I wrote that on some social media platform this morning. After three years and ten months of waiting. A pandemic. A race cancellation. Double deferrals. A knee injury and slow recovery. And an entire spring and summer of hard core marathon training, the race is in four sleeps.
This time tomorrow we’ll be on our first leg of our Chicago-bound flight, so today is the last day of so-called normal before the race travel begins and the adventure steamrolls me towards a start line and…
Number one was so long ago I’m not sure I can remember the year. It was a local deal and I’d been rubber-arm cajoled in leading the training clinic at the running store where we all hung out. I trained by the book because I was teaching the book and I finished and moved on.
Number two took me to Disney World. I thought why just run a marathon when I can run a marathon challenge, so I “did the Dopey” and ran four races in four days, incrementing through a five k, ten k, half, and ending on my second marathon finish.
Number three was major. A major. I half-jokingly added my name to the group of folks who were entering the New York Marathon lottery in 2016 and was the only one of said group who “won” an entry that year. Won. As in they billed my credit card and as such invited me to participate. It has been my favourite to date.
Number four was a pity race. People were training. Peer pressure got the better of me and I felt a bit guilty for encouraging others to run the local race when I had (originally) no intention of doing so myself. I signed up at the last minute and showed up at the start line the morning after returning from a family vacation. I did quite poorly.
Chicago was supposed to be a redemption run for that showing.
Chicago was supposed to have been over three years ago.
Chicago was supposed to be a distant memory.
Chicago is actually in four sleeps.