Sorry I’m just now getting around to posting about the marathon… I’m awful at this blogging thing but it’s fun to post every so often!
Anyway, the Chicago Marathon was a huge success! Well, minus the injury… The whole experience was so much different than I expected, and I loved every minute of it! Also, thanks to everyone’s help, I surpassed my Team CF fundraising goal of $1,300 and hit $1,350!
On Friday, my family and I drove to our hotel in Lombard after class, so there wasn’t much to do except planning for the weekend ahead.
We figured out public transportation! One of the things I love about Chicago is their amazing public transportation. We took the train from Lombard to Union Station in Chicago, where we caught a cab to head to the NIke store off of Michigan Ave. My parents and sister spent the day shopping there while I hopped on a shuttle (provided by the marathon!) and spent a couple of hours at the Expo!
I was shocked at the Expo by how many people were there! I knew the Chicago Marathon was huge, but I didn’t realize exactly how big!
And the thing is, it didn’t even prepare me for the amount of people I would see on Sunday!
The Expo was well organized! We had to have a photo ID to find out which line to get in for our packets and once there, we were then directed to our shirts. I was very impressed with how smoothly the Expo was organized. After picking up the important stuff, I of course had to do some shopping for Chicago Marathon paraphernalia! I then hopped on the shuttle again to meet up with my family and do a little sight seeing!
Saturday evening my family and I had a lovely dinner with family friends at Bucca di Beppo, an Italian family-style restaurant. The food was AMAZING and the scandalous pictures/decorations made it a very interesting yet fun environment! Sorry guys, I only have pictures of the food! 😉
Then came Sunday.
Race day. October 13, 2013. It started off as an early morning, waking up around 4:30a, since we had to finish packing, load the car, and catch the train to the city. It was a FREEZING cold morning waiting for the train, but the 40 minute ride to the city was nice and relaxing. Clearly Alise was absolutely thrilled about being up so early…
I was shocked by the number of runners and spectators in the city so early in the morning! Here are some pre-race pictures!
I did not cross the start line until 8:12a even though my corral start time was 8a because of how many runners were there! I felt great during the first 16 miles except for a blister, but I fixed that with vaseline from an aid station. Even though I had a couple of opportunities to see my family during the first half of the race, I unfortunately only saw them once because of how many spectators and runners there were! (Side note, our cab driver from Saturday said the city was basically shut down for the marathon… which was true! I now understand because there were so many people!) At 16 miles, I started feeling fatigued, but I held my 10 minute mile pace for a couple more miles. Then came mile 18. Around mile 18, I noticed my right foot was really hurting. Knowing completely pushing through it would make it even worse, I decided to be smart (as if you can be smart AND run a marathon… HA!) and walk some. During the last 8 miles, I ran/walked as well as I could, fighting through the pain that was growing increasingly worse. I made a point of finishing strong and running the last 800 meters, the last 200 of which was the one and only uphill of the course!
After crossing the finish line, I was amazed by how well the volunteers and coordinators kept the racers moving; we got our medal, a blanket for warmth, and of course all of our post-race food! I contemplated going to the medical tent, but I decided to go straight to finding my family. I was finally able to contact my parents and plan a meet-up spot, which is where I limped to next. A slightly funny part of walking to my parents was watching the racers struggle going DOWN stairs because of soreness, myself one of them. I finally found my parents and we took some post-race pictures:
Of course I had to get Starbucks despite my lack of an appetite! Pumpkin spice latte!
And a stop at Portillo’s was a must!
It felt like a LONG ride home despite the fact that I slept the majority of the way. Trying to get up and walk at rest stops was extremely difficult because my knees were so sore and my foot was killing me!
Here are my splits and finishing times!
I was very impressed with the overall organization of every aspect of the marathon. Everything flowed so smoothly!
I was in shock about how many spectators lined the streets of Chicago. Every single spot on the course was lined with spectators, some a few rows deep! It makes sense how many spectators were there consider the number of runners! I am use to races where the runners spread out and there might be a good distance between you and the next runner, but I was surrounded by runners the entire time! It felt so good to be surround with so many people who share the same passion for running as I do!
Will I do another marathon in the future? Oh, I’m sure of it. Next time, I would definitely like to run with a friend so the training doesn’t seem as long and boring!
Thank you to those of you who donated to Team CF and helped spread the word about my fundraising! It felt, and still feels, amazing knowing together we were able to raise $1,350 towards research for a cure for cystic fibrosis! I’m so happy about the fundraising outcome! As a team, Team CF raised $101,160! Wow!
AS FOR MY FOOT…
Turns out it’s a stress fracture. I’m just over two weeks into healing, went to the doctor again today, and found out I have to wear the boot for two more weeks. My foot has definitely made improvements, but the doctor doesn’t want the bending action of a shoe quite yet, which is why I’m still in the boot. I’m just so thankful this never happened in high school when I was running cross country and skating!
Thanks for reading!