It's finally here. After a long summer of running, eating like a shameless pig and ... um ... running some more (and then blogging endlessly about my training, my injuries, my frustrations and—ACK!—my shrinking muscles), I guess I’m as ready as I'll ever be.
The thing kicks off Sunday, October 10, at 8:00 am in Chicago’s scenic Grant Park near the beautiful Buckingham Fountain, and it runs up and down damn near every street in Chicago, six neighboring suburbs and three Midwestern swing states.
If you're in Chicago and you want to join the million spectators expected to show up and cheer us on (I'll be the one in the white and yellow running shoes), you can get a map of the course here.
If you can’t make it to watch but you’re so ecstatically passionate about following my progress that you want email/phone/pager alerts of my split times and my finish time, you can sign up (using bib number 42091) here.
And if you want to send flowers and get-well wishes after the race, I should be in one or two (but no more than three) of any number of Chicago hospitals for the next week.
Actually, I’m fairly confident about the race. As you more faithful readers may recall, I did my 20-mile training run four weeks ago and felt fine — except I got a pretty painful case of tendonitis in my hips a few days later. I ran the Chicago Half Marathon a week later (in 2:03!) and managed to do something bad to my right knee (probably overcompensating for the hips). And now that the hips are better, the knee is still giving me trouble. Stupid knee.
Long story short: I haven’t run in a week and a half, but my physical therapist and all my marathon-experienced friends promise me I should be fine. And even if it means I’ll be on crutches for a month after the run, I WILL cross the finish line.
And I’ll probably cry like a little schoolgirl when I do.