The whole family went on this trip and stayed in the Hilton (host hotel) right across the street from the race start and finish. We drove up on Saturday and went out to lunch and to the Lincoln Park Zoo with my cousin Steve and his family, then rushed to McCormick Center to get my packet at the expo. Later we went in the hot tub and then had some Italian food delivered. I didn't sleep a whole lot-too excited. Got up at 5 to get ready and I was out the door around 6:20. They do chip timing and I spent around 20 minutes trying to attach that stupid thing to my shoe. I tried to do it exactly like the picture. When I got to the run I looked and people attached them in a variety of different ways. Next time I will just do it however works best.
At the start there are these signs that tell you list a pace-9 minute, 10 minute and so on. You line up around what pace you anticipate going. Friends told me to go a minute faster than I had planned because of the crowd. Beach balls were bouncing around above us and people would just throw them up and pass them along. Helicopters hovered overhead, it was exciting. The start is hilarious because people have on layers of throw away clothing and trash bags. Clothes and bags go flying everywhere. You have to watch your step. I wore my race ready shorts with lots of pockets, a long sleeve shirt w/zipper, sweatshirt, gloves and sweatband. After a while I got warm and tied the sweatshirt around my waist but it kept coming undone. I threw it off. Well a little later we ran into this WIND and I was freezing. My legs were cold and numb for most of the first half. It got so bad I started looking on the road for discarded clothing that I could put on! Next time I know to wear ear warmers, tights and bring my running jacket (it ties nicely at my waist.)
I'm glad that I went ahead and did the Lewis and Clark marathon because I was in better shape then. I did not stop at the bathrooms at all-Yeah! I didnít drink coffee and switched to carbooms and that seemed to solve the problem. Speaking of bathrooms, I was shocked to turn the corner into Lincoln Park and see all the guys backsides to the course as they just went outside in the park, must have been about 20 guys. Then I got use to it when I would see a few run off into alleys etc.
My sinuses had been bothering me and all day Sat I had a headache. So I took 2 Advil around 6:30am. I brought 4 Advilís with me and by the end of the run I had taken all four! It did get a bit warmer during the later miles and I was thankful for that. Canít say I was ever comfortable during this run. Since it was so challenging for me I really appreciated all those aid stations-gave me something to look forward to. I just took it one mile at a time.
The crowds were incredible. There were people everywhere. It was funny how your feet would stick to the ground after the Gatorade stations, it sounded like rain...I messed up the splits on my watch, but I had tried to keep them under 10 minutes. This time the outsides of my quads really hurt-maybe my stride was different because my feet were sore. My legs were screaming the last few miles and so I tried to concentrate on breathing and running with my arms.
I wasn't prepared for the bleachers at the finish line. Wow. Maurice and the kids were on the bleachers and they had waited an hour to see me. Of course I never saw them, it was a blur. I spent a long time trying to find them. Finally I decided to walk back to the hotel and a lady in front of a Nextel booth asked if I needed to make a phone call, and said it was free and gave me a cell phone. That was great, I called Maurice and then we found each other. As soon as I found them Maurice gave me his knit cap and jacket-then Kelly took the mylar blanket and put it on. At the finish they had this Goose Island beer. It looked like mud water, but I drank some (great combination with all those Advilís in me!) We went back to the hotel and sat in the hot tub, very nice.
I finished at 4:17:31 which was 9:50 per mile and faster than my L&C time.