September 13, 2011: Molly Strzelecki

September 13, 2011: Molly Strzelecki

On Sunday, I ran my second half marathon. I’m not saying this to impress you. I’m saying it because today, two days later, marks a milestone: while the chafing is still there (what? TMI?), I woke up with only mild soreness.


After crossing the finish line of the first half marathon I ran (okay, there was a lot of walking) in August, it was all I could do to hobble back to my car. My left foot decided did not want to participate in this walking BS any longer. As I tried to stand on it, cramping, searing pain seemed to vibrate through me. For a week afterward my foot revolted like an angry ogre (though not hairy) any time I tried to put pressure on it. A doctor at Urgent Care was no help. “Sounds like it was just overused,” he said.

My foot eventually went back to normal. I went back to not training very well to run half marathons.

So as I stood in corral N on Sunday morning, the sun poking its head above the twilight to check out the day, knowing that I was (again) not well trained for this race, I was THISCLOSE to bailing on the race altogether. I could hang out in Jackson Park for a couple hours, wait for my brother-in-law to finish the race, get our free beers, and go about Sunday! No need to potentially screw up my foot (again) for a week!

As my corral drew nearer the start line, I started negotiating with myself. “Just get to five miles.” At mile five it was, there was no pain, and it was, “Just get to mile seven—then you’re at least half way.” And it went on like that until the last mile, crossing the finish line still with no foot pain. Though my butt hurt quite a bit. And I had a mild headache from listening to my inner voice talk over itself and in circles for three hours. And as the day went on, stiff, sore leg muscles became my constant companion.

But I could walk! With both feet!


And today, two days out, it’s time to run again.


About the Author: Molly V. Strzelecki recently reunited with Chicago after a 5 ½ year relationship with Washington, DC. Find her at or @mcpolish1.

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