Friday, September 9, 2011

Wet (and a Little Wild) at Navy Pier!

Yes, I am very tired right now, so if that title sounds cheesy, it's the best I can come up with right now :) This week was short to begin with, compliments of our Labor Day weekend, but I trimmed it down even more by getting the afternoon off from work and taking the train downtown with Mom. I had to go to the Chicago Half Marathon expo to pick up my race packet for Sunday. It was so much fun to go down there, pick up my official bib number with my name on it (I'm pretty easy to please), and walk around the expo. One thing's for sure--your money can disappear pretty quickly once you start getting excited about all the cool stuff they have! I ended up getting a pair of socks, a patriotic headband to wear on race day, and a few shoe charms to "spruce-up" my already-slightly-obnoxious footwear. You can't see them too well in this picture, but I got one that says 13.1 for the half-marathon, 26.2 for the full marathon, and two ribbons to honor the September 11 attacks. Lacing them in was extremely frustrating, and if they don't look quite right, then that's just how they're gonna have to look, at least for now! :)

It was raining when we left the expo, but Mom and I really wanted to have dinner outside, since we both love visiting downtown and rarely get the chance to do so. We found a nice umbrella on the patio at Harry Caray's and had a very nice, relaxing meal, complete with my all-time favorite...Mike's Hard Lemonade! That's probably a better post-marathon choice, but oh well--I definitely enjoyed every sip!

Well, I guess this means the half marathon is just about 24 hours the heck did that happen so fast?? Sunday is going to be an extremely important test of how prepared I am for the Chicago Marathon. The bulk of my training has taken place on a treadmill (I plan to write a post about that within the upcoming week), and while I've heard that even the most elite runners sometimes do as much as 90% of their training that way, it probably isn't the most ideal situation. I guess that I just grew comfortable on that treadmill and had a hard time separating from it, but either way, this half marathon is bound to be interesting. Giving up is not an option at this point, because again, if I can't even do 13 miles, how am I ever going to complete 26.2 a month from now? A lot is at stake here, so as I'm running along Lake Shore Drive this weekend, I'm basically going to be repeating the same two words to myself: KEEP GOING. That's what I did for my first 5K race four months ago, and it worked pretty well. Of course, that was only about 3 miles, but I know from experience that positive mentality makes an unbelievable difference. When you're running or doing any type of exercise, it doesn't have to feel good or easy 100 percent of the time. Smiling is only optional, and if you have to walk for a while, then that's fine, but you don't stop. As long as your feet are moving, you're that much closer to the finish line, and I know that the thought of receiving my finisher's medal will be an amazing incentive to push forward.

Question of the Day: What's your favorite motivational quote? Mine comes from the wall of my gym, written in huge letters, so everyone who walks through there can see it every day. I mentioned the first half of it already, but here's the entire thing, short and sweet: "Smiling is optional. Finishing is not!"

Here's one more picture from the expo, simply because I'm a dork who can never whip out her camera enough times! It was a fun, happy day with one of my favorite people in the world. I love you, Mom!

Good night, everyone, and Happy Friday!

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