That is an often misquoted line from the movie Dirty Harry.
Not sure how or where I first heard about the Get Lucky!7K & 21K Chicago. It was probably from an Active.com email. I was certainly interested because the medal was different looking from the standard round medal. I didn’t have any races scheduled in March so I was interested. But Chicago in March? Who knows what the weather will be like! So I waited as long as I could before signing up. Which sadly I waited through one price increase. My husband did NOT want to do this one; he said that I was crazy and that it was going to be cold. (His weather predication would prove to be correct!). But 10 days prior, the extended forecast didn’t look that bad. Since he didn’t want to go, I invited my best friend Mary. I thought maybe after the race we could have some fun in Chicago. We’ve know each other since the age of 4 but don’t get to spend much time together anymore.
We headed up to Chicago on Friday, checked into the hotel, went to the Expo, grabbed some dinner and called it a night. Originally she was going to go to the start of the race with me but the shoes she brought were hurting her feet so I suggested that she just hang out at the hotel until I got back, save the wear & tear on her tootsies for trekking around the city later.
The weather was not stellar. If I remember correctly the current temp when I left the hotel was 32 degrees but “felt like” 27. I almost walked in the wrong direction the the start. But after asking a policeman at the first intersection, he pointed me the correct way. Thankfully I then saw two other “couples” wearing running gear and followed them. Struck up a conversation with one of the couple who turned out to be a husband & wife from St Louis and they were going to do the 7K.
The start line was just east of Soldier Field and the walk there was just over a mile so a good warm-up and the weather didn’t feel too bad. However,It was really windy. The race started mostly on time (a minute late) after the National Anthem and then an Irish Jig!
The routed us south down the Lakeshore Trail. It was a nice path; scenic with Lake Michigan on our left. I had worn a throw away but something in my gut told me to hang on to it. So when I felt that I was getting overheated and just unzipping it wasn’t working anymore, I pulled it off of my shoulders but kept it on my arms. Let me just say, that was smart thinking on my part! There was a water/Gatorade/Hammer Gel station between miles 5 & 6. Although I had a GU with me I took the “free” gel. It was tropical flavor and I did not care for it. BLEH!
Made it to the turnaround and the weather took a turnaround as well. All of a sudden we were running straight into a headwind and were being pelted with sleet & snow. It was brutal. At one point I remember just laughing. I think it was at that point I also questioned my sanity.
Sadly, those weather conditions took everything out of me. I slowed down considerably and started taking walking breaks. EVERYTHING WAS COLD! I couldn’t believe there were people out there in shorts. People in the back of the pack with me – in shorts! CRAZY TRAIN!!
Finally crossed the finish line, got my medal, a Mylar blanket and my food bag. The food bag only had a plain bagel, a banana that wasn’t ripe and a mini Snickers bar. Not a Fun Size but a mini and there was only one. LAME! I asked some random person to take my picture; I didn’t see a finishers photo area, Then I texted Mary and my husband to let them know that I was done…and frozen! It took everything my little fingers had to type those two texts.
Walking back to the hotel I briefly stopped (along with others) in an emergency weather shelter at Soldier Field in an attempt to get warm for a bit. Not sure it was really helping and I just wanted to get back to the hotel so I only stayed a few minutes. Crossing one of the streets, you could see some of the staging area for their St Patrick’s Day parade. I walked right past four DeLoreans. Had I not still been frozen I would have taken a picture. The walk back seemed so much longer than the walk there and the pedestrian traffic was much heavier because the parade was over that far south.
Got back in the room and sat on the bed, shivered and gave Mary a brief recap before getting in the shower. When I booked the room I was verbally told that we’d have until 2pm for check out. When we checked in, they said they would “give me” until 1pm. Gee…thanks. Anyway I was still drying my hair when we heard a knock on the door and the guy wanted to know how much longer we’d be. I didn’t realize that it was already after 1pm. I asked for 15 more minutes and he said okay. Thus I had to hustle up getting ready and finish packing. Mary and I agreed that the city was going to be crazy with everyone from the parade so we got the car and headed for home.
We stopped in Merrillville, IN at a T.G.I. Friday’s for a late lunch. My turkey burger and sweet potato fries were scrumptious. I was eye-balling a dessert but was just too full. We got back to Mary’s house in Frankfort around 6:30pm and I was back on the road for home a little before 7pm. I wanted to stop & get a coffee hoping that it would wake me up a little ( I was so tired) but once I started driving I just didn’t want to stop.
It was so good to get home and see the pooches and my husband. But I was not out of bed very long. I think I made it until 9:30. It had been a long day.
So thankful that Mary went with me and it was good to catch up, even though all of this didn’t go exactly as planned. But after 44 years of friendship, the time together was what mattered.
Us…back in the day.