I flew out of Seattle into Chicago on Friday afternoon arriving around 10:30pm. Jamie had already arrived so we made our way to our hotel (picking up a bottle of Skinny Girl Margarita on the way - yum!). After a long night of chatting and laughing we finally went to bed so we could make it to the Expo on Saturday! Oh, we made it alright, but this girl was sleepy. I can't sleep in to save my life so I was still up at 7am with burning eyeballs since the time difference was actually 2 hours ahead for me. That's what happens in a whirlwind weekend trip.
The expo was SO MUCH FUN. Oh my goodness, if I could go to an expo dedicated to health and running every single day, I would be the happiest girl on the planet. It's like one big, giant health food store - sort of. Anyway, it was amazing. We got treats from Bear Naked, MGD (nothing like some 64 calorie beer to carb load!), Snickers Marathon bar, XSport Fitness, Larabar, and sooo many others! The Chicago Rock 'n' Roll souvenir area was wonderful too! I got my obligatory shot glass. After the Expo, Jamie introduced me to Qdoba. It was love at first bite - seriously.
After plenty of walking around, we went to Pizzeria Due for some intense carb loading. I ate a BBQ chicken deep dish pizza and I swear it is what got me through my run the next day. So satisfying. After yummy pizza and drinks, we waddled back to our hotel, falling asleep at 9pm to get ready for our big day.
Sunday morning came a bit too soon, but we did get lots of rest and were ready for the big day! The race didn't start until 6:30am but we arrived an hour early to Grant Park and found our corral. I don't like being rushed or late, so this was perfect knowing we had plenty of time to relax and get our mojo going!
The race itself went really well considering my lack of training of late. After drinking 1litre of water prior to running I did have to stop for a pee break at 1km. It was probably for the best though because at least I didn't have to wait in any lineups later. The first 10kms felt like a breeze, which is more than I can say for my training runs. It was nice having people to pass because it gave me inspiration and energy. In the 10k race I did in June, it was so small that I felt like everyone was passing me which kind of becomes demotivating. We were determined to take it somewhat easy and enjoy Chicago while running this race so we took some breaks but not many. I can't even describe how amazing it was to be in such a large crowd of people sharing the same passion and enthusiasm. Around mile 11 it started to rain and we were getting tired so we walked for awhile. At mile 12, we decided to run right to the finish line. All I have to say is longest.mile.ever. We kept running and running and finally I spotted the finish line which gave me the extra boost to get through!
Post race, we received our two beers (yay!), a banana, snacks, water, and had our photo taken! I felt it was all really well organized from picking up our race packets and swag bags at the Expo, to getting water/cytomax throughout the race, and receiving our medals at the end. It was all seemless and I would definitely recommend Rock 'n' Roll races to others and hope to run more of them myself! We actually met a man from the Competitor Group at the Expo and he said they were thinking about coming to Vancouver next year so hopefully they do!
(Sorry, adding photos to my posts messes up the formatting lately! Excuse the large spaces!)