#ChiMarathon Chicago Marathon Race Recap – Part 1

Chicago! Yep, marathon #4 is history. Much like the day we left, nothing really went the way I expected. But that is OK. I could be a defeatist and bitch about it, or I can just put another notch in the ol’ belt as 26.2 miles said and done. I think I’ll take the latter.

Stepping back in time to Friday and our arrival into Chicago, my husband was particularly edgy. Not that I blame him. it was a long ride and we hit some hideous traffic in the final 40 miles. It took us about 2 hours to go the distance.

We parked the car in a corner lot for the weekend and drug our luggage and cooler the two blocks to the hotel. Thank goodness all of that went off without a hitch. My husband flopped on the bed after fussing with the wireless in the hotel room, but I was ready to head to the expo. I was anxious to get my bib, not to mention just walk around after the long drive. I suspected I wouldn’t be getting any shake down runs in before the marathon with my husband in tow. Somehow, he had it in his head that we would go Saturday to the expo. I wanted to go both days, actually. And I’m sure I told him that at least a dozen times in the car on the way there.

It would be a 3.5 mile hike to McCormick Place. We could have gotten on a free shuttle, but I think we both wanted to walk. It would be a chance to see the city, as well.

I wanted to time my walk to the start line, too, just so I knew what I was up against Sunday morning. So, I pulled my map out, and we got started.

Mirror Ball at Millenium Park

Mirror Ball at Millenium Park

We walked to Millenium Park and the start area. There were people everywhere. Not just runners either, but the typical Chicago weekend tourists as well. I wanted to linger a little at the sights, but my husband wanted to keep moving. I was snapping pictures on the fly. We passed the start line, which was exciting for me, anyway. Steve just yawned. Looking at it gave me goosebumps and a renewed excitement for the marathon. I’d be running Chicago in less than 48 hours! Hoping for another BQ, and maybe even a PR, wondering if I could pull it off.

Start Line, under construction.

Start Line, under construction.

A detour on the path through Grant Park took us to Soldier Field, which was a sight in itself. I was glad we took the detour, but we wandered off course a bit, turning our 3.5 mile hike into more of a 5 mile hike. We also ended up entering the convention center from the loading dock area of the building. But, we got there, finally, near about 4:40pm.

Soldier Field

Soldier Field

My husband was immediately cranky. He didn’t want to be there. And I get it. He doesn’t run. He doesn’t understand the camaraderie, or the excitement, or the purpose of the expo. He wasn’t keen on waiting around so that I could meet some Facebook fronds. Plus, his back was hurting from the walk and he just wanted out of there. It was a great site for an expo, however, and not nearly as tight as the Boston Marathon Expo. It made me wonder how he’ll handle that one when we go to Boston. I’m thinking I might leave him behind for it in April.

I quickly got my bib, and of course, they make you walk to the back of the building to get your shirt and bag so that you can walk past all the vendors. I wanted to stop at the Nike booth so I could buy a sweatshirt or jacket for myself, too. We walked up a side aisle and the PowerBar people had loads of samples out. This perked up my husband quite a bit. He tried a few of every flavor. In fact, I think he passed by the booth intentionally a few times just to grab more. I was grateful for that.

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After he sampled all he could, I asked him to snap a photo of me with my bib in front of the Nike wall. A few eye rolls later, we got it done, but it turned out blurry, so after getting the rest of my stuff, I asked him to take another.

The afternoon just wasn’t going in my favor.

I finally made it to the Nike booth, got my sweatshirt, and we headed out. I so wanted to shop more booths, but it was obvious that my husband was miserable. In the back of my mind, I thought I could return Saturday by myself. But that would never come to fruition.

We decided to take the shuttle back to town, which in hindsight may have been a mistake. It was a loud bus and we sat in a lot of city traffic. It probably took longer than it would have taken if we had walked. But his back needed the break.

We had to walk 5 blocks back to the hotel from the bus stop, but fortunately stopped right in front of the Trump Tower, which was incredibly cool. We snapped some photos, and started making dinner plans with the help of my stepdaughter who spends lots of time in Chicago for work.

Trump Tower

Trump Tower

After a shower and a beer, my husband was more human. All I had to do was get him to the first restaurant, feed and water him, and everything was back to normal. We had a fun time out, him more than me, since I wasn’t imbibing (well, I had one drink), and returned in time for an early bedtime.

Our son-in-law recommended a boat tour down the Chicago river for Saturday. This got my husband excited. And I thought, why not? But getting back to the expo around our reservation time would be a challenge. I kind of had to shrug it off, and concluded that I wouldn’t be going back.

Marnie and me...and Michael...the stalker.

Marnie and me…and Michael…the stalker.

Saturday, we got an early start. I had the most amazing, fantastic opportunity to see my dear friend and former partner, Marnie. It was glorious. I started crying the moment I laid eyes in her. Way to long…

We had a great conversation over coffee in Starbucks. I was finally able to meet her husband, too. And even my husband enjoyed the visit. It was the perfect start to what I hoped would be a perfect day. But, that would change, and quickly.

Beatrix in Chicago.

Beatrix in Chicago.

After sending Marnie and her husband off to the expo, we made our way out to the Navy Pier. It was another nice walk around the city. We stopped on the way so that I buy my first official Bulletproof Coffee in an actual cafe! WOOT! My stepdaughter told me where to go to get it. Yeah, it was pricey, but I can now say I’ve done it. It was pretty darn tasty, too!

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We arrived about an hour early, so we toured the Pier and i bought a little something for Delaney. We waited in line for the boat for at least a half hour. The weather was very changeable. Cool one moment, warm the next. It was uncomfortable already as it was. Standing in line made it worse.

My husband at the Navy Pier

My husband at the Navy Pier

They finally allowed us to get on the boat. Of course, we had to be one of the first ones to board. Immediately, the boat was rocking, and immediately, I got sick. Damn it! We weren’t even moving yet, and the motion sickness was triggered. It sucked. I stood and looked off into the distance until we were forced to sit to start our journey.

The Chicago Merchandise Mart, a view from the tour boat.

The Chicago Merchandise Mart, a view from the tour boat.

The high speed start to the cruise didn’t do me any good. Not until we were crawling down the river did I start to feel a bit better. It was an interesting tour, though. But I didn’t feel good the rest of the night. I started questioning everything from there on out. I had to run a marathon the next day for goodness sake. What was I thinking?

We stopped for a bite to eat after walking from the Navy Pier. It a was about 3:30pm. My husband was already talking about dinner. I didn’t know how I was going to make it that late. I felt so awful. Eating made it worse. By the time we arrived back at the hotel, I had an acidy stomach, and a headache a mile wide. I felt a little better after a shower, laying out my race stuff, and laying in bed a while, but it was obvious I wouldn’t be able to eat any more. I felt bad sending my husband out to fetch his own food. He wanted to bring me back some wings, but they screwed the order up and sent him out with sliders instead. Too much bread for me. I tried to eat some of the meat, but it just wasn’t appetizing. I’d go without dinner, and I’d sweat it all night.

Laying out race clothes

Laying out race clothes

I decided to just go to bed. It was only 9pm, but I couldn’t do anything else. I took some Advil for the headache, and my nightly supplements, and hit the hay. My husband eventually decided to do the same. Lights were out at 9:30pm.

Click here for Part 2

One Response to #ChiMarathon Chicago Marathon Race Recap – Part 1

  1. David Hardt says:

    awesome- waiting for part #2 ‘

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