Chicago Marathon 2019

Marathon #14 in the books! Over the weekend, I completed (and set a personal best time) in the Chicago Marathon. It is one of my favorite weekends of the year, as I stay with a dear friend that I met in the Paris Marathon while running. For those of you who have read the blog for many years, this is a repetitive story, but it always reminds me that you can find a great friend in a stranger and to be kind, loving, and open to everyone. I feel incredibly fortunate to have Michelle in my life and to share this special weekend on a yearly basis with her. It was so great to just be with her and her family. And the race is just an excuse to visit them, and something to train for. One thing for sure, is I love the journey of training! Sign me up for the next one (actually, I am already signed up for LA Marathon March 8th).


Straight from the airport to the expo to get my number. The pants I am wearing are my favorite jeans but let me tell you — THEY ARE NOT PHOTOGENIC. They are so cool in person. But in a picture, they scream BIG THIGHS and MOM JEANS.

Their apartment overlooks the start (and finish) of the race. I spent all day Saturday just gazing and looking around. 360 degree views. The most spectacular apartment I have ever ever ever seen.

At night, the view is also spectacular. I hung out and watched a movie and just was with them. Anu is 47 years old and runs a 2:36 marathon. LET ME REPEAT a 2:36!!!!!!!!

Morning of the race. Since I fell asleep at 830, I was up race day at 2 am tossing and turning. And totally alone in the guest apartment, I had to entertain myself by taking pictures and trying not to get even more nervous.

It was cold. VERY COLD. So here I am in throw away clothes looking like a marshmallow. I also cried that morning — emotions are always heightened before and after marathons for me. One of my besties kept telling me to feel those feelings and not try to hide from them — so that is what I did. I cried.

During the race. At mile 2. That is barely out the door!

Gobbled down crepe and nutella and about 50 pieces of bacon.


Me and my dear friends, Anu and Michelle, post marathon. Beyond grateful and thankful for them. They were literally strangers who I met on the street, and have taken me in like family. I feel like I won the lottery with them.


And then POOF, I was back in NYC that night, in time to put the kids to sleep. I am still processing the marathon and how I did and felt, and as always, there are so many takeaways and lessons I learn from the run. Not just for running but for life itself……and now, back to normal scheduling blog posts and not being so absent minded — I have literally forgotten about EVERYTHING in the past week.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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  1. Your passion for running, training, and participating in marathons is truly inspirational!

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