Thursday, March 27, 2014

Race Confirmation

Last year was a year of luck.

I was able to register for two highly desired races before they closed - the Chicago Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon.

Shortly after their 2013 close, both races announced that 2014 would be their first year of a lottery registration system.

So many questions surrounded the word "lottery." It's not a word that's ever been associated with Chicago's race. Then again, Chicago didn't used to be so big. Or so popular. I've heard stories from mid to late '90's participants who signed up for the race weeks before. It just goes to show you how the sport of marathoning has grown, and not to mention, how successfully the Chicago Marathon's management has worked to make it a truly premiere and world class race.

Earlier this year, the marathon announced a short list of guaranteed entry options alongside the much anticipated and all encompassing lottery.

Last week, those who met the parameters for one of the five guaranteed entry options - charity fundraising, legacy finisher, time qualifier, international tour partner or wheelchair athete - could register. Applicants at that time received an email following their submission letting them know their information would be reviewed. Confirmations would be emailed the following week.

A legacy finisher is someone who has completed five Chicago Marathons in the last ten years. I was lucky enough to have met the requirements and have confirmed my 2014 Chicago Marathon participation.

Wishing my friends and family the best of luck as they wait to hear lottery results.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

To Run Again

Last Wednesday was the 50th day of 2014.

It also happened to be the first day of the year I ran outside.

It's strange to say that. I've ran through most recent winters, but not this last winter. This winter has been mighty cruel.

I crossed the finish line of the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October. Following the completion of that race, I ran a handful of times before the cold set in. Then I stopped running... completely.

It wasn't just the cold that convinced me to hang up my shoes - I was done with running. Running wasn't very fun anymore. Running was something I was doing because I had commitments. I wasn't doing it for the joy of running. At least not anymore.

So a month went by, then two months, then three. In that time, little to no running happened. I didn't feel bad about it. It was nice to do a non-running exercise for awhile.

But last Wednesday was different. Spring peered out from behind the gray sky and over the ice covered lake. As the sun shined, the snow started melting. The lakefront path appeared and prompted me to pack my running shoes before heading out to work.

That afternoon I laced up my shoes for the first time in a long time. I took note of how many layers (and layers of neon colors at that) I was putting on and the gear I needed. This process that had been second nature for years I now found myself second guessing.

Running is so much different than yoga.

I started out slow on my normal route. I dodged puddles and enjoyed the sunshine. Though the run was far from effortless, it was nice to be out there again. Enjoying it.