Chicago Marathon 2017
Background Story: (Dad, I promise this is the “short version” )
On December 13th, nearly 10 months ago, I found out I received an entry into the 2017 Chicago Marathon. Before I could really start dreaming of a big goal for Chicago I knew I needed to get through the Little Rock Marathon in March before I would have a “realistic” idea of where I was at with my training.
Originally, this was my game plan: I wanted to break 4 hours at the Little Rock Marathon and then 7 months later I hoped to run a 3:35:00 at Chicago in order to qualify for Boston. Well, let’s just pump the brakes right there. All my hopes and dreams came crashing down when heart break ensued at Little Rock Marathon. I ran a 4:04:35. Less than FIVE minutes from the biggest goal I had ever set for myself. I’ll save the dramatics and get to the point. I finally started realizing THIS is a process and it’s not going to happen overnight.
Fast forward 7 months and here I am…. Sitting in a hotel room in Chicago, anxiously awaiting for Sunday morning to arrive. My coach and I have decided that a realistic time goal is sub 3:50:00 and to hopefully land somewhere in the 3:45:00-3:50:00 range. While this is not the Boston Qualifying attempt I dreamed it would be, this would still be a HUGE personal best and a vast improvement from my first marathon, which was less than 2 years ago. With all of that being said, I’d be crazy to think I got to this point on my own. My friends and family have been an amazing support system. A simple “Thank You” will never be enough, but its a start…
My Family: Thank you to my family for supporting my running journey thus far. To my dad, who supports me, loves me, attempts to understand the running jargon, and runs mile 25 of Little Rock Marathon with me…. You could never be replaced. I love you. To my sister-in-law, Stephanie, who makes a constant effort to stay in touch, ask questions, gets involved, and genuinely cares about my success. God couldn’t have blessed me with a better “sister.” To my mom, my step mom, my brothers and Steph D., You guys are irreplaceable. I love you all.
Tia: I owe all of my success to you. I would not be where I am today without you. You are the best coach anyone could ask for. Thank you for not just being a coach, but being one of my best friends. The one person who understands my inherent ability to overreact about all things running. The overwhelming excitement and the overwhelming let downs. You’ve been there. Cheering me along all the way.
Natalie: To the one friend who tells me the things I don’t want to hear, the things I need to hear, and the things that are going to make me better. You, my friend, are one of a kind. Thank you for your relentless, unwavering support since day 1. You’re the real MVP.
Lori: Where do I start? There is so much I could put here, but I’ll save the tears for another time. I am so thankful for your friendship. I am so thankful we have been able to learn and grow in our running journey together. You have been at every. single. marathon. and I could never adequately express my appreciation! I can’t wait to celebrate you crossing the finish line of YOUR first marathon in just a few short weeks.
Erica: My non-running friend who continuously engages in this process and cares about my success. Thank you for meal prepping all of my food for the week of the marathon! This was a LIFE SAVER. Thank you for calling me at 5:15 am during the week to get me out of bed in time for my runs. You would think I’m old enough to get out of bed without a wakeup call, but nope. You’re my girl. Always there when I need you. Thank you to the only person who will jam to a single Taylor Swift song on repeat during a 10 hour road trip. “Look what you made me do….” Love youuuuu.
Lindsey: Thank you for being the big sister I’ve never had. Thank you for being my official aid station, stocked with water & gatorade during my training runs. You have been one of my biggest fans this training cycle and I am forever thankful. Thank you for listening to me whine and complain about injuries, toenails, and sore muscles. I wish I could promise that you will never hear the drama again, but I’d be lying. Love you big!
Well, folks, that’s a wrap. Chicago Marathon training is complete! I could never have done this without each of you. I’m going into this race feeling more thankful and blessed than ever. My heart is so full!