In January, Coach Jeff and I discussed my target marathon options for my next Boston qualification (BQ) attempt. We discussed having a prolonged training period to allow for a strong base to be created and to allow plenty of time for my foot to get used to running again post-injury. A fall marathon would do this, he said.
As Coach went through a list of fall marathons, one stood out from the rest. The LaSalle Banks Chicago Marathon was known for it’s spectacular spectators, a “big” race environment, and a “flat and fast” course. On top of all of this, Tom’s extended family lives in Illinois so it would be a great excuse to see the part of the family that we rarely see. I didn’t waste any time in securing my spot.
Ten months later, here I sit on the flight to Chicago. I am without my husband, Tom, yet I am not alone. As BoBo and YaYa dominate the arm rests on either side of me, and encroach on my leg room, I am comforted (although UNcomfortable). Every time I see them, I see the lovely blend of Tom and I. It is a beautiful combination. Although our marriage was often challenged, I am still able to embrace a part of what was indeed good – my three handsome sons.
I would love nothing more than to cross that finishline on time to qualify for Boston. I really want my boys to see my hard work and determination, against all odds, pay off. I want the boys to know that chasing dreams of importance, such as a college education and a career that brings fulfillment as well as money, is worth the hard work that it requires.
We, as a family and as individuals, have much more grieving ahead of us, but we have a lot of wonderful memories. We also have many opportunities to create many more happy moments in the future.
May the Chicago Marathon be the first of many happy memories.