Monday, October 12, 2015

Chicago Marathon 2015 - Spectating Recap

Over the weekend was my favorite day in Chicago; Chicago Marathon Day. The fun actually started on Friday when we headed to Spacca Napoli for pizza to meet up with a bunch of Oiselle teammates that were in town for the race, as well as new members of the team! Despite the long drive for me, the pizza was delicious and it was really nice to meet some new faces and hang out with some internet friends IRL. Patsy even had some fun too and made a new friend!

Oiselle Team right here guys!
Oh and this pizza was pretty delightful

I skipped the Saturday morning coffee and shakeout run to attend a barre class at The Dailey Method. It was totally worth it because I got a great workout and won a pair of barre socks during a raffle. Win-win.

Sunday morning I had coordinated the cowbell corner meetup. I had been to this exact location a few times before and I felt it was a good spot for spectators and runners. We were by UIC so we had access to bathrooms and a blue line El station. You could park in South Loop, avoid street closures and easily walk to your car. For the runners, mile 17 can be a dark zone. You still have 9 miles left to go and your body is starting to feel it. It really is a great spot, I think.

Selfie time!

Anyways, I met up with some team members bright and early (around 8 or 8:30) to get set up and wait for the elites to go by. We had our cowbells, healthy snacks, and cheering signs. Special thanks to Beth Gillespe for getting those signs made. They were perfect and I think they were easy to spot in the crowd! Even Patsy got really into the spirit and was waving around her cowbell, saying “go runners.” Seeing Deena Kastor go buy in a crowd of dudes and just being her awesome self was pretty amazing. I’m also a big fan of Sara Hall so I loved seeing her go by and PR by 15 minutes. Tera Moody also rocked it out and we got to see her. Since she is from Illinois and we met once at half marathon in January, we’re practically best friends. That’s how that works, right?

I had my camera out and ready to go. Special thanks to Charlyn and Paulette for recommending that I put my fancy camera into “moving subjects” mode. I was able to get some awesome photos of the elites and a bunch of our Oiselle team runners! Finding people in the crowd is definitely hard but it helps when there are lots of other folks helping spot out the Oiselle singlets with you! Knowing the product line as well as I do for the past few years, definitely helped in spotting some of those folks not in their singlets. Some of the earlier runners that were only running in a bra and shorts (where the bib number takes up most of the bra surface area), it was definitely more of a challenge. Shouting out “that was a Lesko bra with mac rogas” after they ran by isn’t as good of a photo.

Patsy was an amazing spectator and such a trooper.
I think she had fun out there cowbelling for all the runners!

Seeing everyone run by got me really excited and I may or may not have teared up while watching the Snapchat story… But seeing the sweat, pained faces, and having a friend drop out of the race, reminded me of the fact that running a marathon is hard. I really, really want to run and complete the Chicago Marathon someday. It is kind of my white whale. Although with the amount of work and effort involved, I would really like to wait until I’m done having children and I can really dedicate the amount of time and energy to be successful. I don’t want to run a marathon to finish the distance. I’ve done that already. I want to run a marathon to push myself and get a time that I know body is capable of doing. The PR bar for that distance is set pretty low so if all else fails, I’m hoping that I’ve at least got a PR in these old legs.
Twinning with local Oiselle team leader, Beth Gillespe

Congrats to all of the finishers out there and special thanks to all my fellow Oiselle teammates for being as crazy as me to get up super early to go watch some folks run by for several hours with me and my daughter out there on Cowbell Corner! Next year I won’t be running it, but I’ll try to be out there again to cheer everyone on!

To check out some of my experiences with the Chicago Marathon in previous years, check out the links below!