Eight days after falling just short in my first attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I signed up for another marathon.
So in a little less than six months, I’ll toe the starting line at the Illinois Marathon in Champaign and once again take aim at a BQ mark.
It will be my first non-Chicago Marathon, and until very recently — like, the moment I decided to do the Illinois Marathon — I never thought I would be excited to run a smaller full mary without all of the hoopla of an urban behemoth like Chicago or New York or London. But I am.
Absolutely, yes, I love the Chicago Marathon with all my heart and always will, and I plan to run it for the sixth time next fall. But this spring race in Champaign, with less than 2,000 marathoners and 6,000 half marathoners, will be a welcome change. New scenery, a more intimate setting, and for me, all about the running.
My body is still healing from the beating it took on Oct. 12. But, thanks in large part to the kindness and support from friends and strangers alike, my heart has healed from the disappointment of not reaching my goal. As one friend put it, “This story is not about the fall. It’s about the rise.”
I have some unfinished business, and I’m up for the challenge. And April 25, 2015, will be here before I know it. — Mags