the eve of the marathon

It has arrived. The Chicago marathon is upon us. Twenty-four hours from now it’ll all be a memory… and let’s hope it is a good one.

The city is abuzz with people from all over the world who come for one measly race. And by measly, I mean gargantuan. Last year, the Chicago marathon had the most finishers of any race in the US with 37,315 people crossing that finish line on Columbus Drive. There were 109 countries represented. It’s known to be an extremely fast course (think Midwest: flat, flat, flat) and home to many PRs both amateur and professional. Yes, I plan to be one of those people and throw down a PR tomorrow.

The course takes us through 29 neighborhoods in the city with adoring fans lining every inch of it. The crowd is one of the best things about the Chicago marathon; so many people come out to support the runners and that’s what makes it simply amazing to run this race. But it’s not all fun and games. The city raked in over $243 million in economic impact last year’s race weekend. Holy moly. Can I get a cut of that?

Last night Lu and I ventured down to the Expo at McCormick Place to pick up my bib and race-day info packet. We stayed for an hour or so snacking on samples and browsing various vendors amongst fellow runners. I got to take the annual #ownChicago picture at the Nike booth. Below is this year’s photo on the left and last year’s on the right. Yep, I’m in the same hoodie. Recycling outfits. No shame. There was also an #ownChicago board we signed… go little bean!

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I hogged the photo booth until I got a picture with “Laura owns 26.2”.  Let’s hope it doesn’t own me. It sounds like tomorrow will bring perfect conditions. At race start it’s suppose to be in the upper 50s, the low 60s by noon and no chance for rain. I like it.

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Here’s a picture of the big frijol at the Expo. Yep, he took the Divvy bike inside. What a goon. I love that goon.

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After the Expo, we stayed up entirely too late watching blooper reels on Youtube. Yes, you read that correctly. Blooper reels. It was lights out at 1:30am but this little bean couldn’t fall asleep until 2:30. Cue: Sleeping in until almost noon… Oops. You know sleeping in that late means I’m going to need a fat cup of joe in my favorite coffee mug from my sweet Mexican Momma.

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A lazy Saturday is just what the doctor ordered. I did do a two mile shake-out, slow paced run to get a little blood flowing. The rest of the day will be spent hydrating followed by carb loading tonight and hopefully a much earlier bedtime.

I have the outfit all ready to go: my favorite Lululemon running capris, Brooks base layer on top, and Brooks Pureflow 2s on my footsies. I’ll probably sport the black sneakers tomorrow. I love how that shirt says run happy. Run happy!

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My fuel is ready, too. Strawberry Shot Bloks and jelly beans. My plan is to refuel at mile 8, 13, 20 and 24. I didn’t refuel enough mid-race last year, a key error that I won’t be making this year. No matter how many marathons I end up doing (and this one will quite possibly be my last), I will always think it’s strange to eat while running.

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I want to thank each one of you for your loving support. Thank you so much to those who donated to the charity group I am running with, Imerman Angels. Thank you for the kind words of encouragement. I’d like to give a special thanks to one of my besties, Meghan, for sending me beeaaautiful flowers this morning (in a lovely tea cup, I might add) and making me smile big today. She’s seriously the best. Hurry up and get back to Chicagoland, Megs!!

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If you’re interested in seeing my pre-marathon post from last year click here. And here is the recap of last year’s race.

Alright, I’m out. Going to get ready for the big pasta dinner tonight.  Lu and I are kicking it old school and going to the original gangster, OG, the Olive Garden. Haven’t been there in who knows how long. Hello, breadsticks and delicious salad. Can’t wait to see you again.

Please, send me good vibes! I’ll be back with a race update in a couple of days.

xo, lw

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for the love of tennis

Wimbledon. The prestigious Wimbledon. It’s sprinkled with polo shirt-wearing, tea-drinking, pinky-finger-lifting proper folk. It’s a place where commoners and royals commingle for the love of tennis. It’s a place I want to be.

But these days, Wimbledon has turned into crazy town. Who’s watching with me?

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Nadal. Tsonga. Sharapova. Azarenka. All defeated. But the biggest upset of all was definitely my boy Roger losing in the second round to basically a tennis nobody. Fed hadn’t failed to reach a major tournament quarterfinal since Roland Garros in 2003. That’s a decade of advancing to at least the quarter finals… also known as world domination. Let’s take a moment of silence for this tennis player extraordinaire, Roger Federer. The man has won 17 grand-slam titles and has been the Wimbledon champ seven times. As usual, he was a gracious loser but he did admit this was a tough loss, “Got to get over this one. Some haven’t hurt this much, that’s for sure,” Federer said earlier today. I’m truly sad he’s out. Since we can no longer cheer on the Federer express, I’ll pull for Novak Djokovic, who is a stellar athlete. Winning this title should be a cakewalk for him now.

I love tennis. Tennis was my sport growing up. Here are some throwback pictures from my high school days. We were state champs. No big deal.

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I played in some tennis leagues in college. I met my husband at a tennis clinic. It’s a great sport and has had an impact in my life (dramatic much?). Who plays tennis? Who’s watching Wimbledon? What’s your favorite grand-slam to watch? Hope you guys made this Wednesday a good one!

xo, lw