Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chicago Marathon 2013 - Event Report

Well seeing as how I got all of that out of system in the previous post...
A day later, and I still don't feel any better about my decision on that day.
I doubt I ever will to be honest.
And I was honest.  It is how I felt, and still feel.  I think I was open with the fact that at the end of the day, the blame for my feelings, lie squarely on my shoulders.
Not anyone elses.
But...this post is about the 'experience' of this event, not the downside of it.
And actually there was another negative.
The weather.
Yet again.  I am 3 for 3 in Chicago.
Although at least this time, the temps only got to 70 with full on sunshine (and a 3rd Chicago sunburn by the way) instead of the normal 80's and 90 in the previous 2 years I ran there.  Surprisingly enough, even in those temps I still managed to marathon PR at 4:42:xx (2011) and a 4:51ish in 2010.  Eh.  Apparently still not ready to let go of the fact that I pulled a 5 for the first time since my 1st in 2007...let alone a marathon PW.
OK...so where were we?
Oh yeah the good parts...
I will say that the weather at the start was glorious.  Cool (53ish) with a slight wind to make you feel chilly.  In hindsight I SO should have worn a tank.
At least later in the race, there were 'cooling stations' that were opened up, mist'ers and some folks with sprinklers, it was nice to have a second to get cool.
And of course the first 13 miles of the course is pretty much completely void of sun, so that was awesome.
Oh and Chicago in October?  Beautiful foliage!!  So that was nice.  I actually got to pay attention to how pretty things were for a change.
Which really is the one big takeaway from the event:  That I actually saw things I had only ever heard about because I was always so focused on my time or the race itself, I never took the time to look around at my surroundings.
I read signs.  SO FUNNY!  There were so many good ones that were done relative to current situations (govt shutdown), television shows (Breaking Bad, Walking Dead), and just overall funny ...
There was the nursing home around mile 6ish where they wheel all the people over the glass windows, in their wheelchairs, they've made signs and just wave and wave and wave.
I cried a bit because it just reminded me of my momma.  Seeing those older people who were SO DARN EXCITED!  It was just so wonderful.  And sad in a way.  I wanted to just stop, go inside and hug them.  There was another place along the route where there was a rehab center or something like that where they were outside...just younger it seemed...Still it was cool.
It was cool to actually see the boy cheerleaders in BoysTown, the Elvis, and while I have always notice the dancing dragons in China Town as its a right turn I always wait for (4 miles to go!), it was cool to actually dance to the so so so loud tune of Gangnam as you were approaching and long after you turned. 
There really were just a lot of wonderful things to see.
I high fived a lot.
We stopped and took pictures a time or two in certain spots.
And unfortunately I encouraged others on a lot as I would get far ahead of my buddy at points and stop and wait for her.  Without a plan for the end, I didn't want to lose her.  No phone, no room key etc...
I had 2 bad miles...where my left quad was in excruciating pain, but then once I figured out running felt better than walking, well thats what I did.
The only other bad time I guess would be where I drank Gatorade.  That messed my stomach up but once I tried to stop, couldn't and then it passed.  Thankfully.  My stomach is not used to sugary drinks of any kind! ESPECIALLY when its hot.

Oh and one of the other things I did that I have NEVER EVER done in a race? Took an orange popsicle from someone oh, I dont know...around mile 20something? Can't remember, but damn it was hot and that popsicle was DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And for some reason, no GI problems from it!
Let's see...what else?
Oh yeah!  Seeing Char and L shortly after finishing!!!  That was great!  We all finished just about 4 min apart as she ran with L for his 2nd!

That was awesome!  Pics are on my Facebook; sorry lazy to go and get them :O)

Seemed easier to move about and exit the finish area too for some reason?  Maybe because I was distracted by talking to Char and L?  Also taking the subway back to the hotel?  AWESOME.   Have never done that, but it was definitely the right thing to do after!

Before we got on the subway, we both grabbed iced drinks, then once in our hotel, ordered room service.

You would think after a marathon I wouldnt be concerned with what I ate, but I still didnt eat the bun on the hamburger, and only allowed myself about half the fries!  Honestly it was more about how that stuff makes me feel than about the calories.  :O)

All in all, you know Chicago Marathon is and always will be my favorite favorite favorite marathon...I just absolutely LOVE that town and that race!

My choices just didn't coincide with the best experience and for that I will always have regret. 

Part of me thinks I need to do it again...


Becka said...

Even though it was a PW, it still sounds like you had a good experience.

Xaarlin said...

I still vote for a "PF" vs PW. :) anyways, I can sympathize with you on the last post and those feelings. For like 5 minutes at the expo, while I walked away to the restroom I lost it. I wanted to race Chicago and have the race I trained for that didnt happen at FV. But then I remembered all the reasons I decided to run with L and of course my knee injury.

On the bright side, you got to see all the signs and experiences many people miss during this amazing race. I think in time you'll remember the people in the nursing home and the Chinese dragons and gangnam style and that Popsicle and the crazy signs and the other feelings about the race will fade.

Plus, you can always run another?

Again, congrats on the race and I was so happy we got to chat :)

TX Runner Mom said...

Sometimes it's good to experience everything - the music, the signs, the spectators, everything! Hmmm, nothing to say you can't do it again. One day.