Why running the Chicago Marathon means so much to me

Why running the Chicago Marathon means so much to me

A year ago, when I told my parents that I wanted to run the 2015 Chicago Marathon, this was their reaction:

“Oh no! That’s way too hard on the body! What about your back? What if you get hurt?”

I herniated a disk…in 1998.

“I’m not stupid. If I get injured, I won’t do it. I like to have a one year post-baby goal. Since the baby is due in October, I think that the marathon would be a good one.”

My second son was born on October 18, 2014, via C-section. It was somewhat traumatic, as my body failed to progress in labor, so a vaginal birth was not possible. By the time that we decided to do the C-section, it was clear that we had cut it close: the baby spent two days in the NICU. All was fine, but I really felt as if my body failed me.

I then had to work through recovery from my C-section: physically needing my husband to get me out of bed, avoiding bear hugs with my three year old who had missed me, unable to lean over the baby’s changing table (okay: not having to change diapers wasn’t so bad).

In Novermber, at my six week post-partum checkup, my doctor cleared me for all activity. I went home and huffed and puffed through a 15 minute run. It sucked.

How am I going to run a marathon? I asked myself.

In May, I downloaded the Nike Running app and started running again. 12 minute miles?!

How am I going to run a marathon?

In June, I ran my 9 miler with a friend, and it felt hard. And I’m going to triple this?

How am I going to run a marathon?

In August, my 18 mile run was horrible. Really? I’m going to add eight more miles?

How am I going to run a marathon?

Those were the four negative thoughts I had. Four moments out of four months of training. Literally. I legitimately LOVED training for the Chicago Marathon.

When you’re a stay at home mom, you don’t get job promotions. You’re not recognized by the outside world, or sometimes by the little people in your home, for all the work that you do. People feign interest, but no one really cares that you potty trained Junior, or that you taught the baby to climb down the stairs feet first.

But 1.7 million people come to watch the Chicago Marathon. Those people bring signs, they yell and shake noisemakers, they cheer you on. They validate your accomplishment.

Maybe I needed the marathon to boost my ego a bit, to remind me of who I am. Perhaps it’s redemption for my body; it may have “failed” me in child birth, but it hasn’t failed me in four months of training.

With the exception of Mother’s Day and my birthday, 363 days are about my kids, not me. Well, make that 362. Sunday is alllll about Mommy.

I’m coming for you, Chicago Marathon!!!

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Filed under: Exercise

Tags: Chicago Marathon

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