If you are reading this, it means that I am a holder of the 40th Bank of America Chicago Marathon finisher medal. Perhaps you are a first time reader on my blog and might be asking if this is my first marathon ever or even if this is my first time doing a marathon in Chicago. The answer is safely no. Others who may have been following my journey for at least two months know that this summer/fall has been exceptionally cruel to my mental and physical. In turn, I am just as shocked that I can write this blog with joy and elaborate on the wonderful (and not so glamorous) elements of doing this particular marathon.
So You Gonna Tell Us Or Nah...
I love bullet points and lists because I am a border line lunatic. Let's see if I can wrap this up as briefly as I possibly can:
13.1 Middle Fingers are mandatory at the half way point. Congrats, you made it but you ain't done yet. Die another 13.1 miles. You can do it (and the hotel fees, food, tourist traps and fees will thank you later for your dedication).
14. The weather is whipping your ass but there's an internal soundtrack playing just for you. Yup, we all encounter it at some point. My first 10 miles, I heard the Left Right Kill military cadence and somehow, around mile 13.1, I quickly shifted to Marilyn Manson, ODB and DMX until I actually heard Eye of the Tiger three times on the course. WTF bro...I only needed it once.
15. Fuck the Posters...Peeing on yourself just a little bit, just might be okay. Well, it's fine until it's time to change and then it burns like hell. It is acid after all.
16. No, please don't shit yourself. I'm serious. Find a goddamn port-a-potty.
17. Outside Dutch Ovens are HILARIOUS... unless it's accompanied by shit and then, you're in danger honey.
18. You feel a strange runner's high out of nowhere. Every person is different but edging death gives me life.
19. Playing Russian Roulette with the Port-a-Potty and actually getting a great one is golden. Port-a-potties are like meeting Itt from a Steven King novel and you just never know if you'll make it out alive but when you do...that's already worth half the medal.
20. Did I mention that you run through over 20 neighborhoods? Yes chile...you do. And guess what, your feet will feel every ounce of those 52,000 steps you'll be making for the day.
21. The complimentary booze actually was pretty decent. I can honestly say that I enjoyed the hell out of the beer. Don't tell anyone that I got a second one by accident...on purpose.
22. Running 26.2 miles is such a humbling experience. You are allowed to embrace the good, bad and ugly of your life and given an abundance of hours to get your entire life together (or at least a segment if you're messy like me).
23. Yes, cliché but... you are doing something that many will judge the shit out of you for doing it. But guess what honey? You're doing this for you FIRST, not for anyone else. If you're looking to impress people, do a half marathon. If you're looking to test your endurance, go for the full. If you're ape shit and want to test how deep your crazy is then...
24. The Chicago Marathon is my training course for the TCS NYC Marathon & the NYRR 60K. No, I don't smoke crack. Yes, I am fucking crazy. I do it all for...
25. The food BIHHHH! Yup the muhfuggin food. For an entire week (or a few days), I get to vicariously be a guilt free fat ass until I start racking up calories at places like The Cheesecake Factory or Lou Malnati's pizzeria.
26. The physical, mental and emotional finisher's medal. Let me be honest: I stopped running for the physical medals about a year or two ago. They collect dust on my wall (but no, you can't have it bitch) and I'm humbled when I do take the chance to look back at it. I'm able to reflect on the memories, the wonderful moments and amazing people that I met on the pavement.
26.2. Fuck the haters: We DID that boo. Yup, I'm still petty as fuck. So while I bask in being uplifted by knowing that I did something amazing, I get to throw up so many eff yous to the naysayers, doubters and jerks who want to see me fail. But you know what, my loves? While embracing your petty, wish them well. At one point, I used to be one of them negative, shady as fuck folks who looked down on this community. Now that I'm here, I'm humbled by the tenacity, power and sacrifice that you have to make to get here.
Wrap it Up Bih...
After you embrace the neurotic joys of running 26.2 miles, loving that this entire emotional and physical rollercoaster is over, you are left with your thoughts. Sure, some of us are salty about not making that PR but that's fine, darlings. Be blessed that those feet and knees are still rocking it out for you everyday. Be thankful that all of those training hours were put to good use. If you didn't make it across the finish line, know that it took a lot of balls to get you there. Waking up and kicking ass is the HARDEST part of the process.
People will shame you, guilt you and make you feel inadequate for whatever personal reason 365 1/4 days in a year but for this one day, you know that you are doing something amazing. While you may be sharing the pavement with others, your win is only for you. If someone else is inspired by your journey, let them be but encourage them to ride the wave safely, effectively and to define their own reason of why they run. Your reasoning may not make sense to someone else. That's okay boo boo. It's probably not meant for others to understand your journey. This is truly for you.
To the graduating class of 2017's 40th Bank of America Chicago Marathon who crossed the finish line or attempted it, I salute you. Congrats.
And to those who are contemplating their first marathon, 5k, 10k or first mile: You'll never know what you're capable of until you try and be consistent. Ride the wave with me.
P.S. TCS NYC Marathon, I'mma little pissed off that we don't get the changing stations like Chicago. Get it together baby. We pay 255.00 or something like that and I have to go home smelling like sewer. That ain't right.
Latoya Shauntay Snell
For my pretentious ass bio, check out the about me page but for anyone interested in who I really am, make me a good meal at your house and I'll tell you a dope ass story.
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