On October 9, 2016 I completed my best and final full marathon.
I ran through several neighborhoods in the city I grew up in, saw the sights with new eyes, and encountered the best of humanity Chicago has to offer. I watched the gorgeous skyline in the distance for the last lonely miles along South Michigan Ave, smiled the whole way up that nasty hill on Roosevelt, and cried happy tears during the final turn and finish line onto Columbus.
And of course I enjoyed each drop of my celebratory Goose Island 312.
I am totally ok hanging em up, because four marathons is three more than I set out to finish. Because 4:18 is faster than I ever dreamed of. And because my five year journey took me across more miles, challenges, and accomplishments than most people could ever hope for in a lifetime.
I still run. I enjoy my 5K trail runs and 10K’s. I consider other competitions and challenges such as sprint triathlons and scenic half marathons. And although I’ve lost a step- as it were- in my fitness, I I still look at every obstacle in my life as a learning experience. I will always remember where I started, and I’ll never take for granted how far I’ve come.