Saturday, May 14, 2011

2011 starts at Chicago Spring Half

Saturday night, May 14. A year ago tonight, I was sitting here preparing to run in the Magellan Development Chicago Spring Half Marathon the following morning. I was nervous for various reasons. It was going to be my first race at the half marathon distance since I ran in the AIA Half Marathon in February 2008. It was the first race I would be running guiding by Michael Crissie whose only experience at guiding an athlete had been weeks before when I met him for the first time and we did a quick six mile run along the Chicago lakefront. As it turned out, all went well. My favorite highlight was when I had to stop to use the rest room. Michael made a mental note of all the runners passing by so that when I was ready to resume, we turned it into a game of catch-up. It took us about one mile to catch and go by all the runners who had passed us up by the rest room. As we made the final turn to home, I stepped on it and rolled through the final couple hundred meters. It was such a thrill to hear Michael's brother, Brian, call my final sprint across the finish line, the greatest final kick he had ever seen. Michael and I are set to make another attempt at the Magellan Development Chicago Spring Half Marathon which will be held tomorrow morning at 7:00a.m. I am excited about racing in the event again. It was a fun flat fast course last year and I expect the same tomorrow. Last year, I ended up breaking my personal best time at the 13.1 mile distance by thirty-three minutes and I hope to achieve a similar performance this time.

This time, I am relaxed and confident. I know Michael will be a great guide. Just as it was last year, this race will be the first of the year for me so I hope to kick off my season with a wonderful showing. I know it will be fun as I add another finisher's medal to my growing pile of medals. Last year started with this event and concluded with my debut at the marathon distance in October. Along the way I ran through the players' tunnel at Soldier Field, shocked myself with an amazing performance at the New York City Triathlon, and went the distance in my first ever attempt at 26.2. I met and befriended some tremendous people who volunteered to be my guides for each event. In several cases, I met these individuals for the first time on race day yet in very short order, we built such a quick bond that they were comfortable guiding me and I was comfortable entrusting them with my life. In 2011, so many wonderful memories await me in the water, on the bike, and on the road. It is time to go meet my 2011 destiny!

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