Zooma Great Lakes Half Marathon, Part 1

This weekend was jammed pack with fun and excitement, so I will start from the beginning. 
Friday morning I began to freak out and get all nervous about the weekend. I have never done a destination race and I was almost sure I was going to forget something important. My husband came home and told me he would personally drive up anything I forgot if I promised to stop acting so crazy. Fair enough…

I finally got my act together and hopped on the train to O’hare to meet up with Sarah. She arrived from SoCal looking all sorts of glam with one tiny bag (how do people do this?) and we hit the road in our sexy wheels.

I had the address of the house the Chicago Running Bloggers were staying, but I had trouble finding the exact house. Luckily, there was a bunch of cars with ‘13.1’ and ‘26.2’ stickers…dead giveaway for runners. I got in the house and introduced myself and finally put faces with blogs (totally normal social interaction, right?).

We sat around the table and chatted while more ladies arrived. When we had our whole group, we headed to The Abbey Resort for packet pick up and Ladies Night Out.

The evening featured a bike demonstration, a chat about cross-training, wine and cheese, free socks, and a raffle. I even won a bike bell (minor detail that I don’t own a bike)! After, we headed home and got started on dinner. After a solid pasta session complete with vegan garlic bread and chocolate cookies, we settled into bed. I was really nervous and spilled all my concerns about the race with my bunkmates Kelsey, Erin, and Kim.

I slept pretty well and woke up a bit before 5AM. I turned on the coffee and hit the shower to wake myself up (race ritual). I put on all my gear and made a last minute decision to not wear the iconic “green socks” to identify myself as part of the cool crew since they were a little thinner than I was used to.

I took two mugs of coffee to the face and ate a bite of a Clif Mojo bar, and a half of bagel with butter. I am NOT great with fueling, but all the other girls were shoving their faces with bagels, so I joined in on the carby fun.

We packed up and went to The Abbey Resort to catch the buses to the start line.

How cute is Amy?

We seemed to be on the buses FOREVER, which really made me nervous. I am going to have to run back all this way? 

Finally, we arrived at the park and I stood in line to do some business. 

I also stumbled upon Skinnyrunner who had on every single item of clothing she brought in her tiny bag. SoCal can’t hang.

As the start time got closer, we walked as a group over the starting line. There were about 400 runners, so it was a nice small group and I easily found my housemates.  I got my Garmin ready and the race started right on time…

To be continued…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15496382935717734293 Katie

    Can’t wait to hear how it went!! So jealous, wish I could have gone!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15261285599296693612 Kelly @ Running Kellometers

    I have a serious question though… Have you eaten a burrito yet to send to Kim?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07287043348709135433 Kayla

    What a cliffhanger!! How can you do that to me?! just kidding! I do have to agree with Kelly’s question though…have you? I had so much fun meeting/hanging out with you this weekend!!!

  • Kevin

    Yeah, continue already…… you left us before the start line :(

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02234702339055377426 Teamarcia

    It was SUCH a fun weekend! Crappy hills and all. SO great to meet you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04527731795745786604 bobbi

    SO FUN meeting you and hanging out this weekend!

  • http://secondcityrandomness.wordpress.com/ Amy B @ Second City Randomness

    I was so terrified of forgetting something! Plus, it’s a little more of a remote area than what I’m used to, so I wasn’t even sure quite what I was going to do… (I don’t do well without a Target within a 5-mile radius)

    However, it was so much fun. And we all did awesome!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06812426512782633087 FoodFaithFitness

    I love how there is a Chicago running blogger group!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13566183193529841461 Meghan

    I just love how I know the ending to the story and you ROCKED IT! :) I, too, was freaking out over the bus ride and the hills. Ugh. I still can’t get over them…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15865493476823978890 emmers712

    Yay!!! Looking forward to hearing the rest of the story. =) Regardless, you looked AWESOME out there. Way to push through what I heard was an extremely difficult course!

    It was such a fun weekend, and it was great to meet you in person! Can’t wait for our next running blogger getaway!

  • http://www.ilaxstudio.com/blog/ kilax

    I was thinking the same thing taking the bus out to the course. I told Bobbi, “You know, we are driving the course.” She was like “Are you sure?” “Yes… see the cones?!” Ugh. But it was a fun way back! :)

    So happy your husband didn’t have to bring you anything! Although, it would have been fun to meet him too! :)