Friday, October 11, 2013

It's Marathon Weekend!

Well, this is it. Marathon weekend.

I've been training for 17 weeks to run 26.2 miles on Sunday morning. I'm actually not that nervous, at least as of right now. I'm kind of scared about how much Sunday is going to hurt, but I'm not really nervous about running itself... does that make sense? I know that Coach Jess has helped me train as best I could, through studying for the bar, crazy travel, and a hamstring injury. So I feel pretty ready!

I am so happy that Chicago will be my first marathon. I'm running it for the Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, an incredible institution that has helped cure my best friend of her cancer several times. They rock, and I'm so proud to be running for them.

I've met my fundraising goal of $750, but I would love to raise a bit more!! You can still donate here and help this wonderful place.

And if you want to track me, you can do so here!

I'm Feeling Thankful

I am so thankful for the incredible people who have helped me get to the Chicago Marathon start line.

Alison at Finish Line Physical Therapy in NYC and Sean at Care Physical Therapy in Bellingham, WA - I was pretty freaked out when my hamstring started becoming a real issue. What if the strain meant I couldn't train and I wouldn't be able to run? While in Washington, Sean helped calm my fears and got my hamstring healthy enough to run my dad's first half marathon with him. I am so grateful to have had that experience! Then, when I got back to NYC, Alison continued giving me the fantastic help she's given me over the past few months, whenever I've come to her with aches and pains.

Coach Jess - I have sent Jess SO many emails throughout the past 17 weeks! From random questions to panics about my hamstring, she always responds and makes me feel better. Part of the reason I feel so calm leading up to this race is that I know Jess has helped me train as best I could and has made my health the number one priority. I hope to run a strong race on Sunday, and I know she has contributed hugely to the effort I'll be able to put in.

My Trainer, Amanda - Amanda is the person who first got me to run in August 2011. Back then, it was huffing and puffing to complete a mile. Slowly but surely I built up until I could run five miles in summer 2012. Running is a huge part of my life now, as is physical fitness and healthy eating, and all these changes are due to Amanda. I also feel lucky that I can now count her as a supportive friend.

My Runner Friends - The runner army certainly is strong! I would list all the amazing people who have asked me how I'm doing, given me encouragement, commiserated over tough training runs, and just been overall amazing friends. But I'm pretty sure I'd miss at least five people since there are so many incredible runner women in my life. I am so grateful for the friendships I've made with incredible runners over the past year. I don't think I'd have signed up for the Chicago Marathon without knowing I had that vast support network behind me. Besides, if everyone else is running a marathon, it can't be crazy, right?

Katie - Throughout the first part of my road trip, when Katie was with me, I'd have to wake up early or leave her alone for hours while I fit in miles. Katie never once complained. Instead, she was super supportive and always asked how my runs went. Let's be clear -- it's hard to listen to a runner talk about their run, especially if you can't (her cancer treatments have affected her lungs so it's impossible for her to do anything that's too cardiovascularly intense, at least for now). But she always asked how my run had gone and was acted happy to listen to me babble. Katie is a huge inspiration to me, and I feel so lucky to have her as a friend.

My Family - My mom is flying out to Chicago to cheer me on (my dad and sister have to work, but I know they'll be cheering in spirit). When I was in Washington, they always helped me carve out time for my runs, even though it messed up plans for the day. My dad would make me my specially requested pre-long run foods (rice and fish) and my mom helped me massage my tight calves. They're the best!

Sourabh - At least right now, Sourabh is not a runner. In fact, I'm pretty sure he thinks all this stuff is crazy. The first time I told him I wanted to run a marathon, he thought I was joking, because we'd laughed at how ridiculous marathons were way back when I didn't run at all ("way back" being two years ago, plus change). But when I told him I was serious, that I was running the Chicago Marathon for Katie's hospital, his attitude totally changed. He has been so supportive throughout this process. I wake him up at 6:00 am as I head out the door (someone needs to know where I am!), and he always wishes me a good run. He's coming out to Chicago to cheer me on, despite having a hectic schedule with school, research, and law review work. I am so grateful for his support.

Reflections on Training

I wanted to take some time to reflect on my training cycle because, regardless of how Sunday goes, I've put 17 weeks into training for this thing. I'm proud of that on its own.

This training cycle hasn't been ideal. I drove 4,200 miles, which was hell on my legs (I'm still dealing with the hip tightness!). I traveled a lot. I had to run on super hilly trails or at high altitudes. And then, of course, I strained my hamstring right in the middle of what should have been my peak training weeks.

But I'm happy with how I made things work. I wouldn't change the road trip a bit, honestly. It was incredible to see so many parts of the glorious west, and it made running a joy, even when I was tired and achey.

I'll probably run Sunday's race slower than I would have if I'd just been in New York, concentrating solely on marathon training during my two months off between taking the bar exam and starting work. But my training memories would consist only of the West Side Highway and Central Park paths.

Instead, I look back on a training cycle that saw me running...

... on Pre's Trail in Eugene ...

... along the beach in Monterey ...

... up and down the Hollywood Hills ...

... through Venice Beach and Santa Monica ...

... along the Back Bay in Newport Beach ...

... through the Red Rocks of Sedona ...

... on dirt paths in (extremely) rural Utah ...

... past mountains in Provo ...

... along the Columbia River ...

... and past my favorite mountains in Washington: Mount Baker and the Twin Sisters.

It's been an incredible, whirlwind training cycle. Chicago, here I come!
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!!!


  1. RACE WEEKEND!! You are going to do SO great! You've done the training and logging the miles, and Sunday is all about having fun and enjoying the experience--and running smart and setting an automatic PR. ;) You only have one first marathon, so make the most of it (because I know it won't be your last). I'll be sending so many positive vibes your way and being a virtual cheerleader back here. :)

  2. I am so so so excited for you!!! ENJOY this marathon. The experience of the first you will never get back, so cherish it, even those hard dig down really deep moments. I will be routing for you all the way!!! :)

  3. You are ready for this! So excited for you, have the best time ever!

  4. good luck!!! love your training pics :) enjoy the race, you'll do great!