|Just part of the spectacle that is the Chicago Marathon expo|
Spoiler alert: There aren't many lowlights.
Since I had a conference on Saturday, I took the day off Friday so I could head down to the expo for packet pickup. I'm not a big expo person, but the Chicago Marathon expo is such a spectacle, it deserves its own post. I was looking forward to shopping and picking up some fun memorabilia. But even more, I was looking forward to meeting my #vrb, Susie, from Suzlyfe. I love this lady. She has a wicked sense of humor and has kicked Crohn's disease to the curb. Lots of inspiration over there, and if you don't read her blog, you should.
|Susie and me. I've got that death grip on her shoulder...|
I found SBS and chatted with her for a while. Really, it was like 2 old friends meeting up.
I met Bart Yasso, got a signed copy of his book, and an agreement to participate in our book club!
After meeting Bart, I decided to head home. I stopped to validate my parking ticket, and of course, I had dropped it somewhere. The woman at the booth told me it would be $46 to park without the ticket. Oh, hell no! So I retraced my steps. I found the ticket on the ground near the Runners World booth. After validating my ticket, I returned to my car. No car keys. Sh**! I went back to the expo and stopped at the parking booth. The woman barely contained her disdain when I asked if she had my car keys. I went back to the Runners World booth. Yes, they had my car keys. No, Bart wasn't there when I came back. Thank goodness. He would have thought I was a stalker at that point.
But I did spot Bart at mile 12 on the race course. Mingling with the crowd. He saw me, and we made eye contact. It could have been an auditory delusion, but I swear he called my name as he gave me the thumbs up...
After I left the expo, I saw that I had parked in a handicapped spot. Thankfully, I didn't get a ticket.
I missed the entrance ramp to the highway. Again, I blamed the signage. So I took a detour that traversed some of the marathon route. I spotted the blue line that was painted on the streets and smiled to myself. I would be running this in 2 days!
I finally found the street that took me to the expressway, and I made it home without mishap.
Even though this was #3 for me, the race itself was an amazing experience. I'll be recapping the race on Wednesday, but what put a smile on my face?
-getting hugs from my friends Penny and Michelle at mile 3, Karen at mile 14, and my neighbors at mile 18:
|Karen giving me a pep talk at mile 14|
-the cheerleaders, the Windy City Drill Team, and the drag queens in Boystown,
-the aid station volunteer who came onto the course with a gallon of water and asked me if I was ready to refill my bottle (I wasn't),
-the aid station volunteers who told me I was going to win the race,
-getting vaseline from the "nipple aid" station for my underarm chafing,
-the guy in the white unitard--which left NOTHING to the imagination; so not cool dude; thankfully I didn't see him on the course (altho I hear he hugged Marcia),
-the sample of Dude wipes that I received at the expo, I tested it and gave it 2 thumbs up;
|Chase the link to the website--omg!|
-spectators handing out beer around mile 22 (I took a pass),
-the Goose Island 312 at the finish line (I didn't pass that up),
-the massive chafing on a guy who was wearing a costume. I passed him around mile 26, and he had chafing on his head and back. I wasn't smiling about the chafing--alll I could think about was the shower later,
-the energy in Pilsen (the Mexican neighborhood) and these guys dancing:
|I never stop to take pictures, but I just love these giant dancing puppets!|
-the runner with a prosthesis,
-the runner pushing a disabled person in a wheelchair,
-all the runners from other countries that were in the corral with me,
-my oldest son and his girlfriend meeting me at the finish line (this was my favorite part of the whole day!)
Stuff that didn't put a smile on my face:
-I didn't see anyone I knew before or after the race. Race logistics make it difficult to meet up. I exchanged phone numbers with so many other bloggers, but it wasn't going to happen.
-missing Marcia and Emily at mile 13--how did I do that?
-the wind and the rapidly warming temps; altho the wind did cool me down and pushed me up Michigan Avenue towards the finish,
-the runner who was down at mile 26, unresponsive, being resuscitated. Made me grateful for my Tailwind and that I decided to let go of my time goal,
-the long walk from the finish line to the beer,
-the signs that said "if Britney survived 2007, you can survive this"--come on people, that was SO LONG ago,
-and the sign that said "don't sh** your pants. Ugh. I mean, sh** happens, but is that the best you've got?
On Wednesday, I'll recap the actual race. But in case you didn't already know it, the Chicago Marathon is not just a race. It is an amazing experience.
Have you ever run Chicago? What were some of the highlights for you? The lowlights?
I'm linking this post up with Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin and Holly at HoHoRuns for their Weekly Wrap.