I do marathons because it takes all of me to do one well. During the sixteen weeks of training, I enjoy the challenge of preparing my mind and body to go 26.2 miles. Marathons are my favorite race because I can relax, find my groove, enjoy the sights, scenes, and people, run hard, and draw from the excitement of the crowd.
I love the feeling of giving my best and accomplishing a huge goal. Seeing the finish line at the end of 26.2 miles makes you want to shout, cry, and laugh all at the same time. Hearing my timing chip beep is a sweet sound.
I have had races where I could have run 30 miles on race day. I have had some where I thought I was going to die at mile 22. That is where your will takes over-- where your mental strength gets you to the finish line. On those occasions I sometimes question why I’m putting my body through such torture. Yet after I cross the finish line I always say, “I’m definitely doing another one in a few months.”
My highlight of 2005 was running the Chicago marathon. To run with 40,000 people, many who had come from all over the world for the race, was absolutely intoxicating. I stretched and lined up with a group of runners from China. I ran the first 8 miles with girls from Iowa and Utah.
I enjoyed every second of the race. With streets filled with spectators ten deep (over 1 million total), we began in Grant Park, ran north through Lincoln Park, back down through Boystown (where the hot gay men dressed as cheerleaders), into Chinatown, beside Comiskey Field (in only 2 weeks from that time, the White Sox would sweep the World Series), and finished with a breathtaking view of Buckingham Fountain. I would recommend Chicago to anyone looking for the ultimate marathon experience- my expectations for this one were exceeded, as I clocked my first sub-4 hour race (3:54:10)!
My long term goal is to run a marathon in all 50 states. So far, I have completed 26.2 in GA, NC, MI, FL, and IL. My next race is the Nashville Country Music Marathon in April. Check my blog in 2026…at the rate I’m going, that’s when I’ll complete all 50!