My crazy busy Chicago Marathon weekend!

A few weeks before the race, I started finalizing my plans for the marathon. Where was I staying? What was I eating? What was I wearing before, during, and after the race? Part of that planning process is planning when to go to the expo to pick up my bib. Chicago Marathon is the biggest race I’ve run, with 45,000 marathoners.
To make a long story short, this race has been on my bucket list, but October has been really trendy for weddings the last few years. When we hadn’t booked a wedding for the weekend of the race, I decided to keep the weekend open, and I entered the lottery. I was one of the lucky folks who made it in on my first try. 🙂 Shortly after I found out I made it into the race, our friends Lindsey and Derek came to us and asked us to capture their big day… scheduled for the day before the marathon. I couldn’t say no. Sure, this flies in the face of all race advice… the kind of stuff that says 1) rest, 2) put your feet up, literally, 3) hydrate, 4) up your carbohydrate intake, etc….
It didn’t matter. I couldn’t wait to work with these guys!!
I knew I wasn’t going to be easy on my body by shooting a full coverage wedding the day before the race, then getting in the car, driving riding four and a half hours to Chicago, arriving at 3 am, snagging a few hours sleep, then running a full… and just when you would think that was the worst part, I realized I couldn’t go to the expo on Saturday to pick up my bib. In the past, when I couldn’t make the expo (ex: it was in Massachussets, and I was still flying in, or I was shooting a wedding, so I couldn’t pop in), the race directors would either 1) mail me my bib, 2) allow me to send someone in my place to pick it up, with a photocopy of my license, or 3) allow me to pick up the bib on race morning. I called the Chicago Marathon folks to see what my options were, and they said that none of those would work. I asked if I could donate my bib to another runner who didn’t make the lottery, and they said no. I asked if I could sell it to someone, and they said no. Unfortunately for me, I was SOL. Of course, I could drive the four hours from home down to Chicago to pick it up on Friday, then drive back home to shoot on Saturday… So that is what I did.
On Thursday night, my friend Henry and his family (including two super cute little girls!) opened their home to me, so I drove 3/4 of the way on Thursday. They pumped me full of pasta and giggles, and I am thankful!

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The expo was grand, and majestic, and superbly awesome. Being an emotional runner, I cried just walking into the place.

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Here you go- a photo recap of some of my favorite things!

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I didn’t spend too much time walking around, because I had to hurry home to get to a photo shoot with Kameron. The Friday afternoon traffic through both Chicago and Milwaukee was pretty bad, but I made it home in just over five hours, and headed over to this shoot. Kameron is a musician and composer, and he was featured in Hoopla this month.

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After my shoot, I went home, ate some sweet potatoes, and packed up my bags: camera gear for the wedding, comfy clothes for the late-night drive to Chicago, race gear, post-race clothes, all my shower and recovery stuff… Our living room was a disaster.
We woke up early and headed up to Wausau to capture Lindsey and Derek’s big day. It was such a fun day, and the time just flew by. Take a peek at why I couldn’t turn them down- a gorgeous, kind, loving, authentic couple. Their love jumps out of all these images, and you can just tell how much they care about their friends and family. ❤

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Derek carved this secret message in the trellis for the ceremony…

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Lindsey even gave me a couple pieces of wedding cake to carb load in the car, and they told a bunch of their guests about the race, so a ton of strangers wished me luck at the end of the night! What a cool couple, and we’re so happy we got to work with them. Congratulations, friends!!
Heidi’s status? Apprehensive but happy.

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We left around 10, headed home, unloaded wedding gear, loaded up race gear, cuddled with Abbie for luck, then hit the open road. Brian drove, and I tried to sleep, but it was a little tricky. Stay tuned for the results of this crazy extravaganza. 🙂

Miles this year: 480.5

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