Trip Summary: Chicago Seminars and Sub 4hr Chicago Marathon!

I wanted to take a few minutes to quickly summarize my long weekend in Chicago, despite the fact that I did not stay in Chicago on Monday.

A longer post will be written about each of these events separately.

Friday

  • Flew into ORD around 9am CST, clear the upgrade at the gate. First time using Amex PLT card for AC access.
  • Meet a few F2B bloggers at AC G8. It was a long walk from H18
  • Plan to take the metro into town but line was 20 groups deep at the station. Four of us decided to rent a car. Got to Chicago in 25 minutes total.
  • Left the F2B group to go have lunch with my wife’s cousin, with whom I would be staying with Saturday night.
  • Took the Metra down to the convention hall to pick up my number and shirt
  • Managed to score six 10% off AA coupons (giveaway later in the week)
  • Free shuttle back to downtown, train to ORD, bus to hotel, short 1/2 mile walk to Four Points ORD
  • Shuttle to Shuttle to get to Chicago Seminars
  • Meet other F2B bloggers during registration, and had a good steak sub before seminars
  • Dinner at TGIF (go figure on Friday) as adjacent hotel restaurant at Holiday Inn sucked. Big Time.
  • Dropped off at nearby Sheraton and got them to drive me to the Four Points. Love SPG.

Saturday

  • Woke up at 6am to run 2 miles, showered, used breakfast amenity to get eggs, toast, potatoes to go. Managed to catch the shuttle to the airport
  • 8am Holiday Inn airport shuttle didn’t get there until 8:25am. Made it to the first session a few minutes late.
  • Good buffet lunch. Managed to do some carb loading then on the pasta
  • Skipped the last session as talking with a few bloggers in the lobby.
  • Joined F2B ride into Chicago so I can ditch them again to stay with my wife’s cousin. Got deep dish pizza, slept a bit before 1am.

Sunday

  • Woke up around 6:15am, ate, prep’ed. Left the house a bit after 7am to walk to the start
  • Took a few pics, hard to get into coral H so got into the back of G. Realized most of these people were slower, fought my way up to the front as the crowd moved towards the start.
  • Weather was perfect that morning and for the entire race. Started off around 50F and at the finish about 60F. Good cold wind throughout the course. Most of the course was shaded because of the buildings. Great to keep us cool.
  • Decided to live tweet from the race, while running a 9 min/mile pace. Worked out well and didn’t slow me down much.
  • 4hr 10mi pacer sucked big time. Ran way under 9min/mile, which was about a 3:45 pace. Even I knew it was too fast. There was no 4hr pacer to be seen.
  • Couldn’t find my wife’s cousin as she was working at the aid station after mile 14.
  • I was averaging 9 minute miles all the way till about mile 24. Walking breaks for the aid stations were a few seconds longer.
  • The crowds everywhere were awesome and loud. Reading marathon signs is always entertaining.
    • If marathons were easy, it would be called your mom
    • You’re too sexy for this mile
    • Hurry up, I’m cold
    • Run quietly, I’m hungover (I wish I had a shirt that said “Cheer quietly, running with a hangover)
    • Jay Cutler would’ve quit by now
    • You’re almost there, no time for Walken
    • Thanks for reading my sign!
  • Hit my goal of sub 4. Forgot to account for the extra 4/10 mile extra of running because of the course. Still hit sub 4 though. Took a shaky video of the last 1/2 mile of the race.
  • Official time of 3:57:16.
  • Got a few sips of free beer, got an awesome massage (short line when I got there), ate some free food and hobbled back to my wife’s cousin’s place
  • Showered, took a nap, then had hot dog and Italian Beef Sandwich at Portillo’s. I may have been in here before but didn’t order anything.
  • Train to ORD. Cleared the upgrade before airport control. SDC into an earlier flight and still managed to get the last first class seat as I was one of the last to board. Flight was not that full. My Gogo inflight month wifi pass ran out, couldn’t check my football fantasy team.
  • Flight got in a bit early, got home just before midnight despite catching an earlier flight.

All in all, it was a crazy long weekend. I meet so many great people at the Chicago Seminars and had a lot of fun learning new things about this posts and miles hobby. I was a bit surprised how much I already knew and also how much I didn’t know. The conversation with Mr. Pickles blew my mind about Delta SkyPesos redemption. I did learn a lot more from meeting other people than the actual sessions themselves.

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