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My Journey to the Chicago Marathon

by Meghann on October 13, 2010

I didn’t get a chance to recap my marathon training experience before the marathon, so I thought it would be fun to recount the experience now.

My Journey to the Chicago Marathon

3/22/10 – After wavering between a few fall marathons, my sister calls me to inform me she just registered for the Chicago Marathon. It’s a sign! I register the same day!


6/22/10 – I finish my training plan and announce a goal to BQ. (a goal that is later changed when reality of race day sinks in)

Screen shot 2010-10-12 at 2.11.15 PM.png

7/1/10 – Let the training begin! I officially start my training plan for the Chicago Marathon.

7/5/10 – Time for new shoes! I purchase a new pair of Brooks that would eventually take me all the way through training to the finish line of the marathon on 10-10-10


7/10/10 – I run my first 12 miler in the Miami heat and start to question why I’m training for a marathon in the heat of summer?!?!?

7/17/10 – Redemption run. 13.1 miles in 02:01:09. Learned leaving early to avoid the heat is a necessity.

Screen shot 2010-10-12 at 2.20.36 PM.png

7/18/10 – Finish my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. Now that I’ve crossed that off the list I can fully concentrate on marathon training.


7/23/10 – 15 miles. Still complaining about Florida heat.

8/1/10 – The 14 mile run that turned into 12. This is where I discover that knowing when to stop is just as important as pushing yourself in marathon training.


8/7/10 – 14 miles! Lesson learned? Gatorade is a necessity in the heat. Thanks to a mix of Gatorade and Water I was finally able to quench my thirst. It gave me the burst of energy I needed to succeed.


8/15/10 – 16 miles in Chicago during the Healthy Living Summit. Running 16 miles with my fellow bloggers was just the boost I needed to keep my head in the game. I couldn’t wait to return to Chicago for the 26.2!


8/21/10 – 18 miles. 14 on my own and 4 with Derek.

8/28/10 – My first 5k of the season! I didn’t PR with a finish time of 24:08, but I did win my age group!


8/29/10 – 12 mile run followed by a lovely brunch with friends.

8/31/10 – Reality Check. I re-examine my goals and set aside the goal of BQing for another day. Instead I decide to aim for a sub-4:00 marathon.

9/4/10 – Completed my first 20 miler while on vacation in New York City with a few friends.


9/5/10 – WTC Freedom Run 5k. My first 5k ran side by side with Derek.


9/11/10 – Autumn Rock n Run 5k with my brother. I pushed him to a sub-27 5k πŸ™‚


9/12/10 – 12 miles with my sister – our first one together of the season!

9/18/10 – My second 20 miler for marathon day. This time in Ft. Lauderdale with my sister. It was hot and long, but we learned a very valuable lesson – that ALL long runs should end in massages. πŸ˜‰


9/25/10 – Miracle Miles 15k – an unexpected PR while trying to hold back.


10/2/10 – My last double digit run with my sister before Chicago. Ekkk!!! πŸ™‚

10/8/10 – Made it to Chicago! Let the countdown begin!


10/9/10 – Exploring the city of Chicago. Carbo loading with Smoothies, Pizza, and Pasta. Mmmmm…..


10/10/10 – Marathon Day!!!


Despite the heat (and being separated at mile 16) my Sister and I were able to cross the finish line holding hands. Finishing Strong just over 4:15.


Incredible. Totally worth every bit of blood, sweat, and tears I put into this race. Can’t wait for the next one. πŸ˜‰

Oh yeah… the next one.. Umm… I may have…. you know… signed up for another marathon…. in… umm… 8 weeks.


More info to come! πŸ˜‰

1 Tabitha (From Single to Married) October 13, 2010 at 12:36 pm

you’re amazing – what an inspiration!

and wow – another marathon, you’re my hero!
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2 Theodora October 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Ahh!! I’ve been flirting with the idea of signing up for another one soon to redeem running my first one on such a hot day!
Theodora recently posted..GPOYW- That time I crossed the finish line at my first marathon

3 Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope October 13, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Another one in 8 weeks?! you rock!
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4 Kelly October 13, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Haha you are crazy!
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5 Gavi @ GaviGetsGoing! October 13, 2010 at 12:45 pm

What an incredible journey you’ve gone through! Congratulations on all that hard work–you must be so proud of yourself!
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6 ida October 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Cute recap of your training! I think it’s great that you’re doing another race in 8 weeks. Hopefully you’ll have good weather and can get that sub-4!

7 Erin October 13, 2010 at 12:49 pm

You are amazing!!!

8 Jess October 13, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Oh my gosh! I can’t imagine AT ALL running 2 marathons in that span of time. Wow!
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9 Brittney October 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Whoa another one in 8 weeks! You are hardcore! That’s awesome though!
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10 Melissa @ Running with Needles October 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Awesome post. I think the road leading to race day is just as important as the race itself, and your recap was perfect.
And another marathon in 8 weeks? You’re hardcore!
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11 Smash @ Appreciate The Now October 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Cool recap — nice to see the start-to-finish.

12 Clarkie October 13, 2010 at 1:01 pm

That is fantastic! I have my finger on the submit button for my first full marathon this spring!

13 Anne October 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Girl, you crazy!

Are you still attempting to qualify for Boston? A friend of mine did the other day. I’m so proud of her!
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14 Madison October 13, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Whew! Glad I’m not the only one thinking about signing up for another race so soon after Chicago… I’m toying with the idea of running another one in, ohhhhhh I dunno, 4 weeks?! I also want to break the 4 hour mark and I’m pretty sure that would have happened last Sunday if it weren’t for the crazy weather!

P.S. It was nice meeting you, Kelly, and Bobbi in the hotel lobby post race!

15 Diana October 13, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Wow so incredible!! I’m thinking about signing up for my first marathon in Feburary in Jacksonville. I’m super excited/ nervous just thinking about it (especially training all winter in Philadelphia) but I love reading your blog for inspiration!!

16 Lindsey @ SoundEats October 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm

The Donna Full Marathon in Feb? My husband’s doing the full and I’m starting training for the half – my first, eek!! Jacksonville’s pretty great! πŸ˜‰
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17 Diana October 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Yes that’s the one!! So exciting. I’m training for the Philly half now (my first) which was supposed to a full for me until I sprained my ankle. I’m getting pretty excited for the Donna marathon though. I even thinking about starting a blog about my training/ fundraising. We should keep in touch- it’ll be good to know of other people who are going to be there!

18 Lindsey @ SoundEats October 13, 2010 at 10:17 pm

We live in Jax so we’ll def be here. Email me at lindsey @ (no spaces) if you end up coming down!

Meghann, thanks for letting me take over your comments. πŸ˜‰ Want to come up and run the Donna half or full in Feb or the Gate River Run in March? πŸ˜€
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19 Laura October 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm

You’re crazy! πŸ™‚ I’m actually planning on registering for the 5k race there. I’m not quite up to marathons yet lol

20 Kim October 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm

What an inspiration you are! I’m training for my first one – Houston 1/30 – and I’m just praying to be able to finish in legal time (6 hours). Excellent training and race recap!!! =)

21 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday October 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Wow, and another marathon in 8 weeks too!
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22 Elizabeth October 13, 2010 at 1:48 pm

It’s amazing how much planning and training really goes into running any race let alone a marathon. I say you might as well go for the next one while you’re pumped and already have the training mileage under your belt. You go girl!

23 rachael (peace, kale, and yoga) October 13, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Love the recap! Can’t wait to hear about your next running adventure.

24 Heather October 13, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Nice recap! Reading all of the marathon recaps really makes me want to run one!
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25 Kelly Winston October 13, 2010 at 2:12 pm

You inspire me to run marathons again, you look amazing, and have so much drive!

LOVE the Brooks by the way, you love them don’t you!

<3 Kelly

26 Lisa October 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Great recap! I learned the hard way this summer too…gatorade is crucial when running in the heat!
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27 Erin October 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm

of couse you couldn’t pass this one is presented by Publix…you should totally be their

you and your blog have inspired me to push myself further then I think I am capable of…I am running the 5k in the Baltimore Running Festival this weekend…hoping for a PR!!

28 Amanda (Eating Up) October 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm

What a nice way to remember all your hard work!
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29 Alison (Ali on the Run) October 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Another marathon?! Girl you are a total rock star. Loved this recap, especially since I remembered reading so many of those posts along the way (I started reading your blog about 1/3 of the way into your training). As I’ve commented before, you’re so inspiring and are slowly convincing me to sign up for a marathon of my own…
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30 silva eclipse October 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm

wow…isn’t that a lot to put your body through in such a short span of time (granted I’m not any sort of expert on this and maybe it’s not, but it certainly seems like an intense thing to do…)?

31 Ali October 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm

This is a great post! I love seeing your training plan. After having a blast with my first half , I am very interested in doing a full. Congrats!
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32 grocery goddess jen October 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I say this totally lovingly, you are crazy, girl! I can’t wait to see how this one goes. It’s so fun to watch you train and race.
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33 Meredith October 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I can’t believe you ran a marathon on 3-month-old shoes! I always buy my race shoes about 3 weeks before my marathons so that come race day they are broken in but still have the support of newer shoes.

34 RunningOnCoffee October 13, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Yeah, I’m curious to know how many miles Meghann typically puts on a pair of running shoes. I find I get about 300-350 miles out of a pair of shoes before I start experiencing discomfort in knees or shins. For my spring half marathon, I started wearing new shoes 2.5 weeks before the race. For the September half I just ran, I started wearing my new shoes about 3.5 weeks before the race.
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35 Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa October 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm

8 weeks?! That is insane! Are you going to attempt to BQ again?
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36 Erica October 13, 2010 at 3:01 pm

What a great post! So fun to learn how you got to Chicago. I like that your next one is sponsored by Publix- love that store <3
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37 MaryBe October 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm

That is just crazy talk! I think you might be addicted to marathons!
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38 Leah October 13, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I LOVE this type of recap! I don’t recall you doing something like this before… maybe you have. I hope you always do it! It’s great!

39 Natalia - a side of simple October 13, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Great recap post! You are amazing and such an inspiration. πŸ™‚
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40 Lizzy October 13, 2010 at 4:03 pm

you are a freakin rock star doing another marathon in 8 weeks!!!!!!!

41 Andrea (@ Puppy Dog Tales) October 13, 2010 at 4:12 pm

You crazy girl….but that’s why I keep coming back. πŸ™‚
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42 Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow October 13, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Oh my gosh lady…look at the year you have had! Awesome recap. πŸ™‚

43 Clare @ Fitting It All In October 13, 2010 at 4:35 pm

You are crazy. But also inspiring! I have race fever too:)
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44 Lisa (bakebikeblog) October 13, 2010 at 4:48 pm

What a great recap idea πŸ™‚
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45 Lily's Health Pad October 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Very exciting news!!! I can’t wait to hear how you’re going to tweak your training for it.

46 Emily October 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I have never been a Gatorade drinker – but after the race last weekend I’m totally a convert. Definitely helped!!
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47 Jae October 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm

LOL πŸ™‚ I just love the way you threw that out there πŸ˜€
I cant wait to hear the recap! πŸ™‚

48 Kristie October 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Hey – I’m actually signed up for that one! My sister is going to school in West Palm so I figured I would get in my very first marathon and a visit to her (I live in WI) :). Can’t wait for details!

49 KatieF October 13, 2010 at 6:46 pm

I did Palm Beaches last year! Planning on the half this year due to some health issues. πŸ™‚

50 Sammi October 13, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Ohh my home!! I can’t imagine it being pretty to run here though lol.. it certainly will be flat!

51 Sammi October 13, 2010 at 7:02 pm

PS you must eat here while you’re in Palm Beach:

52 Monica C. October 13, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Love the training recap! I think you’re going to crush your next marathon. Last year Chicago was my 1st full marathon. After a disappointing time (many people enjoyed the weather but it was 29 degrees at the start and I was frozen), I decided to get my runner’s redemption. I ran Mardi Gras 12 weeks later and took 23 minutes off my time! I say go for it!
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53 RunningOnCoffee October 13, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Another in 8 weeks!? Amazing! What will your goal be for this one?

After I didn’t meet my goal for my 2nd half marathon I started thinking about when I’d run my next and that summer training really blows! (I think that’s why I did better at my first half, back in April when it was 50 deg and I trained in the winter…instead of upper 80s – low 100s! this summer, and mid 70s for my September half, ugh!)
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54 RunningOnCoffee October 13, 2010 at 7:35 pm

PS, I liked watered down gatorade for some of my longer hot runs too! (but long for me was more like 8-11 mi)
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55 heather October 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Awesome! I was thinking about signing up for that one too!

56 Lauren October 13, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Wow girl you are just unbelievable!!!
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57 Dori October 13, 2010 at 8:57 pm

You’re like a much more hardcore version of myself. I come home from a race and the first thing I do is sign up for another — but not marathons πŸ™‚
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58 Emily [Emilyeatsclean] October 13, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Great recap. Another marathon already?? Way to go! I’m still trying to decide which marathon will be my first?!?! Any suggestions?
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59 Jessica@tastyandtrim October 13, 2010 at 9:36 pm

You are such an inspiration! I loved reading your recap – it definitely gives me a better idea of what training for a marathon is like. You’re amazing for signing up for another one already! I hope to at least complete one, one day πŸ™‚
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60 Erin October 13, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Loved seeing this breakdown! Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚ Good reference for those of us considering a marathon . . . still not sure but you certainly are a great inspiration!

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