Onto race week/race weekend---
I woke up Monday and Tuesday with HORRIBLE sore throats. Husband had been super sick since the week before (really bad cold and hacking cough) and I was really scared I'd catch it. I double up on Nuun and emergen-c vitamins and Zinc. All week I made sure to drink extra water, added my Orgain natural hydration and lots and lots of Nuun. But alas, I woke up Wednesday morning with the same hacking cough (also really bad cramps because why wouldn't It be that time of the month?!) and felt like death. My mom came over Thursday for our now pre pre race pasta dinner and brought Nyquil. It sort of helped, but after a week of not sleeping because of Tyler's cough and now both of us up all night coughing, it mainly just made me exhausted the next day. Friday morning I went for a little tune up at THE BEST PT PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE and my body was feeling ready to run! I'd been dealing with a recent nagging pain in the arch of my right foot that was stemming from a tight calf/tight IT Band, but Ray is a miracle worker. We flew out Friday night and got to Chicago around 6:30, went to our hotel and had dinner at the bar. I had pasta with grilled chicken and 75 glasses of water. We stayed at the Congress Plaza Hotel and it was the literally right across the street from where the race start and finish. My goal was to run a 3:30 marathon with my B goal being 3:32, the absolute slowest I could go to qualify for Boston.
After that, I grabbed Tyler from the hotel and headed to the expo. By far the biggest expo I've ever been too. SENSORY OVERLOAD. I could barely focus. I waited in line to figure out where my bib was, got my bib and headed to pick up my shirt and packet. I grabbed some Nuun (I always get a new bottle whenever they're at the expo because they have specific bottles for each race + they gave me 2 boxes of Nuun for free, soooooo thumbs up!) got some race gear from Nike, took some photos and headed out!
We had a VERY early dinner that night back at the hotel. I had a piece of grilled chicken and roasted potatoes. And a pretzel. I laid out my gear and I think we had lights out by 9ish that night. I actually slept pretty good but then had time panics from 3-5.
Sunday-- When my alarm went off finally at 5:00am, I jumped out of bed. I made a tiny pot of coffee, had a whole plain bagel with peanut butter, 1 cup of coffee, water and most of a 16oz bottle with Nuun + 2 Nuun Plus tabs. Took 70 selfies of myself and some pic of the park and bounded out the door!
It was a VERYYYYYYYY long walk thru the finisher shoot. I had a bottle of water, a bottle of Gatorade protein, a banana and a few sips of beer that they were handing out in the finish area.
After about 20 minutes I finally made my way to Tyler and the post race party/reuniting area. Spectators aren't allowed at the start or finish of the race.
We hung out at the post race party for a little while before making our way back to the hotel so I could shower. I laid down for about a half hour and then we headed out for some food and celebratory drinks. I started getting a terrible headache and it just got worse as the day went on. I drank lots of water and ate some food and nothing seemed to help. I made it out for about an hour to a Oiselle after race party and it was so awesome to meet some new bird friends! We went back to the hotel around 5:30 and I slept for a good 2 hours. I felt a little better when I woke up so we ordered some butter crust deep dish from Lou Malnati's and indulged in our amazing giant hotel bed.
On Monday I headed to Fleet Feet South Loop again because they were having a runners recovery day and FREE medal engraving.
I got a massage because my calves and quads were really sore. I had told myself if I BQ'd, I'd buy the special edition sneakers, so that's also what I did.
We had a great lunch and dinner, but after being sick and obviously racing/spectating a marathon, we were both pretty exhausted. We didn't do nearly as much as we thought we would. I woke up early Tuesday, since the time difference was still throwing me off, packed and repacked all my stuff and we headed to the airport around 10:30. I was really sad to be leaving and sad that such an amazing weekend was over, but also happy to be heading home and ready to start training for whatever's next. I have a 15k in about 3 weeks and a 10k on Thanksgiving. I'm still trying to decide on what marathon's next on my radar. Whatever is, I know that I'll continue to work as hard as I can and see what else my body is capable of.
Thank you------ To my husband. Who is my rock, my biggest fan, my support system and will willingly follow me around new cities in new states for hours on end. To my mom who is always cheering me on, near or far and who's always proud of me no matter what. Who will go out of her way to help us with whatever we need and will always take care our dogs while we're out of town and sacrifices so much time to help us out. To my best friend who streamed the marathon and captured me crossing the finish line and called me as soon as I crossed. To my friends who sent texts of encouragement and support. To my running wife and friend who I spent 80% of my training with and made it easier to wake up at 4am. To my coach who believed in me since day 1. Who made me strong, faster and better runner and athlete. To my friends who I've never met in person, but who continue to be a source of strength and encouragement to me daily. To all of you who have followed my journey and watched my dreams and goals be accomplished. I can't wait to see what's next and I hope you stick around to find out. :)
Final states from Chicago: