Running has given soÂ much to my life.
Itâ€™s given me the confidence to believe in my dreams. I neverÂ thought Iâ€™d be able to run a marathon, much less four, taking off more than an hour off my time from the first to the fourth.
Itâ€™s given me some pretty incredible opportunities, from a race and trip to the BahamasÂ to hangingÂ out with the Runnerâ€™s World staff and was even being included in their top fave Twitter people.
Itâ€™s given me some free therapy and massive endorphin rushes.
But most importantly, itâ€™s given me friendship. AshleyÂ and I became so close because we logged a million hours running together as we trained for our first marathons. Itâ€™s given me a new outlet to connect with my coworkers. Itâ€™s brought countless people into my life that I would not have met were it not for running.
So I am REALLY excited to announce that Iâ€™ll be running the Chicago MarathonÂ as part of the 26 StrongÂ program with Saucony and the Competitor Group. The program pairs experienced marathoners with first-timers to coach them through the experience.
I remember reading along last year as MicheleÂ trained with her sister, and getting the warm-fuzzies as they shared the experience of training for Honolulu.
Iâ€™m really excited to be training with my good friend Heather. We only met this time last year (in fact, yesterday was our friend-a-versary), but she quickly became one of my closest and most supportive friends. Our friendship has given me so much, and I canâ€™t wait to pay that back by supporting her through training for her first marathon.
A note on choosing to work with Saucony: those of you who have read this blog for a long time know that I have been brand-loyal to New Balance for the past few years since they were my client at my last job. But I actually ran in Sauconys for years before working with New Balance and ran my first two marathons in Sauconys. I didnâ€™t take this decision-making lightly because I know how it looks when Iâ€™ve written about one brand for years and am all of a sudden taking an opportunity with another brand just because itâ€™s an awesome opportunity. Iâ€™ve turned down paid campaigns for other shoe brands because of my loyalty, but I ultimately decided that I felt comfortable working with Saucony since I ran in their shoes for so long before making the switch to NB.
So, two marathons this year â€” ah! I cannot wait, though. This is going to be a truly memorable experience, and I canâ€™t wait to share it all with you.