Here I am in Chicago. It seems like a lifetime ago since I left home on my big adventure. Our plane was delayed in Brisbane and we only just made our connection in Sydney by running. After a 13.5 hr uneventful flight we made it to San Francisco at 10:15 AM on Wenesday, almost 2hrs before we left Brisbane. Our luggage didn't make it to the plane and didn't arrive until the following evening. Wednesday ws the longest day of my life. By sheer will power we stayed awake until 8;30 Wednesday night US West Coast time ( had about 3 hours sleep on the plane).
SF was great. We had a great time at Fisherman's wharf, walking up Lombard St, riding the Cable Car down the hill and visiting Alcatraz where we tried to leave Gidget (Michelle) in a cell.
Friday was taken up with travelling to Chicago and registering for the marathon. We booked into the Palmer House Hilton where we have a very good room on the 19th floor. While lying on my bed I can look out the window to Lake Michigan. We are very lucky.
Saturday saw us back at the Marathon Expo which was huge - nothing like it in Australia. We rested on Saturday afternoon. I was drinking lots of water to keep hydrated for the marathon.
Sunday morning we rose at 5:45 and headed for the Marathon at 7:45. We were only about 5 minutes from the start. It was quite warm even at that stage. the Race began at 8:00 with over 33,000 starters. I didn't feel too bad though my left hamstring had been a bit sore. I maintained a steady 5:00min per K pace for the first 10k but I new somehting was wrong when I was thirsty before the first water stop. I was drinking lots at each water station, and there were plenty of them, but dehydration was already a problem for me and my hammy was really acting up. I got slower and slower and had to start doing some walking. I finished the first half in 1hr 48 mins, my slowest ever. I gradually got worse and worse and the temperature was climbing. Many people had started walking by this stage. It was ah horror marathon for me and the finish couldn't come quick enough. I felt shocking. I tried running but would just have to give it away.
I finished in 4:38, but I did finish and I got my finishers medal. Gidget finished in 6: 15 and Darryl about 20 minutes later. Absolutely fantabulous efforts on their parts. Gidget ran the whole first half and Darryl ran the first 12k and walked most of the way from there. Congratualtions Darryl and Gidget.
The organisation of the event was amazing. Everything ran like clockwork. The volunteers did a tremendous job. At least 80% of the course was lined with people cheering us on. At the finishing line some friends and relatives were waiting for their loved ones with bunches of flowers.
We spent Monday recouperating and had massage this morning then went to Navy Pier and had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. Tomorrow we head for Pittsburgh to spend some time with Darryl's rellies. I have to get myself in to nick for the niagara Falls Marathon which I will be taking very easily.
Bye for now,