Jul 30, 2017

Team DJ Takes Chicago (Part 3, the Rock n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon)

To read part 1 of my Chicago adventure, click here. For part 2, click here.

Sunday morning was an early wakeup for the half marathon. (Thankfully not runDisney early!) But that early wake up always makes me question why I do this. It also makes me realize that those flat runner posts are all about having your stuff all ready in the morning, so not thinking is necessary. 

We headed out to the start, also super close to the hotel, and passed Abraham Lincoln on the way. Have I mentioned how much I loved all the statues and green spaces in this city?

We were in our corral, well my corral, since Jenn dropped back to be with me, and thankfully, the RnR corrals go out pretty fast, so about a half hour after the start we were off! We ran through a tunnel pretty fast, and this totally threw off the GPS. I don't think all of the skyscrapers in Chicago helped the GPS much either

But we weaved in and our of downtown the first few miles, not that I had any idea what mile we were on. I must have missed seeing a mile marker somewhere, cause I had no idea which was was which for a while. 

We ran through the theater district and had to stop for a pic with the Chicago theater again, and our Aladdin theater too.

There were also to of bridges to cross. This sucked. Those bridges (just like the ones I've run over here in South Florida) were a grid of metal with holes all over. It sucked to run on that, but they weren't too long. Thankfully it was just going over the river.

Around what we think was mile 5ish, there was a great tribute to the troops. Pictures and names of fallen soldiers lined the street, and then a long long line of people holding American flags. It was super touching and really nice.

We saw a bunch of bands, but noticed most of them were brass bands or singing soul music (which was just one that I can remember). I know this isn't very "rock n' roll," but it was really cool. It gave a great feel to the whole race, and I didn't miss the rock at all.

At, what I think was mile 7.5ish, I saw some port-o-potties, and had to make a pit stop. Jenn stopped with me, and thankfully I felt better when I was out and had a little extra pep in my step.

Unfortunately, this stop had let the 2:50 pace group, which we had passed earlier, pass us. So my new goal was getting past them.

By this point we were out of downtown and finally had a long straight stretch of road. So we booked it. Eventually, we reached the 2:50 pace group and passed them just after the turnaround at mile 9.

This guy always seems to be around mile 9
It was supposed to be a lot hotter in Chicago than it was that day. Luckily it was in the 60s and overcast. A glorious change from me running in hot sticky-ness in South Florida. But with the race people I guess being overly cautious, they had some fire hydrants open to cool people off. Some as early as mile 4ish. And then after mile 9, they were handing out sponges soaked in cold water. It was nice a refreshing, but totally un-needed. (Florida race directors, take note of this. It'd be a great idea for our heat!)

Then we rounded the corner to see the finish in front of us. Well, Jenn saw it first, cause she's taller. And in the heat-killing overkill, they had a fire truck shooting out water. Since we were close to the finish, I did get wet by some of he spray, but it was just a mist, which was refreshing.

And we finished! Our excuse for the trip was accomplished. Now, it wasn't my best race, but way far from my worst. I wish I had a little pep in my step earlier in the race, but hey, now it was time to just chill.

After we grabbed our medals and some food. We went and got our remix medal. Gotta love all of that bling!

Everything was tight after the run, and I know Jenn's foot was messing with her. So we did the most logical thing ever. We did Piyo, right there in the park. We might have gotten more than a few crazy looks from people walking by.

After our Piyo session, it was time to get in some carbs and get our beer. As we walked into the beer garden though, I noticed they had wine! I'm not a fan of beer, and even though they were just samples, it was great to have some cold wine.

We grabbed our beers too, cause hello, free beer.

Then we started walking back to the hotel. The run-ger took hold of Jenn, and she got herself a Chicago hot dog at a stand on the way back.

Not my cup of tea, cause pickles are gross. But Jenn raved about it. She said it was the perfect post-run snack.

We got back to our hotel to shower and change and head out for brunch and more exploring. Check my next post for that!

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