It's pretty interesting that we are heading back to Chicago for a weekend almost six months to the day that we left. We packed up the Uhaul and headed back East on January 29 and are now heading back to Chicago on July 20 ... it's funny how the world works. I also never thought I would be looking forward to this three days in Chicago as much as I am.
And I have running to thank for it to be happening at all!! :)
Last year, the Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon marked my second-ever half and the first since February 2006 ... and to make it even more special - it was the longest race I was doing (August 2011) after having major back surgery (January 2011). Yes, less than eight months after half of my L4-L5 disc removed, I was planning on running - no dominating - the half marathon.
And I did ... well in my opinion I did. I cut about 8 minutes off my time from the first half in February 2006 and the Rock n Roll in August 2011.
Here is the recap from last year.
Unfortunately, the wife has suffered an injury and will be unable to run on Sunday, but thankfully she has enough other fun things planned to make the trip worth it. :)
I'm not sure why we picked such an early flight on Friday (5:50am), but it does give us three whole days in Chicago as a result.
Friday will be the day to really see as many people as possible since I will be crashing early on Saturday night.
We will be able to have breakfast with her old coworkers (a Friday tradition when she worked there), hit up the expo as soon as it opens, I can tour the new offices at Wrigley that were happening just after I left and meet as many friends as possible for Happy Hour.
Ooohhh I am smiling just thinking about all the smiles, hugs and laughter that will take place tomorrow. :)
On Saturday, the wife's parents are making the roughly 2.5 hour trek from their home to come meet up with us in the city. I think this is the longest the wife has gone without seeing her parents in quite some time so it is great they can come up and meet us.
Then Sunday is the big day!! The race starts at 6:30am and I'm hoping to get there nice and early and maybe even spot some of my Twitter friends and old coworkers that I know are running as well. Plus I just love milling around in the pre-race excitement. :)
Now I just heard that the start should be about 81 degrees. Boo! Really I am okay with it, but I know it will be too hot to wear my Superman socks that I now love so much. Well, they will still make the trek out there ... just in case!
After a cool down and some Dunkin Donuts, we will take the rest of Sunday easy ... and of course hit up the Weber Grill restaurant before heading to the airport. It is now a post Chicago Half Marathon tradition! ;)
My goal is to run a PR - which is currently 2:05.40 - and run my first sub 2 hour Half Marathon. Now I know the heat will play into how I run so I am not going to push myself to a limit that might cause me harm. BUT I am going to give it everything I have on that course. :)
While taking in the scenery as well. The course is all through the city of Chicago and along the Lake - one beautiful beautiful course.
I am also excited to see how being down about 17 lbs between the two Rock n Roll half marathons impacts my times...
It wasn't til I looked at these pictures side by side - July 2011 vs. July 2012 - that I can see how big of a difference 17 lbs can make. That is the same fuel belt in both pics, but as you can see on the left I couldn't wear it any lower because of my weight.
So to all, I hope you have a fantastic weekend and I cannot wait to update you all on how this weekend goes for me.
To my Chicago friends, I cannot wait to see all of you!! Be ready for lots of hugs... :)