TWIWOJ – Half Marathon edition

This was the weekend for the Chicago Distance Classic Half Marathon that I raised $1100 for Rollin by walking.  Here is the story of the event complete with some photos…one of them is disgusting and not for the faint of heart so it shall be the last photo.  If you get grossed out easily…don’t look at it.  You’ve been warned.

Saturday started with me going to visit my Grandma Doe and Aunt Sharon to check on them and see how they were doing.  Someone had come into their house in the middle of the night, taken the keys to their car, took the car and joy rided until running out of gas and then RETURNED the car but parked it in a different place.  So I’m going to have to keep checking on them more often to make sure this crazy stuff isn’t happening anymore.  It was then up to DeKalb to pick up Stacy so we could make it to the Expo for the event.

We drive to Chicago and check in at the Congress Plaza Hotel right on Congress Parkway.  Lobby seems nice.  It was the cheapest price of the area hotels.  We go upstairs and the room smells like cat piss.  Seriously.  We had read in the reviews that the rooms smelled but we thought it was not going to be that bad.  Wow.  So we quickly leave the room and walk down to the Hilton to go to the Expo and check in for the race and get our time chip, bib and tshirt.  We walked around the expo for a few minutes but then went back to the hotel.

We then took a cab to Harry Caray’s so we could carboload for supper which is the norm the night before a half marathon.  We ate outside and it was such a beautiful evening.  The food was great…chicken parmesan with bowtie pasta.  The dessert was absolutely awesome…chocolate mousse, white chocolate, chocolate cake formed into a baseball.  Probably the best dessert I’ve ever tasted.  I got the key lime pie and I love key lime pie but I was upset after I tasted Stacy’s dessert.

baseball

We then decided to take a couple of pictures of ourselves sitting outside at Harry Caray’s…

jimatharrys

stacyatharrys

I then decided to be a huge ass and pick on Sox.  Sox had asked several times what time we thought we’d be crossing the finish line so he could consider coming out and watching us finish the race.  So I decided to to take a this picture:

soxwaldo

I then included the following message with the picture:

This is where Waldo is.  If you can find Waldo, you can find Stacy and I and have dessert with us…but you only have ten minutes.

I then texted that to him.  I thought it was hilarious.  Stacy thought it was mean.

We then took a cab back to the hotel and passed the closed Bennigans across the street from the art institute.  It almost made us cry.  We loved Bennigans and now they are no more.   RIP Bennigans…thanks for the memories and the great chicken platter with green beans…you will be sorely missed.  Now we have to find a restaurant to take your place.  Why couldn’t it have been Outback that went under instead of Bennigans?  Why couldn’t it have been Ruby Tuesday?  Sigh.

Moving on, we returned to the Congress and the room still smelled of cat piss but the nose eventually grew accustomed to the smell and you didn’t notice it.  We ended up watching the Olympics since Stacy loves swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball during the Olympics.  Hell she’ll even watch air rifle, air pistol etc.  I haven’t watched the Olympics since the original Dream Team in 1992.  I will admit that it was alright watching the gymnastics and swimming.  As a matter of fact, I have men’s beach volleyball on right now as I type this.  Stacy:  YOU BITCH!!!!

We went to sleep around midnight because of watching all the Olympic stuff.  I was nervous as hell and tossing and turning and ended up waking up at 4:30 am.  We started getting ready and got some good comedy to lighten the mood.  The room next to us was doing the half marathon as well and evidently one guy was not waking up.  His buddy kept yelling “WAKE THE FUCK UP” over and over.  After a couple minutes of that it turned into “WAKE THE FUCK UP YOU MOTHERFUCKER!”  After a minute of that, it turned into “I’ve trained too fucking hard for you to ruin it you lazy fuck” and then back into “WAKE THE FUCK UP”.   We had to leave so we wouldn’t be late so we don’t know how that ended.  As we walked over to the starting line by Grant Park we laughed every time two people would go running past us and wonder if they were the two in the room next to us.

We get over to the starting line and start some “BEFORE” pictures:

beforerace

There were no where near as many people in this event as the other half marathons Stacy has competed in…so there wasn’t too much delay before our group started.  We started off pretty good and got about 5 minutes ahead of the 4 hour pace which was the minimum to finish the race in after the first few miles.

Then the Chicago Police decided to fuck us over.  They had to follow the end of the marathon the entire way to “protect us” and reopen the roads as we went.  They decided that the good donuts were going to be gone from Dunkin’ Donuts and they let the group of 30 people that were a minute ahead of us continue but then the 10 of us that were at the back they kicked off the track “because we can’t keep this road closed any longer.”  We have 4 hours you fucking pig bastards.  If you were so fucking shitty at the job that you do, you wouldn’t get put on “follow the marathon for four hours” duty.  So fucking improve and then you won’t get stuck with shitty jobs.  They might trust you enough to actual do cop things.  But don’t screw over people that paid to do the marathon and that we well within the time limits.  So the fucking worthless ass donut seekers just point us off the road and say “take the bike path” like we know what the hell that means or where to take it.  Stacy and I end up having to go down this grassy hill and then I ended up getting two huge blisters on the bottom of my feet when my feet slid all over the place in my shoes as we had to offroad.  Since we were in the lead with the getting rerouted, we had no idea where the hell to go.  Every path lead directly into the people that were running the marathon.  So we had to wait for the end of the marathon to catch up with us so we could have them lead us through the maze.  We then got picked up by a van and driven to the other side of the road to meet back up with the group that was 1 minute ahead of us.

My blisters were killing me and I was so pissed at Chicago’s Worst that I was ready to quit.  The end of the race kept telling me that I should just get into the van and be taken to the finish line because the cops wouldn’t let me fall behind.  I refused to quit though and Stacy and I powered through mile 6 through mile 8 and built back up a pace a couple minutes ahead of schedule.  Somewhere around mile 8, the blister on my left foot popped after the few miles of continued walking on it.  The sweat getting into the open blister was burning and felt like someone was stabbing me in the foot with each step.  By this point, we were on the lakefront path so the cops didn’t have to follow us so we didn’t have to worry about staying well ahead of pace.  I was able to tough it out from mile 8 until mile 10 but then I was dead.  I told Stacy to go on without me and I fell back and got caught by the end of the race.  They kept telling me to get in the van and they would drop me off and no one would know.  I told them that I would know.  They kept calling me a trooper and I ended up finishing with the last three or four people in the race…but I finished.

Here are the pictures from the finish line:

finishline

The clock is for the total time of the race.  Due to the staggered start, my official time was 4 hours and 3 minutes…so technically I didn’t finish in time by 3 minutes but I still got my medal and crossed the finish line.  I have never felt pain like I felt at the end of the race but it was worth every second of it.  I was almost ready to cry out of pain, joy that I was finished and pride out of what I accomplished in order to help a friend.  I never would have been able to make it if I weren’t doing it for someone that I love and respect and needed the help.  Get well soon Rollin.

stacymedal

Stacy was in much better shape at the finish line but this was her 4th half marathon and this my first and I didn’t do anything to prepare for it…which was a huge mistake on my part.

medals

Here are the two of us with our medals.  The medal is awesome.  It says on it: “The miracle isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

I think it is a double miracle because it is definitely one that I finished.

For the final picture…it is a picture of the blisters on my feet.  The one blister that popped and got trampled isn’t very visible but it is as big as the blister on the other foot that is visible.  So if you can’t stand feet or can’t stand blistered feet…DON’T continue with this blog.

blisters


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