Monday, April 6, 2015

Chicago Marathon Recap

Back in October I traveled to Chicago with Jacob to run the Chicago marathon. Brian was supposed to come with us but had to work at the last minute so instead I had my first solo flight with a 9 month old baby.

After a very delayed flight, we finally got to Chicago around 12:30 in the morning. With an over exhausted baby in tow, we took a cab from the airport to our hotel to check in. Unfortunately, the crib I requested was not in the room so we had a wait a while longer before we could get to bed. Jacob was really great on the flight even though it took much longer than expected.

In the morning, we met my sister and her husband Jeff who had also traveled to run. We met up with their friend Susanna and hit up the expo.

It was crazy. This year, when we do Chicago (Brian wants to actually run it) I am going to go to the Expo on Friday instead of Saturday. There were just too many people. Everywhere. People. People. People. And to top it all off, the vendors were sold out of anything marathon related. No jackets, shirts, anything that said Chicago Marathon. I'm not usually a huge Expo person but this one was really overwhelming. After eating lunch in the food court it took us another 30 or so minutes to get out of the building. Seriously, it was so confusing. Once we were finally back at the hotel it was time for a much needed nap before dinner.

For dinner we went to a great Italian restaurant that wasn't too far from where we were staying. Then it was early to bed for the big day.

My sister had an Auntie-Jacob day while I was running. She was a little nervous because it had been a while since she had taken care of a baby for that long but they had fun in the end.

In the hotel lobby before walking to the start
Unlike other marathons I've done, Chicago starts much later so you can actually sleep until a reasonable time in the morning. Jeff was in an earlier start than Susanna and I so we said our goodbyes then took off to our separate starts.

Waiting for the gun to go off
Even though there were a ton of people on the course it never felt too crowded. I was always able to get to a port-a potty in a reasonable amount of time and there was never a wait at any of the water stations. When I run I don't tend to take in a lot of the scenes so I don't honestly remember that much about the course except that it was nice and flat. There were barely any hills, which was a nice surprise after training in Colorado. There were also some solid food options at the water stops like bananas and pretzels that I really liked. The biggest bummer for me about the race was that my Garmin watch was not keeping my pace properly. I'm not sure if it's because it's getting old or due to the tall building or lots of people but my miles were way off making my pace not reliable. Oh well. After having a less than stellar train up for this race then having to travel by myself I was just really proud to be out running 9 months after having a baby.
Spotted by my Sister!

Time to run again
After the race we went back to Jeff's Aunt's house for Mexican food. It was the perfect ending to a great day.
Jacob ate all the food.
So shiny

Although I didn't PR on this race I was really happy with how I did. I finished in 4:42:47.

Overall, I would highly recommend this marathon. The course was flat and the support (both nutrition and crowd) was amazing. I can't wait to go back this year.

 Then all I had to do was fly back to Colorado with a lap monkey....

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