IMG_2646They say a picture is worth 1,000 words.  I know the following: this blog picture is worth a 3 hour and 58 minute finish time in a marathon.   My first goal in my first marathon (October, 2014) was to “finish with my heart beating”.  That remains my goal.  However, as my times got shorter, having a finishing time that started with a “3” instead of a “4” was a big goal.

In 2015, my fastest marathon was in Ulster County – the Kingston Kiwanis Marathon.  This year, I took 20 minutes  off my time and finally beat 4 hours.  I never have to do it again.

I took up running for health and weight loss.  The competitor in me pushed to hit a time.  While I hope to beat 4 hours again, I’m fine not doing it again for a while.  I don’t care if it is just by 90 seconds – under 4 hours is under 4 hours.


My iPhone dinged with a charge on my AMEX card – $195.  YES!  On this morning it could only mean one thing:  I got into the Chicago Marathon for October.  I quickly checked my email and there it was – coming in at 6:19 AM:  “Congratulations!  You have received an entry into the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.”

I got up and, hearing the shower water running told my wife, who was getting ready to head to school (she’s a teacher) “We’re going to Chicago”.

I truly could not imagine being so happy that I was being given the “privilege” of traveling hundreds of miles for a long weekend in October to run 26.2 miles with 30,000 or so other people but I sure was.  I reflected on the last time I was in Chicago – around the fall of 2012.  We didn’t run anyplace – I sure could not have done that.  We quickly hit a couple of the city highlights and moved on.  Now I would be back, not morbidly obese, to run the Chicago Marathon.  Insane.