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Stars and Stripes Half Marathon

Thank you all for tuning in! So, I ran the Stars and Stripes half marathon yesterday, and it was just about what I expected. I expected it to be hot, humid, and of course, hilly. I also expected not to run a very good race because my build-up was bad. I suffered an injury in April, and I had to miss an entire month of training because of it. I've managed to have a good training month of May, and an even better month of June, but I knew I wasn't going to be 100% ready to run the race I wanted to, so I decided to try and make it a routine long run.


This didn't take away from my experience at this event. I still enjoyed the race, and I enjoyed the views of the lovely park in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. If I can say anything great about Illinois (and believe me, there isn't much good I can say about it), it's that Illinois has beautiful forests. The parks are amazingly beautiful, so I took every opportunity I could to just enjoy the views.


As for the race itself, it wasn't a complete disaster, but it wasn't really my best race in terms of time. I tried to run the smartest race that I could, but when it came down to it, I didn't have the endurance needed to run the race I know I'm capable of running. I had the kick for a strong finish, but not the endurance to sustain a solid run.


That one is on me.


As easy as it is to blame the injury, the weather, or the hills (and those hills are brutal), I have to take responsibility for it. It also didn't help that I didn't really get enough sleep, either. That is also on me, and someone brought this to my attention and made me realize it. That someone also made me realize that, with more training and dedication, I can be just as good as anyone, and far better than I am today. I'm 40 years old with a full-time job, and I don't have tons of running experience, but this is one of those times I must ask myself when I look in the mirror: how bad do I really want to succeed at running? How far can I take it? What are my limitations? What could possibly be holding me back?


The good news is I'm not injured after the race. Although I suffered a little heat exhaustion and had a huge blister on my heel, I felt fine after the race. I'm not hurting, and I'm not in pain. I'm good to resume training on Monday for the Chicago Marathon, and I have lofty goals for this race. The goals are pretty big, and the only way I know for sure I'm good enough is if I go for it without any excuses. I know the course very well, and I know where I've had my struggles in that particular race.


Tomorrow morning, which is a Monday, is the new "Day 1" of my Chicago Marathon journey. I won't share all the details because I really don't want to give anything away, but I expect to be a different runner. Now it's up to me.


Until next time, God bless.


The Freedom Runner

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