2. Be patient and kind and persistent and good things will come to you: After 3 hours on the phone ,with the place that canceled our reservations, George got us very nice one bedroom at the Courtyard Marriott, which was on the race course.
3. If you are going to Chicago in October, be prepared to run in COLD weather: Otherwise you might be forced to buy a cute penguin hat to keep your ears warm, but all your friends might think that you are wearing a fried egg on your head.
4. Marathons freakin' hurt! I thought since I had trained for this one, actually trained and followed a marathon schedule, that this would be a nice long jog. Well by mile 13 I had to switch from running 9 minutes/walking 1 minute to running 4 minutes/walking 1 minute, and my legs started to feel like a jack hammer was hitting them. Or actually, like they were jack hammers hitting the pavement really hard, over, and over, and over again.
5. Counting down makes things easier: At the half way point, I told myself: "Hey, I just have 13 more miles to run. I can do that. I've totally run 13 miles before!" At 14 miles I told myself: "I just have 12 more miles to run! I can do that, I've run 12 miles before!" At 15 miles I told myself: "I just have 11 more miles to run I can do that! I've totally run 11 miles before"...and so on. You get the point. Basically I had to keep telling myself over, and over that I could do it. I'd done it before and I was going to do it again!
6. Don't kid yourself: if you can't run for 10 minutes at mile 15, then you aren't going to be able to run 10 minutes at the end of the race either. At mile 20, I started thinking: "Wow, just 6 more miles left, if I was running 10 minute miles then I would be done in an hour" (BTW, I was NOT running 10 minute miles, but whatever). I thought: "I can just run it in, no more walking breaks!" Ha! That lasted until the next 4 minutes when my watch beeped, and I decided that maybe I would stick with the run/walk until mile 23. At mile 23, I knew I could just run it in. I mean, it would take me only 30 minutes if I was going 10 miles per hour (which again, I wasn't). But again, the first time my watched beeped after I had passed mile 23, I stopped to walk. I thought: "Well, 3 miles is a little long, but I will definitely run in the last 2 miles." Let's just say, I did run in the last .2 miles, and running down that finish line shoot is quite amazing!
7. I am actually an ultra-marathoner: No need to sign up for the ultra team next year. I did an ultra last Sunday. First we had to walk 1.75 miles to the starting line. Then we ran 26.2 miles. Then it was .5 miles just to walk down the finisher's shoot to get our medals. Then we had to walk 1.25 miles back to the hotel. Then we had to walk 1.4 miles to get to dinner and back. So my little legs took me 31 miles on Sunday, and that's an ultra marathon!
8. Nothing Beats Zachary's! I love Zachary's, but I thought being in Chicago, I would experience the true Chicago deep dish pizza and be blown away. But what I learned was that nothing beats Zachary's. In fact the pizza in Chicago didn't even come close! I didn't even want to eat the leftovers for breakfast!
9. Friends and family support is so important: Knowing that my parents were out there on the course waiting for me to come by and cheer me on, and knowing that my friends were out there running with me, made my day!
10. And most importantly: It may not be a good idea to do something new on race day! So I thought it would be cute to wear my Jasmine Barranti underwear. You know, that way I could pretend she was running with me. Well, normally I don't wear underwear, and they started chafing at mile 2, and I had to spend the entire race sticking my hands down the front of my pants trying to readjust them, which wouldn't have been so bad, except that the streets were literally lined with spectators, so I had to do this directly in front of people staring at me and yelling at me to not give up, and keep going!
All in all, it was a great race, a great weekend, and a great vacation. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to run a marathon (or watch other crazy people run a marathon).