Friday, May 26, 2006

Live from Chicago

I still haven't run since Sunday. I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. I'm leaning toward good. My body is better undertraining than overtraining. I have years and years of injury memories - typically in life I don't go much over 40-45 miles a week. I have a good enough base that I can finally try it, but any time I try, I get injured. I think when I cross-train and lift weights it makes up for the lack of mileage. My legs were still pretty sore on Wednesday. Thursday morning I could've run, but chose not to. It was a travel day. We actually arrived at SeaTac airport at 10:30 for a 12:30 flight . The flight was delayed forever due to thunderstorms in Chicago. At 3:30 we were told we had a confirmed 4:20 departure. We'd been in one spot for hours, so decided to walk. We looked at the information sign for something to do and found a fruit smoothie place - the one on our concourse was closed. We discovered one really really really far away at the end of another concourse, looked at the distance, looked at the time, and figured we should go for it. We wandered down, purchased a smoothie and began to meander back the length of two airport concourses. Then we heard an announcement that our flight time had changed due to a window of opportunity from the air traffic tower in Chicago. We were now scheduled to depart @ 3:55 and it was 3:50. So began my first after marathon run. I think we were one of the last couple of people on the plane.

We didn't actually make it to our hotel - way outside Chicago - until 1:00 am (shuttle to rental car, rental car guy who hunt & pecked while he typed, major freeway construction, and the need to stop at White Castle at midnight - never been there - what better time to try it). The lady at the hotel desk had canceled our reservation because the audit guy had come in. Took her forever to figure something out in her computer (some relation to the guy at the rental car place, I swear.) Then she told us we had to pay for 5 nights that were already pre-paid at the travel agency. We finally compromised that we would put one night on the credit card, only to be charged if we couldn't work it out with the travel agent in the morning. Then we walked down the hall and opened the door to a smoking room. Lovely. So she wandered up two floors with us to open another door to check if it was clean. yes, but two twin beds. Oh, well. We went to sleep - with major tummy aches. My husband spoke with the nice management lady this morning and it was all straightened out - and now we are in a room with a king size bed and a refrigerator and a microwave for popcorn. Excellent.

But we weren't here all day - we went out to explore the Windy City! Fleet Feet Chicago, Niketown Chicago, New Balance Chicago, the Lakefront Trail, Starbucks - all the great places for a runner in Chicago. Okay, we also drove all through the outskirts of the city along the south lakeshore, we went to American Girl Chicago too (we have girls), walked the magnificent mile and all over downtown, walked through the Lincoln Park Zoo, walked along the beach forever. Coming from a completely different part of the country, it was a real trip to stand on the shore of Lake Michigan and look at the huge expanse of water as if you were looking across the ocean. We wandered out to a park near Navy Pier and watched the sun set over the city - pretty amazing sight. And what did we eat for dinner? Pasta, of course - it's the night before a race! And to get up and get into town and be early before a big race, we're getting up at 5:00, and being from the west, my time clock is going to think it's 3:00 am. Runners are a crazy breed.

7 comments:

Sarah said...

Sounds wonderful once you got all the travel kinks worked out. I'm going to Chicago (for the first time!) on business next month. Can't wait.

iliketoast said...

Are you running another marathon? ... didn't you just do one? ... I'm so confused.

Joe said...

For me it's refreshing to see an experienced marathoner talking about "undertraining" and crosstraining. It gives me hope that one day (soon) I'll be able to train for a marathon without having to run 6 days a week and without having to put up huge mileage. I don't like getting injured. I like the balance I get from mixing running and swimming.

I hope you're back to 100% soon.

Robb said...

Well, I just realized that it is a long weekend in the USA. Good for you! I've been close to Chicago a few times but never ventured into the city.

All of that walking in your post-marathon world likely did you some good. I'm with Joe...it's great to hear from an experienced marathoner about training...base building etc.

Have fun!

Anne said...

I've been in that airport situation where the flight is suddenly moved up. Quite stressful, and the stare downs from the other passengers doesn't help. Sounds like air travel and hotel hassles aside, you're making the most of your trip.

JustRun said...

I'm convinced that airport is the bain of my existence. Nonetheless, I can't wait till I'm in Chicago again (October). :-)

Jessica Deline said...

that sounds fabulous! and I miss White Castle.. none of them out in Cali... will have to hit one and have some sliders when I go back to visit MN!