the twenty miler.

{ Best race photo ever? I think so.  Don’t worry, I ordered it – that baby will be guaranteed a spot on my parents’ fridge. }

Well, my friends… I have conquered the twenty miler.  If you were to ask me six months ago if I thought I’d ever be able OR ever want to run twenty miles, I would have told you that there are few things I’d want to do less.  Even after I signed up for my first half marathon, I continued to say that I’d never ever want to run a full marathon – no thank you.  But here we are, twenty days until the Chicago Marathon and you know what, I’m feeling pretty ready.

Running has given me some new perspectives on things – I’ve come to realize that I’m pretty lucky to be even able to run this far.  Running is a privilege, not a right and I know I have taken that for granted.  Throw in amazing city views and Chicago’s lakefront trails and even the worst of runs really aren’t all that bad.

I’m also incredibly thankful to be part of American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team.  Fundraising for the marathon has given me a new appreciation for the support of my family and friends – I love that I’m not only running the Chicago Marathon for myself, but in honor of my grandmothers who lost their battles with cancer.  Running while wearing my DetermiNation jersey has shown me how amazing even strangers can be and how motivating even a smile or wave can be from another team member when pushing through a long run.  Reaching my fundraising goal on the anniversary of my grandma’s death was truly a special moment that I will remember forever – I have since increased my fundraising goal to continue to support the American Cancer Society.  Currently all proceeds from ad space will be donated to ACS, you can check out details here.

Who are my runner readers?  What is the one piece of advice I need to get me through my first marathon?