Chicago Marathon #2

 Chicago Marathon Expo

Chicago Marathon Expo

 State Street closed, this never happens / Photo by SangArts

State Street closed, this never happens / Photo by SangArts

 Me: concentration mode. Willy: being a goof / Photo by SangArts

Me: concentration mode. Willy: being a goof / Photo by SangArts

 Calm before the storm / Photo by SangArts

Calm before the storm / Photo by SangArts

 Run Forrest Run / Photo by SangArts

Run Forrest Run / Photo by SangArts

 MIle 2 / Photo by SangArts

MIle 2 / Photo by SangArts

 One More Mile / Photo by SangArts

One More Mile / Photo by SangArts

 That moment when you see your support squad

That moment when you see your support squad

 Mile 13.5 / Photo by SangArts

Mile 13.5 / Photo by SangArts

 Mile 21. Going strong, ready to hand off my portable iphone charger and finish the race. Look at that pony tail in action! / Photo by SangArts

Mile 21. Going strong, ready to hand off my portable iphone charger and finish the race. Look at that pony tail in action! / Photo by SangArts

 Photo by SangArts

Photo by SangArts

 Cheers to YOU Runners!

Cheers to YOU Runners!

 My support squad. Ryan, Karolina, Me, Wilson, Robert aka SangArts.

My support squad. Ryan, Karolina, Me, Wilson, Robert aka SangArts.

 Chicago Marathon Finisher Medal

Chicago Marathon Finisher Medal

 Got my medal engraved 

Got my medal engraved 

 Walk of a Champ / Photo by SangArts

Walk of a Champ / Photo by SangArts

On October 9th I had the opportunity to run my second marathon, ever. The one and only, amazing, Chicago Marathon. If you are planning to run a marathon one day, please put this one on your list. The atmosphere of the race is powerful and electrifying. I am absolutely hooked and can't wait to run it again next year. 

For those who don't know my running history, here's how it started: I began running 2 years ago trying to stay healthy and in shape... Little did I know, this thing called running completely engulfed my heart and soul and without it, I would never be the same. It made me stronger, more determined, more passionate. It taught me discipline and goal setting. It really did transform and changed my life for the better. I carry everything running taught me into my everyday life. With that said, I started running races and two years later I have 5 halfs under my belt and 2 full marathons, and counting. 

I didn't know what to expect when coming into this race. My training suffered a little bit from lack of time, my travel to Europe and my mom's health problems which included frequent visits to hospitals. Needless to say, I never missed a long run, which are more crucial in marathon training the those in between (I call them) filler miles throughout the week. if you are a newbie runner training for a race, do not skip your runs. It really is important to get all the mileage in, so you won't hurt yourself in the long run (pun intended ;)

This race started out with really great cool weather, I ran in shorts and a tank top knowing that it will get warmer as the day progressed. It never reached more than 65 F that day which helped me run really well. Last year it got extremely hot and humid, the last 11-12 miles were a hot mess and in almost 80F degree weather. In this marathon my splits were consistent and never did I feel the lack of energy to keep me going. I never hit a wall like I did last year around mile 20. In fact I had my cheer squad on mile 21 and all I told them was "I am ready to be done with this" and turned my focus mode on and pushed as hard as I could to that finish line. My cheer squad was there at mile 25 as well, but I was so determined and focused that I did not notice anything around me. I felt more speed at the end and suprisingly was passing other runners. I was a beast. I shaved off 25 min from my last marathon finishing in 4h:26:05. It's one of the most amazing feeling when you cross that finish line, a memory that will last me for a lifetime. 

I have a goal of one day running the Boston Marathon, for which I have to qualify for. First I must get under 4h marathons. It took me 3 days to recover completely, I was little sore, but nothing out of the ordinary. I am becoming a robocop or just pretty good at running :0

This was my second year running for charity, Girls on the Run. We were able to raise $1,120 so that many young girls may experience many joys of running, positive attitude, learn about staying healthy and goal setting. Running has taught me so much and being able support a charity I truly believe in is very rewarding. This is all thanks to you who donated! Till next year.

Thank you to all my cheer squad(my boo Wilson, my sis Karolina and her boyfriend Ryan, and Robert-my official marathon photographer). They showed up and chased me around the city and even handed me my portable charger at mile 13 and picking it back up at mile 21 (my phone was dying and I need my music!!). 

Thank you fellow runners, you are all rockstars and you all continue to inspire me. Thank you 1.7 milion spectactors for showing us love and support. Thank you volunteers for making things go smoothly and supplying us with liquids and much needed cheers. Thank you to all police officers and paramadics for keeping runners safe and for those smiles and high fives!

Until next time 26.2

Love, 

Style Your Passion

#marlenathon #styleyourpassionruns