Chicago Marathon Recap!!

Hi hi hi!

How are you guys?  Ready for my OFFICIAL CHICAGO MARATHON RECAP!?!?!

Ok. So.  Spoiler alert.  There was no vomit 🙂

So, back it up to Friday.  Friday, I went to work, and had to actually do stuff, but I was really really preoccupied with getting things together for the race.  Did I have shoes, did I have shoes?  Did I have a little something to carry water in?  Had I glanced through the participant packet?

So Saturday, we woke up and it was cloudy and gloomy here.  We packed, cleaned the house, and called an Uber to take us to the airport for our fight to Chicago.  I’m not a great flier, so I passed some time on the plane when we were waiting to take off by making fun of how poorly designed the safety cards were.

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Safety card.

I’m not 100% on who did this artwork, but NO REMOTE CONTROLLED CARS ALLOWED! Bummer, right?

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Exhausted and starting to get nervous…

Once we touched down, we took an Uber to the expo, where I was able to pick up my packet. I have to admit, even though I’m smiling in photos, I was not in the best mood. We sat in some traffic, and my anxiety was really starting to get to me. I’m incredibly social, but something about being that the expo was a lot for me. There was a lot of noise, a lot of people, and I found the expo a little confusing to navigate.

After the expo, and after we got a chance to get our bearings (we took a dumb pointless trip on the Metra, a stupid train that we had no business on), we hopped on the blue line to Logan, and met my friend, Lindsay, who let us stay with her.

First-off.  Lindsay is amazing.  We met at camp like 5 years ago, and were like, immediate besties.  She has a cute place, a cute french bulldog, and allowed us to stay at her cute place FOR FREE.  It was SO nice to sleep in a bed that wasn’t a hotel and spend time with friends.

So the night before the  marathon, Lindsay took us to an AMAZING pizza place.  And it wasn’t a regular pizza place, it was Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder.  So the place featured a delicious salad with amazing dressing (my favorite was the poppyseed), a flat bread, and a pizza pot pie, none of which I could finish.  We headed home, set clothes and an alarm out, and I was in bed by 11pm the night before the marathon.

The Day of. 

The day of the Chicago Marathon, I didn’t sleep well.  I don’t think you can before a race.  I woke up a few times, for fear that I may have overslept, and finally ended up getting up a bit after 5.  I’d laid my clothes out, and only needed to jump in the shower for a rinse.  I put on some BB cream and some mascara, and headed out to Lindsay to our metro stop.

AND THEN REALIZED I FORGOT MY BIB IN OUR ROOM AT LINDSAY’S.

I need to take this second to apologize to my girlfriend, Linds, who went BACK to her house, grabbed my bib, and basically single-handedly saved the race.

So I have my bib now.

Austin and I rode to the start, and I started to feel myself getting a bit more anxious once we started walking toward my corral.  The night before, I’d purchased a men’s shirt for like $4.99 from Walgreens, so I was somewhat warm(ish).  I hung around with Austin long enough, and then got into the corral before they told us we couldn’t do it anymore.

DSC_0033By the time I got to the front line, nearly an hour after the race had started, it was about 8:18am, and the sun was up.  I started with some music, and the first song I listened to was Stevie Wonder’s “All I Do”.  I tried to take it all in.  Even now, I don’t think I will ever forget the streets, the shade, the sun.   About 4 miles in, I decided to ditch the shirt, and laid it neatly on the side of the road.  6 miles in, I had a Shot Blok with extra sodium, as the temperature started to climb to the mid-70s, and then the upper 70s really quickly.

I’d decided not to run with my GPS, so I was just keeping track of things really loosely by the folks around me, the 4:40 group, and keeping an eye on where I was at each hour. Because of how warm it was, and how quickly it warmed up, I refilled my little handheld often, and I chewed a lot of margarita-flavored Shot Bloks with extra sodium to avoid cramps, stomachaches, barfing, and pooping.  Just keepin’ it real.

The first 13.1 miles flew by.  The crowds were amazing, and I gave a lot of high fives, smiled a lot, and made it through my amazing playlist.  After 13.1, I focused on 19, where I knew two things.  One, that I’d made the Paul Ryan Finish, and two, that I’d get to see Austin.  So I focused on making it to 19 in good time, while I refilled my bottle, grabbed vaseline, and generally, watched my speed as the temps climbed close to 80 degrees.

Mile 19 came, and a few tenths of a mile in, Austin waved me down.

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My dear, sweet husband found a friend. Dawn was not super comfortable with public transit, so Austin and her rode all over Chicago together on an unlimited pass that I clearly was not using at the time. She was so sweet, she opened my Coke for me, and told me how pretty I looked when I got there. She wins.

Miles 20-26.2 sucked, but idk what to say about that because it’s gonna suck and it always will. It was really warm at that point, and I really focused on drinking and staying limber.

Mile 25.5, I was like ::side eye:: but I knew the end was nigh, and decided to chug along. The ONE thing I will say that made me sad, was that as we came to the end, the crowd was pushed further and further out for security reasons. By the end of the race, after we had climbed a small hill, there was no one but volunteers left, and it made me sad to think that two idiots had changed the entire game for everyone.

But I made it to the end, trotted through the finish, and took it all in!

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Covered in salt, and sweaty, I made it through, and hiked another mile or so to catch my dear husband, who wasn’t allowed anywhere near the finish line (no one was).

The verdict?

BALLER.  Do Chicago.  Do it.  It was amazing.  I want to move there.  Minus the freezing cold in the winter.  Everything else.  The food, everything.  It all can stay.

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