Thursday, October 17, 2013

Run like the wind!

Wow. I made it through. I made it through Chicago.

If you've been following along with this blog, you might know that I was talked into running the Chicago marathon by my friends Anne and Kelli. They had decided to run it, and somehow I didn't want to be left out of the fun, so I said I would do it, too. We worked like mad to get through the crazy computer system on the day entry opened, and finally got the notifications that we were in. (The number of people trying to sign up at the exact same time crashed the computer system this year and created whole debacle. I think the whole thing is going to be a lottery next year.)

Then, it was time to wait. Well, wait and train.  It seems like this all happened so long ago, yet, the time also crept up on me.

The girls and I spent all summer slogging out long runs in the heat and humidity and torrential downpours. We followed the training plan from "Train like a Mother," and I got in all my miles. I'd experimented with different fuels and tried different clothes. I knew what worked. I was ready.

But, I was nervous. Very nervous. Like, stomach tied up in knots, dream-interrupting nervous. You'd think, with this being my third full marathon, that I'd be done with nerves. Or, at least, they wouldn't be that bad. I actually think, though, it was because of my previous marathons that I was so nervous.

My first, in 2006, was in Dallas in April. It got up to 92 degrees that day. I think it was about 87 degrees with 80 percent humidity when I finished. Um, yeah, miserable. I immediately said I would never do another marathon.

My second was in Tulsa, OK, in 2010. It was also warm that day, even though it was November, with temps reaching 79 degrees. And, high humidity. I hit the wall around mile 22 and hated the last 4 miles with every ounce of my being. I said I'd never run another marathon.

While I was glad I had run both of these, neither of them were exactly "fun." Nor was I ever eager to do it again. I was so afraid of that happening to me again. So, this trip, I was nervous. So nervous. And, I definitely seemed to be the only one of us nervous for the entire trip. What in the world had I talked myself into?

But, let's step back a day or two to the beginning of the trip ...

Kelli, Anne, Marsha and I took off from KC on a plane bound for Chicago early on Friday morning. We wanted to get to Chicago early enough to enjoy time while we were there and not have to feel rushed.

At the KC airport. Apparently our barista thought we looked like an Emi and Kian instead of Amy and Anne.

Anne and Marsha on the L to get to our hotel.

And, Kelli and me.

We dropped our bags off at the hotel, grabbed some lunch then took off down Michigan Avenue.