"Loving Chicago is like loving a woman with a broken nose."
|Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park|
Back when I was 27 and a road runner living in Nashville, I made two goals for myself prior to turning 30: to pay off all my debt and to run a marathon. It took three years to complete the first goal; using Hal Higdon's novice plan, training for a marathon took just 4 months from a 3 mile base.
I chose the Chicago Marathon as my debut marathon, probably because it was easy to fly there and it was FLAT. I had never visited Chicago and with Lori, Marianne, Kerrie, Mike & Tony for company & moral support, I ran it in 1998 in a time of 5:09. As with any first-time race distance, I just wanted to finish and I was happy with my time, slow as it was.
|Kerrie, me & Marianne after my finish|
|Getting 45,000 people across the start line is like herding cattle|
|Start of the race!|
|The spectators are the best!|
|Terria & I at Disney 2000 where I finished in 5:25, thanks to nausea|
The final lap of my Mother's Day Marathon 2009
|The best aid station table ever & cheering squad|
|My finishers wreath made by neighbor Laurel|
Regardless of my time, I expect it to be fun. Two of my dearest friends of the last 20 years are joining me for a girl's weekend and we'll enjoy the sights, some good food & likely some hilarity together.
When I think of Chicago, I think of architecture, hot dogs, deep dish pizza, comedy & the blues. Here's a little Clapton & friends for your enjoyment. You're welcome.
*All marathon pics shamelessly pinched from the race website archives.