Marathon Memories: A Tale of 2 Cities

My love affair with Chicago started in 2006. On a whim, 6 months after my last chemotherapy treatment, I registered for the Chicago Marathon. My feet had never even walked 26 steps in the Windy City, but on October 22, 2006 they ran the entire 26.2 miles. I can still feel the streets shaking above me as we started out of Millennium Park, and towards Michigan Avenue. My pace was fast (too fast) as we headed up the Gold Coast. With every step I took, someone next to me was cheering on the sidewalk, and I felt the city of Chicago hug me tighter and tighter. That day in 2006, the city of Chicago stole my heart, and ever since then I’ve taken every opportunity I could to get back there. I’ve done New Year’s Eve, outdoor hockey games, birthdays, and for the first time this summer, introduced my daughter’s to the Second City (and went to my first Cubs game!).

Chicago Marathon 2006 (that's me in the front in the purple)

Chicago Marathon 2006 (that’s me in the front in the purple)

I expect my second marathon to be a little different, as I’ve heard they all tend to be. See, the city of Boston is part of my soul already. Born and raised there, I’ve been to lots of towns and cities, seen it from all angles and ages, but never from the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boylston. I will see the city in a whole new light, in a light of rebirth after last year’s marathon bombings, in a light of pride, and I will have my sister right next to me. I know I’m going to fall in love with a whole new Boston on April 21, 2014. Because that is what running a marathon can do to you.

Ellie in Chicago!

Ellie in Chicago!

The cherry on top is that I’ve been given the opportunity to run both Chicago and Boston as part of charity teams that help people just like me fight the good fight to beat cancer. If all I have to do is lace up my shoes and run, just tell me where to sign.

Chicago, you’ll always have a piece of my heart somewhere out there on that marathon route. Boston, we’re coming for ya.

* Marissa and I are training for the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Mass General Hospital Marathon team. We are raising money for the pediatric cancer center. Please consider making a donation to this wonderful cause. THANK YOU! *

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