Friday, August 04, 2017

Flashback Friday: 26.1 Edition

I ran my first marathon in 2004 with a whole one-and-done attitude. But by the time I crossed the starting line I knew I wanted to run a lot more of them. It's an awesome feeling to be surrounded by 40,000 strangers who aren't complete strangers because they've gone through much of the same training, injuries, sacrifices and expenses just to share this moment together. And when you spend $10 to personalize a cheap running shirt, they all greet you by name and congratulate you on earning your place in the club.

Having never run more than an 8K, I trained for my first marathon completely on my own using a borrowed training program on a used Excel spreadsheet from which I had to delete the previous user's daily mileage logs. But I spent the summer running farther and farther up and down the gorgeous Chicago lakefront and showed up for marathon day with a mix of confidence and excitement -- and ran it in 4:16 (which was just a little slower than Oprah) in what ended up being the only perfect weather (chilly and sunny) for my next six marathons.

My knees and IT bands are pretty much done with full marathons today, but I've moved into a pretty awesome retirement hobby: Disney half marathons. And they have WAY better T-shirts.

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