Marathon Sunday

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Marathon Sunday. Nothing makes me want to be great more than watching cheering on runners who have spent months preparing for this morning, this run and freaking doing it. It’s just a beautiful and inspiring reminder that pretty much anything is available to us if we decide we want it and do what it takes to get there.

Related: while I had a blast dancing and cheering my heart out this morning, I had serious “I wish I was running!” envy. I had a great experience on 10-10-10 so maybe another Chicago marathon is the best way to close out my 20s next year…

Congratulations, runners! You rocked every one of those 26.2 miles and now you’re marathoners! High fives and ice baths, all around!

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Chicago Marathon 2011- The Dance Party Edition

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My voice is hoarse, I have a sunburn, my skin is salty sweaty and my legs are sore.

No, I did not run the Chicago Marathon today.

But I did cheer my heart out at Mile 23.5 with 120 of my favorite movers and shakers, a 5 hour dance party that was more fun than any club I’ve ever been to.

The runners were inspiring beyond belief and there were lots of mutual fist pumps being thrown around.

There’s nothing like the Chicago Marathon and now 45,000 more people know it.  Congrats to all the runners- YOU ARE AMAZING!

What I’m Not Doing This Weekend

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1) Watching Spartan football (it’s a bye week)

2) Running the Chicago Marathon

Running the marathon last year was one of the best experiences of  my life.  I’ve always been a runner so setting the goal of completing a marathon, putting in all of the miles, early mornings and losing of toenails to finally crossing the finish line…well, there’s just really nothing like it.

Still fresh from the finish line high, I signed up for it again this year.  I logged the miles, did the training.  But life also happened.  Other things needed to be attended to, needed my energy, and my training runs became just something else on my list that I had to cross off.  It stopped being something that I was hungry for and became a task.  And that’s not the point.  I’m not going to win the marathon (the people who actually do win are probably having mimosas by the time I hit Mile 13), running is something I do to feel good and if it’s not making me feel good anymore, then let’s bag it.

Making the decision to not run happened 2 weeks ago.  And it felt really bad.

And then it felt better.  Good, even.  Like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  I was better able to take on the other things in my life that were happening and shooting out for a run at the end of a long day became fun again.

This was the right decision for me.  It doesn’t mean I won’t tackle 26.2 again but for this year, I will be cheering my heart out for everyone who is pounding the pavement tomorrow morning.

And when I say “cheering my heart out”, I mean it: my heart is with every single runner who has been chasing down this goal for the better part of a year, with their eyes fixed on the 26.2 prize.  Good luck, Godspeed and great job!

Chicago Marathon 2011- An Update

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I haven’t said much about my marathon training this year.  But I’m still running it and training is going right along.  Like I’ve said before, I’m not making any claims to be a perfect marathon runner.  I don’t follow Hal Higdon’s training guide (people literally gasp when I tell them this), I only run 3-4 days a week (again, gasping) and I am convinced that doing copious amounts of yoga helped me tackle that 26.2 last year just as much as my actual long runs did.

So, I’m running, practicing yoga 2-3 times week and every long run has felt really good.  Strong.  I want to cross that finish line and make every mile before that strong.  I was scared out of my mind last year so I think this year is going to be a whole lot more fun-  I know I can do it, I know it’s amazing and I can’t wait to roll out of bed and head to Columbus Drive and Monroe to take my spot at the starting line.  Just going to focus on staying strong in the meantime.

Chicago Marathon 2011: The Game Plan

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The Chicago Marathon is less than 3.5 months away and I’m getting pumped.  Last year was my first ever marathon and to be honest, I was really scared about getting hurt, about getting burnt out.  So, I trained at a pace that felt good, didn’t go overboard with mileage and did copious amounts of yoga to strengthen my core.  It must have worked because I finished those 26.2 miles and felt great- no injuries, no passing out, no drama.

But this year, I have a goal.

I will finish the 2011 Chicago Marathon in less than 4:15.

I’m not trying to win this thing (the people who win are probably having mimosas by the time I hit mile 13) but now that I know my body can take it, I want to go after my goal and train a little harder.

The Game Plan:

June 11-July 16thboot camp 2x a week to tone and strengthen

July 17th: Fleet Feet’s Women’s 10k to take in that race atmosphere before the big day

All Summer: Yoga!  I cannot say enough how important yoga was to my training and completion of the marathon last year.  Soothes tight muscles, strengthens the core and focuses the mind- yoga is just invaluable.

Late July: start going after long runs on weekends, finishing with a 20 miler 2 weeks before the marathon.

ASAP: more yoga!

I’m feeling strong and now that we’re finally getting some good weather, I’ve had some really beautiful runs on the lake.  With my plan in place, I’m confidant that I will crossing the finish line at my goal time.

Chicago Marathon 2011, bring it!

Dear New Running Shoes,

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Dear New Running Shoes,

I know it’s time; I figured my days were numbered when my sides started ripping a little and my treads were so worn that they were nearly smooth.  I am sure you are perfectly good shoes, in a brand new, shiny, not a speck of dirt on them sort-of-way.  I know you will do things for Nina that I can’t do anymore, like give her proper support so her knees don’t hurt.  I bet you also do not smell as bad as I do. Let me just give you some insight into your new job.

Nina laces her shoes too tight when she sets out for a run so get used to making a stop about 5 minutes in to do some re-tying.  Her favorite run in on the Lake Front Path so you are in for some spectacular views.  She’s also a pretty friendly runner so you’ll be saying hi to lots of shoes that are running past- work on your “I’m doing my job but how-do-ya-do” smile.

Keep in mind that you are in Chicago so while some runs will be on impossibly beautiful days, just as many will be cold and filled with puddles.  Oh and about the puddles- sometimes, Nina thinks that running makes her rugged and hardcore.  This leads to giving no regard to tromping you through mud or puddles.  Don’t worry- she is not actually rugged (at all) so you will get cleaned up right when you get home so that dirt doesn’t get in the apartment and so you look nice for the next run.

You’re in a pretty important position because you get to be a part of the days when Nina has great runs (high five!) but also the days when pounding the pavement is the last thing she wants to do.  You’re both working toward some fun races this summer and the Big Kahuna in October.  Be good to each other and don’t forget- I’m in the back of the closet if she goes all crazy and decides to do one of those Mud Buddy races.  No need to dirty you up for that.

Love,

Nina’s Old Running Shoes