The Countdown …. Chicago Marathon 2013

To say that I’m not excited would be a total lie.  I’m SUPER PSYCHED about the 2013 Chicago Marathon!  This year seems particularly special since I had to sit last year out with a nasty injury.  At this point last year, I was walking again and had started running but my mileage was very low.  I was facing what would turn out to be a long, slow buildup to ensure that I would be “up and running” for a long time after my recovery.   The goal was long term health NOT the speed at which I could return to the run.  It seems to have worked well.  I’ve done a few fun things this year, including Ragnar Key West, the Lansing Marathon and a lot of races from 5K to the half marathon distance.  However, I’ve just recently noticed that my “run mojo” is returning.  I’m excited to see what that means for me and the Chicago Marathon.  Maybe I’ll be running side by side with Ritz?  Or maybe not.

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I don’t have a time goal.  I know that seems odd to so many of you but I don’t.  This is a race that fields so many people, both runners and spectators alike.  We will have approximately 45,000 runners and just under 2 million spectators.  If you are running, you don’t need to worry about feeling lonely during THIS marathon.  You will always have people around you both running and cheering for you by name.  I know from past experience that things get crowded.  I don’t want to worry about trying to weave around people rather than enjoying the journey because I’m too focused on the clock.  I just want to have fun.   I want to read all the signs.  I want to see all the crazy outfits.  I want to cheer back those who came to cheer for us.  I want to laugh and smile and high five the little ones who came out in the cold to see us crazy marathoners.  I want to be present and in the moment.    Who knows what next year will bring?  Possibly a real lottery for the Chicago Marathon?  Possibly more of the same?  There are no guarantees that there will be a 2014 marathon for me, so I’m going to enjoy this one like it might be my last.  Who really knows?  Plenty of smaller marathons that I can run for time so I don’t want that to be my focus here, in my home town, in one of the BEST marathons in the world. 

The city is ready.  The signs have been hung. 

CHI Marathon_sign - connected   CHI Marathon_old town sign

The preparations have been made.  The game is ON.  Let’s run Chicago together!

CHI marathon_start sign

** See You On Sunday ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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Livin’ The Life …..

“Comparison is the Thief of Joy”   Franklin Roosevelt

You probably won’t hear me say that I’m “livin’ the life” unless that statement is dripping with sarcasm.  While many I know are exactly where they want to be in life, or maybe even doing better than they had hoped, I am fully immersed in a very, very messy and chaotic life.   If it’s quiet in my house then the family is either sick or sleeping.  Otherwise we have total chaos, kids screaming & fighting, dogs running around, dishes falling out of the sink, laundry piled up and dog hair flying.  Is this where I expected to be at this point in my life?  I can’t even say.  I don’t think I had a “master plan” like some.  I know that I didn’t anticipate still being a resident of Illinois.  I know that I never looked at my future self and saw a “family picture” oozing with lovely, well behaved little ones.  To be honest, I’ve always felt like I was living on borrowed time so never thought much about life beyond the here and now.  And I still don’t.

While some sit around and boast about their professional accomplishments, brimming bank accounts and growing 401Ks, I just wonder how I’m going to get thru today.  I wonder who’s going to do the work piled on my desk if I get hit by a bus on the way home.  I wonder if traffic will be bad again as I try to get home in time to pick up Aby from practice.  I wonder if Michael is terrorizing the staff and students at daycare.  I wonder if I’ll be able to squeeze in my speed work before dinner.  I wonder what the hell we are having for dinner and dream that someone will cook it for me.  When to do laundry?  When will I grocery shop?  I hope the dog didn’t pee on the floor again today.  Gosh, it’s time to pay the bills, don’t forget! 

That’s what I think about.  Not retirement.  Not grandchildren.  Not my bank account or lack thereof.  Certainly not the fact that Aby will be driving a car in 4 short years.  I think about today.  The here and now.  I try to be thankful for what I have:  a family that usually loves me, a job, a house, a little ambition to be healthy and fit, a normal, messy and chaotic life.  I don’t have time to be looking to see what the neighbors are doing because that will be the exact instant the Michael is FINALLY able to climb all the way to the top of the fridge and jump.  The here and now.  That’s my life.  I don’t compare.  I don’t wonder why or why not.  I don’t think about what if or maybe.  I just focus on now.  Living in the moment.  Being grateful for the little things.  Making it happen if it’s possible.  Letting it slide if it’s not.  The here and the now.  That’s the life I live.  That’s the life I love.

Youre Exactly Where Your Supposed to be

So take a moment to think about the gifts in your life.  Acknowledge that you may not be in charge of the master plan so just sit back and enjoy the ride, even if it is a little bumpy along the way. 

** Live YOUR Life ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **