Wow, I’m still so exhausted. Like I said in my last post – the town of Chicago can sure do things right. I was impressed with everything from the Expo to the race. I’ll give a “brief” play-by-play of my time in Chicago – please forgive my blatant grammatical and spelling errors – I’m still wiped out.
We (Kate, my good friend and personal photographer, and I) boarded our plane and headed for Chicago. We arrived at the airport around 9 pm, then took a 45 min train to the hotel. Exhausted, we went right to sleep.
Excited, we woke up with a sore throat around 7 (pretended to not notice) and got ready and took shuttle to the Expo so I could pick up my packet and T-shirt. I was a little nervous about this because the White Rock Expo was a disaster as far as organization was concerned and it was only 20,000 people. Chicago had it down – the expo was awesome. So many sponsors and stuff to look at . . . I could have easily spent hours and hours there – I think I was only there for 1 1/2 hrs then we headed back to the hotel, where I was going to “rest”. Ok, so when we got there I was too excited and decided that a brief trip down the Magnificent Mile wouldn’t hurt . . . Here is a picture of us leaving the hotel:
and oh, was that mile magnificent – Tiffany’s over here and Harrod’s over there and Marshall Field’s down the street – OH MY – I could have spent all day there, but instead I opted for just a few hours and then picked up a sandwich and headed back to the hotel while Kate meet up with a friend of hers. I sort of rested and prepared my race things for about 3 hours then decided that I did not see enough of Michigan Avenue and headed back out to meet Kate – we walked a little more and headed back to the hotel and she told me about the guy who started masterbating next to her on the train on the way to meet her friend – read about it here. I would have been terrified, but she thought it was totally funny!
It’s around 5:30 or so now and I’ve spent most of the day on my feet.
We have dinner reservations at 7:30 at the Italian Village, the oldest Italian restaurant in Chicago. After speaking with the concierge, we discovered that right across the street from the restaurant there was a mosaic by Marc Chagall – OMG – love Marc Chagall. Had to see it . . . so, we left the hotel early, walked around the mosaic, which took about 10 min but was totally worth every minute. We headed upstairs to the bar to wait the next hour for our reservations, but place was packed (as I’m sure every Italian place in Chicago was), so we went downstairs and stood and waited in the cold and windy air for an hour. By this time we were completely exhausted and my throat was killing me. Finally, we got to eat – Kevin, Karrie, Me and Kate:
Got to bed around 10:30 pm – totally wiped out!
posted by Susan at 4:15 AM 2 comments links to this post
I love Chicago – Sunday – Race Day
Woke up Sunday morning at 2:30 am with a really bad sore throat – red with white spots. I really couldn’t ignore it any more, I was running the marathon no matter what. Went back to bed and woke up at 5:30 AM tired and whinny about my sore throat, my achiness and my constipation (which I always get when I travel.) Kate brought me back to reality – As she put it – you delivered a child – you can totally do this. She was right, I think this was her very nice was of saying “please shut-up” . . . we’ve traveled 1,000 miles for this.
We took a taxi and got to the race. Wonderful weather and the spirit of the crowd was amazing. I waited in line to relieve my constipation, but the potties were full and we needed to get to the start line. We couldn’t figure out how to get into the race area, so we climbed the fence. Here are some pictures of me and Karrie at the start and in the crowd of 45,000 people:
The race was packed elbow-to-elbow. Just look at all the people. I have never seen so many people so well organized and packed into such a small space in my life. It took us nearly 20 min just to cross the official start line. The first few miles were spent weaving in and out of people, dodging elbow, water and gatorade. At the 5k point I felt really strong – time: 31:43 – my lungs, legs and whole body, my throat wasn’t hurting – it was awesome – on schedule for a 4:30 time.
posted by Susan at 3:17 AM 1 comments links to this post
Kate met me at mile ten and handed me some gel and took my shirt. I was still feeling great, but noticed that my calves were getting tight. I was still elbow-to-elbow with about a million runners:
At mile 12.5, my calves were cramping and so were my intestine. I kept drinking gatorade and water every stop. By the half point the cramping was pretty bad and I would run until it hurt too much and would walk out the cramps. I also took a 5 min potty break – my constipation had turned into runner’s diarrhea. Coming out of the potty, I ran thru the water station quickly to make up some time and slipped on a wax gatorade cup and my knee bent sideways. Half time: 2:15 – still on track for a 4:30 marathon, but that didn’t last much longer.
The rest of the race was spent much the same – running until my legs cramped and walking until they went away. Slowed me down tremendously. It wasn’t so bad – the rest of me felt really strong, my lungs were working just right and other than the calf cramping, my legs were really strong. I think a lot of the cramping was the lateral movement from dodging in and out of people. We just don’t train that way and I was using different muscle groups.
Chicago is awesome – running through Little Italy and Chinatown was amazing! I would do it all over again in a second. I cut 52 min off my February Austin ’05 time – that’s not so bad. My next goal is Austin Marathon ’06. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could cut another 52 min off my time! Here is an after marathon picture:
After the marathon, Kate and I walked 1.5 miles back to the hotel. I had to use the fitness room to shower (wait in line) and we immediately went to the train station and to the airport. Here is a picture of me and Kate exhausted on the train:
It was 5:30 PM before we even got to O’Hare and I didn’t even get a chance to sit down and rest or eat. We got to Dallas at 9:15 pm, got on the wrong parking shuttle bus – drove around for 30 min until we figured we were going in the wrong direction. Finally, we got on the right bus and met up with a man from Dallas who ran the marathon and finished in 3:15 – WOW. I ended up home at around 10:30 pm. I am so glad I took Monday off work.
posted by Susan at 2:54 AM 11 comments links to this post
Monday, October 10, 2005
I love Chicago!
Chicago can certainly do a marathon. Everything from the Expo to the Race was really well organized. I’ll update with a full report later after I download all my pictures. But here are my results – not the 4:15-4:30 I was looking for, but it’s still 49 min faster than my Austin Marathon time. As you can see by my times, around the 20k point, my time started slowing way down. My calves started cramping and I slipped on a wax cup and bent my knee in the wrong direction – it is swollen like a log today. I’m not sure what the cramping was about because I was really well hydrated . . . perhaps it was one of my several trips to Michigan Ave on Saturday and the shopping gods were punishing me.
Thanks Kate for being there and being my personal photographer – it meant a lot to me! Now I’m off to make halloween creepy crawlys and spend the day with my daughter.
5K – 00:31:43
10K – 01:02:57
15K – n/a
20K – 02:08:11
HALF – 02:15:33
25K – 02:42:44
30K – 03:22:33
35K – 04:01:03
40K – 04:41:11
FINISH – 04:57:13