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Chicago Marathon Weekend

While I didn’t run the Chicago Marathon this weekend, I certainly made myself a part of it!

Thanks, Katie!

Thanks, Katie!

I mean, how can you not, when you live in the midst of the city, and nearly 50,000 runners and 100,000 spectators decide to come right on over? The energy in the city is infectious, and almost made me wish I was running the whole thing Sunday. Almost. My legs continued to remind me that cough, you just ran a marathon, and you ran it hard, missy. While I mentally may have been ready to take on another, my legs are not. And, in fact, I wish I could have given them a bit more time off for recovery, but there were a couple of opportunities that I just couldn’t pass up.

First though? Well, Friday I hit the gym in a legitimate fashion and did chest for the first time in about a month, and even then, it wasn’t that hard. So yyyyeaahhh. Let’s just say that “Flex Friday” was more like “Frack, I’ve lost strength Friday” followed by Sore Saturday. Don’t touch my pectorals.

makes me feel like this.

makes me feel like this.

Luckily, Alex had the genius idea to do happy hour at Cantina Laredo. I had the brilliant idea to follow that gluttony with froyo. As I told Caitlin, I think that I am having sympathy runger. Like husbands have sympathy hunger for their pregnant wives. Only I’m having it for the marathoners. My other excuse is that I am carb loading for life. Either way. More food and drink than necessary, but sooooooo worth it.

cantina laredo startups Collage

Saturday and Sunday was all about the Marathon.

I started Saturday off with a little shakeout run with a few sorta cool people.

suz and deena

Yeah, that would be Deena Kastor, Olympian, Marathon Winner, World Record Holder. Sweetheart.

deena and bart

And Bart, You know we are BFFs. But I shared him with his adoring public.

Then I got to have breakfast with someone who I was even more excited to meet: TINA!!!! (and Steve). We chatted over oats and hydration at Corner Bakery, before she had to get a move on to do elite athlete things. I am just so happy that she had and made time to hang out with me in the midst of a nonstop, appointment-heavy weekend, during which she was also needing to get her head in the game.

tina and suz 1

And you have to say, she has good taste in outfits 😉

Saturday night was spent with Sarah and Team Momentum!!

IMAG1327

When one of their own coaches/mentors came down with Bronchitis this week, Sarah reached out to me to see if I could possibly help her has a coach/motivator for their charity runners! Once we discussed how much running might be involved, I was absolutely on board to help. My history with marathons, participating with Team Challenge, coaching my mom for her half marathon PR, and as a personal trainer made me, in resume terms, “uniquely qualified” for this role. And after going to the team dinner Saturday, I couldn’t have been more excited and happy to help out. I know what it is like to take on such a huge challenge–from a fundraising, emotionally invested standpoint as well as a physical standpoint–and I know how to help motivate people to the finish line.

Plus, SARAH IS FREAKING AWESOME. And her athletes LOVE her. And when you are a marathon coach (and thus basically torture people), the fact that they still love and adore you speaks volumes.

Sunday=Marathon Day. And I had 130 Team Momentum athletes to help coach and a bajillion friends to cheer for!

And I worked out my triceps before. Let’s just say, once again, my 100 dips at the end were not as smooth as they used to be. But then again, my pecs were still tired, so that didn’t help. But then I got all kitted out in my MDA singlet (of which I have no pics of me wearing, but there may be some from me running) and headed south to our cheering station!

IMAG1330

And immediately missed the train, and had to wait 15 minutes. Then got on a packed train, which immediately stopped upon leaving the station. Reminded me of train karma in NYC. But dang, wasn’t it gorgeous outside! Great marathon weather, even though warmer than my marathon. And yes, I will keep on referencing it, thank you ;).

I got to the cheering station, met the awesome volunteers, and we got to cheering! Well, I was frantically scanning the runners as I hoped to see some friends, and one in particular–and I found her! MOOOOO!

whm me and mo

Somehow I found her in the mass of people, ran over and got a sweaty hug and checked in (PS spoiler–she had her best Chicago Marathon yet!) but then had to return to the station in case one of the MDA athletes came by. I would jump in and run with any of them that came by, and by and large they were doing well, but a few people were feeling the 20 miles, and needed some runner advice, or at least some distraction. And candy. I could oblige. After all, you know how I fuel.

jelly belly suzlyfe

Around noon, Sarah met up with us, and before long we both took off with MDA athletes! I walked for a little with a great guy, Eric, who had basically had to walk for several miles, and run when he could, because of IT Band issues. Luckily, as we all know I have quite a bit of experience with that, so I taught him the booty walk.

Now, I’m not saying that you will float, but it will help you to reengage your booty and thereby take the pressure off the ITB. He was a sweetheart, but I sent him on his way after he seemed to be in better straights.

After doing the same for a while with others, and everyone doing well, I found a couple named Emilio and Sarah who were not doing so well–Emilio looked like he could have run another marathon, but Sarah was hurting. So, I did what I do best: taught them the booty clench move, and distracted them. 😀 Thank you, Mom, for the ability to converse with interesting people under absolutely any circumstances.

I feel like this would be distracting, no?

I feel like this would be distracting, no?

I stayed with them for about 1.5-2 miles, until they looked like they needed to finish for themselves, and with each other. So I started running, and ran the rest of the course, checking in along the way as needed (and honestly probably seriously surprising people, who were expecting people having run 24+ miles at that point). Unfortunately, I didn’t know where people were meeting up afterwards, and I couldn’t figure it out with the mass of people, so I ran on home, showered, made some pancakes (I hadn’t eaten anything but a pumpkin munchkin (ERMIGERD so good), a starburst, and a few candy corn since leaving that morning), and then passed the f out on the couch. And felt soooo much better after a serious nap.

Skoop Spaghetti Squash Funfetti Pancakes

Skoop Spaghetti Squash Funfetti Pancakes

I want to finish out this post by saying Congratulations to everyone who raced, ran, or just got out there this weekend. Some of you had the best races of your lives, some rode the struggle bus, others ran great races but still know there is room for improvement. But you know what? We should all be so proud of our accomplishments. We are all part of a movement, and we are all a part of something greater.

How did you contribute to the great movement this weekend? 

What is the silliest race costume you’ve ever seen? I saw a pizza and a hot dog running the marathon. I don’t know how they survived. I also saw a guy in full polyester Japanese robe and a cap that had fake hair on it. That was weird. 

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