Monday, January 27, 2014

To Gamble OR Not To Gamble, That is The Question

5 of my closest friends and running partners recruited, a google spreadsheet created summarizing all of the VRBO options {including THE ideal place to stay}, excitement building to run another 26.2 miles, and a list of local Chicago "must-visit" places created, with the help of Dear Mr. Knightley; then came the email that changed it all.  On January 16th I received an email that totally cramped my {Type A marathon planning} style...Registration for the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be conducted through a system of guaranteed entries and non-guaranteed lottery selected entries.  Being that I don't qualify for the guaranteed entry, I would have to throw my name into the lottery.  

Did I mention this totally cramps my Type-A style!? Now there are so many factors and options {and unknowns, ugh!}...

We can all enter the lottery, and all 5 of us may get in, none of us may get in, or just one of us may get in. And with any lottery entry system, your credit card is automatically charged if you are selected {there is no turning back  OR transferring your entry}. 

We can choose another marathon. 

I can run for an official Chicago Marathon Charity in order to  guarantee my spot. 

I can enter the lottery, and if I don't get in, select a charity to run for that still has entries available following the lottery.

I want to be completely honest about my personal thoughts & feelings regarding running for a charity. While I think there are several very worthy charities and organizations that people run for,  for me personally I don't feel like it is the right option, as I feel like I would be asking people to pay for me to run a marathon.  I am a huge advocate of supporting, via fundraising, non-profit organizations and charities, but I need to have a heart string attachment/deep connection to the cause.  While the list of Chicago Marathon charities have not been provided yet, I will only consider running for a charity if there is one I am truly and genuinely passionate about, and I have done my research on their finances and the organization as a whole. 

I can enter the lottery, and if I don't get in move on to marathon Plan B. 

While I would love to run through the spectator lined streets of Chicago, on the course that has been labeled Best Chance for a PR, and visit all  the sites of The Windy City, I also want to train for & run the 26.2 miles with my friends. After all, it's the PEOPLE that truly make the race one to remember, not the location. 

Coordinating 5 people from across the country can get complex, but a decision needs to be made! 

So, without further adieu, here are my top choices for a fall 2014 marathon:

1. CHICAGO MARATHON: Take a gamble and throw my name in the hat

2. TWIN CITIES MARATHON: Best Race That Lives Up To The Hype & Most Scenic Urban Race
{Unfortunately Tess is not able to run this marathon, but I do have a friend who recently moved to MN and it would be great to see her}

3.  BIG COTTONWOOD MARATHON: Nowhere will you find a better combination of fast and beautiful

Please help me make a decision by sharing your thoughts on and experience with any of the above marathons. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

2014 Word of the Year: VULNERABLE

As I roll into a new year, I feel like I am enjoying the calm after the storm that was October-November-December.  While those months were filled with so many amazing opportunities and adventures, they definitely pushed me to my limits, both physically and mentally.  The start of the new year has been filled with several weekend naps, getting caught up on things I haven't had time to take care of until now, spending quality time with friends and family, reading books, and going to bed with a clean house and laundry done {all things I used to take for granted}.

As I contemplated a New Year's Resolution post, I thought about my running goals, personal aspirations, things I want to change, things I want to accomplish.  I considered listing everything out individually, but I realized I don't really have a list, per se.  Yes, there are definitely things I plan to accomplish in 2014, but more importantly I want to live my life in 2014 a certain way.  I want to be 

vul·ner·a·ble adjective
1.capable of being physically or emotionally wounded
2. open to attack or damage

I know, I know, you are probably wondering why on earth I would choose VULNERABLE as my word of the year.  Well let me explain...

I want to be vulnerable every time I toe the start line of a race, being willing to give it my all and leave everything out on the course. 

I want to be vulnerable to love deeply and be loved deeply.

I want to be vulnerable in my faith.  Through my faith I want to live out the gospel, allowing people to see Christ through me. 

I want to be vulnerable, taking risks and stepping out of my comfort zone.

I want to be vulnerable, not only accepting change, but seeking it out. 

I want to be vulnerable, letting go of my will for my life, and constantly surrendering to God's will for my life.  

I want to be vulnerable, saying no to things, so I can say yes to other things. 

I want to be vulnerable, putting my fears and doubts aside, and wholeheartedly pursing by dreams and aspirations.  

I'm excited for all 2014 has in store for me! Yes, it will include the numbers 26.2, probably 70.3, and hopefully the beginning stages of 140.6; and the letters L....L...C!