Garrett’s Popcorn & Deep Dish Desire & A Marathon

I had the most amazing time last October in Chicago.  It was my first ever trip there, and I enjoyed every moment.  Walking around the city, taking in the sights, the Pier, Magnificent Mile, everything!

image

The food?  Oh yes!  The Donut Vault, Lou Malnati’s Pizza, Garrett’s.  All highlights for the foodie in me.  The reason for my trip last year was the marathon, and what an amazing race it was!  I enjoyed every moment of it, from beginning to end.  I remember thinking at the time that I would go back to Chicago to run that race every chance I had.

image

Well, I made it through the lottery again this year.  I found out last week.  As of right now, I still haven’t confirmed my registration.  The deadline for me to sign up is tomorrow.  Why have I delayed signing up?  I want to make sure I can afford the trip again.  I am dying to just go to the website right now and complete my registration, but I must be sure.  I’ll be shopping around for flights this morning, and making sure I can take the time off at work.  I will decide by tonight.

This decision should be a no-brainer, so why isn’t it?  One answer, MONEY!  I am being adult by taking my time thinking this through first.  Have you ever had a hard time trying to decide on a race?

image

The Chicago Marathon is calling me!  Chicago is awaiting my return… And I want to go back!

Chicago X 2

It’s all luck of the draw, right?

Here are some important facts…  I’ve entered four race lotteries in the past five years.  I put my name in the hat for the 2012 NYC Marathon, results?  Didn’t get in!  I put my name in the hat for the NYC marathon for 2015.  Results?  Didn’t get picked.  So, from the state in which I was born, my record is 0-2.

I entered the lottery for the 2014 Chicago marathon.  The results?

image

I entered again this year, and BOOM!  The email came early yesterday morning, that low and behold, I am IN, again!  So my record for Chicago?  2-0.  Chicago must be my kind of town!

image

I can go back!  I had the time of my life in Chicago last year, and I would love to return.  Now, I just have to figure out how I can do it.  I would love to be able to get lined up again with the thousands of runners, and experience the million fans alongside the course.  I just now have to look at my budget, and figure out if I can swing it.  And, I won’t in good conscience, head off to Chicago unless I meet my fundraising goal.

You see, for those of you that missed my posts about NYC.  My utter disappointment in the fact that I didn’t get chosen again for New York, I decided to look into running for charity.  I reached out to a charity foundation that had some meaning to me.  I reached out to the folks at the James Blake Foundation, a charity raising money for cancer research, and they accepted me onto their marathon team.

image

I had to pay for my race entry (it wasn’t free), and I accepted the challenge to raise a minimum of $3,000 for this charity.  I kicked off my fundraising with a $100 personal donation to the charity.  To date, through the generous donations of friends, family and fellow runners, I’m nearing $1,000 toward my fundraising goal.

But, I can’t reach my goal without more help.  Help from folks like you!  People reading this blog post, folks I interact with through social media.  Will you please consider a donation in any amount to help this cause?

You can donate by clicking on the following link…  Thank you!

Did you get in? I did! Chicago Marathon 2014

Image

I did!  I got into the 2014 Chicago Marathon via the lottery.

How excited am I?  Super excited!

I have been jealous of those running the Chicago Marathon the last few years, as I have watched the coverage online.  Three years ago I told myself, I would get there one day.  I hadn’t even run a marathon yet, and had just run my first half Marathon a few weeks prior to that event.  Two years ago, with two marathons under my belt at the time of the Chicago Marathon, I watched the race in awe of those 40,000 plus runners.  Wanting, needing to be there one day.  Last year, with another four marathons under belt on race day, I vowed to at least try to get in through the lottery for 2014.

Don’t ask me how, I guess because I have been caught up with other races on my schedule, but I totally missed the beginning of the lottery last month.  I think the lottery opened March 7th.  I didn’t enter the lottery until the very end.  I really thought I had no chance of getting in.  Yesterday was “the reveal”.  The day that I would find out if I got in or not.  The email came at 3:45pm, and low and behold, I got in!

I already have a few races on the books for Fall marathon season, so I may need to make some adjustments now.  Next steps?  Flights, hotel, and signing up.  It has been a whirlwind of research since I found out, because I just didn’t expect it.  I have until Friday to sign up and confirm my entry.  I have a hotel on hold.  I have to now make arrangements at work to figure out when I will fly out and back.

Total excitement!

I will run the 2014 Chicago Marathon, and could not be happier about it.

Questions for you….

Have you ever run Chicago?  How was your experience?  Do you have any recommendations on logistics, or hotels?  Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.  Thanks in advance!