Monday, October 9, 2017

Chicago Marathon Expo

Okay just a quick recap, we headed out to Chicago via Southwest out of the KC airport to Midway Friday morning.  Post a quick train ride, we headed over to our hotel, which use to be the Burnham but now is the Alise.  While we figured we would just store our luggage and head over to the expo, our room was already available.

I still love this hotel so much for all of the uniqueness and architecture, but now they have a ton of little cute amenities like European style duvets for the beds and stuffed dogs for suckers like me who will pay the 25 dollars to take it home.  Sigh.  Anyway, we also had a huge snack pack waiting for us that my hubby  we just had to have.  Post noshing on some expensive snacks, we headed out to have a quick bite from the hotel restaurant, and then catch a cab to the expo. The food at the hotel wasn't the best I had ever had, but certainly not the worst, and kind of served as brunch since our first breakfast was at 5 am.

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The expo this year was.....very crazy and very exhausting.  Last time I ran this race, everything seemed so streamlined and so smooth.  Everything was contained within the great hall, and I felt like there was no confusion whatsoever as I was directed where to go at all times.  This year, we had to go do a check in process outside of the expo hall, find our number (still don't know what that meant but there was no line for my number so pays to be slow?), and then get our bib.  Post that, we had to go to the complete back of the entire huge expo to get our bags, t shirts, and posters (which I am hoping I won't forget at the airport this year).  I think what I heard was that the check in system went down about the time we got there, which caused huge lines and tons of irritable people.  What got me was the fact that no one was directing us as to what to do, so the first time we walked in, we missed the check in stuff all together.  I figured it was something we needed to do, only because there were so many people milling about, but no one ever told me that I needed to check in first in that area.  So odd.  Anyway, once getting through that mess (the system came up 5 or so minutes after we got in a line) we fought our way to the t shirts and we had a better time hitting up the booths.

I mainly wanted to visit the saucony booth, and maybe check out the Nike merchandise. EVERYTHING had huge lines, so once we were done at the saucony booth, we basically hit a bee line for the door getting a few photo ops on the way out.

We headed out to get a taxi, and once again were met with a ton of angry folks.  The place that the expo is held in is HUGE.  Many of us were directed to a certain location to get taxis, only to walk all the way to said location and find out there were in fact NO taxis.  After being told to walk to yet another location, I had a mini break down and said nope, calling an Uber.  Downloaded the app, got a super nice Uber driver, and headed back to our hotel, no problems.  Got to sight see on the way and had a great conversation with our driver.  She dropped us off at a food truck gathering near our hotel, and we had some Korean food (mainly just rice and some beef for me), and some baked goodies.

I actually laid down when we got back at the hotel and took a nap.  I was tired and sore from all of the walking, and just needed some rest.  I knew we would need some deep dish pizza later, and knew one of our favorite places were super close by.  Post nap and resting with my feet up, we headed down to Pizanos.

Southern Tier Beer!

I LOVE their deep dish Chicago style pizza, and lucky for me, pizza is my typical long run fuel.  Beer is also my language of love, so had to have some Chicago beers.  I was two days out from running, so had plenty of time to rehydrate.  I had a Daisy Cutter Pale Ale and a Southern Tier Pumpkin beer.  The pizza and beer was amazing and we walked away full and happy.  We even got to see the Cubs win their first play off game, as I drifted off to sleep.

Compliments of the Procompression Instagram page

Saturday looked like possible rain all day, but mainly in the afternoon.  I had a quick meet up at the Bean for Procompression and We run Social, as well as meeting Carly, a blogger who i have followed for years.  Post that quick meet up, we decided to do the double Decker bus tour first and then head to the aquarium if we felt like it and or it was raining later.

We really enjoyed the double Decker bus tour of Chicago, even if it was a bit windy up top and our tour guide bundled her script several times.  Just being outside, sitting with my feet up, and seeing the sites was fun.  We had lunch at Potbelly subs, and then visited the Disney store (which is right across from the hotel), and got our Garrett's popcorn.  Post that, we were both wiped and ready to just rest for a while, versus getting out again and being on our feet.  It's so hard when you come to a new place not to be a tourist, but in the end, you have to remember you came for a marathon, or for me 5 hours or more on my feet running and being on tired legs is not a good thing.

Millenium Park

kind of laughing at my compression shorts tan lines as seen from the back

For dinner, we decided to just stick to what we knew, Pizanos.

I knew the ravioli gave me indigestion the night before so I skipped that and just had my deep dish cheese pizza with a huge glass of water.  It was kind if funny, we got to the restaurant and it was PACKED.  One hour wait.  We thought, it's worth it and many people will leave so stick with it.  There were a few tables outside, but it was threatening rain.  We gambled and took a table outside immediately, got our order in and even got our food before several tables around us, much to their chagrin.  The rain started when we were waiting on our bill, so WIN for us!  Got back to our hotel and post setting out flat Michelle, crashed back in the bed with the help of some melatonin. 

Okay on to race day!  New post :)

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