Most people usually think I’m crazy for planning my birthday celebration several months in advance.
In early 2009, I made a decision to turn my life around and commit to leading a healthier lifestyle. Growing up, I was as inactive as one could possibly be. I never walked to school even though it was only 15 minutes away, I dropped gym class as soon as I was allowed to in high school and the most activity I got involved running to catch the bus on my way to school. I had always wanted to be more active, but because I was embarrassingly uncoordinated, I shied away from anything sports-related. That all changed the day I picked up the pace and practiced timed 1k runs at an outdoor fitness class.
I started off huffing and puffing my way through my first 1km. A 6-minute run turned into a 15-minute run. A 15-minute run turned into a 30- to 45-minute run, and then the 45-minute run turned into a challenge to complete a 10k run. After successfully completing my first timed 10k race, I allowed myself to dream big and train for a half-marathon. That’s the thing with dreams. The more you allow yourself to dream, the bigger they become. It was inevitable that I’d eventually want to try to run my first marathon. The idea of putting myself through that type of training is terrifying and exciting at the same time.
When I realized sometime last Fall that my birthday this year would be 10/10/10, I knew that I wanted to do something special to celebrate. Most people suggested typical “big” celebrations like a trip to an exotic destination. Since I’ve never been much of a vacationer (note: not the same thing as traveling, which I love to do), I knew that flying to a sunny destination to lie around, eat and drink wasn’t going to cut it for me. I liked the idea of taking a big trip, and briefly ran through a list of countries that I’d been meaning to visit until I came up with an even better idea.
So how am I celebrating my 10/10/10 birthday? By running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I’ve heard really great things about this race, and it happened to be scheduled this year on 10/10/10. I decided that it was too much of a coincidence to pass up and signed up before I could change my mind. I’m sure some people may still think I’m crazy for committing to this, but I am incredibly excited to run 26.1 miles on my 26th birthday!
Check out some of my Chicago Training related posts here: