The beginning of the end…

Ohh where to begin…

Friday after work, we drove to Indy and had a lovely dinner with Casey’s parents, Tina and Eddie. When we got back to the house, we watched Spirit of the Marathon. We had been waiting to see this movie since before the Flying Pig, and finally we had it! It did not disappoint, and while it definitely gave us great insight and perspective for the Chicago Marathon, it also scared the crap out of me. It definitely got my nerves going again.

Saturday morning, we got up nice and early and headed to Chicago. We took a little too long at Cracker Barrel and nearly missed our train, but we ran for it, and ended up at the Marathon Expo around 1:30. The expo was awesome.

It was huge, and they had all sorts of neat stuff that you would only find at a big national marathon. Most exciting (to me) was all of the elite runners that were there – Ryan Hall, Deena Kastor, and more! I found it very cool that they were just hanging out, signing autographs, meeting and talking to other runners. Not acting like big celebrities with bodyguards or anything. Just regular people who run ridiculously fast. Casey got to meet his running idol, Brian Sell (who taught us to eat PB&J before we run!), and I embarrassed him by demanding to take a picture (which he loved afterwards). And Lindsey and I got to meet our running “coach”, Hal Higdon, who looked less than thrilled to take a picture with us!

Best buds Casey and Brian.

Ladies love Hal Higdon.

Once we got our race bags, tshirts, bib numbers, etc. and walked around the expo for a while, we headed over to Jason’s Deli to meet our LUNGevity teammates. It was great to finally meet them, and hear how well the team had done – over $37,000 raised to date! We had our last supper of pasta, bread, and salad, and made our way back to the train station. This time we did miss our train, and ended up deciding to take a $60 cab to our hotel, rather than wait 2 hours for the next train.

We checked into the hotel around 7:30pm, and by then my nerves had kicked in. I didn’t want to go to bed, because I knew when I woke up I had to run a freaking marathon. We went through our race bags and looked at all the goodies, laid out our running gear, and went to bed around 8:30pm.

Our alarm went off at 4am Sunday morning – marathon day! There is too much to say about the marathon itself for one blog post. The rest of our war story continues tomorrow…