I had been looking forward to the Chicago Marathon (  since April.  Now, the weekend arrived.  I wasn’t sure how I would do having run a Marathon on September 11 and then just the week before, but Chicago here we are!

Allison and I flew in for a weekend without the kids (sad but also kind of fun).  We stayed at the Residence Inn Downtown Loop – about half a mile from the start.  The race Expo was hard to find but it was a great expo.  We met Deena Kastor ( at the expo.  Deena is the American female record holder in the Marathon and won an Olympic Medal at the Athens Olympics in the Marathon – if you’ve got to choose a place to medal in the Marathon, it may as well be where it all started!

The race itself was great.  You run through over 25 of Chicago’s neighborhoods – starting on the Miracle Mile of Michigan Avenue (actually in Grant Park which borders the Michigan).  While the second largest marathon in the United States, I settled in with a nice pace group and talked with a guy from Ireland and numerous other people.

Allison saw me on the course a few times but I only saw her once near the end – although I heard her as well at one point.

I reflected with some emotion about my fall of 2012 visit to Chicago.  It was the same weekend – Columbus Day.   I was nearing my heaviest point.  If you had bet me that the next time I went to Chicago I would either (a) have won the lottery or (b) be running the Chicago Marathon, I would more likely have bet on the lottery.   Seeing some of the same sites that I’d seen four years before, but this time running a marathon was emotional.  That being my 19th marathon you might think I was “used to it” by now.  I’m not.  Not even close.  Running a marathon humbles you in many ways.  Running it in one of America’s great cities even more so.   I am absolutely going to sign up for the Chicago Marathon and hope I get lucky and get selected again.fullsizerender