The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is just seven weeks away, and everyone who is training for it, or another fall marathon, is nearing the homestretch of early morning long runs, and tapering is right around the corner.
October 7 will be my very first marathon, and I’ve had the amazing opportunity to train with the Chicago Area Runner’s Association this summer. Without the group, I would not be nearly as accountable on my training, motivated to pursue the 18-week journey, or excited for my upcoming accomplishment. The pace leaders and other runners have already been a great support system, and I am so grateful for the outlet CARA provides the Chicago running community.
For anyone who has been a part of a group training program, you’ll be able to relate to these inevitable moments during the process.
1. Waking up at the crack of dawn on the weekend to meet your group for the run
2. The first run with a bunch of strangers…
3. …and after that first double-digit mile run
4. When your mileage calls for 16 miles, but your usual loop is only 4
5. And when you pass another pace group for the fifth time
6. When it’s a cutback week, and you’re ~only~ running 14 miles.
7. When someone in the group is having a rough run.
8. When someone tells the group they got a PR at a recent race
9. And when a group member runs their farthest run ever
10. Basically, runners are really supportive.
11. And good at entertaining themselves on long runs, often with singing…
12. …discussing what you’re going to eat after the run…
13. …and talking about how long your nap will be, that starts at 10 a.m.