I did it! I crossed the finish line of the Chicago Marathon yesterday with a smile on my face and the satisfaction of beating my first marathon time—only by about 50 seconds, but still! The crowd’s enthusiasm was infectious throughout the entire race, and thanks to a friend’s suggestion that I put my name on my shirt, so many kind strangers cheered for me along the way. Thanks, lovely Chicagoans and visitors!
Today I am shuffling and limping around my apartment because my right achilles tendon is incredibly tight, but yesterday I felt strong and unstoppable. Pain is inevitable when you run a marathon, but mine was manageable, and I maintained a pretty steady pace throughout all 26.2 miles. During the last few, I was even able to pick it up a bit! Of course that makes me even more eager to run another one and PR again—sub 3:55 or 50, perhaps?
After my first marathon in Milwaukee, I swore I’d never do another one. After this second one, I’m raring to sign up for another next year. The steady ache and pain of the last 6.2 miles was a new feeling that first time, but knowing what I was going into this time around prepared me to fight through it. There’s a saying fans often write on their signs for race day: The first 20 miles are all training. The last 6.2 are all determination. I totally agree. Yesterday I was all determination, and it made all the difference. (Look, that’s me in the green shirt and the coral FlipBelt below.)
One of the best parts of the Chicago Marathon, though, is how it brings together so many different people. About 40,000 marathoners crossed that finish line yesterday—from elites to everyday runners—and they came from all over the world to do it. Any event that crosses cultural boundaries and unites us all is a win no matter my finishing time. Congrats to all!