|On public transit to get my packet! Rocking Brooks and CW-X!|
We flew to Chicago on Thursday evening. Nate and I stopped at Walgreen's for some Allergy/Decongestant medication the minute we arrived. I was SO stuffy. I don't think I've ever reacted so much to the fall, but I've been stuffy for 2+ weeks during the MN harvest. I should probably get myself tested. Anyone else have allergies? Is getting tested worth it?
We didn't end up buying anything because the pharmacy wasn't open and I thought the allergy + decongestant was the better option (vs. just the allergy meds). Turns out, though, Chicago must not have the same allergens in the air as MSP. After 24 hrs in Chicago I was breathing pretty much normally. YEAH! No allergy/decongestant meds needed!
Fast forward to the next morning. Nate and I slept in, did a 4 mile shake out run (I felt awesome!) and then made our way to the Expo. Wow! I have never been to something so large and so organized! I picked up my bib and then sat on the floor while Nate and his family loaded up on samples :).
|At the Expo! 186! I tried to figure out how that (186) would equal 2:42, but couldn't, despite any mathematical tricks.|
Nate and I hung around the apartment until our cheer crew arrived Friday evening. Seriously, who is lucky enough to have a packed SUV, complete with SIX bikes, come down to cheer? I am one lucky girl!
|Before I entered the gates, my herd put on their costumes :). I couldn't have asked for a better send off!|
|Kieran and I before the start. This girl has POTENTIAL! Watch for the name! :)|
|Craig-man, looking oh-so-serious. He was most likely the navigator for the "herd", so I'm sure this is when he was contemplating their next course-spot. Check out the googly-eyes on his costume - they offset his seriousness :).|
|Early in the race. Smiling even then!|
|This solidifies the fact that I have AWESOME friends and the BEST cheer crew :)|
|Can I just say that Claire is so cute she even makes this Mad Cow Costume look decent? :)|
|I kept a smile on my face the entire way. Because, let's be honest, if you're going to run ~20 minutes slower than your goal pace, you might as well enjoy it, right?|
|Despite my finish time, I will say that Chicago is a freakishly FAST course. There were a few more turns than I was expecting, but still... TOTALLY flat! Love!|
|THE ABSOLUTE BEST CHEER CREW! Seriously.|
|The most awkward photo. Let's not try this again, k?|
|With SS, one of my athletes. She is just a JOY to coach - love her! We're working together for a huge PR at Boston :). Like her Sparkle skirt? Or "grape race" nail polish? :)|
|Deep Dish Chicago Pizza! And a Diet Coke :). I loved it until it hit my stomach... and then I realized I'm not used to this much or this type of food! Like the sunglasses? Nate picked up a few free pairs at the Expo.|
I'm still mystified by my finish time, but I'm not allowing myself to beat myself up about it. I have a lot of reflecting and reviewing to do this week. Any thoughts/suggestions/comments appreciated.
I have a fun running -related meeting scheduled for Friday, so I'l have to keep you hanging until then :). A likely life-plan blog post between now and then, but there could be major changes Friday. Stay tuned!