At least three days every week, I attend a gym on Lake Street in Bloomingdale, owned and run by Dan Luif. I am Dan’s very first customer and for a little while, I was Dan’s only customer. Now he has every unit in the tiny strip mall except the end unit. No…we don’t manage it.
Dan enjoys motivating me (by motivating, I mean bugging) with remarks like, “you never challenge yourself!”, “you only work out so you can eat more!”, “you’re making me look bad!” and other whiny stuff. In an attempt to silence him, I impulsively signed up for a half marathon each month, for twelve months in 2013 and began my training.
Finding a training schedule was easy. There are thousands of them online. I selected the one that looked easiest (of course). It required four runs per week, gradually increasing the mileage each week. The longest run was a twelve miler a week in advance of the half marathon. It was not easy! I was tired!
The first Half was in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 23, 2013. I learned that I have to eat better before I race as I nearly passed out from low blood sugar at mile 10 and had to lay on someone’s lawn. At mile 12, I began to hallucinate. I could see multi-colored dust particles swirling around me and the pavement looked like it was breathing. I managed to stumble through the finish line. A very kind runner, who was also a nurse, offered her orange slices to me. It instantly revived me. Oranges are my new favorite fruit! Here is what the rest of the year looked like:
March 30: Busse Woods, Elk Grove Village, IL – It was FREEZING!
April 27: Louisville, KY – One of my most pleasant runs and favorite city: great food and an awesome vintage dress shop.
May 19: Busse Woods (again), Schaumburg, IL – It was INSANELY HOT!
June 28: Summerfest, Milwaukee, WI – Rainy, windy, really fun! The finish line was at the amphitheater where we enjoyed our free beer with some live music.
July 21: Chicago, IL – Such a sad story on this one. I took a wrong turn and found myself crossing the finish line of the 5K and not the half. I may have been able to catch the group but would have only completed ten miles instead of a half marathon total of 13.1. I couldn’t bear it! So, I ran two in August.
August 10: Sheboygan, WI – The only night run with a 6:30 p.m. start. My daughter ran this one with me.
August 25: Batavia, IL – My husband ran this one with me. He crushed my time!
September 21, Wichita, KS – Hip blew up at mile 12, last mile took an hour to complete! Thankfully, this race ended with champagne and chocolate.
October 5: Hampton Beach, New Hampshire – Smutty Nose Brewery sponsored run. I ran this one with my husband too, as it was close to our anniversary. OMG! It was absolutely the worst weather conditions – EVER! Rained the whole time, 35 degrees with 30-40 mph winds! I was frozen to the core but got to warm up with clam chowder and beer afterwards.
November 12: Savannah, GA – Second most pleasant run, second most favorite city.
December 14: Kiawah Island, SC – Oooooooh, lovely place…too bad you couldn’t see the ocean. Expansive mansions blocked the view.
January 26, 2014: Celebration, FL –The very town that Disney built.
My completion times remained pretty steady. In other words, there was not a remarkable time improvement from the first race to the last. I learned that that was not my point anyway. I wanted to silence Dan. I wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted the medals (I have them all in my office). I wanted the T-shirts.
I got to travel. I got champagne/chocolate/free beer (complimentary tickets for use at the end of nearly every single race).
It was a great run, pun intended.
Dan still bugs me. Jamie Lombardi, Tenant Service Coordinator, poses with her 12 medals she earned from running a half marathon every month for a year.
Jamie A. Lombardi | Tenant Service Coordinator
Mid-America Asset Management, Inc.
One Parkview Plaza, 9th Floor | Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Direct: 630.954.7335 | Fax: 630.954.7306
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.midamericagrp.com