I did it! I officially completed the Chicago Marathon.
I never realized how much I took walking for advantage. My legs feel like linguini, I’m popping pills like candy and using both handrails down the stairs. I even have to grab both sides of the toliet after going to the bathroom. Pray I don’t have to use a Port-A-Potty in the next few weeks.
But even though I feel like I’ve been hit by a bulldozer, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I felt great during most of the race, ran better than I anticipated (3:42, so 8:28/mile), and accomplished a lifetime goal.
I’ll be honest: Less than a week ago, I didn’t think I could do it. These last few weeks I had intense periods of self-doubt. My short, easy runs had become exhausting. My iPod was driving me insane. My once relished running “alone-time” was extended a bit too far. Two weeks ago, after another exhausting 70-minute run, I decided I was just going to run a half-marathon. Tweak my goal. Not go home…just not as big.
A half is still a feat, certainly. But then I realized that paring my mission down went against everything I believe. Michael Jordan’s quote—”I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results”—has been one of my favorites for a decade. I needed to go big or go home. I needed to accomplish what I’d set out to do six months ago…years ago, in fact.
My legs may hate me, but I know that the pain is temporary. The euphoric feeling I have from accomplishing my goal is eternal.