Monday, September 26, 2011

Chicago Marathon 2011: 13 Days and Counting

The countdown to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon suddenly became more real. I'm running, or I'm supposed to be running, 26.2 miles in 13 days. Where did the time go?

I look at the marathon’s website on a semi-regular basis—I almost have to, or find myself doing so, as a part of my day job—and I know plenty of people, me included, who’ve been set on running it since February. I’ve written tons of marathon content (plug: you can soon check it all out at Time Out Chicago’s website, Chicago Athlete and the official marathon program), talked to enough awesome sources and attended an array of events, with more yet to come. But I didn’t bat an eye once the Chicago Triathlon passed and I knew it was time to focus on running and long mileage. And it didn’t phase me until days before that I’d be missing the 20-miler weekend thanks to a wedding, nor did I fret about not doing in the cold and rain and undesirable running weather that hovered over D.C. when I could have laced up my shoes.

Yet this whole less-than-two-weeks-and-counting thing really hit, and hard, this weekend. Was it the table conversation about the marathon Saturday afternoon? Definitely. How about the advance screening of the official marathon gear, available at Fleet Feet and Niketown? Absolutely. Or did the Breaking Through the Wall seminar, which I virtually attended for the first time via live streaming on my computer, have something to do with it? No doubt, as I heard mistakes I’ve made a million times before, tips that I knew would have been good to hear years ago when I started this whole marathon running thing, and answers to questions that I’ve been too afraid to ask at more than one point in training and racing.

Gotta love the heather blue!
As for a visual, check out the above display of the 2011 Chicago Marathon gear. If it hasn’t hit you yet that you’re running 26.2 miles in less than two weeks—and by the time you read this, you’ll likely be too sore to stray too far from your most comfy piece of furniture—maybe the gear will get you as it did me. And if not, consider it your excuse to go shopping for a new running outfit that you can break in now for race day (even if it is taboo to wear race wear from said race) or save for later to subtly brag about your accomplishment. I did (thank you, Fleet Feet), though I might be jinxing myself if I wear my newest Nike pullover out and about before the race.

Surely I’m not the only one thinking like this, am I? Are you getting nervous, anxious, excited for the aptly nicknamed #cm11 or whatever else it’s being called these days?

Note: a version of this story originally appeared at FFCheer.

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