Monday, October 23, 2006

Chicago Marathon







Last year, about the time I came out to KK, I started running. I wanted to get into shape, and it was also a welcome distraction from the emotional upheaval that I was going through.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to run a marathon. I thought I'd train to do a race in 2007, but KK encouraged me to do it this year. So I signed up for the Chicago Marathon, which ran yesterday. Chicago was a meaningful choice. I lived there for two years with KK after we got married, and my family is nearby in Wisconsin.

Yesterday with the temperature reading a nippy 38 at race time and with drizzle in the air, I ran. Ran like I've never run before. I hoped to finish in four hours, but a tweaked knee at mile 15 slowed me down. I crossed the finish line at 4:45:21. I cried through much of the last five miles of the race and was in a full weep as I hit the finish. I was filled with a sense of accomplishment, but also felt that I had finally reached a point of closure on a difficult period in my life. My marathon was very closely tied up in the coming out process for me. I spent many solitary hours in training, listening to my iPod, and thinking about my life. The old Chris would have never run a marathon. The new Chris did, and enjoyed every moment of it, even the painful ones.

I had my own personal cheering section: KK, E, L, my mom, her boyfriend, my sister and her boyfriend. My boyfriend, J, wanted to be there and was in both spirit and in the music on my iPod that took me across the finish line. And today I can hardly walk and have some nasty blisters to show for my effort. Hard work can be painful.

12 comments:

David said...

Congratulations. I needed to read a post like this today. Thanks.

k8 said...

marathons are for suckers ; )
i am proud of you-these things change lives ya know.

Dare said...

Congratulations on your marathon run! Thank God I didn’t have to run 26 miles when I came out. That wouldn’t have been pretty! :-)

BTW, Those sure are some cute kids!

John said...

Chris - What an accomplishment! Come out to DC and run the Marine Corps Marathon next year -it's actually fun, and warmer!

Anonymous said...

Congratulation, Chris, on both those distances traveled.

“Thank God I didn’t have to run 26 miles when I came out.”

Ditto that. I got off easy :-).

Another gay dad said...

Running a marathon is a great personal accomplishment. Congratulations and enjoy the rest. I took up running and ran 3 marathons during the time I struggled about coming out. Now that I am out, I don’t run races any more but I still run 4-5 times a week. My partner and I now belong to a local chapter of the international GLBT running club, frontrunners.org.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds a lot like what I am doing right now too... I'm not just coming out, but running out. I am running a 1/2 marathon in 10 days. I've been running for over a year and 1/2 now, but this time I am serious... -Serious about life and running is my way to release the tension. Congrats on the accomplishment. Thats really great.

-Caspian

BB said...

congrats, C. And I second the vote for the marine corps marathon

ronin1516 said...

Chris, congratulations!!!! As a former NCAa trak runner, I'd recommend a product that you can apply to various parts of your feet, as well as to any other area of y our body where chafing might occur. "BodyGlide" was the product I used when my teammates and I were running 80+ miles per week. Check it out, and give it a try - blisters and other chafing problems will become a thing of the past.
Best of luck in all aspects of your life.

Chris said...

ronin, I used BodyGlide in abundance, but it didn't save me from blisters on my feet. My nipples, however, thanked me.

ronin1516 said...

Chris - another product that might help prevent blisters. ( BTW a caveat here- I havent run in a while - am unable to, due to my having to deal with brain cancer, so, I am not current with all the running specialty products out there)
Anyways, in the mid to late '90s, I used to buy a brand of running socks, and I unfortunately have forgotten the brand name. There were blister-free socks. What these socks were, is that they were double layered socks. So, the friction that causes blisters was borne by the firstor outside layer. I wonder if they still sell those socks.
Another solution is to run a race, especially a marathon length race, with a well broken pair of running shoes, that are at least half to one full size larger than your normal shoe size. Since your feet swell up durng a race, a pair that are a size or two up, you end up not having your toes, or other parts of your feet rub against the shoes and cause blisters.
I have started walking long distances again, and I hope to do a half marathon, or maybe a 10-K race next year, maybe in the late summer or in the fall.

Titus Todd said...

Congratulations on the the Marathon. Today I read about Lance Amstrong's struggle with the NYC marathon so you're in good company!