OK... here we go with blog #2! I figured this would be a good way to track my progress and keep me honest with my training and stuff. And I'm hoping those of you with marathon experience will be able to send me some helpful advice and tips! ;)
I never thought I would attempt a full marathon. 26.2 miles is pretty intimidating. Heck, the idea of running for 4-5 hours (or more!!!) straight is even more intimidating. When I started running a few years ago, 5K's and 10K's were enough of a challenge for me. But then my cousin introduced me to the Nike Clun Runs last fall and next thing I know, I had signed up for their half marathon. I still remember when I first ran 8 miles, then 10 miles, finally working my way up to the 12 and 13 mile runs. The actual Nike half ended up being a lot of fun and it was then that I decided I was ready to try a full marathon this year.
So I picked Chicago! Why? Many, many reasons...
1) It's flat. (That might be the most important reason!) And even though the Nike Half and the US Half that I ran two weeks later probably weren't as strenuous hill-wise as some of the other SF races, I would still love to avoid those momentum-killing hills this time around.
2) It's near my hometown. Running a marathon would be a pretty big achievement for me and I would love to have my family with me for the experience. And I will! My parents are definitely coming in from Cleveland to cheer me on. This should be interesting because I don't think they've been to a running race before, especially one of this magnitude.
3) My friends that live there! Hopefully, I will have time to catch up with my friends from home, college, and work that live in this fun city. I know I will definitely catch up with my good buddy Pam (who I met on the first day of first grade!) as she is also signed up for the Chicago marathon. And for some reason, she even wants to run with me, despite being a much faster runner - what a pal!
4) Finally, stamp of approval from previous runners. A lot of friends have run this one and have definitely recommended it - especially for a debut marathoner. Sounds good to me!
The race is on Sunday, October 7th, 2007 - 5 days after my 32nd birthday. Wow. I just read that sentence back... will I really be 32??? Anyway, I digress... I now have two weeks out of my 16 week training plan under my belt and so far so good.
Also, in addition to the Chicago marathon, I am tentatively planning to run the Nike Half again this year - two weeks later on October 21st, 2007. It really is a fun race and I will be training with them anyway via the Nike Club Runs in SF. The nice thing is that the Nike Race is actually a full / half marathon so in the worst case scenario, I can always walk the Nike Half (and eat lots of Ghiradelli chocolate squares along the way - heehee!)
So wish me luck and keep checking in!