I apologize there won't be any pictures during this post. Not that I didn't take any! But I used a disposable camera and had to have the film developed and so I can't post them. :(
First, I would like to thank all of the people who were standing along the course cheering total strangers on. It was AWESOME! I want to take a brief moment to share with you some of the memorable posters/signs that I got to read as I ran all 26.2 miles.
- "This is the WORST parade EVER!"
- "Odoyle RULES!"
- "Honey badger DOESN'T give a shit!"
- "Don't stop now! Millions of people are watching!"
- "The pain is temporary. Quitting is FOREVER!"
- "Because 26.3 would be just CRAZY!"
Those were just a small sample of what I saw. There were bands and dj's playing music along the course as well. Several songs I caught myself singing to were...
- "Run The World (Girls)"
- "We Are The Champions"
- some Lady Gaga song, I can't think of right now
- some Elvis song, I can't think of right now either
Now for the highlights. (In some-what sequential order as they happened.)
- The 40-something male partners at the warm up area. They were hilarious, from Florida and wanted to pay Jake $10 for his Mylar blanket he brought. Lucky for me, a woman gave me an extra trash bag she had so I could stay warm.
- Jake smacking my butt for "good luck".
- Running under a wide bridge seeing several male runners just stop and pee on the wall.
- Seeing the Chicago Theater.
- Having a runner come up to me and wish me well on my first marathon. I had made a running shirt that on the back said, "My First Marathon".
- Stopping to take a potty break.
- Seeing 2 men wearing nude leotards covered in clear, empty water bottles, go-go boots, white wigs and big sunglasses dancing and singing on a stage to some Lady Ga-Ga song. (the reason I can't remember the song, they were stealing the show)
- Another runner came up to me and tell me good luck on my first marathon.
- Ran past a guy running in Crocs and had a propeller on his hat with a shirt that said, "HI GUY". I took his pic and Jake gave him props on his style.
- ELVIS! There was a guy on a stage singing and dressed like Elvis. I took his pick and Jake gave him a "high five". (the reason I can't remember the song... it was ELVIS!)
- Realizing for Chicago being called the "windy city", it wasn't windy AT ALL!
- Another runner came up to me and said, "Happy First Marathon!"
- Jake thinking he is funny and running ahead of me for about 20 feet, with his butt showing above his shorts. (FUNNY?)
- Seeing 2 runners ahead of me, one wearing a shirt that said "I'm the DAD" (a man in his late 50's) and the other said "I'm the SON"(a man in his 20's).
- Jake picking me up an orange wedge and handing it to me to eat. Then taking my picture with "orange peel smile".
- Stopping for Jake to take a potty break.
- Jake telling me to watch up ahead on the left as he runs up to a group of girls by the road. He then tells them my name and says, "On the count of 3, say 'GO, CARRIE'. 1. 2. 3. (everyone yells) GO, CARRIE!"
- Thinking of everyone I knew, who knew I was running this marathon and feeling very LOVED! (I have an AMAZING support group.)
- Running through Chinatown. I saw 2 of those Chinese dragons (people in the big costume ones).
- One more runner telling me, "You are doing great for your first marathon. You've obviously trained for this."
- Seeing a group of 5 runners all wearing a shirt that said "Abuelo" all were in their 30's but one. He was in his 70's. And his shirt said below Abuelo, "Pushing Abuelo to 26.2". (FYI-they finished right before us. ALL of them.)
- We walked through all the aid stations drinking water, but the last one. We wanted to finish strong and steady. By that point my legs were hurting a little when I would go from walking to running. So I figured, let's just run the rest of the way. This was after mile 24.
- I was eating Gu Chomps at every mile from mile 4-21. Then from 21-24, I ate a half of a banana that they were giving at aid stations.
- I crossed the finish line at 5:26:35. Jake crossed the finish line at 5:26:36. He wanted me to cross first.
- Feeling AMAZING! No tears. Just a TON of relief to have actually finished it.
- Walking back to the hotel and throwing up in the bathroom. (Remember those 4 half bananas I ate?)
If you ask me today, I would tell you I don't have any desire to run another marathon. I really love the idea of half marathons.