Well, in the past two months I’ve taken the GMAT twice, turned in 1 business school application, moved to a new apartment, raised $1,400, and run 26.2 miles. I have to write these things down in one spot to serve as a lesson in time management for myself, and for anyone else with a bad habit of putting too much on their plate. I’m somewhat notorious for this behavior, but I hit my limit this fall. While I was still able to do everything, I feel that I could have enjoyed training more if I wasn’t always so strapped for time. And would have been less of a nervous wreck (sorry family and friends). Nevertheless, without being melodramatic, the Chicago Marathon has changed my life in a number of ways.
Pride & Accomplishment: Not gonna lie, being able to say I’ve run the Chicago Marathon is a pretty cool feeling, even if it took me over 5 hours to complete. Right after the marathon I hobbled my way to brunch with the fam and received high fives and ‘congratulations’ from strangers the rest of the day. To boot, I got a nice metal with my favorite Chicago landmark, the bean. Although I may need to have a conversation with the artist behind the metal because the silver on silver isn’t doing the bean any favors. Completing a marathon had never been on my bucket list, but I’m glad I can check it off.
Running is easy!: Well kind of. Now that I’ve run 26.2 miles, short runs feel comparably easier and are actually more enjoyable. I can just do 3 or 4 mile runs on the weekend, as opposed to 10 to 12 mile runs that wipe out my entire day. Also, now that I don’t have to be concerned with pacing, I can push myself as fast as I want during a short run. That said, I’ve only gone on 5 or so runs since the marathon, so I’m not sure how long this feeling will last.
Future Marathoner: A lot of people have asked me whether I would run a full marathon again, and my answer is maybe. I say “maybe” because I never thought I would complete a full marathon, and yet here I am. I’m always open to the idea, but running the marathon was not a particularly enjoyable experience for me. Miles 1-10 were exciting and fun, especially because I got to see my family at mile marker 9, but by mile 14 the fun fell away quickly. By mile 18 I thought I was dying, by 20 I was sure I was dying. Up until mile 24 my legs felt like they were made of cement that was somehow on fire. The last two miles my adrenaline was through the roof and I felt great, but then it was over. Even though I probably won’t run a full marathon again, I’m definitely going to continue with fun runs and half marathons. For these kinds of runs I look forward to training to improve my speed and time, where as for the Chicago Marathon I was just training to stay alive.
Doing something meaningful: As I’ve reiterated in earlier posts, I think it’s important, no matter who you are or what you care about, to get involved in philanthropy any way you can. Not just for the sake of all the great nonprofits out there, and humanity in general, but for your own well being. To be part of a community that you can give back to and where you can see your impact, is worth more than a hundred metals. As part of the Urban Initiatives Chicago Marathon team, we were able raise almost $15,000 to support UI’s programming at Greene Elementary. This money will cover all of UI’s work to play costs for the entire year at Greene, which means a great group of deserving kids gets to keep playing.
I didn’t plan to write this post for Thanksgiving, but now that I have it seems fitting. While I have a lot to be thankful this year, I won’t bore you with the extended list, I’ll just give an abridged, on topic, version. I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made through UI, who supported me through my marathon training. I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to run the Chicago Marathon and that I didn’t die. I’m grateful for the kids I’ve met and played with volunteering through UI. And finally I’m thankful for the upcoming Soccer Ball!!!!! What’s Soccer Ball you ask? It’s one of the best events Urban Initiatives has. It takes place Friday January 29th at Morgan Manufacturing, a beautiful refurbished old Chicago factory. There’s drinks, dancing, fab food, and a silent auction. My favorite part is that it takes place just around the time post-holiday depression sets in, so you have something to look forward to. If you want to get involved with UI and check out the Soccer Ball, check out the links below.