First, I just want to say that I LOVE Chicago. It was such a fun city and reminds me SO much of New York City that of course I fell immediately in love. It's just a little bit cleaner than NYC and has a lake at the end of it which is just absolutely beautiful. So, if you get the chance to go to Chicago then you should do it. The reason I even went is because I randomly look up flights on weekends that I think that I can go places and sometimes I hop on a plane if it's cheap enough. I found a flight for $95 and was like DONE.
I texted one of my clients that I'm close with who has invited me countless times to Chicago and told her that I was FINALLY coming. She was happy to host me and I am so thankful for her friendship and a really amazing beautiful home to stay in. I arrived the first night and she told me to take uber to her house. I looked it up and it was about an hour and with traffic like 1.5 hours and I panicked. I had never done uber and I had just read this story on facebook about how this man like abducted this girl through uber so I texted some other friends I knew to see if they could pick me up. I know I know...it's not a big deal but I was a girl alone at 10pm in a new city! haha!
Steph was free to come if I would just stay at her house and ignore the mess (which by the way was not messy at all and I absolutely LOVED getting to stay up and chat with her). We stayed up late and then got up at 5am to head down to the lake front for our runs. I told her that I needed to eat and she was like BUT NO YOU CAN'T MISS SUNRISE! haha! I'm SO glad I listened and didn't even walk to Starbucks so that I could experience that run on the lake. It was unreal. I decided that with my time frame it was going to be too far to walk to get breakfast so I was just going to complete my run. Yall, I don't do fasted. That's not my gig. I get really grumpy. haha!!! So, I was STARVING by the end of 16 miles where I quickly went to 7-11 and got like 5 different things for breakfast! ha! Breakfast sandwich, banana, veggie chips, and cliff bar! I feasted on all!
I headed to the shake out run that Kelly was hosting with Westin and Oiselle where she was staying, and it was so much fun. We had a blast just chatting it up with people and I ran another 2.3 miles to complete my 18 for my final long run before the ironman. I actually started feeling some major pain in my left calf and was like "oh please no!" but it's pretty much gone now so I think we are all good. Kelly and I headed off to lunch after and to the expo! The expo was so crowded so we just grabbed her bib and headed back out!
I caught up with my client outside of the convention center and we went back to her place where I spent a little bit of time settling in there before I headed off to dinner with Bethany and her family for her pre race meal. She picked the place and it was hilariously uppidy and we laughed the entire time that we didn't fit in. I got the specialty fish and they legit brought it to me uncooked on a platter, and I didn't know what to say other than "I'm a wannabe vegan and this is very disturbing" so I sufficed it with "Nice." We laughed all weekend about my awkward "nice!" It's so funny how beth and I have only hung out at boston but we talk all day every day so when I met up with her family, it was just seamless and like we were all family. haha! Her dad is a HOOT!
I knew everyone would be knocking out early for the race morning so I headed back to watch a movie with my friend, Annabel at her place!!!
Can I just say how weird it was being on the other side of the marathon? I don't know how I feel about it. haha! I enjoyed the fact that I didn't have to run 26.2 miles, but once the marathon was over, I was jealous of the pride I knew they all had on that day. I LOVE that post marathon happiness and hunger! It's just the best.
Annabel and I headed out and grabbed breakfast downtown then met up with Steph again. We had missed the start (oops #foodmatters) and then headed to the spot where we would camp out at which was mile 17. It was actually really empty there so we were able to really see all the runners go through. I knew when Bethany and Kelly would come through and I jumped in with both of them and ran for like 0.25 of a mile! It was so fun!
After that, I knew I had to walk back to Bethany's hotel so I split off and put it into google maps and I was an hour away. WHAT?! How did that happen? So, I got to walking. haha! I ended up literally running into them when I finally made my way back right at the finish and she had just got done. I got to scream and jump up and down for her PR (3:14:32) and just was so happy to be there for her on that day. I know how hard she works, and how much she wanted it and that was HER day. I was so happy to be there.
We headed back for her and Melissa to clean up and then we headed down for some FOOD and cake for Bethany's birthday!!! We sang to her awkwardly in a quiet restaurant. hahaha!
I headed back to do my client check ins and run coaching updates!!! I couldn't believe it was Sunday because marathons are normally on Saturday's so I was like AH! haha! But I got that done, and then had dinner with Annabel. It was a quiet dinner at home that she made, and it was delicious. Her and her boyfriend Ross are so precious and me and Annabel just connect on a really deep level so I just loved talking with her tons this weekend. I wish that she lived closer to me, but I know I'm going back to Chicago next year for the marathon (yep already decided that one haha).
From there, I headed back out to hang out with Kelly at her hotel. Once I got there, she was like "just stay" so I ended up sleeping there for the night and then we explored all over Chicago the next day. Kelly is just as crazy in person as she appears, and so we had so much fun laughing together alot.
After I split off from Kelly on Monday, I had to rush to get back and get everything ready to get to the airport. I ended up waiting WAY too late to get my uber so I was a wee bit stressed upon arrival at the airport when the entire world was there leaving the marathon. However, kudos to the Chicago airport because they knew about all of this and they were ROCKING with getting us all through. It only took me like 10 minutes when the line was like forever long for security and I was to my terminal just in time for boarding (shew-that's always scary haha).
Well, of course I had time to grab food too because #duh I was REAL hungry by then. I end up eating so much less on weekends like this because I eat 3 square meals per day and I'm just running around everywhere.
It was such a beautiful weekend and memories that I'll get to keep with me forever. I truly believe that experiences are what life is all about. I would sacrifice so much just to be able to travel. It's so worth it, so I will keep searching for random flights to random places.
I'm really excited to travel in the upcoming months. After my ironman, Tanner and I are headed to the Dominican Republic for 6 days, then right when I get back I fly out to New York for 4 days for the marathon. I'm so incredibly excited to be there for the marathon as that's my favorite city in the entire world and there is NOTHING like that marathon. I've never ran it and my goal is to run it through qualification (the time for me would have to be a 3:12- so close!), so I'm hoping that NYC 2018 marathon I'll make it there! Until then, I'll cheer my heart out for my friends.
After NYC is San Fran where I'm signed up for the 50k. I'm contemplating dropping to the half marathon because I have friends coming into town from NYC for us all to hang out in San Fran, and I'll be honest that I just don't know if I'm mentally prepared to run a 50K so close after my ironman. This ironman has beat me into the ground and that's a youtube video that I plan to do this week. It's something that I never expected to happen, but it has and I think I need a resurgence of mojo juice by not doing crazy things for at least a month. I've been going SOLID for 2.5 years now. To be continued on that...