The Chicago Marathon That Wasn't

When I started thinking about the possibility of running a marathon I thought that Chicago would be a perfect one to be my first. The weather would be awesome (although I've heard of some years that got hot), it was a flat course, the crowd would give such support and motivation, and it was in Chicago - an awesome city. Then I did something crazy and ran the Clearwater Marathon on a whim. I didn't train, it was not flat, and there were hardly any spectators - the exact opposite of what I wanted for a first. My goal was to finish before the cutoff: 6 hours an 30 minutes. I completely amazed myself and ran a 5:49. I was a marathoner. Now I needed to run another. I needed to actually train and see what I could push myself to do time-wise. I registered for the Chicago Marathon. I was beyond excited.

I had set up a training plan and knew that I had to stick with it. I wanted to at least take 20 minutes off my Clearwater time and run under 5:30. Part of me hoped my training would go well and I could set my sights on a sub 5, but I wouldn't know until I started getting those long runs in. I started training, got a few long runs in and then suddenly life got in the way. 

I moved. I went back to school. I was intent of getting A's. I started working at a different location. Everything put me further away from the people I would run with and the places I would run. There were things in life that took precedence over training. Maybe I wouldn't run Chicago after all.

Saw this inspirational quote. Exactly how I felt after Clearwater. 

Then during a 4 mile run I thought about it. It was 2 and a half weeks from the marathon. I didn't train for the last one, maybe I could do this? I was pretty sure that I COULD do it, but I knew it would be harder. Last time my body was much more conditioned. I had run about 10 half marathons already and 4 of them were on back to back weekends. A few days before I had decided to register I was the Disney Half followed by a fun run 5k - the Glow Run. This time I hadn't run 13 miles since April and had only been running about 3 miles during my recent runs. This would be more difficult, but again the weather would be ideal and the spectators would probably give me the strength and motivation to get through 26.2. I probably wouldn't PR, but I would finish. I decided to run Chicago.

I got myself excited about running another marathon - especially since it was a major Marathon. I knew the experience would be very different. I received my race day information packet in the mail and it all started to become real. I followed other Chicago runners on instagram and we posted on each others pictures about the race. I decided to run a half marathon myself to see if I could do it. It was a slow half for me, but I got it done. 

I also ran 15k the weekend prior at the race for a cure.

Then it happened.
Wednesday night my toe started hurting me. It felt like it may have been an ingrown toenail, but I tend to get those often and it's no big deal. I didn't think too much about it. Thursday, however, I was at work and it hurt to stand and walk around. I took a look at my toe and it was red and swollen. Most likely infected. I hoped that the pain would stop, but it didn't. I was supposed to leave to Chicago Friday morning, and now I was calling up a podiatrist to make an appointment for Friday at 10:15am. Chicago wasn't going to happen. 
Thursday night was spent icing my toe to numb the pain. And Friday morning instead of being on a plane to Chicago, I was getting a ride to the doctor. The doctor examined my foot and said that my toe needed to be numbed and the nail cut out. He was also going to place a chemical on both sides to kill the nail from the nail bed so it wouldn't grow back. Although the doctor and his assistant were awesome, the procedure was still painful and it would take at least a week to heal.

The entire weekend that I should have been in Chicago was spent at home, not being able to put pressure on my foot. It was very painful and I was sad. 

I didn't get to run Chicago, but I did get to track runners I knew at the race. I watched the race online and followed runners through Facebook and instagram. I got to watch the first female finisher complete the marathon right under 2 hours and 20 minutes. Amazing. I got chills.

Although I wasn't able to run Chicago this year and I was pretty bummed I believe that everything happens for a reason. Maybe I will run it next year? Who knows. But right now, once I'm healed up, I'll start training for the crazy Disney Dopey challenge.