I heard a Chicago Marathon slogan, “Every Mile Is Magnificent” and I can’t argue with that. I had an AMAZING experience running the Chicago Marathon. I ran into a few issues, but much like childbirth, the painful memories are becoming distant and I’m already ready to do it again.
The weather was perfect, a crisp 50 degrees with the sun out. There were approximately 50,000 runners. It took a little bit of time to get bags searched and into the secure area, but luckily I had allowed for extra time to get to my starting corral.
I am not exaggerating when I say there were spectators cheering us on the whole entire way…all 26.2 magnificent miles. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. The sidewalks were lined with people cheering on perfect strangers. I actually got choked up at one point because it was THAT amazing. I don’t know all the different names of the neighborhoods in Chicago, but we ran through all of them.
I ran a great first half with a time of 2:13, right around the pace I had planned. I mentally was aiming for a 4:45 finish. After I passed the half is when things started happening. My earbuds quit on me at mile 14. They were dead, would not work, no sound except occasional static. Bummer since I had 12.2 more miles to go and the last half of a marathon I like sing to myself to quiet the voices reminding me that my feet, ankles, and knees are starting to get sore. I was having back issues from a surgery I had 3 years ago that has caused some scar tissue. Around mile 17 it started to spasm and I felt like I was running a little hunched over from it. As a result my right hip started hurting probably from compensating for my back pain on my left side. Around mile 19 is when I usually start thinking how I “WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN.”
After mile 22 though I got a little bit of a second wind and brought it in to the finish. At the finish we were given our medal.
Not long after that we were given a beer. I’m not sure if it was that I had just ran 26.2 miles or if it was actually super awesome beer, but that was THE BEST BEER EVER!
I had an amazing time. I would run the Chicago Marathon again in a heartbeat. I highly recommend this race to anyone thinking of running it.
P.S. Does this fountain make anyone else sing the theme song from “Married With Children”?