So I’m Running the Chicago Half Marathon
Like many journalists I’m a procrastinator by nature but this week, for once, I made a decision and took action well in advance of any deadline. Tuesday night I registered for the Chicago Half Marathon, which takes place Sept. 7, starting and finishing in Jackson Park. A crew of us are getting together in Toronto for a road trip to the Windy City, and when we arrive we’ll connect with some friends from Northwestern who still live in Chicago and others coming in from out of town.
It’ll be a warmup for Homecoming, except with a lot more running and less tailgating.
I’ve already downloaded my training calendar from Nike Plus (my handle: MorganPCampbell), and it tells me I have a 10-mile training run on Aug. 2. That’s the morning after the NABJ Sports Task Force Scholarship Jam, so if the run takes three hours to compete you’ll know why.
Until now the longest distance I’ve ever covered in a single run is 11 kilometres, so why would I decide to tackle 21.1?
Because that weekend is my sister’s birthday, and in addition to being one hell of a soprano Dana has also developed into an insatiable fitness machine, banging out eight-mile runs on Saturday mornings just for the sake of doing it.
Because even though I don’t really need an excuse to travel to Chicago, it’s great to have a reason. And Northwestern is playing Northern Illinois in Evanston that weekend? No brainer.
I’m running because my work on the Sportonomics series has brought me into contact with members of Toronto’s supportive and friendly and talented running community. Hanging with marathoners and running 10k races, I’ve slowly grown more comfortable with the idea of trying longer distances. Yes, I’m a sprinter at heart, and definitely working against my body type. I’m not built like Wilson Kipsang, and I’m okay with that. But I also take pleasure in being the musclebound mesomorph who can beat wispy distance runner types in their specialty.
Because even though running is humbling I still have an ego.
I’m also doing it for the food. Peek at my Instagram and you’ll realize that when I’m not eating to support my exercise habit, I’m exercising to support my eating habit. In Chicago both of those routines come together beautifully, and the only thing tougher than completing that run will be deciding who’s catering the post-race all-you-can-eat throwdown.
It will likely include food from all three, but I don’t know what Corey Erdman is going to do. I doubt Lem’s has vegan hot links.
But all that aside, the best answer I can provide to the question of why I’d drive 400 miles to wake up at 4am on a Sunday to run 13 miles more is this:
See you in September.
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