Chicago Marathon Countdown – Motivation

September 16, 2015

T-minus 4 weeks and some until the 2015 Chicago Marathon!  Last year I wrote a NYC Marathon Countdown (Motivation, Logistics,  Packing, Fueling, Race Day Outfit) series each Wednesday prior to the marathon.  I thought it would be fun to do the same for Chicago now that it is a month away.  Today’s topic: motivation!

Compared to last year, I think my motivation is a little better (I just need more hours in the day).  Of course I still have those Friday nights in which I start dreading the long run (it has gotten better with the cooler weather) or thinking “what am I doing?” when it starts to hurt during a long run.  Using last year’s post as a reference, here are five ways that have helped me stay motivated (with new content of course). Hope this is useful to you know matter what distance or race you are training for:

1. Remind Yourself Why

Back in January I wrote “2015 Chicago Marathon – I Want You!”  (yay for documenting everything on the blog). When I begin to dread the long run or feel my motivation is decreasing I usually refer to that post. 

  • After the NYC  Marathon (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) I knew I had so much more room to improve and want to PR at my next marathon.  Chicago’s flat course will be perfect.  While this certainly motivates me, my confidence level is so-so.  My training hasn’t been ideal (mushing it all on the weekend…I still need re-read my training logs from last year).  Will I still PR? I know my goals have changed a bit as we approach the marathon and I will share them in a future Chicago Marathon Countdown post. 
  • Travel and food wanderlust – visiting Chicago and pizza pizza!
  • Running another World Marathon Major.
  • My mom, younger sister and Cliff are all coming to Chicago as my runtourage.  Despite the outcome of the marathon, it will be great having them experience the weekend with me.
  • Of course, meeting my run buds and Oiselle teammates will be a plus as well!

2. Official/Unofficial Race Social Media

Like last year, I followed the Chicago Marathon’s Facebook and Twitter accounts (not sure if they have an Insta account).  While they have been posting more content this past month, I think I got spoiled by the NYC Marathon social media accounts (high engagement pretty much 24/7….I still follow them which helps). I’m a photo lover, so following hashtags like #OwnChicago #ChiMarathon #ChicagoMarathon have been helpful! I also joined the Marine Corps Marathon & 10K Club Facebook Group and it is amazing.  

This group is not affiliated with the Marines, but this nearly 6,000 strong group is super motivating.  People share pictures from their early or late training runs, questions, and stories.  If all goes well recovery wise following Chicago, I still plan on running the MCM.  Even if I wasn’t, I would highly recommend that group.

3. Read Race Recaps/Websites

After I got in through the lottery, I immediately scoured the internet for Chicago Marathon race recaps.  These were my faves:

After reading them… I always think….awesome I get to run here + someone usually has tips on how to navigate race weekend.  I’ll probably re-read these (and more) again as we get closer to the race. 

4. Read/Follow Others who are Training

There are a number of bloggers I follow who are training for the Chicago Marathon, to name a few:

It is nice to follow others because I can empathize with their training (be careful not to play the comparison game) and most people have similar feelings.  Since Chicago is held in what I call Marathon Month, it has been great following along those training for Portland, Wineglass, Baltimore, Marines Corp, etc.   The Oiselle Team has also been a great source of motivation – it is wonderful having such a large support group.

5. Watch Videos/Movies

I re-watched Spirit of the Marathon I (of course) since it chronicled six runners training/running the 2005 Chicago Marathon (uhh….woah….10 years later….would be interested to see Where Are They Now?) I  have watched (probably) most of the Chicago Marathon videos on YouTube. I’ve never been to Chicago, so it is nice to get a preview of the race course. 

A few weeks ago I shared this video posted by Abbott World Marathon Majors to their Vimeo Site, it is probably my favorite.

My brother is giving me his old (new) GoPro, so my plan is to create and share my own video for you all!

How do you stay motivated?

Any Chicago Marathon related posts/videos/articles I should read?

Any Chicago spectator recommendations?

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Run Jenny Run
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      1. Run Jenny Run

        The summer went by so quickly! Now we will complain how cold it is haha πŸ™‚

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Will do! I’ll prob do a an easy easy shakeout run on Saturday morning and we will prob go on an architectural tour that morning. I’ve been hearing about Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s. So exciting!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks, Kathryn! Seems like training just started and we were chatting about the lottery at the St. Pats double!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks, Pam! I’ll make sure to document everything for you πŸ™‚ One day I would love to run NYC again.

    1. Ohh I forgot Spirit of the Marathon was about Chicago. I need to re-watch it this weekend before my long run! Thanks for the reminder πŸ™‚

      I need to send you an email when I get a free minute so we can plan our meetup! I WILL book my flight *today* and I’m thinking I’ll be coming in on Fri as well, but probably not until later in the day.
      Kristina recently posted…This Video Represents MeMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Your welcome! When I watched it again… I thought… we (everyone else) wore that?! πŸ™‚ Excited for our Chicago meetup!

    1. LOVE THIS! I’m so excited for you. I reeeeally need to be doing this right now; marathon training has been kind of kicking my butt lately, and maybe if I gave myself that little boost of motivation — and a reminder of exactly why running NYCM is freakin’ awesome — that might help!
      Jennifer @ The Final Forty recently posted…NYCM Training: Weeks 7 and 8My Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks, Jennifer! Can’t believe it has almost been a year since NYC! I am so excited you will be running it again. Taking the ferry to Staten Island, the views of the city, crossing the bridge (in all Burroughs) – I know you’ll get excited real soon πŸ™‚

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Your welcome! Very excited to hear about the crowd support throughtout the 26.2. You’ve been rocking your training – Baltimore is almost here!

    1. This is a great round-up of resources! I’ve never watched Spirit of the Marathon and it sounds like I should. Chicago will be so fun. Lately, when I get nervous about a race I think about all of the photos I can stop an take if I need a break. πŸ˜‰
      Elizabeth recently posted…Travel Tuesday: Alabama 2012My Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks, Elizabeth! That is a great idea – especially when I get tired at the end πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks for listing some race recaps for me to read. I’m always a little nervous about the logistics of getting to a race, etc. and I hope this will help. I’ve never been to Chicago either. Of course, with it being my first marathon I’m nervous about that too. I hope that the flat course will suit me well. I plan to enjoy every minute of it and not stress over my pace (too much anyway).
      HoHo Runs recently posted…Proceed with CautionMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Your welcome – hope you enjoy πŸ™‚ I am so excited for you and it is going to be such a fun and memorable weekend. Are you arriving Friday or Saturday?

      1. Run Jenny Run

        You also have a really motivational IG account with all your morning runs! Hope training is going well this week.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Awww, thanks Kelli! Although training is not where I would have liked it to be, will focus on having fun!

    1. This is SO AWESOME, Jenny! I felt excited just reading this post and I’m not even going – ha! I loved your posts before NYC last year; I will continue to live vicariously…for now. πŸ˜‰ You’re going to have a blast and I can’t wait to hear all about it!!
      Tara @ Running ‘N’ Reading recently posted…It’s Not You, It’s MeMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Aww, thanks Tara!! One day I will get to write about a race that we are BOTH training for πŸ™‚

      1. Run Jenny Run

        You are right, midwesterners are so nice! Will be fun to explore the city by foot and by food πŸ™‚

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I’m glad Cliff, my mom and sis will make it out there (my sis and mom will be in for a surprise at the amount of mileage they’ll get in spectating). Brooklyn soon!!

    1. Wow I can’t believe it’s so close! This is one of my favorite posts of yours, ever. Perfect advice for anyone heading into a big race (like, say, me haha!). I’ve been keeping a mental list of things like this that I need to do now that I’m getting close to, but it helped to see them all written down like this. Good luck with your final push! You got this!
      Tracy recently posted…The Words Just Come and I Write Them As Soon As I See ‘EmMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks so much, Tracy! Good luck with your final weeks of training as well. You can do it!

    1. I’m like you – I like reading recaps from other people that have done the race! It’s always good to read about their experience and if they have any tips.

      I’ve spectated Chicago twice and my favorite spot to cheer on participants is near mile 12 by the Amtrak station. It’s not crowded so you can easily spot your runner plus since it’s right by the station you can wait inside or get coffee while you wait for your runner πŸ™‚ It’s also within walking distance of the finishing stretch so you can hike that way after seeing your runner at the halfway point.
      Sun recently posted…Playing Catch UpMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Sun, thank you for the spectating tips! I’ll def pass that along to Cliff and my fam. Do you have any recommendations spectating the latter miles after mile 12? (ease of using the metro). Thanks!!

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