Monday, October 12, 2015

The Chicago Marathon: The expo and the first day

This may have to be two posts!  I am still riding on a HUGE high after running my very first FULL marathon!  I had the best experience ever and honestly, can't wait to do my next one.  The training is the hard part, the race is the party!  Yes, lots of exclamation points in the first few sentences.  Let's start at the beginning shall we?

We traveled up to Chicago Friday morning early.  Like get up at 4 am and drive to the airport early.  We were lucky that our little tiny airport has a direct flight to chicago, and it was only 1 hour and change.  Probably for the cost of driving, parking, and gas, we came out even, and at the better end of the deal.  Upon everyone's advice, we hit the trains and went straight into the city.  We had decided that the expo should be done first, so we dropped our bags off at the hotel, and headed over in a taxi.  I had to laugh as we are so small city people.  Tony almost tipped the drive 30 bucks on our debit card, whoops!
It was huge!!!!  I got to visit all of my favorite people and products including the NUUN people who had coolers of every flavor they have, and the UCAN group where we got to try out some of their new bars.  I got some samples of everything and some tubes of watermelon Nuun and a new blender bottle for my UCAN.  
There were lots and lots of picture opportunities.  I took advantage of a few, but my main goal was to get in and out, so I wasn't on my feet too much.  I really didn't need much other than a new running jacket, and to say Hi to the ladies at the Another Mother Runner booth.  Honestly, the Nike merchandise for the race was not really that cute.  They sponsored the race but there were lots of other brands that had chicago themed stuff.  I settled on a t shirt that the sacouny group had for sale.
This is Sarah of the Another Mother runner tribe.  She and Dimity saw me off for my very first half marathon years ago in St. Louis.  She also saw me off for my first full marathon.  How cool is that?  She is amazing!  Her voice on the podcast got me through so many long runs.  We had a great talk about various things, and she even did a video of me talking about social media and how podcasts are awesome.  Their merchandise was the cutest I saw.  I ran in my trucker hat and LOVE it, even though people thought I was just a cub's fan:)  Another Mother runner also did a shake out run Saturday morning led by Jonna that I attended.  

After the expo and another cab ride back to the hotel, we decided to find some deep dish pizza.  We settled on a place within walking distance of our hotel in the loop.  Our hotel was the Burnham, located right on the edge of the loop, which was in walking distance of everything.  We were right on the edge of millennium park and a 15 minute walk to the gate to get into my corral.  So glad my running friend Bunny recommended it!  How cool that they had actual keys to the doors!  Back to the pizza, we hadn't eaten since around 4:30 that morning so we were starving.  We quickly learned that deep dish pizza takes 30-40 minutes to make so pre eat or eat an appetizer.  
We ate an entire medium deep dish together.  It was the BEST ever!!!!  We were finally full and happy.  We also went shopping and picked up a few things we had forgotten.  Of course there was a disney store across from our hotel, so little red got some presents.  That night we had Chipotle for dinner to continue our carb loading.  We got it to go and ate it in bed.  I tried to take the whole stay off of your feet to heart as much as possible.  I think we were out by 8:30 pm that night!!!  

Okay this is getting too long so will break this into maybe three posts!

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