Friday Favorite: A Look Back at the Chicago Marathon And The Race Recap

Hello and happy Friday!!  Lila and I have been running around with errands and gymnastics so I’m just now sitting down to write for today.  Rob surprised the boys and took them to the Rangers game today, which is so fun for them and gets me off the hook for pick up, so Lila and I have the whole afternoon to chill.  I’ve been reflecting a bit on what was going on in my life this time last year.  It’s crazy how fast life passes by and how much can change in a year.  This week last year I was preparing for the Chicago Marathon and my best friend and training partner had suddenly lost her dad.  We had coffee yesterday, which was so fitting as this is the week it all happened one year ago.

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Chicago was one of those experiences that will stick with me forever.  Not just because of the brevity of the week with the loss of my friends dad, but also for the experience that the race was for me.  I went in alone, under trained and not at all in the mind frame to run a marathon.  I was tired and sad and my mind was on other things entirely.  I didn’t have a clue how I would feel when I crossed the starting line.

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I had a sweet friend offer to go with me at the last-minute, and we had such a blast exploring Chicago.  I met some amazing people and had an amazing race with a sweet new friend who I met along the way..you can learn more about that in my race recap here.  I learned the importance of being present in the moment, because I had missed my last two marathons due to my focus on pace and strategy.  I was there, but sort of wasn’t.  I hate that I got so caught up in less important things and missed the prize of finishing a marathon, finishing 3.  Chicago brought me back.  Back to why I run and to the people I love so much in this sport.  Back to what it means to be present.  And back to pizza.  I mean seriously, you have not lived until you’ve eaten a true Chicago pizza…….in Chicago.  It’s life changing.

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Life has changed a lot since Chicago.  I’m still running but I’m not training for anything.  I promised myself no full marathon’s this year as 3 in 18 months took a toll on me mentally and physically.  I just needed a break.  In the midst of my stepping back, Rob stepped up to commit to a full Ironman, which he completed in July.  As if that weren’t insane enough, we decided to throw a move into all of it.  My dad has progressed in his disease so I’m spending more time focussing on visits home and with my kids in their seasons.  It’s good.  So so good.  I’ve had more time to read and enjoy some rest, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say looking at these pictures and remembering Chicago didn’t give me an itch to compete and train.  So, perhaps Spring will bring some of that back.  We’ll see.  For now, I’m perfectly happy right where I am.  So, in case you missed my recap of Chicago last year…here it is.  I hope it blesses and encourages you.  Enjoy the season you are in, wether training for a marathon or Ironman, or just making peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches and savoring a 3 mile run……oh, and when you are running, be sure and look up.

For my full Chicago Marathon Race recap, click on this link. 

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Have you had one of those life changing races? I’d love to hear about it!

2 comments on “Friday Favorite: A Look Back at the Chicago Marathon And The Race Recap

  1. Courtney, I’m so sorry to just now respond! In my head I had already done it!! I totally get when running turns into a chore, and for that I always know when it’s time to step back from racing. Sometimes I just leave my watch at home, run with some good tunes and enjoy it for what it is. Thanks so much for reading and for sharing!!! Have an awesome weekend!!

  2. I had one of those races this past weekend except instead of running the race and learning about myself I skipped the race and learned about myself. I had a 10 mile race scheduled for Sunday and had trained hard and was prepared to get a pretty decent PR except when I got to the race walking up to the starting line was the last thing I wanted to do. After about 10 minutes of going back and forth about what I was going to do, I backed out of my parking spot and drove to my mom’s house (we are freakishly close and I’m almost 40). I’ve recently given up caffeine due to high blood pressure even though I’m a healthy eater and exercise daily. My mom gave me coffee and had one of those great mom talks with me. She told me I need to stop running to PR and instead need to run for fun. I’m a mom of 2 pretty rad girls (7 & 3), work full-time and have a great husband. Only problem is my guy travels alot and trying to get runs in often turns into a chore. So those awesome stress relief runs had turned into stress filled outings trying to get in negative splits and such (hence the high blood pressure even though I was doing all the right things). I ended up getting in 7.5 miles that day, but on my own at my own pace and it felt like Heaven the whole time. So while I will still continue to run races I will chill out on what the clock says when I finish and instead focus on how much fun I had while I was out there because running is my favorite and I want it to stay that way.

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