My Return to Running: Chicago, a Personal Trainer, and a Playlist

The past several days have been so exciting, running-wise, that I can barely contain myself.

Photo Mar 11, 2 05 28 PM

I really hate this photo. I need to take another “Molly, excited, running” photo so I can stop using this one. (And don’t worry–I stopped using that terrible bra.)

It started with last Saturday’s 3-miler, which was slow and kind of awkward due to my obsessive focus on my hip flexors. I didn’t experience any discomfort during or after my run–a good sign–but I didn’t want to get excited about my long-awaited return to running before making sure I could run more than one easy 3-miler.

On Monday (also known as “The Bachelor” Day–ask why and we might not be able to be friends anymore), I ran another easy 3 miles with my BRF, Aimee. I’m sure I was holding her back, but I needed to keep my run at a slower pace (around 10:00 min/mile). Because Aimee and I gabbed the whole time, I was unable to focus on my hip or anything other than our conversation. No pain during, no pain after. Hooray!

On Tuesday, the Chicago Marathon‘s lottery and guaranteed-entry registration opened. Silly or no, my heart was pounding as I entered my info for my guaranteed-entry application. It didn’t ask for my qualifying time, and I wondered if the application form was deficient. I emailed my proof of qualifying time to the race coordinators per the website’s instructions, but I was still nervous that some glitch would somehow block my application from being accepted. The Chicago Marathon website advised it could take 5 to 7 days to receive notice of acceptance which felt like a long time to wait when, like me, you’re so Type A that it hurts. I even went on to Twitter to share my neuroses about my application:

I tried to keep my mind off my application for the remainder of the day and ended up hearing back from Ruth, the personal trainer and elite runner I had contacted over the weekend. Ruth is a total badass distance runner from my area. She wins races in Tacoma and around the Puget Sound, and has qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials.

My friend and massage therapist, Heidi, has raved about Ruth’s work with her (and Heidi’s resulting PRs), and my coach, Kris, suggested I contact Ruth about personal training.  I really need to work on strengthening the parts of my glutes and hammies, as well as other somewhat-neglected parts of my body. Ruth is going to come up with a running-focused strength-training plan for me, and we begin workouts in early April! I am so excited to embark on this new adventure.

Photo Mar 10, 8 04 16 PM

And then, on Tuesday night, I received my confirmation of acceptance into the Chicago Marathon!

Woohoo! I am thrilled at the prospect of running a marathon later this year. For now, I’ll take baby-steps as I rebuild my foundation, but OMGOMGOMG I’m so happy!

I’m so excited about my return to running that I’ve even started poring over songs to add to my running playlist. Here are some heart-pumpers that I’m adding:


“I Really Like You” – Carly Rae Jepsen.  “Call Me Maybe” rightfully belongs on any running playlist, so I’m excited she came out with a new and fun single to freshen up my playlist.


“Heartbeat Song” – Kelly Clarkson. “Since You Been Gone” usually ends up on every one of my race playlists because it’s so upbeat and motivating.  “Heartbeat Song” is a catchy tune but we’ll see if it ends up a classic.

Do you have any recommendations for songs to add to my running playlist?  How is your running going these days? Are you planning to run the Chicago Marathon? Have you ever worked with a personal trainer? 

22 thoughts on “My Return to Running: Chicago, a Personal Trainer, and a Playlist

  1. Tricia Johnson says:

    EEEKKKKKK!!! I’m so excited for you!!! Congrats! I’m so happy to hear you’re back to pain free running, your registration was accepted and that you’re going to be working with a trainer! How exciting! I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing. I was able to make it 3.1 miles last night (doing 2×1 intervals, but that’s still good for me right now!)!

    Congrats again lady! You deserve it! ❤

  2. This is such a great post! I’m really happy for you with being able to run again and getting accepted into this year’s Chicago Marathon! If that’s not motivation to train, I don’t know what is 🙂

    One of my favorite playlist songs at the moment is “We are so alive tonight” by Wild Future. It’s not a super fast song but I like it for getting pumped up!

  3. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Yey! So excited for you! After I’m done with Paris I will be focusing on strength training for a few months before a new marathon training cycle starts. I want to be as strong as I can for Marine Corp!

    • Thanks! I was a total freak about it on Tuesday. I’m sure my entire family is grateful I received the confirming email that night, and that the process didn’t drag out for a week.

  4. Congrats and good luck with your marathon training. Chicago is a bucket list race for me. The songs that I’m loving running to right now is “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon and “Geronimo” by Sheppard.

  5. Congrats on Chicago, and I completely sympathize when hip flexor problems. I pulled my hip flexor playing soccer right before I started training for my first half marathon. Took me 9 months to find the right exercise to strengthen it.

    • Wow. 9 months? That’s awful. I have been dealing with it off-and-on since last June. I hope it’s behind me because I’ve done a lot of consistent glute medius work over the last few months.

  6. YAY!!! Chicago, here you come! This is so exciting; I know you’re going to be so strong and ready to go. I got a recommendation for a strength coach from Andrea Duke, one of the Oiselle elites; he gave me a preliminary plan to try out, but I can’t afford him on a regular basis – ha! Sounds like you will really benefit from this expertise; I can’t wait to hear all about it. I just downloaded Kelly Clarkson’s new album last night; I love her and the entire album is fantastic. Definitely some of her best work!

    • I’m planning to do consistent workout updates when I start strength-training with Ruth so that my readers (and I!) can track how it goes. I don’t see how it can hurt!

      Okay, so maybe I need to fulfill the rest of the album on iTunes… 🙂

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