Running the Chicago Marathon


Why Not?

Why not  run a marathon?  Are you motivated by achievement of a personal best or an accomplishment of a goal?  Maybe the marathon defines success.   In a few days, I’m running the Chicago Marathon to honor – my daughter Jodi.

And so, this post is dedicated to Jodi.

Death has a way of challenging your own personal growth and development.  It is definitively the absolute finality of our physical being.  It comes with sharp awareness, clarity and focus in the realm of one’s reality with a new perspective.  And death will be your teacher in redefining all of one’s priorities – no matter how big or small.

Although it has been six years since the ultimate endurance race of my lifetime then at the age of 45.  That race had little to do with my physical fitness conditioning.  At that  moment in time, little did I know that it would significantly change me forever.

Because in January, 2005  my daughter Jodi at the age of nineteen died and so did a part of me.  

Cancer was not invited to be a part of my plan or Jodi’s.  And now, how do I as a mother begin to put all of the pieces together?   

Running Chicago

Marathon running is a conduit in the realm of possibilities – even when situations seem impossible.   It began in August, 2006 with the NYC Half Marathon – my first emergence back into a big city race.  Then, Marine Corps Marathon, October, 2007 and More Half Marathon, April, 2008 – both in cities which connected me with Jodi’s friends and pursued the goal of 50 miles by 50.

Marathons teach us to use our minds in a new way that truly defines ourselves.  Instead of focusing on assumptions or fears, we discover what magical powers we have!  We choose to run the race that is set before us with an attitude of “why not” as opposed to “why.” 

So, on Sunday I will be  running with you – Jodi beside me in spirit – and your brother cheering alongside the streets of Chicago and your father via text messages.  Not matter what the conditions are on race day, running slow doesn’t serve this race yet alone the greater race of  life.   Now I know that lesson for sure –  because you taught me.



Filed under Coaching, Life Coaching

28 responses to “Running the Chicago Marathon

  1. Erica Springer

    What a great pic of Jodi! I look forward to hearing about your marathon experience. Just think of my hands slapping the water with every stroke of the 500 free as Jodi glides you across the finish line. You rock!!!!

  2. Andi Lieberman

    I had no idea you lost your daughter to cancer. I’m not even really sure what to say, except that your spirit and attitude are inspiring. I am glad that you have found strength to move on. I cannot even imagine what it must have been like for you and your family. I will hug my girls a little tighter this evening. This weekend, I will be thinking of you as you run Chicago-with your daughter Jodi beside you in spirit. Have a great race and know I’m thinking about you and your family.


  3. Heidi Simon

    This is so moving and inspiring. Thanks for sharing and I’m wishing you a terrific experience in Chicago this weekend.

  4. Ev Fiumara


    Thank you for sharing such an awe-inspiring story. When I first saw the picture, I thought it was you…What a vibrant girl Jodi must have been! I can’t even imagine the pain but you surely honor her with your spirit. I will think of you and Jodi and your son and husband this Sunday and I’ll be cheering you on from Philadelphia. Go Girl!!

  5. Debbie Keener

    Thank you for sharing this powerful message Peggy. It’s a wonderful reminder to keep our priorities in check and to enjoy the moment. This weekend I’ll be traveling to Scranton to support Vicki and Megan’s marathon effort and will be sure to convey your message. Will also send good thoughts to Chicago…good luck!

  6. This entry raised every hair on my body with its tenderness, courage and authenticity. Of course, seeing Jodi’s photo, I thought it was YOU! Your loss is unfathomable, and yet you have transformed it into a powerful example of how to transcend such loss. Thank you for this.

  7. Peg,

    Good luck on this inspiring journey! My thoughts and prayers are with you and with Jodi beside you in spirit as you run. Thank you for sharing this achievement!


  8. Stacy A

    I remember the story of your daughter as you told it to me one morning in Panera’s after a long run. This is a great way to celebrate the life of your daughter – in you.

    Good luck in Chicago!

  9. Gene DeLeo

    Dear Peg,

    Your strength and love of family are something very special. There is a poem called “Invictus” by Ernest Henley that you should read. It has given me strength in times of challenge. Thank you for sharing the love in your heart with us. Enjoy your time in Chicago.


  10. Elisha Waz

    Peg –
    Thanks for sharing this; I know that Jodi will be smiling down as you run through the streets of Chicago! I will be rooting for you on Sunday & will make sure to say an extra prayer for you so that you have a safe & memorable race!

    Thanks for all of your coaching this year through our training runs! You have certainly been a big part of my life, and your wisdom has brought me through my first marathon and multiple PR’s at othe races!
    Love, Elisha

  11. Peg, thanks for sharing your vision and motivation for the race. Through tears I read this blog post knowing that you are one of the strongest women I know (in all ways) modeling choice every single step of the way. I wish you: fond memories, connection, and your personal best this weekend. You’ll be being cheered on from Austin my friend.

    Lorin Beller Blake

  12. Neervi Shah

    Peg! Wow – you have such incredible strength. I can see the spirit of you in Jodi and so clearly, the spirit of Jodi in you. Thank you for being such an inspiration – as a business woman, mentor, and a mother. Good luck tomorrow – we’ll be cheering for you!

  13. Gene DeLeo

    Dear Peg,

    That is a beautiful tribute. You must be a fantastic mom. Also, thank you for sharing the love in your heart with the rest of us. It is an honor to know you. You should read the poem “Invictus” by Ernest Henley. It has taught me that life is a struggle and to never surrender. Good luck this weekend. I’ll be cheering you on.



  14. Deb McLeod

    I’m so sorry you had to go through the loss of your lovely daughter. We never know all of the life challenges our running partners have been through as we log the many, many hours together!
    I admire you so much for your resilience and strong spirit.
    Have a wonderful, wonderful run at Chicago.
    Best Regards,

  15. Aunt Carol and Uncle John

    Peg, we know Jodi is right beside you but don’t forget your Dad and many others are also there urging you on. Your second paragraph is absolutely correct it does change you forever but as you have shown us that doesn’t have to be a negative. Have a great race. We are with you in spirit.

  16. Tom Chaves


    What a endearing way to celebrate the time your daughter was part of your life . . . run strong, brave, and focused . . . best of luck and look forward to hearing of your journey . . .


  17. Dearest Peg,
    I am so proud of your courage and resiliency. You should consider being a guest on my November show. You would fit right in and inspire so many others with your testimony. Know that I will be cheering you on from afar and that I believe in you. You have more strength in one little finger than most of us do in our whole bodies. Breathe in the cool Chicago air and know that you are alive and that Jodi is living on through and within you.
    And I am keeping my fingers crossed that you will run the Marshall University Marathon with me November 1. Would be so fun to do with YOU.
    You go!!!!!
    Big hugs,

  18. Sarah German

    Peg: I am here in CHicago — cheering for you! You’re an inspiration.

  19. Peg:
    Although I have known you for only a year, you have touched my life in so many ways. The spirit that moves you forward, inspires me in my own life. I feel the power of it whenever we communicate. It occurs in how you are being, who you are and how others come to experience your intelligence, insight, and compassion. You will be successful in this marathon and anything else you choose to do. Jodi will always inform who you are and others will aways know her spirit through you. The possibilities for the future are limitless. You go girl!
    Love, Bev

  20. Lance Leet

    This was awe inspiring and remarkable.I had no idea about you loss in your life. Running can be the testament to the human spirit. The loss of your daughter has really opened my eyes as to how personal cataclysm can show us that our love ones can inspire us to continue the journey.

    • Thank you Lance, for your compassion – both in reading this post and LDT runs. And you’re absolutely right – Jodi does inspire me more than ever to continue on this journey.

  21. Well, Peg, do you ever cease to amaze me? I don’t think so. So, okay, now I’ll tweet about you and Jodi with your awesome spirits running as the wind.

    Is it a bird, a rocket ship, a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader? No it’s our gorgeous Peg from Philly bringing down the house while she fires up our inspiration. You give us all hope.

    Love & XXX’s,

  22. Sonia Stamm

    Wow, Peg… WOW. Thanks for sharing this very personal account. Your inspiration inspires us all. I continue to marvel at your spirit and am so grateful to have crossed paths with you.

  23. Mike Alpert

    You are an inspiration to those who have been fortunate enough to know you. Your friendship has meant so much and I am waiting to hear about your triumph in Chicago.


    • Thank you so much for your compassion – you have always been there for our family! Maybe the next marathon will be in California and you’ll be crossing the finish with me! In the meantime, your Phillies gift is on the way…..

  24. Pingback: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” « Peg Calvario's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s