You may be laughing at the title of this post, but I'm not joking when I say that my legs were sore after WATCHING a marathon. No, I'm not in terrible shape, I never once had sore legs from two months of boot camp which often involved running up LOTS of hills!
Anyway, in case you missed the memo (aka me posting it EVERYWHERE) Caroline had a very successful first marathon!!! You can read about her experience on her blog, this post is all about my experience watching a marathon.
I'm no marathon watching rookie. My college was on the course of the Boston Marathon and "Marathon Monday" was easily one of the best days of the year. However, this was my first time watching a marathon that was NOT Boston!
My alarm went off bright and early, I debated what to wear for awhile, packed my purse, met "Team Caroline" at Starbucks and headed to Mile 4 to catch Caroline for the first time. I was lucky in that when of my friends from college just recently moved to Chicago and did all the work for me as far as figuring out the best places to watch from and how realistic it was to get from one to the other.
Gerry also made the AWESOME signs.
Mile 4 was pretty unsuccessful. We missed Caroline because she started earlier than we thought she was going to. We must have missed her by only a few minutes because we saw the pace group right behind her, but luckily we got a 10K text which told us she obviously passed us. Then we could head for Mile 11, which was only one street over for us!
Before Caroline reached Mile 11 I was starting to panic a little that we were trying to see her 4 times and what if we don't see her at all?!
This may have actually happened except for that Caroline picked US out and actually waved her hand in front of us to get our attention! We were all staring at the crowd trying to find her! At Mile 11 I ran with Caroline for a few minutes to take a picture and get a feel for how she was doing so far. She was still doing really well!
After I joined back up with the group, it was time for the crazy adventure of getting to Mile 17. We had to take the subway which was obviously packed. We couldn't even get on the first train and then we just barely fit on the second. Once we arrived at our stop, we still had a bit of a walk and after getting Caroline's half marathon text I was convinced we were not going to make it to Mile 17 before her. There was definitely some sprinting with purses and signs going on during that "walk." Luckily we made it in time to see a still smiling Caroline at Mile 17!
Also, Team Caroline grew at Mile 17 as Gerry's fiance joined the spectating as well as Caroline's college roommate Courtney!
The last place we wanted to see Caroline was at Mile 20, so we walked some more to get there, stopping on the way for some ice. My dad had the idea of cooling Caroline off with ice so we filled up a zip lock bag with ice ready for her to come by at Mile 20. Since we still had the rest of the giant bag of ice we bought at 711, we started just handed out ice to other marathoners. I should probably mention the temperature was in the upper 70s and possibly hotter in the sun so people were VERY appreciative.
I don't have a picture of Caroline at Mile 20, but she still looked awesome. I ran with her again just to make sure she felt awesome :) I don't think she really did, but I mean, who does at Mile 20? I asked her how she was doing and she said "ow!" haha, but luckily nothing in particular was hurting and I knew she was going to make it to Mile 26! Of course I launched into a quick motivational speech and then she was off!
Of course we took off walking again and headed for the finish line. There was really no way at all to see anyone crossing the finish line (or even close) unless you got there much earlier so we headed to our "meeting spot" with Caroline which was a big fountain. Other Chicago marathoners had told us that was a good spot to meet, but this year it was NOT because they fenced off the whole area and wouldn't let us in. Eventually we found Caroline and began a marathon photo taking session followed by a quest for bagels. Speaking of which, if you are lucky enough to live near an Einstein Bagels, please eat one for me.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing and eating dinner. Of course I enjoyed one last night of self serve frozen yogurt...
I could easily live in our hotel room in Chicago for a long while. Walking distance to one of my favorite restaurants ever, Starbucks, Whole Foods AND more than one frozen yogurt shop... what more could I ask for? We had a great weekend in Chicago, Caroline did awesome and when it was time to say one final good night to the city of Chicago, I was really quite sad...
If you managed to read all of this post, I am impressed :) Have you ever been to Chicago? Have you ever been tired from watching a marathon?