Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Commoner Loves Chicago

Hey!  I did it! I ran a marathon and I LOVED it.  I haven't uploaded my pictures so you will have to wait another time for them.  But luckily with Google Images I can steel other people's. Do you see me there?  I'm in orange!

The first  morning when I got up to get DUNKIN DONUTS I knew things had changed because there were runners EVERYwhere.  I noticed some things right away.  
  1. They all wore running clothes all of the time.
  2. They were from a lot of other countries
They were young and skinny.  (that should be a 3)

The expo was so much fun.  It pays to stay in an event hotel because they take care of everything for you.  We shuttled on a school bus to the expo and off we went.  

I love expos I love being around the runners and seeing all of the things that are coming on the market.  I love buying event shirts, but when you make them Nike event shirts, that just does me in.  I can't even guess how much I bought.

I didn't tell anyone that I had been really sick all week.  I had the whole thing, sinuses, headaches, achy throat.  But somehow I slept well and woke up with a clear head.  So down to the lobby to get coffee.  We weren't going to leave until 6:30 but here it was 5 AM and people were dressed and ready to go.  Panic sets in.

But I remained calm and we began getting dressed (I had my shoes but lost the safety pins) and marched out with the masses for the very secure very safe (thank you chicago police) starting line.  It was far........

You know why the Kenyans win all the time?  They get a head start.  They started at 7:30 I started at 8:45.  How is that right?  That's okay -the weather was perfect and I was so excited.

Here are some things I can tell you about my run
  •  marathon training was the hardest thing I've done and just as rewarding as it was hard.
  • I really wanted coffee in the first 5 miles.  I was tired-gatorade wasn't cutting it.
  • I made eye contact with every person in the crowd-read every sign-high fived every hand.  (I didn't take any unofficial snacks though)
  • I never hit the wall
  • 5 hours is a long time to spend running -but the time went really fast.
  • I loved being surrounded by all the cement and big buildings
  • I smiled at the cameras
  • I drank from every feed station and thanked every volunteer who gave me anything
  • The security was great
  • Those people who start out really fast?  They hit the wall and started walking at mile 16-I didn't have to do that
  • Chicago is a fantastic city-they have these strange 3 level roads
  • Dunkin Donuts make everything better
  • After a marathon you are supposed to wear your medal every where you go.  In fact if you are going to be in a marathon just wear running clothes all the time.
  • You can be surrounded by SWAT teams, police, and cameras in the sky and never feel afraid-or even really notice
  • Everyone should go to a running race and cheer for all the people.
  • There are a lot of runners who don't run 3 hour marathons and are runners at your pace and speed.  I didn't know that existed.
  • You can't really run through feed stations because you will fall on the cups on the ground. 
I am so glad I did this.  I know next year they are going to a lottery system.  I hope that I get to do this again-it was the perfect experience.

And to all of you that read my blog, listened to me talk about runs on facebook and wished me well?  Thanks for taking part in this with me and you are all invited to my next big event -graduation from graduate school.