My First Marathon: Chicago Marathon Recap 2014

After training for over 4 months, yesterday I completed my first marathon in 4:17:42. Below is part 1 of my recap…

Flying To Chicago on Friday, October 10th

I did not miss one training run. My coach Jess was great at modifying my program to my schedule. My body was ready for this race. However, I woke up Friday feeling nauseous and exhausted. My flight was scheduled for 5:30 so I spent most of the day in bed, drinking water and eating toast. I was supposed to be carbo-loading and all I could manage to stomach all day were two bananas, 2 two pieces of toast with peanut butter, a cinnamon raisin bagel. Sure it was heavy on the carbs, but not a whole lot of food. I managed to eat one of my energy gels as well. My flight was delayed 2 hours and I arrived at my hotel, The Hilton on South Michigan Avenue around 11pm. I immediately crashed.

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Pre-race Day on Saturday, October 11th

I woke up to go for my own shake out run after canceling my meet up due to feeling ill. I had to stop a few times for photos and a few times because I thought I might throw up. You guys tried to tell me I was just nervous but I was getting scared I was coming down with something else…

I had another bagel and laid low until Roomie’s flight landed. We headed off to the expo for my first marathon experience!

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I bought a couple of shirts, Nuun Watermelon tabs, and Clif Shots in Vanilla – the last two are very hard to come by and two of my favorites. I don’t normally do Nuun but since I wasn’t feeling well, I figured I could use all the supplements I could get my hands on.

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We headed to Eataly for some pizza for lunch to obviously continue eating like you have the taste buds of a 10 year old and embrace the “carb loading” idea. We unfortunately over ordered and were hardly hungry for dinner but we still had a couple small pasta dishes and split a salad.

When I do not feel well, red sauce is my savior hence the pasta and pizza. It just worked in my favor for once that I was sorta supposed to be eating the stuff. I started feeling pretty good by dinner time and hopeful I would feel normal in the morning.

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I laid out my outfit and everything for the morning when we got back. Having just flown back from a work trip in Germany, Roomie was just as tired as I was and we were in bed with the lights out by 9pm! I was excited to stay at The Hilton because it was walking distance to both the start and finish line allowing me to sleep in as late as possible. I set my alarm for 6:15 am and planned to leave the room by 6:45, an hour before my corral closed and was not planning to check a bag.

Race Day Morning, Sunday October 12th

I woke up tired (obviously) and made myself a cup of hot water with ginger. As planned, I brought my own Ezekial bread and topped it with an individual packet of nut butter and sliced up a banana I bought on Saturday. I drank 16 oz of water with one of my Nuun tablets and prepared a small water bottle to bring with me to the starting line of Vega Pre-Workout Energizer. I left my room feeling good, not nauseas, a little nervous and ready to just get the race over.

After walking a couple blocks, I arrived at my entrance for my corral. The line was long and not moving.

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I was glad I gave myself an hour to get into place. A few runners in the first starting wave missed their corral close. Not sure what the hold up was but all of a sudden the lines started moving very quickly and I was shortly in past the gates of Millennium Park. I chose Chicago for my first marathon due to the simple race day logistics, flat course, and ability to train during the summer. At the start of race day, my nerves were very low.

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I stretched for a bit doing some dynamic warm up moves but nothing over the top. Mainly I listened to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” on repeat, thanked God that I didn’t feel sick and thought about how I just needed to trust in my training. At 7:45am, 15 minutes before my start and the time my corral closed, I realized I had to pee… Too late to go then so I decided that I would just stop at the first porta-potty I saw. Great first plan!

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The energy was high, the air was a little chilly but not bad, and I was elated at how well I felt. Then after some cheers for being a first timer it was 3…2…1… and we were off!

Actual race recap to come next…

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