Running the Chicago Marathon last fall was physically and mentally one of the most difficult things I have done in my life. It was also the most rewarding thing I have done, and no one can ever take away the fact that I am a marathoner. The fall out from this has not been the most rewarding thing, however, as I managed to injure my foot and have endured pain more than a year later.
This doesn’t stop me from scoping out races, reading Runner’s World, and looking at my running shoes longingly every time I head out the door to another day on the exercise bike. It’s hard to motivate yourself to “bike hills” when all I can think about is going for a long run on the Constitution Trail in Normal. After two months of no elliptical at all (a serious struggle for me.. I. Hate. the. Bike), I’m going to start slow and see a specialist in the beginning of January, and hopefully 2013 will be a pain-free year full of medals and long runs for me. Fingers crossed.
Here’s a list of some races I’d love to try and earn some medals to add to my collection
The US Half Marathon– My dad mentioned how cool running over the Golden Gate Bridge would be earlier this week, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about just how cool it would be. I was lucky enough to have my first experience with the Golden Gate in a convertible, but I know running it would be way cooler. The course is right along the bay, which hopefully means it would be less hilly. November 3, 2013, San Francisco, CA
Disney Princess Half Marathon– I am a princess, Disney is awesome, and I would like any excuse to act like a 22-year old child and go back to Disney sometime soon. This race is obviously for me! Ideally it would end in me being handed the keys to the Cinderella Castle and being allowed to live there, but we can’t have it all. A few of my sorority sisters have done this race and loved it, plus you get to visit the parks for free the day after the race, I believe. Win- win situation. February 24, 2013, Disney World, FL
The Marine Corps Marathon– Most races are started with a gun (don’t ask me, I haven’t been close enough to the starting line in any of the big races I’ve run in), but this one is started with a 105mm Howitzer. That ought to perk everyone right up! I’ve been to D.C. a couple of times but always leave without feeling like I saw much. What better way to see a city than running through it? The course of this run is so moving, especially since it passes by Arlington National Cemetery towards the end and there are Marines in dress blues to award you your medal. October 27, 2013, Washington D.C.
Soldier Field 10-Mile– Running in Chicago is amazing, especially along the lakefront. This race is a good way to spend some of Memorial Day weekend, in hopes of feeling less guilty for the snacking that’s going on as well. The finish line is on the 50-yard line, not my cup of tea (unless it was the Meadowlands) but I could still see why this would be a lot of fun. May 25, 2013, Chicago, IL
Rock & Roll Strip at Night Half Marathon– There is no way I would want to run a full marathon in Las Vegas, because obviously I would want to arrive and party, or stay after the race and party. Full marathons make you too sore for that! This would be an absolutely amazing way to see Sin City all lit up; all the bright lights would be the perfect motivation to get through the 13.1 miles. November 17, 2013, Las Vegas, NV
Summerfest Rock n’ Sole– Half marathon, quarter marathon, and 5K distance right on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Aside from being less than an hour’s drive from me, I really like this race because it benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin. I ran the Chicago Marathon for Team RMHC and loved the experience, so a whole race dedicated to my favorite charity would be just as much fun. This event also gives you a free ticket to any day of Summerfest, which is definitely a great time as well. June 15, 2013, Milwaukee, WI
Tough Mudder– Not even in my wildest dreams do I have the upper body strength to do something like this, but it still would be so much fun. I want to start recruiting friends who want to do this together and not leave each other (because Brendan will leave me in his dust, I’m sure!) to avoid embarrassment or getting stuck. The 10-12 mile courses have obstacles inspired by the British Special Forces, so I know. Various locations & dates throughout the year.
The New York Marathon– This is a given. One of my favorite cities in the world, home to my two favorite sports teams (Yankees and Giants, of course) and an amazing trek around the amazing city. My dad has told me multiple times that if he were ever to run a marathon, that this would be it because it is in his home town. While I may be from Chicago, I identify with New York for sports teams and many other things, so sometimes I feel like it is my home too. TBD, New York City