Pre-Marathon Day

It’s been more than a week now since the race and time for my recap. For the past week I’ve been sleeping as much as possible trying to get better. I finally feel almost like myself again though I’m still easily fatigued. This all started on our way to Chicago, so that’s where the recap will start too.

After what seemed like a never-ending drive, we made it the apartment we rented in Chicago on Friday evening. Along the way we received a call from the doctor saying that Ella’s rapid strep test was now positive. I looked up the nearest Walgreens and had them send her prescription there. With that news I started to worry that what I thought was a cold was possibly strep. Wouldn’t that just be my luck?

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that the condo looked just like the pictures. It was beautiful and spacious. Perfect for us, plus my mom, stepdad and sister. We unloaded all of our stuff and waited for my family to arrive. Once they arrived and unpacked the car, everyone was hungry so we walked to Giordano’s where Josh got to have his first stuffed pizza and I carb loaded with gluten-free pasta (gluten-free is wheat-free). By the time we got home I was starting to feel a bit worse. The headache I’d had off and on for days was now making me feel as if my eyes were being pushed out of my skull.

I went to bed planning on getting up for the expo really early. When my alarm went off, I knew I needed more sleep. The kids were still in bed so I went back to sleep for a bit longer. I’m glad I did because we had plenty of time to get to the expo. After breakfast, we jumped in the cars to head downtown. While our apartment was great, it was 10 miles from downtown. In Chicago traffic, that means at least 30 minutes driving or a one hour train ride. We opted just to drive. As we pulled into the McCormick Place garage, my excitement to walk through and pick up my stuff was dissipating. I was feeling awful. In fact as we walked into the convention center, I started getting choked up and tears started to fill my eyes. I was so disappointed after all my training that I was sick.

This picture pretty much summed up how I felt.


I was incredibly impressed by the efficiency of bib pick-up. I got there early enough there were no lines. They scanned my confirmation and checked my ID. I was then sent to a specific station where I was greeted by name and handed my bib. With that I was sent to the back of the hall to get my gear check bag and shirt. My gear check bag ripped almost immediately but I wasn’t going to need it for the race anyway.

packet pickup

We walked around a bit and I got some pictures.

Pre race

pre race 2


My family made some signs, I got spoiled with a new medal hanger and sweatshirt. We had been there maybe an hour before I said I need to go to the doctor. I found an urgent care and jumped in a taxi with my mom while everyone else went to explore the city. I hit the office just at the right time because there was no wait. Strep, yep. Swollen lymph nodes, inflamed tonsils, body aches, headache, I had it all. My mom asked if they could give me a penicillin shot to jump start getting better. Unfortunately the doctor said all that would do is give me a sore butt on race day.

We met the rest of the crew at the CVS across the street where I got my prescription filled. Emma, the kids and I took a cab back to the car so we could all nap, well that was the plan anyway. With the road closures, it took us about a hour to get home. I was getting hangry and just plain tired. We got back, I ate an almond butter and jelly sandwich with some pretzels and went to bed. Emma was gracious enough to watch the kids for me so I could rest up. I spent the entire afternoon in bed but was still exhausted when I got up to start dinner.

After my bland, but IBS friendly, dinner of a slice of pork tenderloin, half a sweet potato and a handful of salad, Josh drove me back downtown to my Aunt Julie’s hotel. She was less than a quarter mile from the start and was nice enough to let me crash. We laid out all of our stuff and chatted until we had to go to sleep. As I laid there trying to fall asleep, I was doing positive visualizations of waking up feeling good, with lots of energy. Also keeping my fingers crossed the antibiotics wouldn’t upset my stomach. I was also thankful that I hadn’t had the stomach flu like my friend Jennell who was also running. Poor girl.

I actually slept off and on for about five hours. When I did wake up in the morning I was thankful for the adrenaline of race day.

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