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My First Marathon - Chicago!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I ran the Chicago Marathon last weekend and am an official finisher. We were training for it for awhile with building up our mileage but we spent the last 18 weeks seriously training for it. When my husband got home, he would get into his running gear and off we would go. I was injured for about the past two months with IT Band, hamstring issues, and also Hip Bursitis, so I couldn't do all my training runs which worried me that I wouldn't be able to finish. I started working with a chiropractor and he had me starting to use a foam roller, lots of stretching exercises, and icing. A few weeks before the marathon, I couldn't even run 2 kms without having to stop from the pain but with all the work I did, I finished the marathon.

We were both in Corral L since we were both new to a marathon and it was such an awesome experience with being able to line up in the same corral as my husband and waiting for the run to start. Had to laugh when we got closer to the start line and the clothes started to fly through the air. Mike and I were able to run with each for awhile up to the first aid station at which point I lost him in the crowd. I stopped to use the first station of port-a-johns and had to wait in line for a long time. I got upset when I seen the sweeper vehicle go by when I still have seven people in line in front of me. I had to work hard once I got back onto the street to pass the sweeper vehicle and then I was very happy once I got caught back up to the 5:45 Run/Walk Pacer.

I was running them for a bit when my husband caught back up to me because he was also held up by a very long port-a-john so we had a quick chat and then off he went. I stuck with my pace team and enjoyed running with them a lot. The pacer was awesome and she pointed out a lot of things to watch out for like running in the shade and steering us to the right side of the road when she seen mats over the bridge. In the later miles, she kept giving us tips and having us run and walk sideways to give our legs a bit of different motion, and stretching our arms.

I stuck with her until just about to Mile 23 at which point I couldn't run anymore and I walked the rest of the 5k into the finish. However once I turned the last corner and seen the finish line, I got a boost of energy and I was able to run in. Was such an awesome feeling crossing that finish, with the knowledge that I was able to run in and complete a marathon, considering I just learned how to run last year.

Here's some photos:

Relaxing in our hotel room. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency which was right next door to the convention centre. We went to the Expo a few times to have a look around and do some shopping.

This is the sign that greeted us at the Expo on our way up.

This was neat. We scanned our bib while standing in front of this screen and it came up with our name.

In front of The Bean. Lots of people around taking photos.

We went for a walk on the Friday night while they were still constructing all the fences and keeping people back and were lucky enough to get close enough to get some photos that night before the big marathon crowd on Sunday morning. We went back down there on Saturday night and we couldn't get close to where we were.

We walked along the Start Corrals and found where we were to line up. This is Mike standing beside the L signs.

We found a spot in the fence where we could sneak through and you could barely see the Start Line in the distance. Gorgeous skyline in evening. Took us 20 minutes to get to the Start Line on Sunday morning from where we lined up.

We kept walking along past where all the Start Corrals were and we found the Finish Line! We got kicked out from there though as they were still actively constructing it but we snapped a couple of them after they told us to leave.

We went to the Pasta Dinner at the Hilton on Saturday night and we ran into these statues. I have no idea what they are. Walking or Running Legs????

Was windy in the Windy City!

This is Mike's arm! The Nike Pace Team gave us pace tattoos for signing up with them. It was free.

Mike bought us tickets to the Balbo Hospitality Tent and it was nice. Was covered and warm, and had coffee, food, and runner's supplies. Good thing as Mike had lost his safety pins for his bib but they had them there for him along with anything that any of us needed. They had a tv on and we got to sit there and watch the start of the Wheelchairs, and then Wave 1. We all cheered loudly with each Start. Also had our gear check and port-a-johns which was separate from everyone that was not part of the Hospitality Tent. Would love to be there the next time too.

Anxiously awaiting the start of the race once we left the hospitality tent and then walking to the start corrals. I tossed my Resolution Jacket in the middle of the street for the volunteers to collect for the homeless shelters. I got hot and I knew I would be taking it off to donate but miss the jacket. I wore it a lot. But I'm going to register for this year's Resolution Run so I'll get another jacket with my entry.

Mike and I together before the start of the race. I look scared and nervous.

Kept sticking our camera up over our heads to take a shot of the crowd ahead of us waiting to start the run.

Way too excited and scared but too late to back out now. Let the run begin!

I only took a few photos out on the course but I wish I would have taken more. These guys were awesome!

I did take a photo of some of the people running in front of me.

This is after we finished the run. Was so happy to walk in the door of the tent and seen my husband walking towards me to greet me. He walked me over to the table and I had a hard time sitting down but eventually got myself down.

Mike's guard fell off as you can see here. Can you say Owie!!!!!

Us after we did it! We ordered photos and waiting patiently for the CD to arrive so I can share some of our running photos and crossing the finish line.

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