Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How many times?

Oops, I did it again.  Yes, I signed up for a marathon again.  

I saw that.  Yes, you. I saw your eye roll.  Trust me, mine is better than yours.  

Every day on my way to work I drive by my running path/trails.  All along the river, then along the lake, a good healthy 7 miles or so.  At my old job I also drove alongside the other path/trails I use as well.  I could see miles into the prairie, always looking for a bobbing head in the distance.  If I was injured I would usually get a twinge of jealousy, a bit of anger.  However, this morning on my way to work I saw a bobbing head along the river and smiled. With hope.  For me. 

Yesterday I signed up for my third marathon.  Two years in a row of DNS at Chicago Marathon due to injury.  Apparently I think it's a brilliant idea to try again.  However, this time it's not Chicago.  Oh, I'd love it to be Chicago.  But, I think Chicago is too big for me.  Not too big of a race.  Not too many people.  Too big of pressure.  I wanted it so badly that I pushed my body too hard.  A body not meant to run cannot be pushed to run more than it can sooner than it should.  But, I ignore that.  Because I wanted it. My mind broke on me.  My body most certainly broke on me.  Chicago is amazing.  If you have run it you know.  If you haven't spectated it, you must.  It's an unforgettable experience. 

Then Naperville Marathon came along.  Wait, what?!?!  A marathon in my hometown?  Are you kidding me?  How can I NOT do this?  I HAD to do this.  I was so excited about this.  Then, a few days ago they announced they were charging $150 for the full marathon.  Um, excuse me?  W.... T..... F ?!?!? Needless to say there was a bit of an uproar throughout social media.  I may, or may not, have had a word or two for them. Thankfully, the race directors responded quickly and properly and dropped the fee $45 (ultimately $55 with a coupon).  Ok, then.... I'm back in. 

I woke up at 4 am yesterday.  I couldn't sleep.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps I was excited to register?  I don't know.  But, shortly after 6 a.m. there I was trying to register.  Unfortunately, so was everyone else. The server was overloaded.  Finally 45 minutes later I was in.  

Crap.  What did I just do?  
I'll tell you what I did.  I tried again.  I am trying again.  I'm not giving in yet.  I can't.  How could I NOT run this marathon?  How could I not try THIS marathon?  It will be taking place on MY trails and paths.  In my backyard.  Literally.  The paths and trails I bike and ride all the time.  I know these things forwards and backwards.   This is where I found myself.  This is where I lost myself.  This is where I ran fierce.  This is where I broke.  This is where I cried many a tear. Sometimes in pain.  Other times in absolute joy after hitting a running milestone.  A new distance PR.  A new pace PR.  A comeback from injury. 

Along the paths, while I always run alone, I was and am never alone.  There was always someone with me.  I can remember countless runs where some friend was texting me along the way. Telling me I was kicking ass and to keep on keeping on.  Telling me to get out of the thunderstorm into safety.  Telling me to get the fuck off the ground and stop crying and start running.  Telling me it was going to be ok. Again.  That I would be ok.  Again. 

So, I try again.  I will not throw myself into this just yet.  Geez, I am not even running now.  Imagine that, I'm not even running and I sign up for a marathon.  Huh, I'm really stoopid.  Like you didn't know that already. I will continue my swimming.  Work toward my goal of kicking ass in my June triathlon relay. Let Coach tell me when I can start back with the run.  It will be baby steps.  It will not be much.  It will not be far.  It will get me to the start of training healthy, not injured.  Something I haven't done before.  It will be as he promised.  I hope. God, I hope.  I need to still get over the speed thing.  I need to let that go.  I will not be doing sub 9:00 pace on anything ever again.  I'll be lucky if I'm doing sub 11:00's.  That's a hard thing to swallow.  But, I have to if I want to get to the start line in one piece. 

Another reason I had to do THIS marathon is the people. It's always about the people.  But, this one will be special.  Hopefully, my family will finally show up.  They better.  It's only steps away for them.  Hopefully, many friends will as well.  Even better is how many friends signed up for this race yesterday.  They got on the train quick too.  The race sold out in 12 hours.  Wow.  
My best friend from grade school is doing the half.  I ran my very first half marathon (my running debut) at Rock n Roll Chicago with her four years ago.   We had not seen each other in many many years and reconnected over running (and wine).  My long time swim teammate and fellow coach is also in on the half. My high school sophomore dance date is in for the full.  Apparently, he's a kick ass runner these days and will certainly BQ once again at this race.  We recently reconnected and I can't wait to see him again. My former running partner and now co-manager at work is in for the half. In fact as I saw the slots filling up quickly yesterday I made her sign up over lunch to secure her spot. Several of my Daily Mile local running buds are in as well, including my Daily Mile bestie.  I'm expecting him to run an ultra that day -finish his marathon in kick ass time and then come back and drag my ass over the finish line somehow.  It's what any good friend would do after all.  Amirite? ;)

So, there ya go.  I try again. 

Hopefully, three. 

I can't hardly wait. 


  1. Love the pics, love the stubborn bloody-mindedness in the face of all your previous disappointment. I wish you all the best. Now get off your butt and start running again, Andrea, so that this doesn't become a hometown DNF.

    1. Thank you, J. I'm going to certainly try. Again.

  2. You will rock this love...I simply know it with all my soul. Can't wait to cheer you on!!! It's my turn to have the DO EPIC SHIT sign. Oh yes!

    1. I hope you will also drag my ass along when I can't move any longer. It would only be fair payback. ;)