Tuesday, October 5, 2010

pep in my step (and some chicago tips)

Today I had a little extra pep in my running step. I was slightly pressed for time before my afternoon flight and I had left the house a little later than I had originally planned. The weather was sunny and a bit cool. Everything was in place for a faster run though I don't think my good run was due to any of that. Instead I was thinking of everyone running the Chicago marathon this Sunday! I felt like I was the one tapering and getting ready for the race. I'm so jealous of you all ;) I know I'm going to have a blast at the wedding in NC... but... there is this energy in the city right now (and around blog land) that is making me so excited for all of you who are running! It makes me really wish I was in state this weekend. Instead I'll be cheering you on virtually!

For all you who are running have fun and enjoy the city! I haven't run NY or Boston or another big race but my experience at Chicago was like no other. It is the only marathon I haven't needed my ipod because I was so entertained the entire time. Here are some of my tips:
  • If you have people there to see you be sure to plan where they will be AND what side of the street. Trust me on this there are too many people to keep scanning back and forth. Or have them hold an obnoxiously large sign or balloons on a stick to easily see them ;)
  • Line up sooner than later. Otherwise you are going to have to jump barricades into an already overstuffed start line.
  • Don't freak out when your garmin goes haywire the first mile because it will and it will continue throughout downtown. You start off by runningunder Wacker/through a tunnel and are in a big city.
  • Take in the deafening roar of some of the 500,000 spectators when you start but don't get overly excited and lose your race by playing dodge 'em.
  • Be sure to look all around and up. People, camera's, buildings, different neighborhoods, crazy dressed up runners, inspirational runners, stuff to see will be all around you!
  • As you turn into Boystown (mile 7-9) enjoy the boy cheerleaders. They pretty much rock.
  • If you are a middle to back of the packer expect a full race...the.entire.race. At mile 21 heading into Chinatown I felt like I was still tripping over people.
  • Mile 24-25 is the quietest (and most spread out) section of the race. Though the people who are out there do their best to make up for it.
  • Wear your name on your shirt.
  • You end up on an uphill. All Chicago races do. It sucks but let the massive crowd and seeing yourself on the big screen carry you through until you turn to your left and can see that finish line.
  • If meeting people afterwards meet them in the designated area and stand by your letter. Everyone tries to be tricky and stand by the XYZ thinking no one else has thought of this.

If you need a suggestion on where to go pre or post race let me know! I love to give people some ideas about this lovely city!


bobbi said...

Thank you so much for this post! All great tips...I am so excitd!

Marlene said...

This post makes me SOOOO excited to run Chicago... too bad it's 2 years away. :)

Teamarcia said...

Great tips! The boy cheerleaders still stand out in my mind from 2007!

aron said...

great post, i am going to send it to my friends!! i bet that city is so awesome right now... ahhh i want to run this one, one of these years :) have a great trip and weekend!

J said...

Just reading this made me wish I was running Chicago! Sounds like such a fun race!

kilax said...

You are going to have a blast at the wedding! I love your tips! How early do you think I need to get in to the open corral? Will my garmin ever recover from under the bridge? :)

Candice @ I Have Run said...

This post is a great idea! I will have to remember it someday when I run Chicago!!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Oh, I want to run it so bad now too! One day, right!?

kristen said...

Wow. This post makes me want to do Chicago and I've never really given it any thought before :)

Gabrielle @ Weightless said...

I'll be in your fine city all week next week, but sadly, not for running. Just for work. :-( I'm hoping to get a run in late in the week if things aren't too crazy and I'm not too sore from being on my feet at a trade show for three days straight. Assuming I get a chance, do you have any suggestions for places to run in Chicago?

Tricia said...

great tips!

Jill said...

As I listen to the approaching weather forecast getting warmer and warmer, I'm almost glad my heel prevented me from running Sunday. Still... :(

Have a blast at the wedding, sounds like tons of fun! :)

carpeviam said...

Great tips!

What did you think about the heat that those runners had to endure? Yikes!

runner26 said...

great suggestions! i think some of my friends could've used these ;)