I know, it's been a WHILE! My free time became very dedicated to my marathon training and extra sleep (recovery). So, the marathon is over and I really wanted to get my race recap down before I forgot all about it. (Ended up VERY long so went with part I and part II)
Towards the end of training I was already saying that I thought I'd be a one and done kind of marathoner. I was completing it to kind of "check the box" and training was becoming too long and grueling to be something I would want to do many more times. Well, this is going to be a LONG recap so if you just want to skip to the point -I think I've thrown that thought out the window. A marathon is SOOO achievable... and yes, I'm already thinking about the next one and goals to do better!
I had a friend go with me. We both trained to run the marathon but at different paces so we knew we were going to have the weekend together but wouldn't be running the race together.
The weekend started with flying out on Friday late morning (the marathon was on Sunday). We arrived in Chicago around mid-day and my sister, Courtney, picked us up from the airport. I had chose Chicago for two main reasons - 1) Courtney lived there, 2) I wanted to be away from home so I didn't have to be "mom" during the day after my race. Chicago is a perfect first-timer marathon, or so I'm told. Anyway, I'm skipping ahead. We grabbed some lunch (Panera), got our shirts ready for race day (tape with our names on them - DEFINITELY worth it) and then went to see a movie (The Help - highly recommend it). After the movie we went looking for some dinner but it was late and we really just wanted to get home. We ended up grabbing a fast food place (Burger King I think). I opted for a fish sandwich, no sides. I was starting to lean towards eating cautiously already. We got to bed at a decent time and got to sleep in on Saturday!
Saturday we woke up and got around slowly before catching a 10:20 am train to downtown. After a walk to find our hotel (not too bad of a walk but with heavy luggage it felt FAR). For the record, the girls had tried to talk me into putting just our overnight items in one bag but I was freaking out about not having something I would need and only left behind my Sunday clothes. Yes, yes... I'm a bit anal, that's not what this post is about... but I did have EVERYTHING! Courtney and Erica had a good laugh that I had even packed latex gloves and ziplocs (Latex gloves were for putting on biofreeze should I need it and ziploc bags were for liquids to carry on luggage). I admit, I am my mother - hey, there are worse things. Anyway, after the walk to the hotel we left our bags with the bellman and hopped on a free shuttle that went to the race expo.
I LOVED the race expo! It was almost noon before we got there and we hadn't thought to grab lunch so after we picked up our packets we got a big pretzel and walked around looking at all the vendors. I bought a couple of shirts and a cowbell for Courtney to cheer us on with... and walked away with a lot of free swag - definitely a fun afternoon! The Nike booth had a large wall(s) that listed everyone registered by name so we found our names on it. Lucky Erica was right by Ryan Hall! I think we spent a couple of hours at the expo before waiting in line for the shuttle to take us back to the hotel. The wait for the shuttle to take us back was about 20 minutes because the drivers were switching over at that time. I was actually starting to feel really tired. My legs were worn out and we ended up sitting in line (as did many others).
Once we got the shuttle and got back to the hotel we were hungry for some real food and it was around 3:00. We got checked into our room and then headed out in search of somewhere to eat. I did start to feel really worn out and tired at this point and might have just went with the closest reasonable place we could find to eat! We found this small sandwich/salad/pizza place and went with it. I ordered TWO full meals which was quite funny. $19 for dinner and I had a full size salad (only 350 calories) and a brick oven pizza (I don't want to know). I joked around with the waiter and laughed at my own expense for ordering both meals... BUT... I was running a marathon the next day and all I had eaten all day were a couple of no bake cookies (breakfast at Courtney's) and a pretzel (lunch?) at the expo. I needed fuel! I shared the pizza with Courtney and Erica and really liked both selections. I had already known that I needed to take it easy with what I ate and did NOT want pasta as I did not want to have stomach issues the next day.
After dinner we walked back to our hotel (after stopping by the Bean for a picture). I was DONE walking or doing anything for that day. Erica and Courtney went to check out some hotel lobby store and I went to the room. I laid out all of my race clothes, nutrition, hair supplies, etc. The girls came back to the room and we decided that we were going to pay per view a movie and relax. It felt like it was 10:00 but it was really only 6:00!! I showered and we ordered the movie (No Strings Attached - HILARIOUS)! The movie was great to take my mind off worrying about the race. I tried to get to sleep when it was over but my mind did NOT want to shut down. I played words with friends, read facebook and did some soduko on my phone trying to get to sleep. I don't remember what time I fell asleep but I did wake up feeling pretty rested.
Marathon morning time!!! (part II coming tomorrow... it's time for bed)