I decided the other day while in the middle of an eleven mile general aerobic run why I like the marathon so much. Oh yeah sure there is the grueling 4-5 month of training to accomplish the feat. That's fun. Then when you tell people you are running a marathon they ask "How many miles is this marathon?" as if the mileage changes depending on the location. That always causes an internal chuckle. I like it because it is a HUGE event. And like any large event it is bigger than any one runner. And there are all sorts of extras that go with that special day. It gives me more of a community feeling than say your standard 5K in a suburban park on a Saturday morning.
Take a look at the picture I posted. Do you know what it is? I know it's a lousy picture but I wanted to leave some mystery about what it is. If you're not from the Chicago area, you're not going to have a clue. C'mon Chicagoans, I took this picture out of the rear window of my car while driving. I'm not that bad of a driver, actually I was standing still in traffic. Give up? It's the beginning of the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon mural that is painted every year along the Kennedy Expressway near Armitage. The only thing painted so far is giant read numbers "10-10-10". But the Chicago Marathon build up has started.
Tens of thousands driving I-90 each day will be reminded of this huge day in 45,000 runners lives this year. I am proud to be a part of that community. 45,000 people running for a myriad of reasons. It could be raising money for a charity as I did for the Action Diabetes Team last year. It could be for a sense of self accomplishment. It could be for a healthy lifestyle. And for a very few (aka Ryan Hall and a bunch of Kenyans) a run for glory.
My training is going well. I have an 18 mile long run scheduled for the morning which will have me top out at 50 miles for the week. I have the Chicago Rock n Roll half marathon next Sunday. I'll be working the Brooks booth at the expo on Saturday morning for the greatest running company in the world. It will be another benchmark race to see how my training is progressing. I'll give you a preview of the expo and the race in a few days.