On the eve of my 10th Chicago Marathon, I wanted to share a few thoughts that have been in my head the last few days and weeks.
I love running. I love marathoning. It has taught me so much. I can honestly say I am a better person because of it. Running has made me appreciate so many things from family to friends to health. I can’t say how many friends I have made through running, friends that live nearby and friends that live across the country and even around the world. I’ll remain friends with some of these people forever.
Runners are a special breed. We’re weird, we can be selfish, we like to talk about ourselves and definitely like to drink beer and talk about running. And talk about running some more. We wake up early to run, we put our bodies through hell to see if we can run faster or farther than the last time. Or sometimes both.
I have had the honor of raising money for Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy in honor of little Cru. With the help of many, many people, we were able to raise over $40,000 in 2008 and 2009 to help that organization try to find a cure for that terrible disease.
I have made running goals that I have not met and others that I have crushed. It takes a great support system to be able to do this, and I could not do it without the love and support of my wife Tiffany. She’s everything to me. She’s there unwavering through the ups, the downs and the in-betweens. She’s amazing.
And our two beautiful children are awesome. Most of the time. But they are so much fun. Don’t let anyone ever tell you kids aren’t a lot of work. I run to be healthy. Several health conditions are present in my family and that’s a huge motivating factor for me. I know what I don’t want to happen to me. I want to be around forever for them and for Tiffany.
I love the rush and the feeling of working hard and accomplishing a goal. I remember the things that people say when they doubt your abilities. I still have a list in my head. I don’t hold ill will toward any of those people, it’s really great motivation.
Anyway, I don’t know if there’s a real point to all of these ramblings. I am grateful and thankful I have been able to run 9 of these in a row. Tomorrow is number 10. After you’ve had success, it’s hard to get caught up in not being in the best shape, not getting the optimal weather, or anything else that may impede you from hitting your goals. This training cycle has been all over the place and I have certainly been in better shape entering a marathon. But I do know a few things. I am excited and thrilled to be running tomorrow. The weather will be fantastic. I am happy I am healthy and will be toeing the line at Chicago again. It won’t be a PR, but I will give it everything I have. I can’t wait to hear the National Anthem and feel the goose bumps up and down my arms and neck. And then the horn sounds to start the race. It’s really amazing. I can’t wait to see the millions of people lining the streets. They’re cheering on friends, relatives and strangers all the same. The marathon is a celebration of life - those that are living it to their fullest and those that are no longer here. I can’t wait to see Tiffany, Isla and Gannon and my in-laws. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, there is nothing better than seeing them on the course. I will hit the finish line without any regrets.
Here’s to tomorrow and making it as great as possible. I can’t wait.