There really is something magical about living up here... it is so much more enjoyable and exciting, and there are so many more wonderful things to look at. Our home last summer was situated in the middle of more of a blue collar, industrial area (and we lived 10 minutes south of one of the busiest airports in the world). It was okay, for what it was, but since moving to the city, T. and I can say that we are both much happier, for a number of reasons. Living in a beautiful neighborhood with access to a wide number of amenities is certainly high up on that list.
I mean, now, we live a half mile from Lake Michigan, a mile from the start of the Lakefront Trail, and have access to many other nearby trails and parks. T. has taken up biking over the last few months (and has lost over 25 pounds already! So proud of him!). He, too, is getting to experience the finer side of local recreation and is really enjoying it. It's really encouraging and motivating to me, and I'm glad we are in this whole "improving ourselves" thing together.
Recently, there have been a few runs where I was only planning on running 2 or 3 miles and then ended up on the Lakefront Trail, putting 6 miles on my shoes. What? I'm still trying to figure out when I became the person who runs 6 miles no problem, completely on the fly. It's a little terrifying, but also awesome! The last two months, I've been working hard at trying to eat better and be more healthy, and the last few weeks I've worked out 4 or 5 times each week (this week I worked out all but 2 days, a mix of running and working out at the gym--I think cross training is really important). I am feeling very healthy and strong, but also listening to my body's cues and taking it easy when necessary.
I really enjoy being a runner in the city. I feel fulfilled and refreshed. And I want to keep going. So I set a few goals for myself in order to continue getting in shape and become a better runner. As far as I'm concerned, these goals are quite doable and it is nice to have some additional motivation to get it done:
The Chicago 10K is my first goal. I'm feeling much more comfortable with this distance than I was when I ran the Deer Dash 10K in May. Looking forward to running 6.2 miles through the city--one of my very favorite things to do! After that, I'd like to be able to comfortably run down to Navy Pier, which is about 9 miles away from our apartment. After that, it's about another month until the Chicago Half Marathon, 13.1 miles. I have roughly 2 months until the half, plenty of time to prepare. Last year, I tried sticking to an actual training program and ended up stressing myself out more than anything else. I need a schedule and structure and goals, but I need them on my own terms.
I only know that for the Chicago Half Marathon, my only goal is to finish better than I did in last year's race. A goal which I think is totally possible! I already feel stronger and better prepared than last year, but I know that I can't let the momentum down. After seeing the progress I've made over the last 5 years, I am ready to keep improving and work towards being the best version of myself possible. And of course, as with last year, I will document the journey of half marathon training over the next few months, here on the blog. Thanks for your support!