Marathon, Man

I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, because it wasn’t like I broke any records or anything, so this is the first I’m mentioning the fact that I ran in the Chicago Marathon this past Sunday. What? You don’t believe me? Perhaps some photographic proof will change your cynical minds:

[Photo by Dr. Greene – click to enlarge. But why, Dr. Greene, did you not tell me what a clown I looked like in this getup?]

Now, many of the real athletes out there may feel inclined to send me nasty emails that say, “Jesus, Jenny! What the hell is wrong with you? Only a real jackass would cut across the street during the Chicago Marathon!”

Normally, I would agree with you completely, but let me defend myself by saying:

1. There was absolutely no other way, short of a helicopter, for me to get over to the side all my friends were on.
2. I waited over half an hour for the big crowds to die down.
3. At least 30 other people ran across the street before I did.
4. I can run like the wind for a distance of exactly one block.
5. My mad breakdance skillz helped me to bob and weave effortlessly throughout the crowd.
6. I spent five hours outside in 35-degree weather cheering all the runners on.
7. I look like I’m a lot closer to the runners than I really was.
8. My fleet-footedness and joyful spirit probably inspired some of the runners to go even faster, or to kick my ass.

I’ve always heard that running a marathon can be a spiritual experience, and I have to agree. But I really should have known better than to go to the marathon when I was at the height of my womanly hormonality. As I sat on the El on my way to meet my friends Dr. Greene and Seamus, I actually got tears in my eyes while watching some young 20-somethings try to decide what they should write on their signs for their friend Meg. For some reason, it was the “You can do it, Meg!” one that really got me. They even drew little pony-tailed stick figures running.

While I have absolutely no desire, and even less ability, to run a marathon myself, I felt so proud for everyone who did, especially my friends. Dr. Greene’s girlfriend, who is part human/part cheetah/part cyborg, kept us on our toes as we tried to keep up with her along the course. She finished in 3h11, which is exactly 15h39 faster than I would have.

Cheetah Girl
There she goes

And although I didn’t get to see my friends Mateo and Ryan, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, I was able to track their progress by getting text messages sent to me automatically as they passed key mile markers. I hope you guys felt me cheering you on – you are both total rockstars!

So to everyone who ran the marathon, you have my undying respect and deep thanks. I hope you can forgive me my trespasses, because for the few steps I shared with you on LaSalle Street, I felt part of your greatness!

[Click to enlarge]
mile 5




20 Responses to “Marathon, Man”

  1. heather anne Says:

    You look so sweet running with that camera. It makes me smile. But… er… is that a bike helmet on your head?

  2. jenny Says:

    LOL!!! No, it’s a ginormous knit floppy hat – kind of like the one Rudy from Fat Albert wore. It was cold, y’all! But this photo has really made me rethink my (lack of) fashion sense. :)

  3. Dave2 Says:

    You look a lot more energetic than anybody else out there… perhaps you should have ran the marathon?

  4. Arwen Says:

    I am running a half marathon in January, I hope I look half as good as you did in your get up.

  5. adena Says:

    Before I got to the part about you just crossing the street, I was thinking “Does she realize she was running the wrong direction….”
    Thanks for the clarification! :)

  6. Jessica Says:

    Jen, nothing has tickled me more than that picture of you cutting across the marathon in a looong time!

  7. Tracy Lynn Says:

    Jen, in that outfit, you look alot like my one year old niece does when we dress her for the cold. Cute and a little freaky. I usually take pictures so that I can show them to her friends when she’s a teenager.

  8. Neil Says:

    I’m going to chalk that up as if you did run in the marathon. If you think about it, it’s not like you would be lying. There was a marathon and you ran.

  9. Abigail Says:

    Run Jen Run!

  10. jenny Says:

    Dave2: Well, it’s easy to have a lot of energy for 50 feet. These folks were already on mile 5 by the time I decided to join them!
    Arwen: Good luck! I wouldn’t recommend the puffy down jacket, though…
    adena: That’s the kind of non-conformist I am. I just might run the entire marathon backwards, I’m so crazy!
    Jessica: Ha! Glad I could make you laugh – there’s actually a series of five shots where I’m progressively getting closer to Dr. Greene – that outfit and my goofball grin were a bit too much to handle for more than one photo, though.
    Tracy Lynn: Cute and a little freaky is the look I’ve always strived to achieve!
    Neil: That’s what I’m talking about – it’s not about winning, it’s about trying. And I gave it my all, dammit, the entire time I was running across the street!
    Abigail: EXACTLY!

  11. Nora Says:

    I dropped by way of Mocha. Highly enjoyable story, but the cat stories are great.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Jenny,
    OMG I love that photo of you in the marathon!!!

  13. Don Says:

    run jen run across
    the runners just think they are

  14. Caitlinator Says:

    Damn it! Abigail beat me to my comment.

  15. shari Says:

    So now you’ve completed your first marathon, shall we plan your training and your wardrobe for the Boston? ;) Great post, great pics. Almost makes me wish I’d been there, except I couldn’t in any way hang with your fashion sense. You city folk would put me to shame.

  16. ms. sizzle Says:

    for a minute there i thought to myself, “wow, i had no idea jen was a runner.” and yes, i am really very quick. ;)
    i once walked 11 miles and i never ever want to do it again.

  17. elle Says:

    Thank you, Jenny…. Thank you for making coffee spew from my nostrils all over my new puter. That is the funniest picture! You crack me up.

  18. peefer Says:

    You may have wrecked the marathon, Jenny, but look at all those runners going through the intersection on a red light. It’s just shameful.

  19. asia Says:

    It is my dream to get everyone I know onto a race course… now I can cross you off my list. Was it transcendental?? I know it was!

  20. Lisa (V of F) Says:

    Kudos to you for stepping into Chicago Marathon traffic! You do look a little out of place – in a good way!
    (Once I physically yanked my Mom with me into the middle of a parade in downtown Portland, Oregon because there was no place to cross the street. She refused to cut through the parade, but I forced her. We got stuck in the middle of a marching band. It was one the best moments of my life.)