Monday, June 24, 2013

Chicago Half Marathon

Heads up folks...this post is going to overflow with pictures from this past weekend. 

I had the privilege of spending a weekend in Chicago with these lovely ladies

(Jen, Holly, Michele, Erin, Kim)

Jen and Erin are two of my amazing friends (and co-workers), and I had just met Michele (we work with her husband) and Kim. These ladies are seriously hilarious!

On Friday we hit up some outlets at Michigan City, and then arrived at the Hyatt to pick up our swag bag from the Fellow Flowers (FF) group. Inside the swag bag were our matching race tanks, a cute mug with their logo, and some other goodies. If you haven't checked them out before and you enjoy running or exercise, you should! You can find there Facebook info here and their website is here

We settled into our hotel room and went out to eat. Following dinner, we prettied up for the FF Black Dress Party. It. was. a. blast!! I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun we had celebrating with other women about why they are a few pictures :)

After the BDP we had express access to a roof top bar at The Wit. In theory it sounded awesome...but really turned out to be kind of creepy. I sneaked a few pictures of the city at least.

Saturday we participated in the FF "yoga in the park" event. Then we picked up race bags at the expo, shopped, had lovely appetizers at the Sweet Water restaurant, and ended the day with a delicious dinner with the FF ladies. 

Sunday was race day! The race started at 6:30am. I ran the women's half marathon with Jen and Kim. After 3 miles, though, Kim was on a roll and sped past us (she finished in 1 hr 56 min!!!). I quickly became dehydrated around 5.5 miles which honestly sucked. All I wanted was some H20. I also hyperventilated twice due to the code red humidity/lack of water. 

I trained at an 8:30-8:45 minute pace, but I was just not able to do that. However, the sweet part about the race (besides finishing ;)) was my dear friend Jen. She had just ran a marathon, and is now training for her 3rd one, so she could have left me in the dust. She stayed by me the ENTIRE time telling stories, encouraging me, cheering on other FF ladies, keeping quiet when I needed silence, stopping with me every flippin time I needed water...which included water stations, water fountains in the park, the paramedics, and getting some from a random lady on a bike. I cried a few times just because of the sacrifice and care she showed me! Not to mention I was exhausted and ready to be done. Remarkably, my knee held up fine during the race! But woah, I am sore today :)

Jen and I were able to sprint the last leg to the finish line...crossing it by holding our hands up together and smiling like the FF way. It may sound corny, but that was a really sweet moment for me. We finished in 2 hr 13 minutes, but I don't think I would have made it if it weren't for Jen. Gee, I love her.

We found Kim who did incredible in the half and Erin/Michele who rocked the 5k! Afterwards we hit up the VIP FF tent and got some food, mimosas, more pictures (of course), etc. There were some professional photos taken at all the FF events and at the race, so I'm eager to see those soon. Then we quickly hopped on the train back to home.

Here are the last of my pictures...


This is around the 2 mile

Around the 7 mile

Smiling because of thankfulness


The pyramid was the classic pose of the weekend

At the Bean of course

We had such a fabulous time...I haven't had a girls weekend with so much laughter, shopping, eating, and fun in such a long time! I am so grateful for each of the ladies on the trip and especially for Jen during my race. I can't wait till our next adventure!

ps Some have asked if I'd ever do another half marathon. My answer: I would definitely do another one sporting my flower...but not in the summertime! :)


LadyOzz85 said...

Loved this blog post!!!!!

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