Well, just when I thought the heat would be a topic of the past (because really that’s all anyone, including myself, has talked about this summer), here we are in the middle of another heat wave. While it isn’t as hot here as it might be in Phoenix (sorry, Jac), we opted to do our intervals on the treadmill on Tuesday (I think Aaron wanted to avoid “you made me run when it’s too hot to run fast, so I’m going to run slow to spite you” Amy at all costs, so onto the treadmill we hopped, alternating, doing core work and weight lifting in between intervals. I just wish treadmill running was exactly equivalent to real running because I kept up about a 6:30 minute mile pace the whole time, even venturing into the 6:07 territory for multiple tenths of a mile.
But sadly real life doesn’t have a moving conveyor belt to do some of the work for you, and neither is it flat unless you live in the midwest. Chicago is in the Midwest!
Speaking of Chicago, I AM STARTING TO GET UNCONTROLLABLY EXCITED TO BE THERE!
“Bet your bottom dollar, you’ll lose the blues in Chicago
Chicago, the town that Billy Sunday couldn’t shut down “
(A quick Wiki search shows me that Billy Sunday was pro-prohibitionist and a Christian Evangelical).
I went on google earth and looked at the map of the course. I mean, it isn’t New York where you get to run through the 5 boroughs and across the Brooklyn Bridge and into Central Park. And it isn’t Disney where you’re running through the happiest place on Earth with characters ready to take pictures with you. And it might not even be the US Half Marathon (who I am SO disappointed in by the way…don’t ever do that race) where I got to run through San Francisco. But it looks amazing!
You get to run through so many neighborhoods (29 according to Wikipedia), across that awesome looking urban river a few times (apparently named The Chicago River), and all over the city.
We have never been to Chicago. In fact, I only made it to “the middle” two years ago for a wedding, so that whole section of the country is still a mystery to me. Aaron’s mom is from Michigan, so he spent a lot of time there growing up, but I won’t dare compare Detroit/Ann Arbor to Chicago.
Our hotel is only a couple of blocks from the race start, so I think the energy of having some 40,000 runners in one concentrated area will be pretty cool. Even Phoenix felt like Runner City for RnRAZ, so I can only imagine what it will feel like during Marathon weekend in Chicago.
We’re starting to look into what we want to do while we in the city. We obviously don’t want to do a lot of walking in the days before running, and we may not be able to do a lot of walking in the days after, so we’re trying to figure out how to maximize our vacation without being on our feet too much.
I’m starting to research the following:
1) A Mafia Tour: I am weirdly obsessed with the mafia. I want to see sites where people got whacked.
2) John Hughes Tour: I LOVE John Hughes movies. No girl who lived in the 80’s doesn’t. 16 Candles? The Breakfast Club? Planes Trains and Automobiles? FERRIS BUELLER?! Even Home Alone. I want to see as many of these characters’ homes, schools, and shenanigan sites that I can.
3) The Art Institute of Chicago: Both Aaron and I thought at some point in college that we would be art history experts, so we both have a lot of art knowledge. And we LOVE museums. So, this is an obvious stop in our Chicago tour. Known for the large Impressionist collection, Monet and Van Gogh are among the artists whose works hang on these walls.
4) PIZZA! And Hot Dogs! Post marathon, I can eat junk food AND not feel guilty about it!
5) Blues Clubs: Apparently Chicago is known for them.
6) Michigan Avenue: It has nice stores. I like nice stores.
7) A dip in the Lake: I figure post marathon, this will feel like a giant ice bath!
There aren’t any local sports games that weekend. I think seeing Wrigley Field would be cool though. Also, Devil in the White City is one of my favorite books, and I would LOVE to see some of the World’s Colombian Expedition sites, but apparently they don’t exist anymore. It’s not like 1893 was THAT long ago.
What am I missing??? Recommendations are appreciated!
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. We are running 19 and 9 this weekend. For the first time ever, our weekend mileage will actually be higher than 26.2. Getting closer!
Stay cool out there!