The packing has commenced! I'm flying out to Chicago tomorrow morning at an ungodly hour, but the bright side is I'll be in town by midmorning.
Anyways, the subject of this post. As Running Jayhawk and the others put so eloquently, we couldn't have done this alone. I know this to my core.
I am a solitary runner. Believe me, it's not necessarily by choice, but by circumstance. When i'm out there, I can concentrate on my running or my daily worries. But when I pass groups that are doing their runs, there is a little jealousy.
Of the 700 miles of this training program, I've probably run 685 of them by myself. But when I plop myself in front of my computer after every run, I debrief all my running buddies.
You keep me sane. You keep me honest to my goals. I share in your triumphs and understand your pains. I've peered into your running lives (and often, your real ones) day in, day out. These 18 weeks would have been much harder to do without this community.
So here's to all the Chicago Marathon bloggers that I stalk (and sometimes surface on). To Bob, Running Jayhawk, Ugly Toes, Ryan, Out of Shape Guy, Leah and Jason, Mike, Arcaner, Dave, Jods, Running Rabbit, Garou, Nicole, and Josh. Also, to those who bowed out, like Tara and runnergirl, who stayed with us and will be cheering us on. Thanks for that. Also, and thanks to Sonia, who's now a marathoner (last week), who's constantly been in touch.
Of course, there are people who've had to hear me rant and rave about my marathon training. They are family members (actually, my brother) and other friends are are pretty much family. And, of course, R. Thanks for sticking with me -- I appreciate all the support.
Finally, there's the two friends who are doing Chicago with me. To Jellypepper and Frankie, (pictured here flanking me, the guy in the centre). Thanks for pushing me almost a year ago to do this marathon. And thanks for following me online.
Oh, one more housekeeping thing for all of you if you want to track me. On race day, on chicagomarathon.com, you'll be able to track my times. The bib number is 6371 and my name is Kenny Yum. Now you know why the name's Yumke. Nice to meet you all. Until Chicago.
2 days, 13 hours, 40 minutes!