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Chicago 5K tour

Saturday, April 13, 2013

They say in Chicago, if you don't like the weather, wait a little while, it will change. We hit almost all of the seasons today.

When my kids and I signed up for today's Chicago Tragic Events 5K a couple weeks ago, we thought for sure the weather would be mild by now. The weather forecast all week promised today would be the only dry day. Oh nay nay. When we left the house in the burbs, there were snow flurries.

While waiting with my son for the train into the city, I got several steps in to keep warm. When we got off the train in the city, it was even colder of course. Every few blocks, we would stop in a restaurant just to warm up for a minute.

We met up with my daughter and the rest of the group in Millennium Park. There were only three others in our group, a couple from California and a woman from Louisiana. Louisiana said she hadn't run in years. I thought 'great, someone to run slow with me.' Oh nay nay. You couldn't tell she hadn't been running.

The tour guide was great. He had a great sense of humor and took fun pictures of us along the way. After he emails the pictures, I will post them. He was good at keeping our minds off of the increasingly cold temperature.

Soon the slight rain we had been running in turned to sleet. Heavy sleet. I looked up at a clock, blinking from the sleet hitting my eyes, to see it was 8:40am. We had only been running 40 minutes. About an hour and a half to go. I didn't think I was going to make it but I couldn't just quit.

We were very thankful he took us into the Palmer House hotel as part of the tour. Ah warmth! BEAUTIFUL hotel, interesting facts, then too soon, it was time to go back outside! UGH!

As we got close to intersections, traffic lights about to change, he would turn around and ask if we could make it across. Everyone enthusiastically shouted "Oh Yeah!" So I would take a deep breath and kick it into gear to keep up and get across.

As difficult as it was each time I did that, it was a rush too. I was freezing, my feet were wet, my lips were getting a little numb and my thighs barked but I was keeping up.

The sleet subsided turning back into a slight mist. It was fun running around, learning things I never knew about the city I grew up in.

As we ended the tour, the slight rain stopped, the sun peaked out and we saw patches of blue sky. We determined that we ran just over four miles in just under two hours. That was a pretty huge accomplishment for me considering the weather.

My daughter suggested a diner a couple miles away for breakfast, let's go for a leisurely run to the diner she said. Sure, make me keep running when I can barely walk! She has been into health and fitness the majority of her life and is the general manager of a women's health club. She is pretty inspiring!

I did it, I slowed down a couple times but quickly caught back up to them. At one point I even spoke a couple sentences while running. My daughter said "Mom, I am so proud of you!' That brought a tear to my eye.

After a long hot shower, I felt human again. I sat down to read my book and recover. My yellow lab sat at my feet, big eyes, big ears, tail wagging. Like she can understand me, I told her I couldn't possibly go out there again and that my calf was getting stiff.

The tail kept wagging and she never broke her gaze. I got up and took her for a walk. I just can't resist my walking buddy....

If you are ever in the Chicago area (maybe they do this in other cities too) I highly recommend doing one of these tours. It's not timed, it's just a good time.
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