2014 Chicago Marathon Training Countdown: 3 Weeks

June 9, 2014 will mark the beginning of my second full cycle of Hansons Marathon Method as I train for both a PR and fourth official attempt at qualifying for the Boston Marathon at the Chicago Marathon. I am a big proponent of this training method (see my recap/thoughts here) and I will be pushing my training up a notch and moving up to the Advanced Plan this go around, with training paces synching with a “DREAM BIG” goal of sub-3:30.


At this point, three weeks out from another intense 18-weeks of training, I am admittedly feeling a crush of emotions – anxiety, excitement, hopefulness, cautiousness…but one thing that I am BANNING from my heart, soul, mind and spirit is FEAR.

You see, the Chicago Marathon will be my 10th marathon, and in the many miles I’ve trained, raced, hemmed and hawed over, I honestly believe that the biggest enemy standing in the way of my success has been myself. I’ve been so fortunate to have immense support from so many – family, friends, members of the running community – all who’ve lent their ears, their words, their hugs, and their cheers – and I’ve been blessed with thousands of healthy and strong miles. I’ve come so far, and I know that it’s time for me to push even further.

I once read a quote that credited Oprah Winfrey in stating that “running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it,” and I am a big believer in that. As a “Adult Onset Runner,” I could not agree more. I’ve poured my heart into this sport that I love, but I’d be lying to myself if I even thought for a second that I’ve surrendered my love, completely and unconditionally in a race. I’m talking “no-holds-barred,” “all-out” racing here. I’ve gotten close to this in the 5K distance, but in the 26.2 – the distance I respect the most – I know that I’ve stopped short.

As part of my cross-training preparation for this training cycle, I’ve been working out in my hot, humid garage with Jillian Michaels DVDs – and there’s one quote that she repeats that has not left my mind the last few weeks: “All I am asking is for all that you’ve got.” So simple, but so true.

Get ready, Chicago.

What’s the next big goal you’re training or working toward?



  1. It’s hard to keep fear at bay. The key is which will be stronger, the “what if I give it my all and it’s not good enough”, or “what if I CAN DO IT”.
    It’s so weird how sometimes we fear our actual potential more than failure.
    I’ll be pulling for you (from far behind you, in my own PR quest) in Chicago – I haven’t booked my room yet. I’m hemming and hawing between two hotels…

    • GIRL. My travel plans are definitely still UP IN THE AIR (haha, including my flight) but we’re gonna rock Chicago!! ❤

  2. What great quotes – both Oprah’s and Jillian’s. I’m eager to follow along with your training as I will be starting my own marathon training shortly after you. And I’m glad to hear you have 18 weeks before Chicago, because I started panicking that I was already behind with Richmond…I guess I should be ok. 🙂

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