Some thoughts on running

This summer was what I’ll call my burn out summer. After the marathon last year, my relationship with running got complicated. I was injured because I couldn’t afford the PT I needed with my knees being how they are without insurance, and I grew to resent running in general because it wasn’t the fun, relaxing activity it once was for me. For some reason I still wanted to run this year…I really don’t know why. To be frank, I think it was FOMO. I felt like to be a runner, I HAD to run marathons, even though I hated the training involved.

I spent every Saturday last summer waking up, paying $8+ for an uber to Montrose, battling through my least favorite weather (heat) for long runs, and then sleeping literally all day after because the heat had completely zapped me. I hate the marathon distance, and I hate what training for it did to running for me. I’m just now coming to terms with that and I’m just now accepting that I don’t have to run marathons to be a runner. I just have to run.

I’m writing this to let all the other runners out there know that you don’t have to be a marathoner to be a runner. All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other. Pretty, fancy gear is fun, and I love it, and I will keep buying it and trying it, but you don’t need it to be a runner. Don’t let the fear of missing out lead to you resenting running. You are still a runner if you’ve never a marathon, if you’ve never run more than a 10k, if you’ve never gone more than a mile, if you’ve never run more than 50 yards. You are a runner if you run.

So what are my plans for Chicago Marathon 2018? Finish. I’d like to be under 5 hours. Damn, that’s liberating to type! I want to enjoy the city this year. I want to dance in Boystown, hug my parents when I see them in Old Town, take a shot of tequila and eat a street taco or whatever they have at the time in Pilsen, and I want to chug a beer right before Chinatown (they used to be under the overpass on Archer but the course changed!). I want to have fun. I want to enjoy the ride. I want to love my city and I want to love running. Most of all, I want to honor the legacy of an awesome kid who lost his battle with Neuroblastoma too soon. Those are my goals for 2018.

I don’t know if, after this marathon, I’ll ever run another. I do know I will run tons of halfs and ten milers, and I know I’ll finally rejoin a running group and FINALLY fall back in love with running. I hope that wherever you are in your running journey, this reminder helped you too.

If you want to donate to American Cancer Society, CLICK HERE. I’m Running in memory of Chase Harrison, a good friend of my little brother who passed away shortly after graduating high school.