Throwback Thursday…My First Marathon.

Hey there! Thursday started out in a typical fashion…with some miles before work. But boy was it muggy. Temps are soaring back into the 90s this week but thankfully a little bit of a breeze helped keep things cool.


I simply cannot wait until fall like weather is here to stay. Crisp cool air, fall leaves, an excuse to cut off my AC for good…bring it on. I am hoping things will start to cool off this weekend for Saturday’s 20 mile run.

Anyway…I thought I’d go back in time today since I’ve never shared my first full marathon experience with you all. The Chicago Marathon in 2010…wow, I cannot believe that was 10 marathons ago. My first 26.2 was held on 10.10.10 in Chicago, Illinois. I was a great day especially with those lucky numbers.


At the time I already had a few half marathons under my belt and I was so gung ho about running and life in general. I had set out to do something I never thought I’d ever accomplish or deem fathomable. My running buddy Laurie and I were so excited and walked around to get a feel for the start line area and corrals the day before.


Race morning! We were so stoked and up dark and early. I had trained all summer long with a bunch of awesome folks at Luke’s Locker. I remember how encouraging we were to one another and we really held each other accountable. Many Saturday 5 am mornings were spent pounding out the miles with this crew.


I lined up to the start and said a prayer with my running buddy Laurie. We had the scripture Phil 4:13 etched on our race numbers and ready to go. The first few miles were a BLAST! Literally…of course, rookie mistake…with all of the excitement I blasted out and started crazy fast. Hearing the crowds cheering on the runners was such an exhilarating feeling. For the most part the course was nice and flat too which helped to keep the momentum going. We went through the different neighborhoods of Chicago…all of them having their own charm and diversity. Boystown…a Hispanic neighborhood with Latin music playing…every corner of Chicago was filled with cultural pride. It was so fun to take all of that in.

I remember hitting a wall in the later miles and had to slow down to a shuffle. It was also unseasonably hot around that time of year (temps came close to the 90s towards the end) so the hazard alert level went from green at the start to yellow then red. I went into survival mode and really got my strength from the unbelievable crowds and spectators that were nonstop the whole way. ‘Keep it going sista…you’ve got it’! Some stranger would say from the sidelines. And it was just what I needed to push through to the finish.

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 10.16.05 AM

It was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life but at the end as I washed off and grabbed some famous Garrett’s Chicago style popcorn I found myself saying…when can I do this again? And 10 marathons and 19 halfs later…here I am. Bring on number 11!


Tell me about your first full marathon experience! Any runners out there training for their first race?

Published by thedancingrunner

Marathon runner & group fitness instructor at 24 Hour Fitness. Passionate about family, friends, traveling. Loves destination races. Loves dining out, cooking in, being around down to earth people, writing, sunrises.

20 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday…My First Marathon.

  1. Ummmm I’d love to tell ya but it’s way to long winded haha. Your better off checking my blog archives. February/March 2013. I posted my marathon experience in 2 parts 🙂

  2. I am a junkie for other people’s accounts of their first marathon! Thanks for sharing that. There are butterflies in my stomach just thinking about mine in a few weeks. 🙂

  3. Awesome Chelsea, I love it! Chicago 2013 was my first and I can’t imagine a better race for your first full Mary…incredible crowds lining the entire course start to finish, nice and flat, amazing city. It had it all!
    I really need to do another marathon, you can’t beat that feeling of accomplishment when you cross that finish line…

  4. My first race was perfect – small, great fall weather, beautiful scenery near the water… and then my tendonitis flared up at mile 20 and it started to rain. It was the grace of God and a good friend jumping in that got me through the next 6.2 miles! And I’d do it all over again.

  5. Oh wow! Now this is an inspiration to show how far and experienced you have become. I don’t see how you balance work, teaching, training….true Lady BOSS! That’s your new name 🙂

  6. What a great recap!! Wow, so amazing!! Love the pictures and so happy to hear the spectators were supportive!! So great! Also, your post is filled with such vivid descriptions!! It’s wonderful!! You really set the scene!! XOXO!!

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