Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chicago Marathon: Third Time is a Charm!

   Each marathon has specific memories and moments that are forever ingrained in my mind.  Obviously my first marathon will forever be a huge part of my mind and even who I am as a person, with great memories of doing it the same year as my brother in law and my Uncle!

     My second Marathon will forever be in my mind as the marathon that I ran with my Dad and my sister!  The entire training through the summer was a great bonding experience with my Dad and I loved every second of it!  My sister was in STL but we regularly chatted and shared music for motivation!

   This third marathon will forever be in my mind as the marathon that I ran with one of my best friends, Sabrina!  We always wanted to run a marathon together, and we always said that we would do our first together.  But for whatever reason, I signed up and she did not, so I did my first one without her.  So when she said she wanted to run this year, I refused to sign up until she had already done it.  So through out the summer we both trained, she followed a training program religiously, with a few hang ups here and there... I on the other hand... well let's just say I had a more non-traditional training program... in fact I focused more on the triathlons I was competing in this summer than the marathon and the longest run I was able to squeeze in was a 16 miler!  But I was determined and I was still going to do it!  I knew I was in great shape, so it was just a matter of mentally getting there.
  So the day before the marathon, we met and went to the Expo together.  I LOVE the Expo, I think it is a great way to get pumped before the race!  We took a few pictures there and enjoyed all of the booths!

    Marathon morning, came bright and early, like it always does, and we got to my Dad's office around 6am. 
     By 6:30 we were ready to go and Sabrina and I made the trek to the starting line!  The energy in the air was amazing, everyone was so excited to embark on this challenge.  At 7:15, they sang the national anthem and it was super exciting to listen to the crowd go crazy at the end!  At 7:30 the race officially started but we didn't even cross the starting line until almost 8am.  Right past the starting line were Sabrina's cousin Olivia and Olivia's parents to cheer her on!  It was awesome!  They were screaming so loudly!

    We came up to the 1 mile marker and saw my Dad and her parents!  They were cheering like crazy and snapping pictures!  Here's the one from my camera that my Dad managed to get...

   So we kept on our way, saw our parents again at 3 miles. Saw my cousins at about 8 miles in Boys town. but apparently missed my Dad there, missed her parents at mile 12 but ran into her brothers and their families at the 13.1 mile marker.  It was great to see them!  They had made shirts for her and everything!  All super supportive and gave us huge hugs and we were off again!  At mile 16.5, Sabrina's boyfriend Matt found us and jumped in to run a little with us! 

    Right before 17, disaster struck for me... WORST NIGHTMARE!  I suddenly had a horrible cramp seize my right leg, to the point that I couldn't put any weight on my foot at all.  I hobbled off to the side and Matt and Sabrina immediately came over.  Matt helped me off of the street to a nearby fence so that I could try and stretch it out.  Suddenly out of nowhere came a water bottle, bag of ice and a salt pack.  Matt grabbed the ice and held it to my leg while I opened the water bottle and chugged some water.  Finally, after what felt like an eternity my cramp finally relaxed and we were on our way again.  The cramping never fully went away, and I can certainly feel it today, but oh well.  We found my Dad at 17 where he gave me a GU pack, and some powerade as I attempted to stretch out a little more.  We found him again at 20, while the entire time Matt ran with the ice bag in his hand in case my leg started to cramp again.  At mile 24 or so, Matt jumped out so that Sabrina and I could finish together, we also ran into my Dad around that time so he rode his bike on the side walk cheering us on!  Then we ran into our friend Dawn who hopped in and ran a little with us just talking and keeping us going.  It was a great distraction at that point!  Finally we reached the curve right before the last hill and .2 keeping us from the finish line. Right at the curve was her family again, so we swung wide on the curve and gave them high fives and continued the trek.  All of a sudden I heard a loud "EMILY" and I looked to see my friend Sid from my Tri team holding this poster:

   I gave him a High Five and continued on!  Once we came in sight of the finish line, my leg cramped really bad again - go figure... I doubled over and tried to massage it a little as people were shouting it's OK you can do it!  I grabbed Sabrina's hand and we crossed at the EXACT SAME TIME!!! 5:39:53 is our official time!!!
We are obviously thrilled to have finished and have gotten our medals!!!

Our Supporters (at least some of them):

Mr. and Mrs. Giannelli

My Daddy!!!

Jenna, Rachel and Bri, all decided to take a break from their shopping to see us at the finish! Such a GREAT surprise!

Matt - the best on course support we could have had, carrying our supplies and giving us encouragement at those tough miles!

   Most importantly: a BIG, HUGE, GINORMOUS congratulations to SABRINA!!!!! I am SOOO Proud of you, overcoming everything that you did this summer in training! I am so glad we could do it together!!!


  1. Wonderful post! Good job toughing through that cramp! It got hot quick out there!

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