You Don’t Have to Run a Marathon…

…to feel like you ran a marathon.

Dead. On. My. Feet.

While 38,535 runners took the roads of Chicago on Sunday, I was on Day Four of my own work marathon. Though I wrapped up my last full day of office work for the week last Wednesday, I had out-of-office obligations all morning Thursday, all day Friday, all evening Saturday, and all morning/afternoon on Sunday. For those of you keeping score at home, this zero-day weekend more than makes up for the unexpected three-day weekend I enjoyed last week.


After a meeting of sorts Thursday morning, I used Thursday afternoon to run all my normal weekend errands. This included a trip to Jewel for my annual flu shot (or rather, FluMist, because after an unfortunate fainting incident in 2010, I’m no longer able to handle needles of any variety). The pharmacist reassured me that I was in good hands right after I sat down by telling me that she had actually never performed a FluMist vaccination before.


She definitely messed up administering the vaccination, so we’ll see if I stay flu-free this season. She was quite friendly, though, so I promised I wouldn’t sue her if I end up sick later this winter 😉 I also got a $25 Jewel gift card out of the deal, which covers two-three weeks worth of Jewel groceries for me. That doesn’t exactly make up for the flu, but I’ll take what I can get.

Friday started with another meeting of sorts, after which I wandered around downtown looking for a place to grab lunch. I ended up at Epic Burger which was, indeed, epic. My turkey burger was awesome, and I’m a big fan of Epic Burger’s commitment to serving real food. I contemplated getting a shake as well but instead chose to go to Panera, where I was harassed by a cashier over my lack of a myPanera card. Doggone it, woman, I go to Panera like once every six months, and all I wanted was one of your mediocre, overpriced but seasonly precious pumpkin cookies. Stop. Pushing. The myPanera card.

I then headed down McCormick Place for my favorite event of the year, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. aka Heaven.

I’ve been to a lot of race expos in my day, and the Marathon expo is far and away the best expo I’ve attended. The vendor selection is remarkable, and a lot of companies have amazing booths — Brooks, for example, knocked it out of the park with their gait analysis booth both last year (Heaven/clouds) and this year (a bowl of pasta).

I spent a very significant portion of my Friday at the expo and walked away with three mini Larabars, Food Should Taste Good multigrain chips, a Hot Chocolate 15K/5K pen with this awesome pully-outy thing that lists all their locations, an Illinois Marathon cup, and way, way too many promotional handouts for races next year. I need to find someone to finance my racing habit.

I also sampled just about everything I could get my paws on at the expo because duh. Free food? Not gonna not. Without question, my favorite sample of the day were the (many) bites of PowerCrunch I snagged on my multiple trips past their booth. I had never heard of nor seen PowerCrunch bars before, but these things are BOMB. Unlike some of my samples (ahem, Larabar), which claim to taste like cookies when in reality they taste like their ingredients (dates, peanuts, and sea salt), these bars legitimately taste like cookies, which my Texas-sized sweet tooth and I were big fans of. Peanut Butter Fudge and Cookie and Creme in particular were to die for.

I actually had most of Saturday “off,” but given my apparent aversion to relaxing on weekends, I was sure to fill that free time with a five miler, a chiropractor appointment (more on that on Thursday), and a soccer game that resulted in lots of battle wounds.

This is what happens when your teammates are all, “Someone mark that guy who’s completely open!” that “that guy” happens to be closest to me. “That guy” also happened to have eight inches and 75 pounds on me, which meant my attempts to push him around (my normal go-to defensive tactic) were not entirely successful, as my new bruise collection and turf-burned knees show. Hooray contact sports!

We had an event for work Saturday night, which resulted in both a late night and lots of free swag to the tune of three hats, eight mini Clif Bar Builder’s bars, and 18 four-packs of G Series Carb Energy Chews for me. I admittedly might have gone overboard on my stuff hoarding, BUT it was all leftovers that were free for the taking. Plus those G Series Carb Energy Chews were my mid-run fuel during my half marathon, and even though they’re artificial and dyed and not #cleaneating or whatever, they did a fantastic job of keeping me fueled during long runs without upsetting my stomach or sketching me out like Gu. Barring injury, illness, or act of God, I have every intention of running a marathon next year, so I figured I might as well stock up on my go-to fuel while I could get it for free.

After not nearly enough sleep Saturday night, I got up far too early on Sunday for the Marathon. I had ordered a cab for 6:15, but it didn’t show up until 6:27, which may or may not have led to me making possibly not the friendliest phone call of my life to the cab company, letting them know exactly  how I felt about my late cab. They were all, “Ordering only gives you priority, it doesn’t guarantee anything!” which struck me as complete crap. I ordered my cab on Thursday. Regardless of where my cab originated, it wasn’t exactly a secret that there was a marathon going on on Sunday. Having my cab show up that late was when I ordered it three days in advance simply inexcusable, and you better believe that particular cab company will never see my business again. /endrant

I needed to be downtown at 6:30 but got there much closer to 6:45, which put me in quite the time crunch to grab breakfast and make it to the start line before the race, you know, started. I managed to arrive right as “The Star Spangled Banner” began. I then hung out at the start line for all of three minutes before booking it to the finish for the Nike Northside/Southside Challenge, which I fortunately got to literally 30 seconds before the first boy finished.

I could have spectated the race at that point but decided to go to church instead before the rest of my day got hectic. My normal church didn’t work with my Sunday schedule, so I visited the one church downtown I found with a 9 a.m. service–the only service time that fit into my other obligations on Sunday. As soon as the service ended, I was out the door and headed back to the race area-ish. After some work and lunch, I headed over to Grant Park, where I met up with Emily who was rocking the greatest runner’s high you ever did see 🙂 I had hoped to see Katie as well, but dead phones prevented such a reunion. Regardless, I am SO proud of both of these girls for totally kicking tail on Sunday!

I was also amused by the huge pile of throwaway clothes at the corner of Columbus and Jackson. I definitely don’t remember seeing anything like this at last year’s marathon when it was nearly 80 degrees haha.

I hung around Grant Park for quite some time before finally calling it a day at 2 p.m. Originally, I planned to go home, chill for an hour, and go back to my normal church, but I was completely zonked. I could not fathom getting off my floor once I got home, so I didn’t. Haha.

There’s no rest for the weary as I’m now heading into an extremely busy two weeks of work, but such is life. Honestly, I was too tired Sunday to feel many positive emotions, but it was great to walk around Grant Park seeing so many people with their finisher’s medals and heat sheets. I sincerely hope that next year I’ll be among all of them (if, for no other reason, to avoid another four-day work marathon. I’d really rather run 26.2 miles 😉 ).

Did you go to the Chicago Marathon this weekend, or have you ever been to a marathon?
What’s your favorite part about a race weekend? I’m completely obsessed with expos. I wish I could go to one every week. I love visiting all the vendors, I love the energy, and I really just love being surrounded by people who not only understand but participate in this crazy subculture we call endurance sports 🙂

7 thoughts on “You Don’t Have to Run a Marathon…

    • Haha I’m so glad I’m not the only one who felt that way! It’s crazy how much not running the marathon takes out of you!

  1. Exactly what Kelsey said. I can’t even imagine how you must have felt after four days of that mess. I was cold, hungry, and sooo tired. I’d almost [keyword almost] go as far as to say that besides the leg soreness/pain that doesn’t go away right away, spectating is harder than running a marathon.

    • Fortunately I was well fed so I avoided hunger, but I was right there with you on the cold and sooo tired. This past weekend will totally be something to keep in mind next year if/when I’m training for the marathon — you’ve already spectated! You’re practically halfway there on that alone! Haha.

  2. I love your rant about the Panera card because I feel the same way. I swear I’ve signed up for 100 rewards cards, but I don’t go any place often enough to make it worth it. And now I won’t sign up for anymore. I hate when stores pitch their card to you, but now I just keep saying no.

    • Normally when I say no people back off, but this lady seriously would not let it go. It was so frustrating! Honestly if she had asked once and then let it go, I’d probably be 10,000x more likely to sign up for a myPanera card in the future, but having it force-fed to me makes me not want it at all, you know?

  3. Pingback: Marathoning | accidental intentions

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