Since the Cubs are in the World Series, I thought it would only be appropriate to share a quick recap of my latest trip to Chicago for the Chicago Marathon.
I love Chicago. This was my fourth visit during my adult life (Travel recaps from last year can be found below.) and while the trip was marathon-centered, we definitely did some eating and sightseeing. I can’t wait to go back.
This time around we stayed at the Thompson Chicago which we ended up absolutely loving. It was right in the center of the North Rush and Division restaurant scenes and easy walking distance to the lake, Magnificent Mile, and the Riverwalk. It was also a celebrity hangout where we met Eddie Vedder and saw Bill Murray, both in town for Cubs games. Meeting Eddie Vedder was definitely a highlight of the trip. . . and my life. Swoon.
On our first full day we relaxed and roamed aimlessly around Chicago, just enjoying a beautiful fall day and the architecture before heading to the suburbs to visit with family.
Chicago Marathon Day: I was injured going into this marathon and was definitely not feeling very confident about my ability to finish. Still, I tried to keep calm as I got ready to enter my corral in Grant Park. It was a gorgeous morning, clear and cool, and that nervous energy that fills the air before a marathon also filled me up, giving me the boost I needed as we counted down to the gun.
Long story short; my first six miles were perfectly on pace, and I felt amazing, like I was barely working. Sometime after mile six, I felt a tearing in my injured calf muscle, followed by some pretty excruciating pain. That was it for me. I ran/limped the rest of the way, giving up any hope of beating my PR or even running a time that I was happy with.
That finish line was the best sight. I just wanted it over with. And I want to do it again. Despite my struggles, it is an incredible race.
If you’re a runner, I definitely recommend adding the Chicago Marathon to your running bucket list.
Other Chicago recommendations?
Hash House a Go Go for brunch – The Sage Fried Chicken and Waffles is a specialty and a spectacle. People came off of the street to gawk at this plate of food!
Chicago hot dogs at Downtown Dogs
Taking a water taxi AND an architectural boat tour – the water taxi is just a fun way to get around, while the architectural boat tours are super informative and a great way to spend 90 minutes.
Classic Italian food at Carmine’s, perfect for pre-marathon carb loading!
Dinner at Gibson’s, one of the best steakhouses in the US
Followed by drinks at the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock building – the views are everything.
Leisurely time on the Riverwalk, including a glass of wine at City Winery Chicago – the Riverwalk is one of my favorite parts of Chicago and a perfect place to log a few miles as a pre-or-post race wander.
I have so much of Chicago that I still need to see and a much faster Chicago Marathon left in me, and I hope to visit again soon. Go Cubs!