Chicago Marathon Training Reality

Chicago Marathon Training Reality

I’m so excited to see many of my friends running the Chicago Marathon in less than a month. I love reading all their Facebook and Instagram posts about their excitement, concerns, fatigue and nerves. 

For example, here’s my friend Renee who’s running her very first marathon! This picture really shows how you feel after a “long run.” Her blog post, “What I Didn’t Know but Probably Should Have” on her blog, The View from the Cheap Seats says it all!

Chicago Marathon Training Reality

As runners, we are all have our own personal training experiences. But eventually we all seem to go through the same pre-marathon training process:

Things that happen to you before running a marathon. 

1. About 6 weeks before the race you will hate running. As a matter of fact you will probably dread going out. This feeling will go away as soon as you’re out the door. Enjoy the long runs. They should be the easiest, slowest miles in your training. Take in the scenery, music, podcast or book you’re listening to. 

2. You will panic. Every twinge, soreness or pain will make you think you have a stress-fracture. According to Runner’s World this is totally normal and actually a great sign that your body is healing and getting stronger.

Chicago Marathon Training Reality

3. You’ll want to wrap yourself up in bubble wrap. Every branch, staircase, rock or acorn on the ground will look like an obstacle ready to trip you. Relax and stay alert! 

Chicago Marathon Training Reality

4. You will stay away from anyone who has a sniffle. You’ll hear that sneeze and run the other way. I work in a school so that’s pretty hard to do. Just be sure to take your vitamins, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep and “try” and stay away from anyone with a cold before the race.

5. You will question everything you’ve done. Did I run enough? Did I run fast enough? Will I make the marathon cut-off time?  You’ve done the work! Now trust the training.

6. You will watch the weather channel religiously a week before the race. Be prepared for any kind of weather–remember it is CHICAGO! Plan a cold and a hot race outfit. And don’t watch the weather until 2 days before the race. 

Enjoy the Race!

Chicago is a fantastic course and I loved every minute of it both times I ran it. You definitely see the city throughout that 26.2 mile run. Everything from the expo to the finish is usually picture perfect. 

Chicago is basically three routes–North, West and South!

Chicago Marathon Training Reality

Dividing up the race into these 3 routes will seem more manageable instead of thinking it as 26.2 miles. Here’s my last experience running the Chicago Marathon.

As you can see I was really excited to see that finish line. I can still remember thinking in my head… “THERE it is!” 

Chicago Marathon finish

Photo by Jean Johnson

Enjoy the last few weeks of your training runners. You are doing something that only about 1% of the population will ever do! And hell yeah, I want to hear you talk about it! And believe me you will!  Mostly because we all want everyone to run a marathon and feel this same amazing feeling. 

The feeling that you can conquer the world!

This totally made me smile–because it’s so true!Chicago Marathon Training Reality

I probably should have added one more thing to my list of things that will happen to you.

7. Non-runners will think you are crazy. But that’s ok. We are use to it, right?

What was your best marathon racing experience?

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