For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to visit Chicago. It was always a goal to go for St. Patrick's Day to see the parade and the river dyed green. Then when I started running, everyone but everyone said the Chicago Marathon is the best out there. I'm not kidding. I'd be in random corrals and hear conversations between runners and the consensus was Chicago, Chicago, Chicago. When I set the goal to do a run in each of the 50 states, I still had the marathon in my mind, but the timing is bad for me, plus, let's face it, the lead time for training is hard. It's a major commitment, and a scary one if you get derailed by something along the way. I found out Rock and Roll Chicago happens over summer break and I was sold, despite the fact that last year they had record high temps.
The event seemed to be worthy of some kind of special shout-out clothing wise. I decided to go with a nod to the most famous film I could think of featuring the city.
My mom was my travel buddy, which makes things easier. We have a pretty good traveling relationship that usually involves us getting irritated with each other at least once per trip, usually if we're tired and worn out, but we roll right past it. I can't say the same for traveling with friends all the time, although I've had some fantastic racecations with other runners over the years.
So we flew out and got there late afternoon on Friday. Unlike Los Angeles, Chicago has great public transportation and you can hop on a train at the airport to get you in the city. We found our hotel and just kind of wandered around. I am unable to relax in a new place. I always want to explore. I can't see sitting in a hotel room, no matter how tired I am if there are new things to see. My mom had been there before, it was my first time and I was in awe at the beauty of the buildings and the cleanliness of the downtown area.
Race morning was beautiful. It was warm enough to be comfortable in a tank top, but not overly warm or so humid that you're sweating just by being outside. The route was beautiful! It was flat and it went past all kinds of landmarks, and over bridges, through tunnels, and under train tracks.