The Marathon That Almost Never Was

There were many reasons I almost didn’t do the marathon last Sunday: 1.) Training would be done in winter, with Chicago winter you’ll never know how it goes and I would hate having to run the longest run (20 miles) indoors in a treadmill. Running 3 miles in a treadmill is boring as it is. Whereas 8 miles outdoors, time would just seem to fly. 2.) At week 2 of my training my calves began to hurt and it wouldn’t go away. My runner friend told me it could be my shoes. I didn’t think it was because I wasn’t running that often the year before but as soon as I got my new shoes it went away. 3.) I got super busy with work. Two weeks before the marathon I was staying up late until 3am on some days and waking up early at 4am on some days. I just didn’t know I could run 26.2 miles with not enough sleep.

I was so unsure that I only signed up during the last day of the registration.

But I am so glad I did because:
1.) I beat my old time by 35 minutes! I almost ran it under 5 hours but I was just 38 seconds too late. Which means I need to run another marathon =) 2.) I ran with cousins who did the half marathon. Evan’s godfather Jim ran his in 1hour 47minutes and his sister Gretch did it in 2hour 3minutes and they are nearing 50 years old! 3.) The weather forecast for that day was not promising (thunderstorms, running with wet shoes was what I feared the most!) but it turned out to be a perfect running temp of 40’s-50’s and cloudy too (no headaches!). 4.) There was a party afterwards at my cousin’s house complete with the yummiest lechon from Preoria (Jim drove 180 miles (both ways) after running his half marathon!), pancit palabok, freh lumpia, dinuguan etc. I even skipped the after race free food (pizza, pasta, desserts) because I knew what was at my cousin’s house was much better.


Finishing a full marathon is such a great feeling. I admit I didn’t feel this way at the Chicago marathon because of the brutally warm temp 1 and half years ago. But last week was different – to the point of almost being addicting. When I saw Tom and Evan patiently waiting for me in the stadium my heart was filled with gratitude for being given the health and supportive family to do this.


I hope Tom and I would be a good influence to Evan in being active and getting into sports that he loves. The cousins I mentioned before, I didn’t know that they were athletic (their oldest sister runs 6 miles EVERYDAY) but I do remember their father (my uncle) was well known in our family for being a fitness buff and their mom still runs for 45 minutes everyday (arthritis and all) at the age of 83!

But to be honest running is really for me. It is even more important that even when I am swamped with work that I get up and run for 45 minutes because it does make me productive after I come back. And the feeling afterwards just can’t be beat. Till my next full!

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5 Responses to The Marathon That Almost Never Was

  1. Ed says:

    I used to run as a teenager and remember how good if felt after getting done with a run. But a bad knee injury ended my running days so now I just watch from the sidelines.

    Congratulations on your accomplishment!

    P.S. It would almost be the same distance for me to drive to Peoria for lechon. Fortunately we have a place that is much closer to satisfy our lechon needs.

  2. MC says:

    congratulations. it’s really important to find your own way when it comes to exercise. i have yet to find mine. i wish i could get off my big but and start already.

    again, you are an inspiration.

  3. Loraine says:

    Hi Geri, Funny because I worked out today (it’s been a long time), and I focused on treadmill. The 1st 30 minutes is sooo hard. The next 30 minutes was easier. I was just thinking about marathon. Someday, I will be able to do it… I would like to be a good example to my son, too…

  4. Loraine says:

    p.s. congratulations on your run…

  5. geri says:

    Ed, I had to check the map again, I didn’t know Peoria was north of Champaign and it does look you are about the same distance from it too! That’s great you have access to good lechon. I havent had lechon in Chicago (I think) but the one we had at peoria was surprisingly good, thin crispy skin and really tender meat. My cousins only complaint was that is wasn’t salty enough as what a Cebu style lichen would be.

    MC, it all starts with a 20 minute walk 4 times a week. You can do it!

    Loraine, the treadmill for me is gentler on the knees but running outdoors makes time fly faster. Try to look out for a second hand running stroller, it will be indispensoble to you as Benji gets bigger. Benji will enjoy the stroller ride and you get your exercise (and maybe run some errands along the way), it’s a win-win situation!

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