first things first... i sorta fell of the face of the planet there for awhile. I'm not going to apologize for not posting, as i needed some time away from my little blog. but, i'm back with a recap of my latest running adventure!
susan and i headed up to chicago by way of amtrak. for a round trip total of $54 and neither of us having to drive, there wasn't even a questions. it took about 7 hours before we arrived (due to some rail construction/signal problems). not a problem, as susan (& hailey) had recently introduced me to grey's anatomy on netflix. passed the time!
8 episodes later, we arrived in chicago!
we walked from the train station to our hotel and got checked in.
we stayed at the palmer house hilton, which was one of the headquarter hotels for race weekend. i had heard a few negative reviews of this hotel, but to our surprise, our room had been upgraded to the executive level. we ended up with two bathrooms (important for two girls), drinks and meals/snacks. we were ultimately pretty happy with our choice.
once we got settled in, we headed over to the race expo. we decided to walk because my gps said it was only 2.8 miles away. i am pretty sure that was the longest 3 miles i have ever walked (or... its possible that my gps was wrong).
our view during our million mile walk. we met up with brooke, another blog friend for the walk over. somehow, we never took a picture together though. (blogger fail)
we finally made it to the expo.
i was super excited to finally have the chance to meet katie from the moms little running buddy blog. and i felt like a super nerd when i realized we were dressed alike.
i bought a tshirt from the merchandise booth
(a bit of useless knowledge for you: i only buy tshirts at the expo of half marathons and jackets/pullovers for full marathons)
i of course stopped at the apera booth, where i talked with their rep Stacey and left with my very own apera yoga tote. i seriously have been in love with this bag for months, and after walking away from the booth in nashville expo empty-handed, i knew today one was coming home with me.
my bag. in its new home. the gym
moving on... sorry. i'm a little excited about this. like its very own post excited...
after walking a million miles back to our hotel, we lucked out with our free "appetizers" of a pre-race pasta dinner. i did a little carb load before heading back to the room.
all of my race day essentials laid out. i may be a little ocd.
and i ended the night with a little hotel room pajama yoga.
now, for the race day details.
the plan for this half marathon was to pace susan through her 2:30 race goal. the westin hotel had these cool pace bands at their expo booth. i wish i would have grabbed a few different times.
on our way to bag drop and the start line
lined up in our corral
crossing over the start line. i loved the skyline behind Rock n Roll banner. so cool.
we passed this runner, dressed head to toe in his fireman gear. he had a patch on his jacket that said Team Jake, and a cancer ribbon. so inspiring.
this was one of my favorite signs along the whole course.
"you started from the bottom. now you're here"
the traditional brooks rock n roll runner.
and the finish line.
it was so fun running this race with susan. i was really able to enjoy the course, check out all the scenery and have a great time. it was nice not to be worried if i was going to be able to come in under a certain PR.
speaking of susan... i am so proud of this chick. she kicked butt during this race!
after the race, we headed back to our hotel to change and then out to grab some lunch.
when in chicago, one must eat deep dish pizza right?!
after lunch, we headed back to our room and ended up taking a glorious 3 hour nap. i can't remember the last time i took a nap like that. then we headed out to do some sight seeing, and met up with becky at grants park.
of course, we had to take some touristy "bean" photos...
we had dinner with becky, and i failed to take any pictures (or remember the name of the restaurant), and then headed back to our room and crashed for the night.
the next morning started with meeting becky for coffee at my favorite place. i
so wish they had a caribou in st. louis!
stopped for pedicures, and had lunch at Potbelly's. it was delicious.
we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the beautiful weather in grants park.
i could have laid under these trees all day. but alas, we had to walk to the train station to head home!
thanks chicago for the memories. it was a great trip and a great race.
and thanks susan for asking me to join you!