My directional skills downtown has diminished. It took me forever to get downtown from Jaz’s work because traffic was backed up from the toll on 90. Decided to “cut” around it and take Lake Shore Drive, which probably took equally as long as if I stayed on 90/94. Who am I kidding, I’ve NEVER been good with directions. Then when we finally get to the Navy Pier exit off of Lake Shore, I miss the turn to go into Navy Pier! ARGH! Finally made it in and just took a couple of pictures around the expo and Navy Pier.
Shot of the Expo at Navy Pier
Me and @duclecalor - This lady is waaaay cool!
Michael Jordan Stained Glass?
We stayed in the Affinia Hotel [thanks Roderick!] about 1.5 miles away from Grant Park which where the race was taking place. The day before the race, the weather wasn’t looking too good! It started to snow in the morning before we woke up. It wasn’t sticking a whole bunch, but there was just a little slush on the ground.
Weather reports were saying that it wouldn’t get any worse on Sunday during the race, so I hoped that was the case! Sure enough, the morning of the race I checked outside and thankfully all of the streets were clear! No snow to be found, but it was still chilly. The race was scheduled to start at 9am so I figure I could wake up early grab breakfast down in the hotel restaurant and then make my way to the race. At 6:30 Jaz and I went down to grab breakfast to find out it opened at 7am, which was the time I planned on leaving. Without eating anything I made my way over to Grant Park, jogging and walking on the way. I figured they would have bananas or something there to snack on beforehand like other races I had been to. Yeah, I was wrong. I walked around A LOT trying to figure out where everything was, chatted with @dulcecalor again at the Fleet Feet tent, went to the Congress Hotel for my CARA check-in, then walked to a field my friend Rikki was supposed to be stretching at, couldn’t find him. By the time I got to the start line, I had already gone 10,000 steps. No food, a little water, somewhat tired legs, and 8K in front of me, oh dear...
ALL READY TO GO!
WATCH OUT FOR THESE LEPRECHAUNS!
Gear check for 25,000 people
Shot of the Shamrock Shuffle! WOW!
Post-race = FREE BEER!
WOO HOO! My First Shamrock Shuffle in the books [apparently I like this pose]!
So going into this race I wanted to run it under an hour. Given the factors of no food in my system from breakfast, eating like crap the day before, and already tired legs, I immediately thought that this goal was out of the realm of possibility. Obviously there was no backing out now. I was by myself and had no one to pace with, but then as we approached the start line I started thinking of all the reasons I began running. This is the type of thing I do before all my races. I start listing out reasons in my head and why I want to be healthy: Jaz, my family, my friends, my nephews and nieces, my godchildren, and everyone I could hope to inspire to lead a better life, and of course myself. I started off on my race and felt great. Being in the presence of more thank 25,000 people was just so exhilarating! Especially when people I have never met along the streets are cheering me on. Such a high! The volunteers were great helping out with the aid stations and directing traffic. They made this race such a great experience also! I loved the run and will definitely do it again! Oh an my time? 57:50, WOO HOO!! And then I grabbed all of the bananas, water, and beer I could get my hands on.
After the race I walked back to the hotel (BIG MISTAKE). Met up with Jaz at Niketown (it was way too cold for her to wait for me at the race) and saw these beauties:
ohhh my...25th anniversary edition all-white Jordans *drool*
Then to finish off the day, went to Old Country Buffet with Mike’s family and of course my goddaughter Haley!
Ain’t she CUTE!?
A great end to a great weekend in the city!