Bank of America Chicago Marathon

I did it.

The lines are signed. The registration fee is paid. The training group is confirmed.

chicago marathon

I signed up and I’m running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon!

As you might remember, last year about this time I registered for a marathon and it didn’t end up happening. I was under a lot of stress with our big move, was facing some health issues and decided it would be best for my body (and my sanity) to forgo the marathon experience until I was in tip-top shape. While it wasn’t a total fail, I still ran the half-marathon – basically untrained, BTW! – I am craving that death-like marathon experience and cannot wait to participate this fall!

Typically, the Chicago Marathon entry works as a lottery. SO many people would like the opportunity to run the marathon (because Chicago is just that freakin’ awesome, #amiright?!) that everyone is entered into a lottery and at the beginning of April, the marathon committee randomly selects individuals for the race.

There is one exception, however. If you run for charity, you are automatically registered to run!

So guess what I did… I signed up to run for charity! So not only have I committed to running 26.2 miles (gulp), I have also committed to raising a minimum of $1,250 (my stretch goal is $2,000!) for the charity of my choice – TEAM PAWS Chicago.

What does TEAM PAWS support?

Funds raised by TEAM PAWS support PAWS Chicago’s national No Kill model, dedicated to ending the unnecessary killing of homeless pets. By rescuing and treating homeless pets and finding them loving new homes, PAWS is saving more than 5,800 lives every year. PAWS also focuses on prevention, providing nearly 18,000 low cost/free spay or neuter surgeries in low-income communities where most stray and unwanted pets originate. As one of the largest No Kill shelters in the nation and a national model, PAWS is dedicated to sharing best practices and lifesaving strategies with people and organizations across the country.


As you all know, I have a very soft place in my heart for this guy.

photo 4 (58)

I could go on about how I’m an animal lover, about how I support the ethical treatment of ALL animals, about how it is important to help those who can’t help themselves, and about how much joy animals bring to our lives. I love that PAWS Chicago supports not only the current issue by finding homes for homeless pets but also focuses on prevention.

I am running for a cause that is near and dear to my heart and I’d love it if you supported me and shared this link with your family and friends! Even $1 can go a long way to help our little, furry friends :) You can donate here, follow along with my fundraising progress, and read more about PAWS Chicago on my TEAM PAWS personal page.

As an FYI, this money goes directly to PAWS Chicago – I don’t see any of it or get any sort of commission from your donation.

Well, with that being said, it’s time to get running!

Here’s to surviving 26.2 miles in October! (P.S. More details including my goals and information about the race to come once I sort through my thoughts!)

Have you run a marathon? If so, what is your #1 piece of advice? 

Have you ever run for charity?


  1. Congratulations on signing up for another race! I’ve heard so many great things about the Chicago marathon. I think preparing with a training group is a great idea. I trained for two consecutive San Diego marathons with the San Diego Track Club. Making friends in that running club ensured that I showed up for every long run on Saturday. I think that would be my advice: don’t miss your weekly long run. It will help build endurance and confidence in running longer distances! Keep us posted on your training!!
    Marnie recently posted…Wrapping up the WeekMy Profile

  2. I haven’t run a marathon yet….. maybe someday :) When I go clinically insane! haha My mom had run TONS of marathons! I think her biggest advise would be to train train train!!! Good luck!!! I can’t wait to follow you along your marathon journey :)
    Alex @ alex runs for food recently posted…Sweet Potato Nachos & A TreatMy Profile

  3. Oooooooh, I love your choice of charity ;-)

  4. Oh my gosh…I have no words. I’m so excited for you but so torn within myself…do ya follow?
    Katie @ Talk less, Say more recently posted…Case ClosedMy Profile

  5. Oh goodness…how exciting, Becky!! Congrats for signing up and I LOVE your charity of choice!
    Holly @ Eatgreatbegreat recently posted…SPARTAN UP!My Profile

  6. Congratulations for signing up for a marathon! That’s such a huge deal. I’m sure that you’re going to rock it!

    I’ve never ran for a charity, but I love that all of the races I run are for a good cause.
    Laura @ RunningJunkie recently posted…All Over the PlaceMy Profile

  7. There’s been so much talk of the Chicago Marathon lately, so I’m super excited for ya, girlie :D And having a total soft spot in my heart for animals as well, I really love the charity you picked. My own pooch is a rescue, and I couldn’t imagine life without her.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. pumpkin chili mexican scramble .My Profile

  8. I love this!! This is just too cool. I posted the link in my post today. Here’s to running the Chicago Marathon!!
    Chelsea @ A Fit LittleOne recently posted…It’s a DecisionMy Profile

  9. Ahh this is so exciting!! I can’t wait to keep up with your marathon training! My first marathon is two weeks from Sunday, so maybe I will have some tips for you after that. ;)

  10. How awesome! I’m excited for you. I honestly have no desire to run a full marathon, but I sure do admire anyone that does. ;) I love your cause behind it too!
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted…Fabletics = Fabulous AthleticsMy Profile

  11. Michelle says:

    My advice for your first marathon is have fun and don’t worry about finishing in a certain time. I ran the chicago marathon as my first last year and it was an incredible experience! I loved every second of it! I am searching for a charity to run for this year! Good luck with training!

  12. Wait- when did Chicago become a lottery race?! Wow, that race just keeps getting bigger and bigger! I think I might just have to enter into it now… And love love love what PAWS is all about and what it stands for!
    Katie @ daily cup of kate recently posted…Fitness Friday and Shoe AdviceMy Profile

  13. how exciting!!!!! love that its for charity & animals, so great<3
    Cait @PieceofCait recently posted…THINK SPRING!My Profile

  14. I am currently training for a 5k, I can’t even run that far yet. I can’t even fathom a marathon. You. are. amazing. And love the charity you are running for :)
    mia @ makemeupmia recently posted…Celebrating Friday.My Profile

  15. What a great charity! You’ll do great!
    Jackie recently posted…Eats and Nacho Soup!?My Profile

  16. Yay!!! When I get my mileage up we should plan a run/brunch date.

    And I ran my first (and only) marathon for charity, it was so fulfilling! I wrote a post on fundraising tips-I’ll have to dig it up and share.
    Katie @ Live Half Full recently posted…Take Time ThursdayMy Profile

  17. I’ve never run a marathon, but I love how you’re doing so for charity – and obviously I love the sounds of the charity you chose!
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…Five Things Friday 03/21/14.My Profile

  18. Woot woot! You’re totally going to rock it, Becky!!! Massive props to you for getting up the courage to sign up and for pledging to fundraise as well! Any ideas on possible fundraisers yet? Maybe Mitchell man could have a kissing booth to get those donations rolling in. Who doesn’t love puppy kisses?!
    Leslee @ Her Happy Balance recently posted…Friday Faves – 3/21/14My Profile

  19. Woo! Exciting!!
    Trust your training! Pick a good plan and follow it :) But most important enjoy it all!!
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Friday Q&AMy Profile

  20. Good luck on your marathon! So exciting! I don’t have any spectacular advice, other than make sure you train for it. I may have a habit of getting into this “oh, I got this” mode and, well, I don’t train. Turns out you need to train. :)
    Emily recently posted…Getting Fixed Up, Finally!My Profile

  21. Congrats! I’ve always wanted to do a marathon. I’ve done so many halfs, but never a full. It’s on my list to do one before 40. I love that you’re doing it for a charity too.

  22. I’m so excited for you! I signed up for the lottery and I am seriously banking on getting in. I need to run this race! And if I don’t, I’ll probably commit to joining a charity because I want to do it so badly! And girl, you’ve got this. It takes a lot of time, so prepare your husband for that. Countless are the hours my boyfriend has helped me out – whether it’s ice baths, helping me foam roll, bringing me food while I’m running, picking me up because my body needed to potty…etc. He has also sacrificed a lot of Friday/Saturday night fun alongside me. Drinking + long runs do not mesh well together. It takes a lot of support from those around you, and it takes a lot of acceptance of defeat when in happens. You’ve just got to keep your chin up about everything and continue working at it. The one thing I wish I would have known my first time around was how seriously important it is to both hydrate and fuel like a beast on the long runs. I would run 18 miles and then come home and almost puke. Duh, that was because I hadn’t eaten anything for 3+ hours and had just burned 2,000 + calories. My body was eating itself. Oh, also, I have had to accept the pace of the long run. I never understood why I was running 11 or 12 minute miles. I beat myself up over it. Now, though, marathon #3 training is in the works, and I’m damn proud of my 10 + minute mile pace. God I could right a novel about all the shit I wish I knew. GOOD LUCK I’ll be following along on IG. :) I hope I make it up there too!!!!
    Meghan @ fitnesscrEATures recently posted…Double RacesMy Profile

  23. Congrats lady! That’s so awesome and I adore your charity. I ran my first marathon in 2005 and the biggest tip is to just rest the week before, keep loose and limber but don’t waste your energy, save it for the big day. Your legs will remember what to do in that week and you’ll have the boot of just being 100% rested.
    Ashley@ashleyunfiltered recently posted…What’s Making Me HappyMy Profile

  24. Ahhh so excited for you to run a marathon! Also I love the lil pups, what a great cause!
    Ashley @ Brocblog recently posted…Reset Da LegsMy Profile

  25. YAY FUN!!

    I’m running my first marathon this year – NYC. I tried for four years to get in, so guaranteed entry for me! Chicago is on my list too, if this first marathon goes well :-)

    I’ve never run for charity, but want to – especially for a travel race!
    Rebecca@RunningFoodBaby recently posted…The Surprise PBMy Profile

  26. WOOOO Go girl!! :D
    Kammie @ sensual Appeal recently posted…5 Commandments to Thriving as a “Caretaker”My Profile

  27. Congrats again- and what a great cause to do so! The handful of races I’ve ever done have all been for charity- There are many here which have huge fees and go to um….no one? Wait, you get a T shirt. No dice.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Grain Free Cheeseburger PancakesMy Profile


  29. Congrats! I’m aiming to just do a half this year unfortunately no desire to run a full, but mad props to you!), so I have no advice. My husband ran the Chicago marathon in 2010- he barely trained and the furthest the rsn during training was 12 miles, lol. I don’t know how he pulled that off with a decent time; actually dangerous! The atmosphere was awesome though!
    Kim recently posted…Home.My Profile

  30. YAY! Good luck! I’m rooting for you, Becky!
    Laura Dembowski recently posted…Five Candies You Should Make, Not Buy, for EasterMy Profile

  31. Congrats on signing up for the Chicago Marathon! I will probably never run a marathon, but admire everyone who does. I love the PAWS organization and just donated to help you reach your goal. Good luck with your training!
    Alicia K recently posted…Election Day and WIAW #1My Profile

    • Thank you so much, Alicia!! Your donation means a lot to me but even more to the animals it will help :)

  32. Wow, this is fantastic and you’re doing it for a good cause as well! Kudos to you girlie. I know this will be a fun experience for you. :)
    Natalie Staeckeler recently posted…I Don’t Know How To ReactMy Profile

  33. Yay! Exciting news and for a fantastic cause! You’re going to rock this marathon!
    Kim @ Racing Bananas recently posted…Quotable Friday! Health and HopeMy Profile

  34. Congrats lady!!!!
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…{Healthy Spring Salads} Sushi Salad w/ Carrot-Ginger DressingMy Profile

  35. Girl I am so proud of you for doing this! I know you are going to be amazing running it, and it will be a much better experience than last time. On that note, It seems like things are going much better in the health department (or at least I hope!) so yay! I think it’s fantastic you are doing this for charity, too! I will be checking the budget and donating what I can!
    Heather @fitncookies recently posted…MIMM: New York CityMy Profile

    • You’re so sweet, Heather! Thank you! And my hair is still falling out but I don’t look bald so my doctor thinks it’s slowing down. Still working on getting the iron up though!

  36. congrats! I signed up for the lottery, but am thinking about joining a charity team if I don’t get picked. good luck!
    jana recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #9: ConfessionsMy Profile

  37. So, so proud of you. You rock.

  38. I’m way late to the game in reading this, but congrats! I ran the Chicago Marathon for charity once (for Diabetes Action Team) and once for no charity. It’s a great race, and such a classic. I have a bitter taste in my mouth because it was SUPER hot both times, which slowed me down a lot, but in general I think you’ll love it!! Excited for you!
    Megan (The Lyons’ Share) recently posted…My RRCA Running Coach TrainingMy Profile

  39. CONGRATS! This is so huge. I haven’t ran a marathon – yet – but I have ran for charity. I need to get on my charity raising for Bright Pink – it’s a breast cancer/ovarian cancer education charity for young women to get checked early, etc. etc. My company is one of their biggest partners so a bunch of girls at my office are running the PGH marathon/half-marathon for them! I also have ran for a friend’s dad’s charity and for a Haitian hospital charity.
    CASSIE recently posted…Getting it Together Thursdays: Collect Moments, Not ThingsMy Profile


  1. […] Earlier this year, I signed up for the Chicago Marathon. […]

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