Thursday, December 3, 2015

Running The Windy City

Austin,  Denver, Chicago, OH MY! 

Talk of a fall marathon start brewing in Spring and so a couple of us threw our names in the hat for the Chicago Marathon. With the luck of the draw we all got in,  and so began the planning for our racecation. 

*due to the fact that I ran a late Spring marathon, I took my coach's advice and sat this one out.  But don't you fret, I took my role as spectator/cheerleader quite seriously.

So 2 runners and 7 spectators headed to Chicago for the weekend, via trains, planes, and city buses.  Heidi found us a fabulous VRBO in Wrigleyville {which was quite perfect as the Cubs were playing the Cardinals in the world series that weekend...and most of the crew was coming from Missouri!} 

I arrived early on Friday, in time to head to the Oiselle team dinner! It's always fun to meet, in real life,  with teammates from across the county. 

One of my favorite ways to view the city is by foot...and because I wasn't participating in the marathon, I was able to set out on a long running tour of the city! And oh my, I fell in love with running even more in the windy city! It's magical!

As the support crew, it was important that we stayed properly fueled {caffeinated}, so first stop at the expo was Starbucks.  Parker and Ashton warned Addi that there would be lots of Starbuck stops on race day...they've clearly done this before. 

While at the expo we I ran into a dear friend of mine, who happens to be one of my favorite authors, Katherine Reay {if you haven't already done so, you need to check out her 3 books}.  Heidi and Heather are huge fans, and I knew they would be ecstatic to meet her, so they rushed over to say hi and grab a photo. So fun!!

After a long morning at the expo it was time to refuel and shake out some pre-race jitters, so to Burger Bar we went! Nothing like a the laughter from a photobooth to ease the nerves.

During our ride back on the "L," we met the most amazing cuber...a very nice young man putting himself through school to be a teacher.  He could solve a rubix cube in less than 30 was amazing! But what was more amazing was how interactive he was with us {the obnoxious, highly entertained tourists}, especially the children.  He would allow the kiddos to mix up the cube the best they could, and then see how long it would take him to solve it. He then provided them with some pointers on how to solve it, and allowed them to play around with his. A pretty unique experience! And one of the many reasons why I love public transportation.

That evening we invited friends over for a night of carb loading, poster making, and laughing.  The perfect pre-race celebration. 

And then is was race day! Meet our cheer squad captain, BOBBY! BOBBY was how our runners were going to spot us among the 1000s of spectators along the course.  Note to self...when carrying a balloon around in the windy city, wrap the string around a stick or something to prevent it from blowing all over the place! 

Team Fun! 

TROOPERS! It was windy, and cold in the shade of the buildings, but these 4 rallied! 

At our bathroom-plus-we-need-to-warm-up stop we had a minor disaster...BOBBY broke free! And the hotel staff brought out the ladder to rescue him. 

I brought some memories and inspiration with me for my cheering duties! 

BOOOOOBBBBBYYYYY she yelled as she rolled through the halfway mark! 

Happy to be at the finish line waiting for mom {auntie} and dad {uncle}.

Last year she was my #1 blessed to join her on the sidelines this year as we cheered our hearts out for everyone on the course. 

He's a marathoner!!!

No words needed...the emotion surrounding a marathon finish. 

A couple that runs together...

On our way back to our place we got to see some of the Cardinal players! 

Did I mention how much I love running through a new city!? I was in my own little runner's paradise.

And then, the moment us girls had been waiting for...a trip to the Drybar


It happened to be Columbus day, so when we met up with the guys and kiddos we stumbled across a parade with DANCING horses...I had never seen such a thing. 

We then made our way to a Chicago-Must-See...The Bean. 

That night was game three of the Cubs/Cardinal series, and I felt it was a MUST to go to the game, and in no time at all I convinced Heather of the same.  We watched the prices of tickets online all afternoon, discussed how much we were willing to spend, and then after losing several tickets online {they would sell to someone else before they were able to process my payment} we headed to the stadium with cash in hand. this point Nate and Jackson had bought tickets and were in the stadium watching the game, so we decided to do the same.  We talked to a few scalpers and then came across a guy who was selling 2 fairly good seats for a reasonable price. After inspecting the tickets {like we knew what we were looking for}, Heather and I looked at each other, exchanged a nod, handed him a big wad of money, took the tickets and sprinted {with huge smiles across our faces} to the gate...we were like giddy children...only to find out we were victims of a scam.  The tickets were no good. The scanners kept beeping at us and flashing red.  Moral of the story, if the scalper offers to go with you to the gate to ensure the tickets are legit, have him go with you.  We made lemonade out of lemons and had a great time meeting up with some of Heather's friends & watching the game from the bar at the stadium. The energy was electric, and quite an experience in and of itself.  One thing's for sure...we'll never forget that night in Chicago. 

The following morning my phone was hacked, and a memory was left. 

Oh how I love those silly smiles, and hate having to say goodbye! 

But once again Chicago was amazing and holds many amazing memories. wasn't goodbye, rather until we see you again! 

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