Sunday, October 29, 2006

2006 Chicago Marathon Race Report - Part I - Pre-Race

Sorry this took so long to post! I wanted to make sure I had an account of all the details for myself to read, it's a bit lengthy! And, dammit, wouldn't you know that Blogger is not liking my pictures either! I've posted links to my flicker account. Sorry 'bout that.

Friday afternoon, I was in a bit of a panic about my shoes. I went to Luke's after work to buy new insoles and hoped for the best. After getting the kiddo off to bed, I finished my packing and tried to get a good night's sleep. I made sure to pack all of Sunday's running gear in a carry-on just in case the airline shipped our suitcase to Timbuktu by mistake.

Alarm clock at 4:45 am.

Since our flight was departing at 7:40 am, we were going to try to leave the house no later than 6:00 am. We were a bit late getting to the airport, but still arrived at IAH in plenty of time. I think my parents had been there for awhile, because my Mom had already called my cell phone twice to find out where we were. Sitting in the airport, I was still half asleep and wondering why I didn't leave on Friday instead. What if our flight was delayed? What if all this pre-marathon rushing around made me tired on Sunday? After seeing a few other runners on the airport (also downing bottles of water), I began to forget all these doubts and get really excited about the trip and the race. Woohooo, we were on our way to Chicago!!! The marathon I had been planning for since February was almost here!!!

We're here!
We arrived in Chicago at 10am. Our original plan was to take the "El" downtown and walk the few blocks to our hotel. Unfortunately, since I over-packed as usual and had multiple suitcases of sweaters, jackets, jeans and shoes, we opted for the $40 cab ride instead. We dropped off our luggage and found out that the hotel 2 blocks away had free shuttles going to the Expo. We made our way over to the shuttles. The kiddo was excited to see that our shuttles were big yellow school buses - she loves them! We boarded with all the other runners and by this time, I am practically giddy with excitement. The weather was better than forecasted - 58, sunny and almost no wind.

The Expo
The expo was absolutely AWESOME! There was lots of swag in our bags and plenty at the vendor booths. After picking up my race bib and chip, we looked around a bit.
See pics from the expo here and here
I decided to go for the gusto and signed up with the 5:15 pace group. Then, we headed to pick up my race t-shirt. The line for the medium shirts was insanely long, but it moved fast. By the time I had gotten my shirt, the kiddo was getting a bit fussy. Too much excitement for one day...and it wasn't even 1 pm yet! I wanted to see every booth, but it was obvious my princess had had enough. We made our final stop at the New Balance booth for the official race gear. I picked up a great new jacket with the marathon logo, which I hope I will at least get to wear once a year. :-) The hubby picked up a baseball cap. I also decided to go ahead and buy my finisher's shirt. What the heck? I wasn't superstitious and they might not have my size after the race!

My parents picked up a sign pre-printed with GO and a space to write a name and GO! Mom printed my name on one and we now had official cheering signs! There was a booth with some great shirts with things like "Marathon Diva" and "Marathon Mommy" printed on them. Nike had a cool booth where you could print out a pace band and then you could put it on neato velcro wrist band. I could tell by the looks on they hubby and kiddo's faces that standing in line for that was not an option...they were definitely ready to go. Oh well!

We made our way back to the convention center lobby to catch our bus. Then, we headed to Carmine's for a yummy pasta dinner.
Check out the kiddo at Carmine's here
Afterwards, we were stuffed! We decided to call it a day and just relax in our rooms. I spent a hour debating on whether or not to wear tights and pinning my number on the front of my shirt. I also used the hotel sewing kits to sew a small Texas flag on the back of my shirt. The weather forecast called for low 40's in the morning with a cool front coming in, bringing with it a chance of showers and 30 mph gusts of wind! Okay, so I would be wearing tights afterall! I spoke to Pam on the phone and we decided that we'd meet at 6:00 am at her hotel since it was closer to the start. I tossed and turned all night. I usually sleep like a log...even the night before a marathon. Maybe it was nerves or being in a strange bed...or, it could have been that we were on the 2nd floor of a hotel on a very busy street. The noise from the street below was loud! I made a mental note to always request a room on a higher floor and away from the main street outside!


Cassie (TIGGS) said...

more more!!!

Jill said...

Dang!! I didn't realize you had to buy the finishers shirt!! And I didn't see it in the NB area. Teach me to go through things too quickly!

Can't wait to hear the rest of the report.

elf said...

Can't wait for Part II!

JustJunebug said...

here ! here !

waiting for part deux!

Vic said...

part II please!!!