Chicago Marathon 2015

I was fortunate enough to run the Chicago Marathon  this past Sunday, and man oh man, what a rush, joy, privilege and honor it was! Sorry for so many marathon posts (YUP, fully addicted #cantstopwontstop), but here is the recap from my weekend. First and foremost, huge shout out to two special people that made this weekend possible: Michelle, my dear friend I met on the course at the Paris Marathon this past April, who hosted me and was so generous and giving; and my bestie in the whole wide world, Amy, who flew across the country to support me and my crazy habit. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. I love you! And of course, also another thank you to my running-widow-husband who allows me to disappear and do what I love… thank you!

 

My bib. And a ticket for a free beer after the race (didn't use it). Notice, I was in the slowest wave and it mentally handicapped me for a little bit. That said, I managed (I dug deep) to get through it and overcome that setback.

My bib. And a ticket for a free beer after the race (didn’t use it). Notice, I was in the slowest wave which  mentally handicapped me for a little bit. That said, I managed to get through it and overcome.

Michelle, my friend / host, has an extra apartment in her building so she let Amy and I stay in it. When I say it was better than a 5 star hotel, I mean it. LORD OH LORD it was perfect.

Michelle, my friend / host, has an extra apartment in her building that she let Amy and me stay in. When I say it was better than a 5 star hotel, I mean it. LORD OH LORD it was perfect.

The windy city in all its glory. I have never spent anytime in Chicago and I fell in love with it.

The windy city in all its glory. This was my first time in Chicago and I fell in love with it.

Michelle's apartment has a 360 degree view of the city. Incredibly beautiful and ridiculous. I might move in to her place.

Michelle’s apartment has a 360 degree view of the city. Incredibly beautiful and ridiculous. I might move in to her place. My kids will not miss me at all.

When Amy and I were trying to figure out the strategy on how I should get to the start line from the apartment, Michelle and her husband simply went out on the balcony and pointed out the locations. WAY easier than using a map. And yes, we were that close to the start and finish line. Did I mention how incredibly generous and unbelievable Michelle and her family were?

When Amy and I were trying to figure out the strategy on how to get to the start line from the apartment, Michelle and her husband simply went out on the balcony and pointed out the locations. WAY easier than using a map. And yes, we were that close to the start and finish line. Did I mention how incredibly generous and unbelievable Michelle and her family were?

Dinner the night before was at Piccolo Sogno, a hip restaurant featured by Goop and found my Amy (always my source of everything great / cool / hip / in the know). It was the cutest little restaurant with outdoor seating and delicious food.

Dinner the night before was at Piccolo Sogno, a hip restaurant featured by Goop and found by Amy (always my source of everything great / cool / hip / in the know). It was the cutest little restaurant with outdoor seating and delicious food.

Prepster.

#Prepster

My salmon. With a side of pizza (with the leftovers in my NYC fridge. Yes, I flew with leftover pizza back to NYC, it was that good).

My salmon. With a side of pizza (with the leftovers in my NYC fridge. Yes, I flew with leftover pizza back to NYC, it was that good).

My morning of breakfast: a banana, half a jar of peanut butter, half a jar of almond butter (kind of kidding, but not really), some coffee, and a water. Breakfast of champions.

My morning pre-race breakfast: a banana, half a jar of peanut butter, half a jar of almond butter (kind of kidding, but not really), some coffee, and a water. Breakfast of champions.

The view before the morning run.

The view before the morning run.

Bright lights.

Bright lights.

UM, I was tad nervous (times infiniti).

UM, I was a tad nervous (times infinity).

Walking to the start line.

Walking to the start line. (My outfit of the day: a personalized nike shirt, Oregon Duck shorts, and a throw away sweatshirt.

Entering my gate. I waited in line for a port-a-potty for 20 minutes, and then decided to pee next to a tree with everyone watching. I didn't care in the slightest -- plus, I was wearing Natori undies, so free advertisement ???

Entering my gate. I waited in line for a port-a-potty for 20 minutes, and then decided to pee next to a tree with everyone watching. I didn’t care in the slightest — plus, I was wearing Natori undies, so free advertisement ???

DOOMS DAY

DOOMSDAY….drum rollllllllll

Amy was my #1 supporter and cheerleader and I would not have been able to do it without her. She left her husband and two kids to chase me on my marathon to cheer for 5 seconds. Those five second cheers made all the difference and are priceless. Oh and yes, these are the elite men running (NBD, ran the marathon in 2:09).

Amy was my #1 supporter and cheerleader and I would not have been able to do it without her. She left her husband and two kids to chase me on my marathon to cheer for 5 seconds. Those five second cheers made all the difference and are priceless. Oh and yes, these are the elite men running (NBD, the winner ran the marathon in 2:09).

Much later, I came by. She met me at mile 12 and then 17. Her job at 12 was to take a picture and cheer me on. Mile 17, her job (I am a dictator) was to give me three advil and a GU. Wouldn't have been able to do it without her.

Much later, I came by. She met me at mile 12 and then 17. Her job at 12 was to take a picture and cheer me on. Mile 17, her job (I am a dictator) was to give me three advil and a GU pack for energy. Wouldn’t have been able to do it without her.

See my giddiness when I saw her? Unbelievable feeling.

See my giddiness when I saw her? Unbelievable feeling.

She also made giant signs with my picture on it that are beyond awesome. I now have a dozen and want to have a party with masks.

She also made giant signs with my picture on it that are beyond awesome. I now have a dozen and want to have a party with masks.

Finding Amy was pretty easy at the end of the race.

Finding Amy was pretty easy at the end of the race. (and FYI, “our” apartment building is the one in the middle with the blue / white that looks like my son’s lego project).

Amy is afraid of the internet, so this is the closest I will get to a picture of her with me online. And yes, she wore a shirt that said "Go Yael." She deserves an award for dealing with me, right????

Amy is afraid of the internet, so this is the closest I will get to a picture of her with me online. And yes, she wore a shirt that said “Go Yael.” She deserves an award for dealing with me, right????

Double Trouble.

Double Trouble.

Post race, we went to Michelle's apartment where they hosted 70 people, half of them who had run the marathon. They had a crepe bar, an omlette bar, a pasta bar, a real bar, and great people to converse and tell stories of the marathon. It was so much fun.

Post race, we went to Michelle’s apartment where they hosted 70 people, half of whom had run the marathon. They had a crepe bar, an omelette bar, a pasta bar, a real bar, and great people to talk to about the race. It was so much fun.

Stretching the body.

Stretching the body.

You see the ants? That is people finishing the race!

You see the ants? People finishing the race!

Panoramic view!

Panoramic view!

I ate 7 crepes: some with lemon curd, some with whipped cream and apples, and some with nutella and bananas. I wish I had a woman operating a crepe bar in my home all the time.

I ate 7 crepes: some with lemon curd, some with whipped cream and apples, and some with nutella and bananas. I wish I had a woman operating a crepe bar in my home all the time.

Lounging post race (still in my running socks, no shower before party) with my bestie, getting a Personal Best, qualifying for Boston, and pushing myself when I didn't think I had it in me.

Lounging post race (still in my running socks, no shower before party) with my bestie, getting a Personal Best (3:36), qualifying for Boston, and pushing myself when I didn’t think I had it in me. It could not have been a better day.

 

So there you have it, my Sunday, October 11th, 2015. Not an ordinary Sunday….more to come on the race itself. I could write a novel about my running experience, so like it or not, more to come! And thanks so much for your support and love from near and far. I heard from so many people on Saturday and Sunday, and it made a world of difference.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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8 Comments

  1. I heard it was a great day. Two friends of mine from Chicago ran for the first time. Congratulations!

  2. Wow, Congrats Yael! I love the giant signs Amy made & that apartment building looks amazing.

  3. How exciting!!! What a view you guys had… P.S. I too wish I could have someone operating a crepe bar in my house all the time. 🙂

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