Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sweet Home Chicago

A few weeks ago Steve asked me what would happen if he couldn't go with me to the Chicago race. I told him that I'd be lonely, but that it would be okay. And it would have been okay, because I know he's had a pretty stressful workload lately. Plus, my company has a liberal vacation policy, while his company is positively stingy with vacation. We looked it over and decided that Steve could go, but he'd have to take the red-eye flight so that he could work an extra day. Since I like a red-eye flight (I fly the Ambien skies) and I was tempted to wait for him and travel together. We decided that I'd go out first and get the hotel, etc. There's nothing worse than arriving in the middle of the night and having to wait hours to check-in.

I got there Thursday evening and had few hours of work to do myself. Steve got there in the wee hours of the morning and promptly fell aspleep, only to wake up to to a few hours of work that needed his Urgent.Attention. It was sort of an odd experience for me. On more than one occassion, I've had to bail on vacation to work. Last summer, my parents visited from Pennsylvania. They spent a day sitting out my patio while I worked for 14 hours straight to meet a last minute deadline. I felt awful. This time I felt awful for Steve. He flew all night, then wasted a precious vacation day sitting at the desk in the hotel room.

When we finally got that nasty work business out of the way, we had a great time. Went to a White Sox game (Cubs were out of town). Spent 2 days at the Chicago Art Institute. Took the boat ride up the river to see the architecture. Popped into a blues club and lucked out because the band was excellent. Enjoyed Grant Park.

Oh, and yeah, I popped off another half marathon. Nice race - flat course, hot day and my legs were totally dead from walking 7 miles in flip flops the day before the race. Chicago was surprisingly lame with crowd support. There were long, long stretches of nobody cheering.

Toward the end of the race, I realized that this was my "Rockstar" race - my 5th half marathon in the Rock N Roll series for 2009. Back when I set the goal, the Rock N Roll Race Series was 5 races...then it got bigger and bigger and more races were added. Now the top prize is "Rock Legend" for 7 races and I'm doing all 7. However, 5 races was the original goal. When it finally hit me that this was my Rockstar Race, I realized I've have been really bummed if Steve wouldn't have been there to see me reach my goal.

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