Two days ago I ran the Chicago Marathon in a time that qualified me for the Boston Marathon in 2021.
I qualified for the Boston Marathon.
This is crazy.
12 years ago, after Will was born, I started running because my sister and cousin had decided to train for a half marathon. Why not? I figured I should do something to take care of myself.
I had no idea.
Running changes everything.
Running has been my most constant companion over the past 12 years. It got me through the earthquake of shedding my faith. It held my hand through losing a friend to cancer. It gave me purpose when I wondered what I should do with my life. It has cradled me while watching my child face the hell of mental health struggles. It gave me a reason to keep moving after walking so close to death with our son after a bike accident. It brought my sister and I closer together. The amount of miles I have pounded out while processing how to parent teenagers isn’t even possible to bank. Running has given Drew and I something new to enjoy after growing up together the last 20 plus years. Running brought us our new community of friends in Oak Park.
Running is precious to me. It has given me life.
I know this probably sounds crazy to so many people. But just think of the things that energize your body, mind and spirit. For me, it’s running. It’s everything about it.
On Sunday morning I ran the fastest marathon I’ve ever raced. I beat my personal record by 29 minutes. I ran over an hour faster than my first marathon in 2014.
But, I kid you not, those are not the reasons I continue to float through my days this week.
It was spending the weekend with friends, visiting the expo, laughing over drinks, and talking about all of our dreams for the race. It was feeding a house full of teenagers that streamed in and out for three days. It was standing at a starting line, looking at the landscape of a city that I’ve come to love and feels like home. It was the bliss of the first half of the marathon and then the grit of forcing myself to finish when the sufferfest began. It was the knowing I’d see my daughter and her friends at mile 18. It was the cheers of my running friends that carried me through. It was the words I could hear on repeat in my head from all those who believed in me.
So thank you to all who helped me train and cheered me on from the sidelines. I never thought I’d get here.
As long as my two legs will let me, I’ll be out there. I hope you find something that brings you such hope and life too.