I registered. I trained. I ran. And as of Sunday 10.9.11, I can now officially call myself a marathoner.
After dropping Allie off at the in-laws, the hubs and I arrived in Chicago around 4pm. I could feel the energy the second we got onto Lakeshore Drive. “Let’s Run Together” signs hung on the lightposts, runners already crowding the sidewalks, tents being set up in Charity Village. This was it. The weekend I’ve been waiting for since June. We are finally here!
We parked, got our room keys, and spent a few precious minutes decompressing in our nice big hotel room at the Sheraton (TNT headquarters).
Before we knew it, we were spiffed up and heading to the lobby to meet up with the other TNT Flexers. Night #1 consisted of a Meet & Greet where we got a chance to do just that ~ meet our coaches, teammates and enjoy a nice casual dinner together. We had a private room at Bella Bacinos, just a short walk down the street from our hotel, which we made together as a team. It was nice to finally meet the people we had been communicating with for all these months! At the restaurant, we chatted, received our weekend event tickets, had a fabulous dinner of stuffed pizza and salad, and got pumped up about our fundraising. Our team, consisting of only 43 members, raised nearly $200,000 for LLS!! GO TEAM!
After dinner, we met up with my brother Ricky and friend Mike back at our hotel. From there, we walked over to a nearby bar for a few adult beverages. The weather was awesome, warm and breezy, so we hung out outside by the river, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. We called it a night after a couple 312’s. Big weekend calls for lotsa rest!
My alarm sounded at 630a. I sprung out of bed and started getting ready for the TNT Fun Run.
I had logged 4 miles on Friday before leaving Muncie, so the fun run was more about seeing where everything was at, where to check your gear on race day, etc. I got a chance to chat with some other TNT girls, one in particular (originally from Indy) who was also running her first marathon. We talked strategy and she told me that her goal was to finish the race in under 4 hours. I discussed how I also wanted a sub-4 time, but was realistically just aiming to finish. Though I never really had a specific goal time, I figured it was time to make a decision. After a lot of contemplating, I decided to give myself a time frame within which I would be happy to finish. That frame: 4 – 4 1/2 hours.
2 miles and about 30 minutes later, we were back at the hotel. The hubs and I ordered a delicious breakfast in our room and we proceeded to get ready for the next event: the race expo!
My friend slash perfect stranger, Christi and her friend Ryan picked the hubs and I up from our hotel around 11a. From there, we headed over to McCormick Place. We got out of the car and immediately took notice of the toasty weather conditions outside. I will only confess to a mild amount of pre-race day weather stalking. But the projected forecast was 60’s at startup, mid 70’s and sunny by finish. Warmer that we all would’ve liked to see, but I guess it beats cold and rainy?
The expo, as always, was exciting. Christi and I kept looking at each other as we walked in, exchanging “can you believe it’s already here?” glances. In order to fully enjoy ourselves, we put the boys on picture taking duty 😉