Kelsey and I really started getting into running half marathons right after we got married and have run 8 to date. Our friend from college Joel had trained and ran the Chicago Full Marathon last year. He told us how amazing the run was and that if we were ever thinking of doing a full, we had to do it in Chicago. We knew Chicago was a popular race and that you had to enter a lottery to even get in. So 10 months ago, figuring we’d let fate decide, we put our names down and pre-registered. A few months later fate decided, and it chose the Chicago Marathon.
We had already been doing 2x/wk short runs and 4x/wk cross-training classes so we decided to just slap on a long run on Sundays starting at 8 miles and adding a mile every week to ramp up. After we hit 15 the pain really started kicking in. With that and the preparation for our year long international trip, we kept our weekly routine but skimped on the long weekend runs for the 3 months leading up to the race.
October 9, 2016. Chicago Marathon race day. Family and friends came to town (some even flew!) to cheer us on and to run along side us. The energy on the course was contagious! There were 40,000 runners and 1.7 million spectators. The spectators lined the entire race filling the air with loud cheering and waving around funny signs (our favorites were ‘If Donald Trump can run so can you’ and ‘I’ve trained for months to hold up this sign’). Around mile 19 the pain started taking over our legs but the energy of our support group and the sheer volume from the side lines pulled us through. We ran for just over 4 hours without stopping – something our bodies had never come close to achieving before. So much love for friends, family, hitting goals, and the city from our past – Chicago!
(photo cred to our friend Lauren Ellens for the cool bridge shot)