Welp, against any semblance of common sense or good judgment, I did it. I ran the Chicago Marathon. Two days later, I can still feel every single muscle in my body...muscles I didn't even know were there.
At first, it was great. About 15 miles in, I was saying to myself, "Yeah, I'd totally do this again." After 18, when everything started to hurt, I was like "Ehhh..." And after 20 or 21? "PLEASE GOD LET THIS BE OVER." Truly one of the biggest things that pulled me through was a sign that said
"CHICAGO MARATHON TODAY, NETFLIX MARATHON TOMORROW." Even though I knew I'd be flying home, I envisioned myself parked on the couch, remote in hand, and told myself that the sooner I reached the finish line, the sooner I got to Netflix and chill.
I don't have a ton of photos, largely because the day before the race, I was quite literally sick to my stomach with nerves and didn't have it in me to do too much exploring. And then Monday before my flight I had some time to kill, but I wasn't exactly walking around like a normal person, so hoofing it in order to take photos just wasn't happening, so I've thrown in a few photos from previous trips to Chitown.
But the expo was insanely cool, and I really can't imagine a city showing more pride and excitement for a race than Chicago did. Spectators were lined up the WHOLE way to cheer, give high fives, feed you candy, and share Vaseline (which I used gratuitously on my chafed chest). At one point, I even saw someone dressed as a panda with a sign that said "FREE HUGS." I seriously considered it, as this was some time after Mile 20, and to be honest, I really could have used a hug, even if it came from a creeper in a panda costume. But I figured if I stopped, I might not get started again, and if someone gave me a hug, I might completely lose it and sob the rest of the way to the finish.
And so I kept trucking, and when I involuntarily groaned getting into my Uber the next day, I didn't mind so much when my driver told me I wasn't alone, 45,000 other people were in the same boat, but I also wasn't "too smart."
So thank you Chicago, for a weekend I'll never forget.