Well, here we are. Tomorrow morning I will be on a flight headed for Chicago to run the marathon. The overwhelming feeling I’ve been experiencing this week leading up to the race is excitement. I’m excited to be in racing mode—I haven’t run a race since May this year! I’m excited to get out of town with Bernie—vacations are awesome. I’m excited to be back in the city where Bernie proposed, on the same weekend when he proposed last year. I’m excited to run a friggin’ marathon!
I definitely feel like the pressure is not as high as last year. I remember feeling terrible anxiety the day before the marathon last year. I usually get excited-anxious for a race; like a thoroughbred in the starting gate, I’m ready to just go! But last year I felt really scared; scared I wasn’t going to hit my goal time, scared I wasn’t going to PR, scared I was going to have a really bad day. I put a lot of pressure on myself to beat my 1st marathon time and I didn’t want to disappoint myself or my family who traveled all that way to cheer me on.
This year, so far, I’m not feeling the same fear anxieties as last year. For one thing, I’ve been really busy at work and my personal life, and in the space where I’m trying to balance the two. Marathon training has been something that definitely takes up time, but it’s also been a good escape for stress and a way to force myself to take care of me. Sure, I didn’t train 100% like I wanted to, but I’ve had a really good cycle. I’ve felt 100% strong the entire time. No weird injuries, no random pains, and only a couple of bonked runs. It’s the strongest I’ve felt with my running in a long time. Dare I say I’m maturing as a runner? Either that or my body is just a little more used to it now that it’s my third time around. I feel confident in my training and I think I did everything I could over the last few months to train for this race.
So what’s my race plan for Chicago? I have an A, B, and C goal:
- C goal: Match or beat my 4:14 time from last year
- B goal: Run a 4:00 or 4:05
- A goal: Break 4 hours
Have I trained to break 4 hours, not really, but I think it is a possibility. I ran a 1:46 half marathon in May and have continued to train the same way for the marathon as I trained for that race. It all gets down to how I feel on race day. Is C goal in reach? Definitely. B goal? I may get close. But overall, I’ll be happy if I hit any of these goals. Since this race is my last 26.2 hurrah for a little while, I want to go out with a bang. 3 years, 3 races, and a new PR in each race. I’ve had an amazing few years of running. I’ve tackled new distances and set PR’s in every distance. I would love for Chicago to be a fun cap on a few wonderful years. And if I don’t hit any of my goals? I hope that I have fun and enjoy the day. That’s something I wish I did more of last year and I will try to this year.
Chicago will always hold a special place in my heart as the race where Bernie and I got engaged. I hope that the Chicago Marathon is a race that I can keep coming back to over the years as a place where we can reconnect as our relationship grows and changes. And follow me on Twitter and Instagram @BlondeBostonian all weekend for updates!
Anyone else running Chicago?
Any advice for shooting for a 4-hour marathon?