Chicago Marathon Training and Flashback to Past Marathons

The first cycle of my 12-week Chicago Marathon training plan complete!  I got through it unscathed!   It’s hard to believe only eight weeks remaining until the one marathon I am running this year.

Chicago will be my sixth marathon since I ran my first one (Shamrock Marathon in VA Beach back in 2005).  I thought the first one would be my final one because it turned out to be a painful experience due to lack of training.

Yet three years later I ran my second one, RNR San Diego where I qualified for Boston.  Of course, I couldn’t pass up Boston, so the following year in 2009, I crossed the finish line and was proud to be part of a historic race.

It would be another five years until I ran another marathon.  I took a long ‘maternity break’!  This time I tested my luck by placing my name in the lottery for NYC Marathon.  It was the least of my expectations when I was selected.  I recently gave birth to my second daughter and I was still breastfeeding during training for the marathon.  But I took it easy on myself and trained to finish.

I loved every minute of NYC Marathon despite the 35+mph winds! One of the many challenges was right at the start – fighting the forces of the winds on top of the Verrazano bridge. You know how the best feeling is when you rise on top of a challenge? When I crossed the finish line in NY, I had a swell of emotions explode into a flood of tears. I was relieved and ecstatic and encouraged I still had it in me after a long break and caring for two kids. I was so encouraged I plotted my next marathon. Another lottery race – Marine Corps Marathon. And guess what?! I got lucky again!!

Marine Corps Marathon in 2015, my fifth marathon. This time I wanted to train for time – run under four hours. Although the race wasn’t as exhilarating as NYC, MCM had its own unique ambiance. I appreciated the patriotic vibes and honored the Marines who made a big sacrifice for our country. I surpassed my goal and finished 8 minutes faster than my goal time.

So here I am present day. Again with luck on my side, I won the lottery to run Chicago. Unfortunately, my training just began. A few weeks ago, I had a follow-up appointment with my podiatrist for another set of x-rays to verify my stress fracture has healed. I was nervous even though I knew I was fine.  I had nagging soreness in my right calf but it was probably due to my muscles reacting to undue impact after several weeks off. The podiatrist gave me a thumbs up!

Four weeks later and I feel good with the amount of training I’ve accomplished, so far. I continued pool running 1-2x per week and 1 day of strength training with 3 days of running. This second cycle, I plan to add an extra day of running and gauge how I feel. I’m being very cautious as all I desire is to line up at the start line with the strength and endurance to make it to the finish.

If you haven’t checked out my Facebook page yet, I’ve been giving updates every Saturday on FB live halfway through my long run. I ran around Mammoth Lakes this past weekend but couldn’t share the beautiful views live due to lack of connectivity. So here are a few of the photos I took!  


Found a trail with a closer view of the falls.


Tough mountain run at 8000+ ft altitude


Deer and a headlight 👀😆