I'm going to apologize in advance for how long this post is going to be. I had an AMAZING time in Chicago, and even though I didn't run as well as I would have preferred, I had many great experiences that made this trip so memorable!! I also have lots of pictures, so please bare with:)
Sami and I left early Saturday morning...and arrived at the train station with 2 hours to spare! Lucky for us there was an outlet mall to waste some time at and we had fun picking out our "random color outfits!"
Back to the train station and we purchased our tickets. I was super excited because I have never taken a train before! It was a first for me! So of course I need pictures!
Once we got to Chicago, we walked to my friend Jodi's house. While I was really sad that I didn't get to see her, I was super grateful for am AMAZING place to stay! Seriously, the view was amazing and it was like 4 blocks for Michigan Ave! I had got wind that there was a surprise for me in Chicago...honestly, I was thinking maybe my family would show up to cheer for us or something like that, but I never expected what I really received! When we got to Jodi's apartment I found this...
I started bawling instantly. This was so sweet and unexpected. I've been looking at strollers but have been unable to buy one, so this, I can't even tell you. She is such an amazing friend and I am so blessed to be supported by people who I love dearly!! Thank you JoJo and Jackie! You have no idea what your support means to me!
Oh, and check out this view that I woke up to!
We then headed off to the expo for packet pickup! This was my first expo where there were more than 2 booths and we had so much fun wandering around and finding fun things! I did pick up a sweet running hat and another bondi band!
After the expo, we headed to a super yummy Italian restaurant called Bella Pa chino which was amazing and entertaining since they were shooting "Transformers 3" on the same block where we were! I've never seen a movie being shot before, and it was quite interesting to see what really all goes into it! I have one picture, but it's not that great...you get the idea!
Off to bed for an early race morning. I woke up feeling good. Excited. Nervous. Ready? hmmmm...we walked about a mile or so to the start of the race and I was in shock. The previous races that I've run were small, maybe 4,000 at the most, so the 21,000 people seemed very overwhelming! We found gate 14 (after seeing jake, molly and jason from the Bachelor!) and got ready to start. I couldn't believe how many people were ahead of us!
These are only the people in front of us, we were right in the middle! Yikes!!
It took 20 minutes before our gate even reached the front! And we were off. Here are my splits...
1 08:10 the first 6 miles I felt pretty good! It was amazing running
2 08:44 right down Michigan Ave and not getting run over by crazy
3 09:54 horn blaring taxi drivers! The people were fun and cheering
4 09:14 like crazy! Sami managed to snap this picture of me on the
5 09:54 magnificent mile rocking out!
Summary 02:25:54 13.85 10:31
Official Race Time 2:25:51
I completely fell apart at mile 9. My garmin was being crazy for most
of the race...giving me weird times and such, but it seemed somewhat
accurate as the mile markers passed. We were somewhat on pace for the
finish time I wanted and I looked at my watch, it said miles 9.6. Cool.
So close to just being finished! Then we approach the water stop and it
said mile 9. Seriously, it took the wind completely out of my sails and
I couldn't seem to get myself together after
that! Although I kept digging deep, I stopped to walk and I was so disappointed, but Sami grabbed arm and said, keep going. So I did. I stopped to walk 4 times, never more than 100 feet. At one point during Mile 12 I looked at her and said, "I seriously feel like I could walk faster that I can run right now." She shot that idea down and said, "keep pushing." Love her for helping me man up. The last 5 miles was super hot and hazy to me. It was 83 and humid when we finished. I know that I may have a new love for cold sponges which they handed out at mile 11. Seriously, I wanted to jump in the garbage can and swim with them, but I guess I can squeeze it over my head instead. It was the best part of the race! At mile 12, I stopped to nearly start dry heaving. I thought I was going to puke for sure. I was hot and shaky, but had chills. totally weird! We finished on a hill that felt like it would never end. The last .1 mile...I seriously wanted to die. But hell, I finished with another race under my belt. Not my best, not my worst. But one hell of a good time:)
This race left me a little worried about Long Beach. I called Nicole after the race and she started laughing saying that's why she wanted me to sign up before I ran this because she was afraid I would back out. She's probably right, but now I have new goals and a lot of work to do before Oct 18th!
Thanks for hanging in there! How did your races go this weekend??