Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Chicago Marathon: 4:15:40
We stayed right across the street from the start of the race. I walked to my corral 30 minutes before and only stood waiting for 15 minutes before the horn blared. What a wonderfully civilized way to begin a race versus getting on a boat or a bus two or three or even four hours before the the start! When I crossed the finish I was handed an aluminum wrap immediately, my medal was draped over my neck, and I was able to easily walk the mile to the family reunion area. The end of NY is always a nightmare. Congested; long walks to get to meeting areas and bag check; blocked off streets with no easy way out. And, the Chicago Marathon starts at 7:30a.m. I crossed the finish line and found my family by noon. In New York I'm not done until 2:00 or 3:00 so the rest of the day is shot.
The course is flat. There's a hill right at the end, which is mean, but other than that it is super flat. And, I did run it faster as a result -- until mile 14 when I made the decision to slow down. For the first 13 I thought of nothing but finding my family, how fast I was going, how much I had to pee, how cold it was (it was 29 degrees at the start!). I wasn't looking at the city or the course. And, I wasn't having fun. It was stressful until I decided at mile 14 to slow down and, literally, smell the freakin' roses. OK, there were no roses, so it was smell the city. After that I started to enjoy myself.
There will be more later in the week, but for now, here are a couple of pictures. Videos and more story to come.