My 2015 Race Plans? Hmmm.

I feel like every other runner in the world has nailed down their schedule for next year and I’m still focused on 2014 and that 5K I’ve got coming up this weekend.

have picked out my next marathon though!

Just the other day I got in touch with wonderful people at PAWS Chicago, and I am now 99.9% sure I am going to fundraise and run the Chicago Marathon as part of Team PAWS next October. PAWS is the largest no-kill animal shelter in Chicago!


I’ve been thinking about fundraising for a while and this feels like the perfect opportunity since Chicago has a lottery system for regular registrations and I can circumvent that by fundraising.

Is the course in Chicago as flat as my 0 elevation here in South Florida? Nope.


(Image Source)

But it looks pretty friendly (and flat). It definitely doesn’t include the 150ft climb that Portland throws at you in mile 17! That thing still haunts my nightmares!!

Running the Chicago Marathon should help with my future goal of running the Chicago Lakefront 50K at some point in the future (probably spring 2016).  You know I’m always thinking ahead towards my future as an ultrarunner! 🙂

Cecil approves of me joining Team PAWS and thinks he should be allowed to complete the race while perched upon my shoulder:


(I seriously have no idea  why he decided he should climb up but he seemed to find it comfortable!)

After the 5K this weekend I’ll probably start thinking more broadly about my 2015 running plans! I’m excited that part of those plans will (probably) include running in one of the biggest marathons in the world!

Have you ever raced for a charity? What was it like? I like that it pairs up two things that will make me feel good (running and raising money for homeless pets)!



  1. December 16, 2014 / 5:23 am

    This sounds like a great plan! I would love to run the chicago marathon one year. I only have one race on my calendar for 2015 so far and I feel the same way seeing everyone else with full plans laid out!

    • December 16, 2014 / 3:07 pm

      Oh good! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels behind!

      Maybe 2015 is the year for you to run Chicago too!!! 🙂

  2. December 16, 2014 / 7:56 am

    Racing for a charity is on my to do list for sure. I was actually originally thinking of trying to do that for the NYC marathon but those plans changed. Might still do it for the MKE marathon even though I don’t “need” to for entry.

    This makes me sad I’m not running Chicago in 2015!! I was going to! Now we’ll miss each other 🙁 So bummed!

    • December 16, 2014 / 3:11 pm

      Oh no! That stinks, it would be great to know someone else whose traveling into Chicago for the race!

      I had been considering racing for charity all of this year and just never took the plunge. I’m excited to try my hand at it next year!

  3. December 16, 2014 / 8:30 am

    That is an awesome plan!! I love the idea of running for a good cause! We can do so much more when we are helping and it gives that extra push we may not have had otherwise! I still have to figure out what fall race I am going to do. It is such a hard decision!

    • December 16, 2014 / 3:12 pm

      … maybe you should sign up for Chicago too!! 🙂

      And you could join Team Paws and we could fundraise together!

  4. December 16, 2014 / 8:31 am

    I have never run for a charity, but if I did, it would probably be one similar to what you chose! My friend ran Chicago this year, and he had nothing but AWESOME things to say about it. I mean, he was very adamant that EVERYONE should run Chicago- so good choice!!!

    • December 16, 2014 / 3:13 pm

      That’s really great to hear!

      I loved reading Chicago race recaps this year, and more importantly I loved watching the live stream! That’s what really got me thinking about doing one of the major marathons!

  5. December 16, 2014 / 8:37 am

    Hey you can’t overlook the run this weekend, going to be a great race for you. You have plenty of time to organize 2015 after your race.

    Wife and I were busy taking about fundraising for races. I was explaining it to get fit the Boston marathon. I think it’s a great idea and always benefits such great organizations.

    • December 16, 2014 / 3:14 pm

      That’s a great idea to fundraise for Boston, but I bet you’ll BQ!

      You haven’t written about your marathon goals yet, have you? You should do that!! 🙂

  6. December 16, 2014 / 9:46 am

    Ahhh, love that! Perfect race and cause for you! Except….you do know….it’s, dare I say, a little COLD in Chicago. None of this 66 degrees and chilly weather going on ;). You’ll be amazing, so excited for this!

    My first marathon is in MARCH 2015 and I get sweaty pits just thinking about it.

    • December 16, 2014 / 3:15 pm

      I KNOW! The cold weather is part of the reason I selected it though! It’s going to be SUPER cold for me, but I think that’s wayyyyy better than my unexpectedly HOT day in Portland! I don’t want to risk getting caught in another 80 degree marathon!

      You are going to do ridiculously well at your marathon, you shouldn’t be nervous AT ALL!

  7. December 16, 2014 / 10:55 am

    I have heard great things about the Chicago Marathon. It’s nice that all of the hills are in the first half of the marathon and that you get to finish flat. What a great way to raise money for a wonderful cause. I am all about helping animals. When I was training for my very first marathon, Houston Marathon, I joined Team In Training and raised $2500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.

    • December 16, 2014 / 3:17 pm

      They seem like pretty tame hills too, right? A little bit? I’ll definitely prepare better for the hills this time around!

      I remember that you did Team In Training, that’s so awesome. I wanted to do Team In Training this year, but none of the races/dates matched up for me. I definitely want to do that at some point in the future!

  8. December 16, 2014 / 11:07 am

    My sister ran Chicago for Team Ronald McDonald last year and she had such a great experience! I’m so excited for you to do Chicago this year! If that’s my fall marathon we might get to finally meet IRL!!! 😀

    • December 16, 2014 / 3:18 pm

      Yes!! You should definitely do Chicago again. We can celebrate your sub-3 race together (a few hours after I finally cross the finish line, lol)!

  9. December 16, 2014 / 11:53 am

    My mom directed a no-kill cat shelter for many years so PAWS is a cause is near and dear to my heart. heh, that rhymes!
    I haven’t ever raced for a charity, but I am still considering throwing my name in the lottery for Chicago next year. I love that city and have so many friends there, so it would be great to visit for a race. Not to mention the fast, flat, cool course…

    • December 16, 2014 / 3:19 pm

      I love that! Your mom must be really awesome!

      Sounds like you should definitely throw your name into the lottery!! We can organize a run blogger meetup!

  10. December 16, 2014 / 12:13 pm

    YAY! (I really need to find a new opener but that’s the first thing that pops in my head.) I have heard really great things about the Chicago Marathon and it’s a very popular race here in the Midwest. I ran the Chicago Half Marathon and a 10K there as well, otherwise I would join you 🙂

    I haven’t run for a charity before, but I’m considering it for NYC or MCM if I don’t get in. It’s just a pretty sizable undertaking (at least for NYC with the race fees, team charity fees, and fundraising minimum of at least $2,600 – MCM is a smaller amount, less than $1,000) so I find it a little daunting right now. It really depends on whether I decide NYC has to be “the one” for my first marathon or not. I still don’t know. So many things to consider!

    I can’t wait to hear how your 5K goes this weekend!

    • December 16, 2014 / 3:23 pm

      Hahah I know what you mean. I feel like I start 90% of my comments with ‘whooo’ 😀

      Wow the fundraising minimum for NYC is really high. The minimum for Chicago is $1250 if you sign up for a guaranteed entry before the lottery and $1500 if you sign up after the lottery.

      Even though you’ve run the Chicago Half and 10K you should still consider the marathon! You’ll be fairly familiar with the course and it sounds like it’s a great course!

      • December 17, 2014 / 10:29 am

        I know! It’s pretty daunting. Do you think you’ll try to do guaranteed entry before the lottery with Team PAWS?

        One thing you’ll have to get ready for – it’ll probably be pretty cold at the start! I might just come to Chicago for the weekend to cheer you on 🙂 It’s only a 6-hour drive or like a 40 minute flight.

        • December 17, 2014 / 10:56 am

          I’m going to do the guaranteed entry before the lottery. Fundraising for a race is something I’ve been wanting to do, so I might as well just sign up and go for it!

          If you don’t run Chicago maybe you could volunteer if you want to come by! I really need to try to volunteer more in 2015, I’ve yet to do it at any race!

  11. December 16, 2014 / 1:32 pm

    awww! I wanna be on Team Paws!!

  12. December 16, 2014 / 1:35 pm

    Great idea.!!! Ruining for something you love is so awesome.

    Don’t worry, I sign up for races by the spur of the moment. I always over think things and I’m too indecisive to plan too far ahead. So 2015 will be a mystery to me.!!!

    • December 16, 2014 / 3:24 pm

      I think I have that over thinking things problem too!

      But I’m also a planner and HAVE to have a schedule for myself. I’ll get my act together and write my plan soon! 😉

  13. December 16, 2014 / 1:36 pm

    Not ruining. ! Omg. I meant running

  14. December 16, 2014 / 2:19 pm

    What a great cause!! The elevation looks really mild in Chicago 🙂 That is cool you can get in by fundraising. I can’t really think much past march for 2015…I just want to do the marathon, hopefully that will be reality by march 2015.

    • December 16, 2014 / 3:26 pm

      Mild for YOU! That’s way more elevation than I see in a week’s time! haha

      The marathon will be a reality for you in March!!!! You’re going to cross that line and feel like a million bucks! (And you’ll also wish you had a million bucks to offer someone to carry you around, haha)

  15. December 16, 2014 / 6:12 pm

    Good for you, Kristina! I’ll be throwing my name in the Chicago lottery… I just wish they update their website haha. I typically do not fundraise.. but happy to donate to those who are!!

    • December 16, 2014 / 10:56 pm

      Based on what the people at PAWS said, they should be updating their website within the next couple of weeks! Not too long to wait now!

  16. December 16, 2014 / 6:15 pm

    Chicago sounds so fun and I’ve heard it’s such a good race.

    I have no idea what my 2015 will look like…I’m behind on my plans! I usually have it all mapped out by now!!

    • December 16, 2014 / 10:57 pm

      When you do finally start writing out your 2015 plans be sure to include Chicago!! 🙂

  17. December 16, 2014 / 8:27 pm

    I will be in Chicago with you!!!!!!!! I can’t wait for the 2015 running year to start!

  18. December 16, 2014 / 8:36 pm

    You should totally run Chicago! My husband and I really want to do it next year! I love your Cecil pics 🙂 P.S. don’t feel bad about not having your 2015 schedule nailed down. I only have one race on my radar so far and I’m not stressing in the least about it. I’m actually enjoying some downtime in between training cycles. 🙂

    • December 16, 2014 / 10:58 pm

      Healther!!! I’m so excited to hear that!!! Yay, I really hope you two decide to do Chicago!!

  19. December 16, 2014 / 8:38 pm

    Great plan and very exciting! I read Chicago race recaps this year, and it seemed like a really nice race.and I love that you are already looking forward to 2016 and an ultra! 2016 is the year I’m planning on running my first full.

    • December 16, 2014 / 11:00 pm

      I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s as great of a course as everyone says! haha

      I LOVED watching the live stream from Chicago. That’s really what got me hooked and wanting to run it next year!

      I’ve had 2016 pinned down as my year of ultrarunning for so long! The idea first came to me in early 2013 and I’ve been prepping for it ever since!

  20. December 16, 2014 / 9:02 pm

    I have ZERO plans for next year! It makes me anxious to not have any plans but also I like not having the pressure. Makes no sense! I love that you are running Chicago for PAWS. I would love to run Chicago but I don’t know if I am mentally or physically ready for another marathon yet!

    • December 16, 2014 / 11:01 pm

      Chicago isn’t until October! You’ll be totally ready for another marathon by then!!!!

  21. December 16, 2014 / 10:33 pm

    I haven’t run a race for charity yet, but it does seem like SUCH a great way to combine 2 awesome things love: running and giving back. Oh girl, I don’t have a single 2015 race scheduled yet. You’re not alone!

    • December 16, 2014 / 11:01 pm

      I am so glad that I’m not the only one without 2015 race plans yet! I really felt like everyone else in the world had totally mapped out their entire racing year already!

  22. December 17, 2014 / 12:33 am

    What an awesome cause to run for! That’s great! Don’t worry, I have definitely not got my 2015 races planned yet! Well, I have one booked in July but that’s only because it fills up fast so I registered as soon as it was open for that one (a mountain bike and half marathon challenge in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia!). I have never run for charity so I’ve got no advice or stories there sorry! I think you’ve chosen a great charity though. 🙂

    • December 17, 2014 / 10:57 am

      Thanks, Lou! I’m excited to be able to support an organization that really pairs up with my interests!

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t have her races planned out yet!!!

  23. December 17, 2014 / 11:21 pm

    What a great way to run a huge race! If it makes you feel better, I have zero races on the horizon. The entry fees are just too crazy to justify at the moment.

  24. December 18, 2014 / 1:11 am

    How exciting! The Chicago Marathon looks incredible, I’d love to run it one day. I have my marathon in May and a half in March that I run every year but my year is pretty much open besides that. I think one of my favorite parts about running is researching and daydreaming about running different races.