So the bib & goodie bag is all picked up. The expo was better than I expected. I’ve been to a few small expos for half-marathons and for the Shamrock Shuffle, but they weren’t nearly as large as the Chicago Marathon expo. I was a sucker and I bought a couple more pieces of official Nike merch, a Saucony commemorative t-shirt, and a pair of compression calf sleeves that have hearts all over them. I tried countless nutrition bars and hydration products, got a great sample of frozen Kefir, registered for a January half-marathon in Chicago (Really? You’ll let me have my fleece now and then you’ll mail my bib to me? Sign. Me. Up.), and took numerous pictures at all the photo ops. Brooks gets the nod for best booth – tricked out like heaven to showcase their new Pure Project line of shoes. I’m glad I got to see it when the shaggy white carpet was still clean and fluffy. I bet that by the end of the expo it’s a hot mess. It was nice to go early when all the people staffing the booths were still fresh and excited to be there. Having had to do similar duties before for the animal shelter where I volunteer, I know all too well that by then end of the shift you start to get a glazed look in your eye and check your watch every 2 minutes to see if it’s time to go home yet.
I’m going to take it super-easy tonight. Dinner will probably be a rice bowl of some sort from Whole Foods and then I’ll catch up on last week’s episode of Glee and head to bed. I contemplated taking a candlelite yoga class, but it doesn’t end until 9:30 and that’s when I’d like to be heading to bed. I’m debating taking a sleep aid since I don’t have to wake up until 8am on Saturday. It’s probably a bad idea, but I’d love to get a great night’s sleep. My running buddies and I are meeting at 9am for a 3 mile shake-out run and then I have a busy Saturday to keep me distracted. I have to pick up a Groupon box of baked goods, get my hair cut (buzzed in lightning bolts because I’m a dork), pick up some pasta sauce with another Groupon, clean the house up a bit and then make dinner. I’m planning on eating at 6pm and having a chicken breast, some whole wheat pasta with a vodka sauce, bread, and a salad – it sat well before my last 20-miler so I’m not going to monkey with it. Then it’s off to bed again to get up at about 4:15 when – I’m just going to say it – I really, really hope I poop. So much of how a race or really any long run goes depends on the almighty dump. If you have it before, you’re golden. If you don’t (or at least for me) you worry and then inevitably have to stop on-course at a port-a-potty. When I did my first long race – last year’s Hot Chocolate 15K – I had to stop mid-race at the p-o-p and then I got hit again as I came through the finish chute and had skip the finisher’s chocolate to scurry through the barricades and find another p-o-p. Not pretty, but I think I didn’t know then about the importance of eating the right meal the night before. I’ve got my marathon outfit all planned: black Nike Tempo 2-in-1 shorts (the kind with the built in compression shorts), black Brooks glycerin sports bra, aqua Under Armour tank with my name sewed on, Under Armour socks, Kinvaras, Amphipod clip on pack w/CTA card, $10, tissue, and 2 vanilla Cliff shots (I’m taking them at 7, 14, and 21 but I don’t need three because they give them away on course at some point so I’ll just take the third one there and stow it until I need it), my Garmin, my iPod shuffle (only to be used in case of emergency), and Tifosi sunglasses. I’ll slather on the Glide and hope it all stays chafe free. I’m heading down with my running buddies and we’re all meeting at the L station at 5:30 to head down to Grant Park and then it’s just waiting around for the race to start. I don’t have a goal time – I just want to enjoy the experience and then the next marathon I do I’ll set a goal for myself. I want to be able to gawk at the cheerleaders in drag in Boystown, hug my friends who come out to see me, and not die in the above average heat expected for the day. I’ll be back on Monday with a recap – not mile by mile because my memory for that kind of stuff is for shit, but I’ll try to remember most of it and report back on the good, the bad, and the ugly.