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<span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">I am pretty sure that the Chicago Marathon was not meant to be for me from the start. My training started out well, but a series of unfortunate events threw my training off track, namely an Achilles injury. I spent at least 8 weeks injured, but was able to have an active recovery and felt as ready as I could be going into the marathon.</span><br><br><b><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">Saturday, October 6, 5:30am:</span></b> <span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><automated voice> <i>“This is American Airlines. We are calling to inform you that your flight has been cancelled. You have been rebooked on…blah blah blah.”</i> Complete panic sets in. Yes, I was rebooked on a later flight, but I was not interested in getting into Chicago late in the afternoon the night before. I immediately got on the phone to American Airlines and was able to rebook an earlier flight – a flight that was actually earlier than the original flight. I scrambled, picked up my momma, and we were off. Travel went smoothly. Met up with my aunt who flew in from Southern California to join us for the long weekend. Our hotel was fabulous and in a great location. We had a nice dinner and then settled in for the night.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">Now I can’t leave out that I spent a lot of time being worried about traveling to Chicago before the trip. I was worried about having a delay and not making it to the Expo to pick up my race packet. Hairy Trotter stepped up and was a very good friend and picked it up for me. Bless you sir. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"></span> <span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">He met me Saturday afternoon and dropped it off to me.</span><br><br><b><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">RACE DAY! 6:15am:</span></b> <span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">I am dressed, my bag is packed, and off I head toward Grant Park. It was about a mile walk from the hotel. There were several runners around me making that same walk. Everyone was quiet, except for the crunchy plastic of our race bags.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">It was already warm. I looked at a bank clock and it said 75 degrees. That had me a little worried. I pushed that worry aside, found the baggage check in the park, took care of some final preparation and checked in my bag. I wandered over to the preferred start corrals, stood in a massive line for the port-o-johns, and then took my place in Corral C. I said my prayers and got a little teary-eyed when JoDee Messina sang the national anthem. I always get a little emotional when I hear it.</span><br><br><b><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">8:00am:</span></b> <span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">Go! I was fortunate to be fairly close to the front. It took me about 4 and a half minutes to get across the start line. The pack of runners loosened up and I was able to start running. It was warm. I noticed sweat dripping down my face by mile 1. I noticed that I could not even feel a breeze. I remember thinking that sucked. I barely noticed the first 5k – it was over before I knew it. I spent a lot of time in my head, so I feel like I missed out on a lot of the sights. I had a lot of <i>“Wow, it’s hot. Today just isn’t your day.”</i> and the like running through my head. I spent a lot of time trying to get a positive mantra going but it wouldn’t stick. I was pretty much on my desired pace, but it wasn’t without more effort than it would typically take me. 9:00 min/mile pace is typically a relatively easy pace for me, but it wasn’t the case that day. I knew by mile 9 I wasn’t going to have the kind of finish time I hoped for.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">I was still on pace through the half. I started struggling not long after that. By mile 15 or 16 I was starting to consider dropping. The heat was getting to me, I was miserable, my stomach hurt, I was crampy. I had fallen into a walk/jog pattern at this point. I was desperate to keep moving and to just get it all over with. I probably spent 5 miles sobbing off and on.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">Water stations were like an oasis. Spectators had brought out their hoses and sprinklers to cool us down as we ran by. Since I was fortunate enough to be towards the front I did not notice any water shortages or the like at aid stations. There were a few very late in the course that were scrambling to keep up with demand, but they did have the water and cups on hand. I can’t speak for those who were further back in the pack.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">I was beyond miserable. Hairy Trotter spotted me somewhere around mile 20 or 21. He was kind enough to walk with me for a while. I remember approaching and then crossing the 35K mark (I think) and noticed that I didn’t hear the usual whistling sound I always hear when you cross a mat in a chip-timed race. I looked up at the clock and it was blank. It was about that moment I thought I heard someone say the race had been cancelled. <i>What?! Cancelled? How? What?!</i> Once I got toward the next aid station the rumor has been confirmed – volunteers, police officers, the helicopter overhead were all saying the race has been cancelled, please stop running, please walk to the finish line or get on a bus and ride it to the finish. Well, damn. The buses looked <i>really</i> tempting. But I figured I had made it this far, I could make it to the finish. So I kept walking – sometimes <i>very</i> slowly. My body was upset and tired. I stopped to stretch a few times and kept moving.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">Finally that final stretch into the finish came into sight. Finally! I mustered up what little energy I could and ran from that last turn into the finish. I couldn’t have been happier and more disappointed – happy to be done, disappointed that it sucked so bad. I thought I was going to be sick in the chute to get out of the finish line area. Being packed in with all those people was hot and miserable. I made my way over to the seeded gear check, got my bag, and then plopped onto the ground and cried while I tried to call my family. I had a couple of concerned voicemails from my mother. If I would have been thinking I should have called her from course to let her know I was okay. We finally found each other, I cried some more, and then we walked back to the hotel. What an experience.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><b>Fast forward to Clark Street Ale House, 5:30pm:</b> PRT meet-up! Even though I had just had one of the most miserable days on record (for me) I was really looking forward to meeting up with folks and having some beers. We had such a nice time! <b>Oache</b> is a riot, so nice, and has a fabulous ass.</span> <span style="font-family:Wingdings;"><span style="font-family:Wingdings;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"></span></span> <span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">Mrs. Oache is great too! The Oaches used to live in my neighborhood a while back, so we had plenty to share. <b>Hairy Trotter</b> is awesome. Nicest, funniest guy you’ll ever meet. <b>dcoroner77</b> and Mr. dcoroner are wonderful, and <b>Nettie</b> is fabulous too. She has a great laugh! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"></span> <span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">I had a great time meeting everyone. The group dynamic was perfect. I wish I could have hung around all night.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">Special thanks to Oache for the beers. You the man! And BIG, HUGE thanks to Hairy Trotter for getting my race packet for me and then walking with me at my most miserable moment in the race. You rule.</span>
 

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So glad to hear you weathered the storm and made it over the finish line. Great work and great determination!<br><br>
Bummed I missed y'all but know there's always another day, another race, another meet-up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Recover well!
 

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All I can say is WOW! I was in California last weekend and heard all about the problems in Chicago. Very different from when we had the Kick Gathering there in 2000. The best thing is you met up with fellow travellers from the PRT, and you survived to fight another day. Here's hoping that the weather behaves itself in Philly next month.<br><br>
Well done for sticking thru to the end.<br><br>
Liam
 

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As with the other reports I have read from this race, you really brought forth the emotions of how it felt to have trained for so long only to be told to stop now, we've cancelled the race. I know they did what they thought was the right thing but it must have been a real slap in the face. Glad to hear you made it though OK and even got to meet some new imaginary friends. Hopefully someone took pictures of that event <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Barb
 

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Becca, this hurt to read because I know how dedicated you were to your training, even in spite of your injury. But despite the heat, you kept moving and you were still in good shape relative to many other runners. I have to guess that you were able to even cross the finish line because you ran a smart race.<br><br>
Chalk it up to experience. There's always something to learn from each and every race.<br><br>
I look forward to reading subsequent race reports from you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Aphi is one of those blessed people that can run a marathon in 90's and look like a million bucks after a shower. Amazing.<br><br>
I told you then...You earned that finisher's medal.<br><br>
Great report and I will let you return the favor the next time we are in Kansas.<br><br>
your pal,<br><br>
oache
 

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You did a great job in really, really tough circumstances. Chicago is supposed to be a perfect fall race--fast, flat, and temperate. Well, this year it was one out of three. You done good. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Maybe a winter marathon in the south should be next on your agenda. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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wow. at least you had a good finish to a miserable day with a kick ass PRT meet up <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Wow, what a rotten experience. Congratulations on just finishing under what could arguably be the worst conditions imaginable! The next one will be better, I'm sure. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Wow! Good job on finishing in grueling conditions! That takes guts!
 

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Oh boy, Becky. That was some day. How cool to have imaginary friends join you for a few miles! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
I'm glad you made it out in one piece, especially after to bad breaks you endured over the summer. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Congrats on finishing in that misery. I can't imagine how tought that must've been, especially after being told the race was cancelled. And I had the same perceptions after meeting Oache...
 

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I've been absorbing a lot of stories from folks around town about their experiences in the race. Somewhere down beneath the disappointment and dismay and (for some) anger, there's this quiet core that says something important and human about the people who endured this: there was so much courage and determination and heart and dignity expressing itself on the streets of this city.<br><br>
From where I stood (and sometimes walked), none moreso than yours, Becky. You're an excellent runner and a better person.
 

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You are a trooper. Unfortunately the day turned out the way it did, but to keep going and finish is what makes you a winner. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/surprised.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Surprised">
 

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You rock, sister!<br><br>
Your report made me a little teary when I read about you sobbing on the course. You're one tough cookie, and I'm proud of you for getting it done.<br><br>
And I'm glad to hear you had a good time afterwards! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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I'm so sorry this didn't work out as planned. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad">
 

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Congratulations on surviving and finishing. I was so impressed with your training, even through your injury. I am sorry you didn't get quite the outcome "deserved" for all the preparation and dedication. Marathoning is funny that way.<br><br>
You were a real trooper out there, and that will reward you with strength and wisdom as you continue forward with your running.
 

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Welcome home!!!<br><br>
I bet you can't wait to start training for another marathon. Any thoughts about trying another one in like 5 weeks or so in Philly? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="tongue3"><br><br>
Congrats, under the circumstances you did awesome. You, really did.
 
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