I’m back home from running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday and I’m still smiling. Really. There’s something so special, almost magical, about finishing a marathon – I feel accomplishment, confident, powerful, humbled, grateful and totally inspired.
I’m excited to share a recap of my weekend, but will have to do it in pieces – as I type this I have sick 8 year-old little girl snuggled up on my lap. Back to reality. Ahem.
Husband and I flew to Chicago Saturday morning and checked in to our hotel, the Omni Hotel Chicago located on North Michigan Avenue. I couldn’t have picked a better spot. It’s an all suite luxury hotel, so we had a bedroom and a spacious living area which was perfect for me to get ready for the race. I could get ready early in the morning while Husband slept in before coming out to cheer me on. It was also a great location. We were within walking distance of so many great restaurants and good shopping. We were also right by Nike Town where we caught the shuttle to the Expo; and it was easy to catch a bus up to the race start on Sunday.
My Chicago Digs – the Omni Hotel
The bed was super cozy.
I took this picture BEFORE I unpacked all my race stuff! You don’t want to see the after.
Before we headed to the expo we grabbed a bite to eat at Giordano’s Pizza – deep dish at its finest. There was a little wait but it was worth it.
This one was a pale ale (my favorite), Chicago Honker’s Ale. It passed the test along with the pizza.
It was surprisingly light and tasted so fresh. We had spinach and fresh tomatoes as toppings.
Full and happy we headed to catch the shuttle to the expo. On our way we passed the Apple store and saw this tribute to the late Steve Jobs.
It was really touching.
I love expos. Aside from the shopping, ahem, it gets me excited for the race. It’s also fun to people watch and see all of the other runners there, too. Everyone has their own unique story that brought them to this place. They should have a booth where everyone can go to share them.
I walked in and saw this! What a great sign to get runners hyped!
It was also cool to find my name in the wall with all the runners.
There it is! In the center, Lorraine Robertson – not Wifey. Althought that would’ve been good.
I checked in at the DetermiNation booth and put my father-in-law’s name on their honor wall. Running for a cause made this marathon even more special.
The expo was well organized and spacious – I really liked that. There were some really long lines for the shuttle buses back to the hotels, but fortunately, Husband and I stayed long enough that we missed those. I took that as a sign. Speaking of signs when I picked up my number I did something I don’t normally do – looked at the number.
I was channeling T from Racing With Babes and saw that the last two digits are my birth year. Damn, if that’s not a GOOD sign.
Since we’re talking about numbers, Walt Disney World Resort was also born in 1971. There’s definitely a strong connection there. Tee hee hee.
I also hit up the Bank of America Customer Upgrade booth. They gave out VIP wristbands for customers.
And, we got these spiffy water bottles, too.
On our way back to the hotel we popped in Trade Joe’s to pick up my pre-race breakfast and some snacks. I love Trader Joes!
Then we had the most amazing dinner at Carmine’s. It was lick-your-plate-don’t-want-to-share-not-even-with-your-kids good. I’ll share more details and give the actual race-recap next. I can tell you now that I PR’d and kicked ass in the end. Like I said, I’m still smiling.
Stretching. Increasing my flexibility is one of my new goals. It might take a while, ahem, but I’m determined.
I did have a glass of wine while I was gone everyday but Sunday. I wasn’t in reporter mode and didn’t write down what they were but I am staying on track with Dr. Oz’s advice. I’m happy to say I’m doing really well with my eating and weight loss. I’ll share more details on that and my updated goals soon.
I’m off to take care of my little princess. Enjoy today …
Winks & Smiles,
Disclosure: I stayed at the Omni Chicago Hotel on a media rate. As always, my thoughts and opinions are all my own.