This past weekend I was in Chicago--a favorite city of mine, with plenty of things to do, see, and eat!
It was also the weekend of the Chicago Marathon, which turned out to be one for the ages, with American runner Galen Rupp winning the men's race (first American man to win it all in fifteen years), and Jordan Hasay coming in third in the women's race (a new princess of American running is born--except she's been at it since she was 16).
Read about them here:
I was staying at the marvelous Palmer House Hotel, a grand old dame of a place, with an amazing foyer and vintage photos of celebrities on every floor. And everywhere I turned, there were people in town for the Chicago Marathon. I overheard one man, in his 60s, say this was going to be his *8th* full marathon since he entered his 60s--and that he hoped to finish 26.2 in 3:45. His wife, who after an accident, was now running with a plate in her leg, hoped to finish in 4. (note well: if I'm reading the website for the Chicago Marathon correctly, he finished in 4:04 and she finished in 4:20!)
I also have several Facebook friends who were running the race, and seeing their pictures made me want to race again. I've shied away from racing since I've gotten older, fatter, and slower, content to run/walk to my heart's content. But I was clearly jealous of the fun and the swag of races, and realized I was missing something I used to enjoy. I'm sad that I'm not capable of the same speed as I was in 2011 (opening up my page on Athlinks.com reminded me I used to be able to run between 9:30 and 10 min per mile in races). But then I remembered that I used to use racing as a means to get the best out of myself as a runner--and I want to reach for the best within myself again.
So inspired by my fast Facebook friends Penny and Marlon, I've signed up for
races in 2018--no marathons, but I'm going to run 7Ks and 10Ks in the
spring, then find a really fun half-marathon to run in fall 2018. I'm going to do the Go! St. Louis Mississippi 7K in April 2018 and the Run for 21K in Clayton, Missouri in March 2018 (they have a 7K option).
what if I'm no longer able to run a 9:30 mile (sob)--I can still have
fun, and still get race swag. I miss race swag. And I miss pushing myself to better myself.