Chicago Marathon

I'm on Fall Break for the rest of the week, and it couldn't be better timing. Now I can finally catch you up about the Chicago Marathon! So, Ryan had been training since March for the big race. Our friends, Pete and Jo Scott, from Hanover let us stay with them. This was especially nice of them because they had just moved to Chicago about 5 days before we arrived! Ryan was even more excited because they live right next to Wrigley Field...and when I say "right next to Wrigley," I mean it! Our their kitchen window, you can see nothing but Wrigley Field! It's literally a hop, skip, and a jump away from the ballpark. Ryan is a BIG Cubs fan, so it was a HUGE bonus to stay so close to the park. We got to Chicago on Saturday around 2 p.m. or so. Ryan and I don't have much experience driving through Chicago, but we did just fine! We got off the expressway and went into the city to pick up Ryan's race packet in order to register. We then drove through the city like PROS all the way up to Wrigleyville. Pete and Jo jumped in the care, and we found a PERFECT parking spot...which is not easy when the Cubs are getting ready to plan what ended up being their last game of the season. We went back to Pete and Jo's place and then headed out for some sightseeing. When Babell started crying out for food, we headed down to Little Italy for some dinner at Leona's. YUM! We got these HUGE mozzarella sticks. Then I ordered my favorite...Chicken Fettucini Alfredo!!! When the server set the plate of food in front of me, I about hurled. Seriously, looking at that huge bowl of creamy noodles just made my stomach turn! It's so crazy how pregnancy can make that happen. Your favorite foods can all of the sudden made you sick! So, I asked the server to box up the noodles while I ate some of the chicken. Afterwards, we went back to Jo and Pete's to plan the next day...RACE DAY!

Chicago is an hour behind Indiana time, so Ryan accidentally woke up at 4 a.m. thinking it was 5 a.m. He went back to sleep, and we both woke up around 5:30 to get ready for the race. We jumped on a train by 6:15 and went downtown to the start line. Ryan warmed up, stretched out, and then went to the start area. There were SO many people!! Tons of spectators lined the street, as well, so I was constantly jumping in the air so Ryan could see where I was. It was really emotional to see so many people gathered for the race. They had "in memory of" shirts on or other gear to show what charity/cause they were running for that day. It was amazing! I got to see Ryan almost all the way to the start line and then quickly walked over to the 2nd mile area to see him there. I called him to let him know where I was, and when he came around, he had a big smile on his face. It was so fun! Then I went over to mile 12 and waited for him there. The temperatures got worse and worse, as we're sure you all read/heard about. By the time he reached me, no one was smiling...no one seemed to be having a great time anymore. It was hot, uncomfortable, and pretty unsafe. They were running out of water, and the temperatures were only getting hotter. He took off from mile 12, and I went down to Chinatown to meetup with Pete, Jo, and some of their friends. We waited there for awhile when Ryan called us to say that they were cancelling the race and were not letting anyone continue. We went back to the finish line area to wait for him and to meet up with some of Jo and Pete's friends. By this time, I was getting a little cranky. I hadn't eaten much that day. Plus, I was tired and really thirsty. Baby Abell was the thirstiest of us all! By the time Ryan finally reached us (after walking several miles and being transported by bus to the finish line), people were just miserable. Ryan had been able to run 18-19 miles that day, and although he was sad to not be able to finish the race, he felt good about the money he raised for autism research. After a nap, some nourishment, and a 2nd wind (or should I say 10th wind?), we said goodbye to our great hosts and left for home. I have attached some pictures of our trip for you to enjoy!

By the way, he is running in the Indianapolis Marathon on November 3rd!!!

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