is actually the closest site to where I live. I run by the school all the time on my runs!

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