Last year my experience at the Chicago Marathon was less than stellar (both because of logistical hang-ups and a crappy race). After having a much better experience running the Madison Marathon less than a month later, I swore that I was taking a break from the big-city races and sticking with smaller fields.

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Turns out Chicago actually owned me!

However, my swearing off of the Chicago Marathon did not keep me from having major FOMO (fear of missing out) yesterday as I virtually stalked followed my friends who were running on social media. Since I started running again in 2011, fall has meant one thing – marathon season. Even in 2014 when I had my hip surgery, I kept tabs on the training of those around me and lived vicariously through their triumphs and successes.┬áMy love of the marathon is evident from my racing history – as I have run more marathons than races of any other single distance. Even if I haven’t signed up for a race I try to follow a marathon (or marathon-lite) training schedule because that’s when I tend to feel my strongest.

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Much better race just a few weeks later

There is just something special about the marathon that I haven’t experienced in a race of any other distance. Running a marathon is transformative. I have never finished a race being the same person I was when I started. No matter how the race itself goes, something happens to a person through the course of all those miles. It’s hard not to be just a little bit jealous sitting on the sidelines while others get to crush their goals! It’s been over three years since I’ve been able to actually train for a PR effort race and I am both physically and mentally itching for a comeback.

Of course, I’m not sure how I’ll feel after the baby is born – but in any case it’s all exciting things to look forward to in 2017!