(Actually, due to the technical errors, I'm registered three times, so I'm waiting on a refund for two of those. Don't really want to run 78.6 miles,)
This will be my first marathon and I'm extremely excited and extremely nervous. But as soon as I finished my first half-marathon, I knew I wanted to run a full marathon someday. And I realized that there would be no better time to train than when I'm studying for the Bar exam. Training will keep me from going crazy as I try to memorize New York tort law.
There will be lots of future posts on training, my plan, etc., but for now, I wanted to write about why I've chosen Chicago. I've been planning on running Chicago for a while. When I've mentioned that I was planning on making it my first marathon, several people have asked why, since I'm from Washington State originally and live in New York City now.
So... why Chicago?
1. It's flat
This is the least concern, but it was still something I thought about since I don't particularly love hills (translation: I hate them). For my first marathon, I figured it would be nice to concentrate on the distance without worrying about climbing up huge bridges or mountains or whatever.
2. I love Chicago
Chicago is one of my favorite cities in the world. If it weren't so freaking cold in the winter and hot and humid in the summer, I'd totally live there.
3. I have family in Chicago
My uncle lives in Chicago so I'll be able to stay with his family. Even better, my parents can fly out from Washington and stay with them.
|my gorgeous cousin and her husband won't be there, but my aunt, uncle, and younger cousins will be!|
4. Chicago will have meaning for me
This is the biggest reason I'm running Chicago. And prepare yourself, because it's about to get serious.
My best friend from undergrad, Katie, is a born and raised Chicagoan who's currently in her first year of medical school at University of Chicago.
Before we met in college, she spent a year of high school being treated for cancer because she had Wilm's tumor. When we became friends, I knew she'd survived cancer, but it seemed like some horrible thing that had happened in her past, and now she was healthy and spent her time kicking pre-med's ass, writing stellar English papers, and volunteering for worthy causes.
After graduation, I was off to law school and she was taking a year off before heading to medical school. We had big plans for her first trip to NYC.
Then, in January of 2011, during a routine check up, it was discovered that Katie's cancer had come back in the space where one of her kidneys had been. I wish I could describe how great Katie is so you'd understand just how angry I was that someone as amazing as her had to face this horrible process again.
It took months of treatment and several scary initial failures with more conventional treatments before the aggressive treatments seemed to work, in late fall.
Through all of this, I felt helpless to provide more than emotional support via lots of emails and epic Gchat conversations. Mainly I tried to make her laugh as much as possible or send candy (thank you, Amazon Prime, for allowing me to get her candy corn off-season in 2 days). I was able to visit over July 4 weekend that summer, before we knew if her treatments were going to work. I remember flying home and being so scared at the thought that I might lose her.
Thankfully, by Christmas 2011, Katie was clear of cancer. I've never been so relieved... and thankful. I am so thankful that the most incredible person I've ever met is still here. I am thankful that despite everything she'd been through, Katie was set on continuing on to medical school, where she is today. And I am incredibly thankful to the institution and the people who made that possible: Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.
This place is truly incredible and I cannot think of a better motivation to get through each long, hot summer run than to think of the children who are dealing with so much more than some humidity; the kids who don't have a choice in the pain they face.
My initial goal is to raise $750 for the hospital, but I'm hoping to raise much more. I am so excited to start this endeavor. I hope you'll join me by contributing to the Lurie Children's Hospital. If you're able to donate, here is a link to my fundraising page. Any contribution at all helps support this incredible institution.
I can't wait to share my journey to 26.2 with you all!!