On Sunday, my husband, Danny, ran his first marathon and I am so incredibly proud of him.
He spent 18 weeks training diligently. He worked a full-time job, ran four days a week, and helped with the kids and house. He would often come home from work and immediately go back out running. He would wake up early before work to run. He would get up early on the weekends to get his long run done.
I admire his dedication and all the hard work he put in. He worked hard to achieve a goal that he will remember forever.
He finished the Chicago Marathon in 3:41:57.
On Saturday, we attended the Chicago Marathon expo at McCormick Place.
There were so many different booths and vendors set up. We got Danny’s bib and shirt and then explored for a while with the kids.
Countdown to marathon time – 20 hours to go!
On Saturday night, we went to Noodles and Co. for dinner followed by some frozen yogurt.
Eat all the carbs.
We woke up about 5 am on Sunday morning and left the house pretty soon after. We got the kids dressed and put them right into the car. We arrived in the city around 6:20 am. Danny was able to pre-pay for a parking spot online so parking wasn’t too expensive. My dad, stepmom, and her friend, Cindy, arrived shortly after we did. Cindy’s husband was also running the marathon.
Before the race:
Danny ate a plain bagel and an apple in the car and then we headed towards Grant Park. Danny had to be in his corral by 7:45 am so we had a little bit of time to kill. Jaden had fun finding and petting all the dogs he could see.
Danny left to go to his corral and we headed towards mile #2 to wait for him. Spectators weren’t allowed into Grant Park until 9 am so we said good luck to Danny before he left.
At mile #2, we met my father-in-law who took the train into the city to meet us. We hung out there awhile and then the marathon started!
The wheelchair marathoners went by first and they were so inspiring to watch. It’s amazing how people who have a handicap don’t let anything stand in their way of accomplishing their dreams.
The elite runners went by next and they were so fast I could hardly get a picture!
Danny didn’t end up leaving his coral until 8:15 am and shortly after that, he ran past us.
We also saw Cindy’s husband, Nick.
The kids made signs to hold up.
I signed up for text updates on Danny so I received alerts when he crossed the 5k mark, 10k mark, half marathon mark and so on. After we saw him around mile #2, we headed towards mile #13 to see him again. Unfortunately, we ended up missing him at mile #13. We were there in time, we just missed him running past us.
At that point, he had taken his shirt off and I think we were all looking for a black shirt not a shirtless Danny. I was super bummed that we missed him.
There wasn’t an easy way to get to another mile marker except towards the end so we headed towards mile #25/26. Spectators weren’t allowed at the finish but we were able to get right before mile #26 towards the end.
My grandparent’s also came to the marathon (my grandma ran the marathon herself when I was in high school!) and they waited at mile #20 but unfortunately they missed seeing Danny too.
Mle #26 was a huge hill and you could just see the struggle on the runner’s faces trying to get up that hill. It looked tortuous. After waiting awhile, we were able to see Danny. He ran by fast and was limping slightly. He said that his hamstring had started to cramp and going up the hill was tough.
He crossed the finish line with the unofficial time of 3:41:57 which is approximately an 8:20 mile pace. I was so proud of him!!
We had to walk a bit to get to the runner reunite area at mile #27 but we were finally able to see him! You could tell he was definitely feeling the effects of running so long.
The first thing he did was stretch, sit down, and take off his shoes. We sat for maybe about a half hour or so before he was ready to get up.
Thank goodness my father-in-law was there because he was the only one who was able navigate the city. He helped Danny up and down from sitting and drove home. We walked back to the car and headed home.
Danny was doing okay until we got into the car. Then he broke out in a full body sweat, started to get lighted headed, and nauseous. It was a little scary for a minute. Luckily, we was okay and sipped water on the way home. We dropped my father-in-law off and I drove home.
At home, Danny took a hot shower and then stretched and foam rolled for a long time. His legs were sore, tight, and cramping. He relaxed for awhile and started to feel better. Around 5:30 pm, we had some family over for pizza and cake.
Everyone stayed awhile and then Danny was just pretty much done for the day. He laid on the floor and my niece helped him roll out his calves.
Luckily, he took Monday off of work and he just relaxed most of the day. We did a few errands and I think the walking was good for his legs even though he was moving very slowly.
A big thank you to everyone who supported Danny – family, friends, his co-workers, my co-workers. It was so wonderful to see how supportive everyone was.
I am so proud of him for accomplishing such a huge goal. I can hardly imagine running one mile at an 8:20 pace, let alone 26.2 miles!
Awesome job, Danny!! I love you! And I am so incredibly proud of you!