Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chicago Marathon Weekend Recap

   Let me start by saying that the marathon didn't go at all how I had planned but rather than dwelling on everything I am disappointed with for this weekend I am choosing to focus on the positives and the things I am so thankful for from this weekend.  I consider myself an optimist, so get ready for some positivity! Oh... and a long post... A quick summary so you understand why I'm not so happy with the day, I had a time goal of 4:30hrs, but thought I would be faster than that.  Approximately 6 miles in my hips started hurting like crazy and I slowly watched my time slip away from me.  I ended in tears and have been icing like crazy!  I didn't realize it at the time but my entire lower back is swollen, so I'm hoping that I didn't really do some damage by pushing through the crazy hip pain!  Ok, now for the positivity!

   Saturday was Marathon Expo day, for a marathoner this is an EPIC day!  If you aren't pumped for the marathon, I guarantee that by the time you leave the expo you are on cloud 9!  The coolest thing to me was the American Flag that the Bank of America was making out of red, white and blue water bottles that we got to sign and were sending to the troops.

There were booths set up all over the place with free samples of their products, items you could buy and just this incredible energy and excitement coming off of everyone that was there.  
I found this t-shirt and I almost bought it!  It's totally true, the number of people that tell you that you are almost there super early in the race is INSANE... I just kept thinking, man you have no idea how much farther we have to go!
After the Expo, I went to the Team Salute Luncheon.  Sheesh, I thought the Expo was inspirational, it didn't even compare to the luncheon!  I met a girl named Brittany who was running her first marathon, and she was so excited about it, her Dad was also at the Luncheon and I saw him a few times on the course and he just kept cheering me on! Thank you Mr. Taylor!  I also met this guy named Don, who was in the Army for a few years and was going to run the marathon in full Body armour! Woah.....  We got to hear a few other inspirational stories from people who the money that we raised helped.  Team Salute raised over $75,000 from those running the marathon!  AMAZING!!  It was a great Luncheon, and I ate a bunch of pasta - my favorite! No denying that I LOVE my carb loading!!! :)

   After the luncheon it was time to head home, go to mass, eat dinner and get prepared for the next day.  The most important thing for me was getting my t-shirt ready...
   I put the name of everyone I know, who serves or had served in the military.  It was my way of thinking of them throughout the entire marathon.  They truly are my inspiration!  Then it was time for bed - I'm pretty sure I woke up every hour but I woke up rested and ready to go!

   We left the house at 5:30am and headed to my Dad's office, we ate breakfast (two hard-boiled eggs), rolled out on the foam roll and used the bathroom for the zillionth time! 
I was ready to go! So I kissed my Dad goodbye and headed down to the starting line.  Again the energy was overwhelming! Thousands of runners, thousands of spectators to cheer on the runners.  I met someone in the Charity corral who asked me if it was my first one since I seemed so nervous... nope, it's my fourth! Why am I nervous?!  They sang the national anthem which was amazing and next thing I knew we were off! Woah... I'm really doing this thing!  I saw my Dad around mile 2 or 3 and received a customary high-five and a "You go Girl" and I kept trucking!  Around mile 6 or 7 I heard a "Go Emily!!", I figured the person was cheering on another Emily but when I looked I suddenly realized it was one of the guys from my Tri team! YAY!!! I said, "HEYY!!!" and kept on running.  I then ran into my Team Salute Coach Joe, who asked how I was doing, we chatted for a little as we ran and then he left me in the dust... man he was fast!  At mile 9 I ran into some more of my Tri team friends who were working the aid station.  They cheered me on and off I went again!  I ran into my Dad at mile 10 and gave him my Underarmour shirt, man I had warmed up ALOT!  Off I went... At the half way point I was at about 2:20, slightly off from my goal of 2:15ish but not too bad.  My hips started bothering me at mile 6 or so - not sure what that was about, but on I went.  I went quite a few miles without seeing my Dad, even though I guess he saw me.  At mile 18 or so, I was really dragging and a woman jumped in and started dancing with me!  It was random and strange but it made me smile and kept me going... so Thank You random stranger for that little break!  I found my Dad at mile 20 and went over to chat for a few minutes and so he could get a picture of me and then I lost it... I started bawling!  I asked him, "WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF!!?"  The girls that were standing next to him spectating looked at me with pure horror on their faces.  But, "No pain, no gain", right?!  So off I went!  At this point my time started dropping off really fast.  I found my Dad again around 25.2 - only 1 mile left!  The finish line was within my reach!!  I rounded and corner and finally saw the finish line and started crying again... Sheesh, I was emotional or just in a lot of pain and eccstatic to see the finish line!
I DID it!!!  Not how I wanted to but somehow I managed a 2min PR! WHAT?! 

   So Thank you, to my Dad for being there with me on the course, I know you had other plans!  Thank you to my family and friends who couldn't be there but were incredibly supportive and kept me going!  Thank you to my Cross Country team for the amazing Good Luck gift and the AWESOME card!  Thank you to my Tri team for cheering me on and keeping me going!  Thank you to the random strangers who cheered me on throughout the entire course.  Thank you to Team Salute for letting me run for you!  But most importantly THANK YOU to the men and women who serve this beautiful country.  I LOVE you all!

Time to rest up before training for the next one... ;)


  1. Girl, you rock! Even if you are in pain now. I so want to do it next year. You can cheer for me from the sidelines. - Katy

  2. You PR'd after stopping to chat & take pics how many times?? Sounds like a great race to me! Glad I saw u out heal up :)

    1. LOL, thanks Cathy, that's a great way to look at it! Glad I ran into you too!!

  3. Great read and good race! You worked hard, trained hard and gave it all you had that resulted in PR. Just more proof of a strong spirit!!

    1. Thanks Scott! It was painful and long but filled with great memories!


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