I ran with some good friends in the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon yesterday but this is not a race recap. I know we all love a good race recap and there will be one! This however, is just a summary of how this fun girls weekend away went. 🙂
Tara and I left work early to get on the road to Chicago. Met at my house, loaded the car, swung by the gas station for snacks and were on the road by 1:00 pm. All was going well until this thing fell partway off the bottom of the car and started flapping.
Called the hubs who said it was fine to drive without it. Tara was able to rip it the rest of the way off the car and we threw it in the trunk. As we were about to pull away a police car pulled up behind us to make sure all was well. We explained the situation, showed her the thing and were off.
As we came into Chicago we got a little lost downtown trying to get to our hotel. Turns out GPS is pretty much garbage in the underground roadway system below the city. We asked a homeless guy for directions. He was extremely nice and helpful. Meant to give him $2 but gave wound up giving him $11 by accident in my flustered-lost-in-Chicago state. I’m sure he needed it more than I did though so I don’t feel guilty.
We left the car with the valet at the hotel and hauled our luggage in to the front desk only to find out that we were at… dum dum DUM! The wrong hotel. Turns out there is a Hyatt Regency Chicago and a Hyatt Regency McCormick Place within a few miles of one another. We were at the former but had reservations at the latter. Back out with the luggage we went, waited for valet to bring the car back and were back on the road within 15 minutes (that felt like 4 hours).
Finally made it to the right hotel, checked in, ate at the hotel restaurant (amazing meal!) and went to bed.
We slept in before grabbing a quick but expensive (8$ for yogurt and a water!) breakfast from the hotel cafe before heading to the race expo.
The expo was probably the most exciting I’ve ever experienced. So many vendors! And free stuff! And games! And samples! I’ve never seen anything like it. The Humana Rock and Roll series certainly knows how to put on an expo.
I could only handle the excitement for so long before I was expo’ed out. Tara kept shopping (and shop, she did!) while I called the kiddos back home.
Later we walked to Kim and Carlos’ hot dog stand and had real Chicago hot dogs. We didn’t even ask for ketchup (which is apparently taboo there). And… we loved them! I couldn’t believe putting so many random items on a hot dog would taste good but I’m glad I tried it.After lunch we boarded a tour bus to see more of the city and found ourselves at Navy Pier for a couple hours.
Then it rained. A lot.
Interestingly, Taylor Swift was in Chicago for her 1989 tour. We didn’t meet Taylor but we did see throngs of Taylor Swift fans on our way eat dinner with a couple friends from our running group. Speaking of dinner, we learned Giordanos Pizza is pretty darn popular. So popular, the wait we were quoted was an 1 hour, 45 minutes just to sit down. Very long story short, we did get to eat the popular pizza but it actually took closer to only a half hour to get a table. We also learned deep dish pizza takes 45 minutes to cook. But, it was well worth the wait. Hooray for pre-race carb loading!
Sunday we were up early for the race.
The cafe was out of bagels so I inhaled half a cheese danish while we waited for the shuttle with our other friend from our group who was also running. At the start area we went through all of the normal race rituals – porta potty, selfies, find the corral, etc.
Yup. That’s all I will say about it for now. 🙂
After the race we took some more selfies before heading back to the hotel to shower, pack and check out. On the way home we had fun entertaining ourselves with games like ‘would you rather’. For example: “Would you rather have a tiny rhino or a giant hamster” (Tara wants the rhino and I’ll take the hamster.) Hey don’t judge – when you’re in the car for 7+ hours you need these things to survive. 🙂
That was it! It was an amazing weekend of fun and fitness with fabulous friends.
Of course the week would not be complete without the weekly video update. 🙂