I made it!
I was born to run 10-10-10 🙂
Side Note: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the 10-10-10 theme of this year’s marathon. Every piece of marketing material I’ve seen has 10-10-10 on it somewhere and I was more inclined to buy race theme merchandise with the 10-10-10 theme. It’s just so fun and original to me. I mean when else will I be able to run a marathon on 10-10-10? Ummm… never? 😉
The flight was uneventful. My row mate and I were one of the lucky few to have a seat between us, I was able to get a lot of work done on the lap top, and we landed 10 minutes early. It was the perfect flight.
And thanks to my previous L experience back in August, I was able to save myself some serious moola by the taking the L to the hotel. I was quite proud of myself for being able to navigate my way to the hotel through public transportation with all my luggage in tow. Go me! 🙂
Thankfully I was able to check in super early (I arrived at the hotel around 10:00am) and had enough time to grab a quick snack from the corner deli before my roommates arrived.
I couldn’t decide between trail mix and yogurt, so I grabbed both.
A handful of trail mix for me…
and a handful for the yogurt.
Also, did not know La Croix comes in bottle form. I learn something new every day.
I was lucky enough to find some awesome roommates for my stay in Chicago. First, my sister Kelly, whom encouraged me to sign up for the marathon. Theodora, whom I ran 16 miles with in Chicago at the Healthy Living Summit back in August. And Bobbi, whom I ran the San Diego Marathon with in May of last year.
All three girls are amazing. In fact, I think I’ve been looking forward to spending time with them just as much as I’ve been looking forward to the marathon. When Theodora knocked at the door this morning we both started screaming and jumping up and down. I was so pumped! The same thing happened when Kelly knocked and I know wen Bobbi gets here there will be lots of hugs and love. 🙂
Besides my roomies, I know a TON of other friends and bloggies staying in the city as well. Our friend Sarah and her boyfriend Adam just happen to be staying the same hotel and flew up with Kelly yesterday. When Theodora, Kelly, Sara, Adam, and I grouped up earlier this afternoon at the hotel, we decided to all set out for some food and the expo.
Lunch was an easy spot to choose. I had heard so many great things about Epic Burger from fellow HLS attendees, but never got a chance to check it out. When Sara has offered it up as one of her suggested Chicago places, I knew we had to go!
Epic Burger is what I would call an upscale, all-natural fast food burger place. It was a little different than I was expecting, but still very cool and fun in it’s own right.
One thing I remember other bloggers mention in their Epic Burger travels was the public twitter feed on a big screen at the front of the restaurant.
What a GENUIS marketing tool to encourage people to tweet about Epic Burger. I know the four of us girl immediately pulled out our phones for a quick Epic Burger tweet just to see our name appear on the screen.
It was also fun to watch other people follow up on my tweets and see their responses stream by. they’re tweetdeck application was faster at showing the mentions than my phone app was! 🙂
Everything on the menu looked delicious and after seeing a few options that jumped out at me, I decided to have some fun and create something I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.
That choice included a portobello mushroom burger…
AND.. a fried egg!
Don’t lie – you know that combination sounds, well, EPIC! 🙂
The portobello burger with fried egg came with the works (grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, pickle, epic sauce) and havarti cheese on a whole wheat bun.
It was greasy. It was messy. But, boy-oh-boy it was GOOD! 🙂
Kelly and I split the fresh cut fries on the side.
After lunch we hopped on one of the free shuttle buses and made out way to the convention center for one of the biggest and most bad ass race expos I’ve ever been to!
We got sooooo many compliments on our shirts! I lost count of how many people asked us if we had purchased them at the expo. I say next race we make up 20 or so shirts and sell them at the entrance. Apparently, we would make a killing! 🙂
First things first, bib time.
Don’t forget – you can still sign up to track me HERE. I’m bib #45935. 🙂
We were all in AWE of the expo. So. Many. Booths!! WE spent THREE hours walking up and down the aisles checking each booth out. It. Was. Awesome. 🙂
I’ve decided I really want to run the Little Rock Marathon next year
If only because you get this GIGANTIC medal!
Sign me up!! 🙂
The official 10-10-10 shirt 🙂
I also purchased a fun long sleeve Chicago shirt.
Love the back
We pretty much crashed after the Expo. It was a long day and we were all exhausted.
After a couple of hours of chilling we headed to Lou Malnati’s for some Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.
My twin bro is in his final week of an externship at University of Illinois and was able to meet us for dinner after he got off work.
Unfortunately there was a LONG wait and we were all tired and hungry. Instead of waiting we ordered food to go and had beers while we waited.
This was the 312 brew – the official beer of the Chicago Marathon. Very good. 🙂
We split a large deep dish half sausage and half tomato with spinach.
And a salad.
I had 1/2 a slice of each and some salad.
My favorite of the two was the spinach and tomato, but if I were to compare Lou Malnatis to Gino’s East I would definitely pick Gino’s. THey’re pizza was a little bit deeper and you can’t beat the cornmeal crispy crust. Yum! 🙂
Bobbi just got here and we’re all gossiping and playing catch up. Such a long, fun day! tomorrow we’re going to explore the cit a little more, but not too much – we do have a marathon we’re running after all. 😉