Today was the day of the Chicago Marathon, and for the first time all year, I actually kind of regretted not putting my name in the lottery this year. I told myself I wasn't going to sign up for the lottery because I could be pregnant (I'm not), and it's so early in October that I would have no remotely cool weekends for long run training. Also, going to Chicago involves travel expenses like a flight and hotel.
But then today, as I was up early pounding out my last long run before my marathon on October 27 (spoiler alert: I didn't have any remotely cool weekends for long run training) I felt the little itch of missing out on Chicago. I think most marathoners have a special place in their hearts for their first races. It's difficult to duplicate the feeling of crossing the finish line for the first time, but there are always new reasons to keep coming back for more races. (It's crazy and beautiful all at the same time.) I spent most of my run listening to episodes of My Favorite Murder, but I took a little bit of time to reflect on how far I have come (in literal miles run and in life overall) since my first marathon nearly five years ago, and I can hardly imagine my life without running and without the friends I have made through the sport. So, even though I didn't run Chicago today, I still managed to have a lovely day, including some time for reflection.
After 15.5 miles, I picked up Ellen, and we finished my run in style, complete with sweat and stank on my part. (Then, she gave me water and banana bread and drove me home!) I think this might actually be the best last long run before a marathon that I have ever had. I kept my heart rate down, felt strong the whole time, and did not fall down, and those are all victories in my book. I haven't completely adhered to my training plan, but I have made great strides since the time three weeks ago when I ran 11 miles out of 15.5 and had my heart wondering what the heck just happened. I am proud of this progress and recovery, and I am ready to have a great race on October 27.
Something that made today great: Frozen Granita at PJ's during my study meeting
Time I woke up: 6:07 am. So there.