I'll be the first to admit that I'm pretty darn stubborn. I love overcoming challenges just for the personal thrill and satisfaction so when I had to miss three big races I had planned due to injury, I was determined to make up for it. So, I did what I said I was not doing this year - I signed up for the Chicago Marathon.
Don't get me wrong, I had a fantastic experience running my first marathon in October. It was more than I expected; an overwhelming combination of accomplishment, gratitude and just pure satisfaction. It was that big crazy goal I had set for myself and the thrill of running 26.2 miles was worth every hour spent training. But it was also incredibly time consuming. When I signed up for my first marathon I was solely focused on the physical aspect - could I run that far? Sure. I largely underestimated how much time I would spend preparing for the race; how many weekends would be consumed by long runs and recovery time (I watched every season of Gossip Girl in the process).
And that time factor is what made me initially decide to pass on running another marathon this year. It was to be the year of the half marathon - a more manageable training schedule and a big personal record I was working toward. But with that suddenly taken away from me, I needed a new goal - something to work toward and prove to myself as a comeback.
I'll be running the Chicago Marathon as part of the American Cancer Society's DetermiNation team in honor of my two grandmothers who I both lost to cancer. Last year I raised over $1,800 thanks to the generosity of my family and friends and felt so incredibly lucky for each of the 26.2 miles thinking of all the support I had both near and far.
So here we go again. Another marathon, more fundraising and another training cycle ahead of me (this time with some help from Nike Training Club on their official Chicago Marathon training team).
Let's do this.
There are two things that I love most about running: clearing my head and rocking out to a killer playlist. I don't think I could survive a long run without my headphones and Spotify and I must say, after the Chicago Marathon last year, I have carefully curated the ultimate running playlist. I seriously look forward to it and can often be found rapping while running around the city (yes, I'm that girl).
I know I always love finding new running tunes so I wanted to share ten of my favorites:
- Pursuit of Happiness // Kid Cudi
- Hypnotize // Notorious B.I.G.
- Homecoming // Kanye West
- Under My Thumb // The Rolling Stones
- Money Ain't A Thang // Jermaine Dupree
- Pumped Up Kicks // Foster the People
- Still Not A Player // Big Pun
- Put It On Me // JaRule (I started every. single. run. in 2012 to this song)
- No Diggity // Blackstreet
- Little Talks // Of Monsters and Men
Can you tell I'm a little bit obsessed with 90s rap?
What are your favorites on your workout playlist? I'm marathoning again this year (more to come mon that soon!) so I have many, many miles ahead of me and could always use a refresher on my Spotify. Also I'd love to follow you on Spotify - leave me a comment with your username so I can check out your tunes.
Yesterday I had to act on one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, to return Holden to the beagle rescue I adopted him from last year. It was something I knew had to happen and had been in the back of my mind for the past few weeks. Moving turned Holden's world upside down and triggered very severe separation/space anxiety for him - it didn't matter whether I was gone for even just an hour, he barked and paced and generally was miserable. I was in complete denial at first; this had never been an issue in the past. He was fine when I left and I never heard him barking when I got home - were my neighbors just awful? Were the walls in my new apartment really that thin? We tried it all, ranging from Thundershirts to classical music and even the dog version of Prozac, nothing helped and time was very quickly running out before my pet rent would be revoked in my new building. I invested in a wireless camera so I could monitor him while I was gone - this is when it really hit me. Seeing my mellow, easy going dog pace and bark and look so unhappy was heartbreaking and I realized that this just was not what was best for him anymore.
I am confident that Holden has many, many great days ahead of him and that he will find somewhere that he feels safe and is able to not suffer from stress and anxiety. I'm in close contact with his foster mom (the very same home he stayed in before I adopted him) and received a photo of him today lounging in her backyard sunning himself. I have missed that little guy from the second I walked in the door without him and have appreciated all of your kind words & thoughts more than you'll ever know. I can't wait to see how happy he is going to make a new family but wish with every ounce of me that he was still part of mine.