Monday, March 8, 2010

Chicago Marathon 10.10.10

Last Tuesday, practically on impulse, I signed up for the Chicago Marathon! This will mark the first time I will have ever trained for a marathon, run over 16.5 miles, and ran for over two hours in my entire life...and I'm extremely excited!

I chose Chicago for a multitude of reasons including:
1) Bank of America is the official sponsor which means I got a $50 discount.
2) Chicago = Illinois = my homestate = my parents and high school coach can come.
3) Timing - allows me to get my feet wet in a marathon as my first serious effort, and gives me ample time to run another one if need be.
4) It's somewhat flat. Although there are lots of turns, and the weather can be iffy, it's got great crowd support!!

Luckily, there is an Athlete Development Program that both Danielle Walther and I qualify for, in which we get private toilet facilities, separate start/finish tents, and private gear check! It will be pretty cool to toe up to the third largest marathon in America with a fellow Charlotte Running Club teammate alongside me. :o)

Just signing up for the marathon showed me who really cares about me, and I was very appreciative of all the feedback I've received from people over the last week.

First, I was more thankful than EVER to have parents who love running and who have run a handful of marathons in their lifetime. Upon hearing the news, my dad immediately went into planner mode as my official Chicago guru. Since he wants me to have the most comfortable, stressfree experience as possible, he immediately recommended that I stay as close to the start line as possible. Upon hearing the somewhat expensive rates, he did not bat an eye, and said, "Trust me, Caitlin, it will be worth it...." Putting complete faith in his words, I clicked to reserve the Official Headquarters Hotel for the marathon, at the Hilton Chicago...approximately .4 of a mile away from the start!

In an effort to rationale paying two hundred some odd dollars for a room, it will reduce the stress of worrying about logistics of getting to the starting line. Most importantly, the closer I am to the start, the later I get to sleep in! It will also be a mini vacation for my parents and they always deserve to be spoiled. :o)

Next, I am tremendously grateful for Mark Hadley's advice as to which marathons would be good for me and also for allowing me to consult in his coaching expertise for some marathon training plans/ideas. He believes in me and is so enthusiastic in helping me to achieve my running goals.

My high school coach, Gary Holda, has run 50 or more marathons and he also has been instrumental in figuring out what the next steps are. Of course, Garrett Bullock is offering his undying support because he knows that I'm also doing this marathon to keep myself occupied when he's off playing for the Houston Astros on a minor league team somewhere.

Of course, all my CRC buddies have been awesome...Aaron might even train for an ultra, so that he can train with me some in the fall for my long runs. :o) With the shape that Chad is in, he and I might even be able to run the marathon together!

My goal is to go into this marathon and make the most of it as I can, given all of the circumstances at the time. Afterwards, you can definitely be assured that I will be attending a show at Second City, my favorite improv comedy club ever...that I have not been to in over 10 years.


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