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My Chicago 2011

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Mark B
JohnP
Jack_Scaff
Randy E
Alex Kubacki
T Miller
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fostever
Seth Harrison
Jerry
healdgator
Pete B
BigDogMom
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My Chicago 2011 Empty My Chicago 2011

Post  BigDogMom Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:00 pm

Well...I did it! I have the aches and pains to prove it. I did not set any records nor did I come close but I FINISHED! I finished with my head high and a smile on my face! I got through it with the help of some very special angels on my shoulders, on the sidelines and under my feet helping with each step!



This year my mantra was ‘Forward is a Pace’. I have said this and preached this to others but this year I really lived it!



I was up at 4:00 on Sunday and was chauffeured downtown by my husband. He dropped me off at the Club Quarters hotel to meet a friend of mine and then he headed to work. He was scheduled to work blocking streets for the runners.



My friend and I had some coffee together and then chose to walk the 10 or so blocks to the Congress Hotel where we would meet our fellow runners. The streets were filled with activity of runners, spectators and volunteers. We arrived at the hotel, met up with our friends and checked our gear bags. I got a text from my friend Kelly, Director of Alexander Leigh Center for Autism, and a photo of her daughter, Gilly. Motivation to run well and finish strong!



We headed for the start corral about 7am as the sun was rising over the lake. It was a glorious morning! We sat on the ground in the start corral chatting with each other and other runners. At about 7:20 Jim Cornelison sang the national anthem and the gun went off for the Elite field of runners. We hit the start line about 15 minutes later…..and the beginning of the last part of my long adventure Forward had begun!



I knew my husband was working and blocking the streets at mile 2. This was a nice treat knowing he was so close. I also knew my mom and dad would be at mile 14. All I had to do was get there. The rest of the course was up for grabs! I didn’t know when or where or even if there would be anyone else cheering for me. Just keep moving forward, I told myself. Everything will work out.



I flew through the first few miles and was feeling great! It was a gorgeous morning and the crowds were wonderful. Running through Lincoln Park and up into Wrigleyville along the lake was perfect. My friend was doing even better than I was so she took off ahead of me. As I rounded the corner at Addison Street between miles 7 and 8 there was a sign that made me smile “Do Epic Shit” I knew that sign was for ME!



As I headed back down into the city, I was in the zone, running forward well and feeling good. Perhaps I was feeling too good and got a bit overconfident. Through Old Town at mile 10 things were still feeling great and so was I! Forward….



Just after Mile 12, at the Adams Street turn I saw a CPD officer also a dad from school! What a nice surprise! I told him I was feeling great! His daughter was one of my Girls on the Run! Forward….



I was almost to family now heading out into Greektown and the West Loop! I ran through the 13.1 mile marker and headed towards mile 14. Just before mile 14 I saw a teacher friend from school and her husband! She was smiling and cheering. We hugged (I think!) and I took off again…only to hear someone shouting my name from the other side of the street. It was another dad from school and his son, who is one of my students! I said Hi and told them I could not stop. I had to keep moving forward. I asked where his sister was and he told me up the street, so I grabbed his and away we ran. My student was running the marathon with me! What a great running buddy! About a block or so up we found 2 of my Girls on the Run, with their moms holding a “Go Mrs. Nader” sign!! They were standing next to my parents and my Aunt. I stopped for a second and took a picture with my mom. I could feel my legs tightening and did not want to stop moving. I told them I had to keep moving…forward. I took off again heading out to mile 15. This part of the course is all sun and it was getting hotter by the minute.



I headed back into the city hoping the see family again near mile 16 but we missed each other. I was feeling hot and my legs were getting tighter with each step. This was not going to be an easy finish.



Just after mile 16 I was running in the shade of the buildings but was still hot. If front of Jak’s Tap there was a “20 something” guy eating an ice cream. I looked at him and said, “Really?!?” He said, “Want it?” I ran over, grabbed what was left of the ice cream, kissed him on the cheek…to the cheers of the others around him…and kept running…happily eating my ice cream. Never has a SpongeBob popsicle tasted so good!



It was off to Little Italy and mile 18 now where I saw the leader of my running group, Keith and his wife, Liz. They asked how I was doing and I told them I was hot…but still moving forward. And then I took off again up Ashland Avenue toward mile 19. My legs were still a little tight but I thought the popsicle and Gu I had eaten were helping….I was wrong.



I rounded the corner of 18th and Halsted to see the bank sign read “81” degrees. It was getting hotter….then things got bad. Just past the 20 mile marker I stepped down and one calf cramped…total Charlie Horse. I shifted my weight to the other leg and that one cramped as well. I was in pain and not happy. I hobbled into the medical tent and sat down. I told them what was happening to my legs. They gave me a salt packet to eat along with a banana, a massage of my calves and water. I walked around the tent a bit and felt better…so back out I went. My dreams of beating my time from last year vanished…Now it was just about finishing….Forward.



Miles 21-23 were slow but I was still moving forward. I kept pushing on thinking that I could not quit. The thought of facing the disappointment of my own children, my students, or my Girls on the Run having quit was enough to keep me moving! So I pushed forward.



This is a tough stretch as there are not a lot of spectators on this part of the course and it is all sun but I knew the end was getting closer…no quitting now…just forward motion. Then at the turn at 35th street….I thought I was seeing things….there was another GOTR mom with her daughters! The girls were leaping up and down when they saw me! They asked how I was doing and I said I was hot. Mom wanted to give me water but her bottle was empty! That was ok I said…I had to keep moving as I was afraid my legs would give out again…..and off I went. I started to cry now as the reality of everything began to hit me. I needed to stop doubting myself, beating myself up and getting mad at myself for slowing down. Too many people were already proud of me and how far I had come on the adventure. This was the home stretch and I knew it. I also knew that this was the hardest part of the course…all sun and then the HILL! I just had to keep moving forward.



So up Michigan Avenue I headed into Mile 24. I was moving forward and feeling better. I knew this was the home stretch. I knew the end was near and I was going to get this job done! Just then a large uniformed Chicago police officer jumped in front of me and started taking photos. It was my husband! CPD had moved his location and there he was…in front of me! He wanted me to stop and take a picture but I just could not. I was terrified that if I stopped disaster would strike. So he said he loved me and kissed me, as a lady shouted, “Do you kiss all the runners, Officer?” “No,” he replied, “just my wife…and that’s my wife!” as I moved away… forward…



Now it was up to me. I was making deals and saying prayers at this point…please God! Just let me finish…I have come too far not to finish. One foot in front of the other…moving forward.



I rounded the corner and headed up the hill…terrified that my legs would cramp again, I powered up the hill with what little strength I had left. Now it was all about determination and heart. As I crested the hill I could feel the momentum building…. I could see the finish line. This was it…months of work for this moment!



I crossed the finish line and was met by wonderful volunteers who wrapped me in a warming blanket and sent me on to get my medal. As the volunteer hung the medal on my neck I thought how hard earned that medal was….this was a tough finish for me.



What a day! What an adventure! My first marathon was all about the finish. The goal was to get across the finish line. The second time was about the journey. Crossing the finish line was icing on the cake. This time it was all about determination. Always moving forward despite the obstacles.



During this adventure I learned so many things about myself. Every lesson learned got me to the finish. I learned that I am a better, stronger, smarter runner/person than I was a year ago. I learned that just when you least expect it, people surprise you. I learned that everyone needs inspiration. Some days you inspire and some days you need to be inspired. I learned that a finish time is just that...numbers on the clock. Numbers don’t mean a thing to anyone but me. I showed my kids...all of them...that quitting is not an option. If you work towards a goal you can achieve it...one way or another. If you simply put one foot in front of the other…you move forward. Forward IS a Pace. I realized that I did something that many people can’t do, won’t ever start....I completed a marathon...not once, not twice but THREE times!!



A mom

A teacher

A 3 TIME marathon FINISHER!
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Post  Pete B Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:07 pm

Congratulations on another courageous finish! It must have been great to see so many friends and family along the way.
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Post  BigDogMom Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:14 pm

It was great! Were you working at the expo? I thought I saw you but was unsure so I didn't say anything!
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Post  healdgator Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:21 pm

Congrats! Tough as nails.
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Post  Jerry Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:08 pm

Be proud! Congratulations!
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Post  Seth Harrison Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:18 pm

Congratulations on a great race and having such a sensational outlook. I'm so glad you had such a great time running Chicago. It really came through in your report. Nicely done!
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Post  fostever Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:46 pm

Way to go, three times a charm and a kiss from the hubby, aye! Congrats!
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Post  7 Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:56 pm

Congratulations. Great Report.
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Post  T Miller Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:59 pm

Awesome, way to get it done on a hot day. Congratulations!
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Post  Alex Kubacki Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:32 am

Great report. Congrats on getting it done.
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Post  Randy E Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:00 am

Way to get it done Kristine. A memorable journey! Congrats and thanks for being such a great inspiration to your girls.
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Post  Pete B Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:08 am

BigDogMom wrote:It was great! Were you working at the expo? I thought I saw you but was unsure so I didn't say anything!

I was at the front desk (across from Packet Pickup) working at the Participant Services booth, Friday from Noon till 4:30-ish. You should have said hi -
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Post  Jack_Scaff Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:43 pm

Way to gut out the last few miles.
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Post  JohnP Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:03 pm

Very nice job, very inspriring race report. You've got a great attitude about it all. Nice going Kristine.
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Post  Mark B Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:59 pm

BigDogMom wrote:“Do you kiss all the runners, Officer?” “No,” he replied, “just my wife…and that’s my wife!”

What a great moment out of many you experienced out there last weekend. Congratulations on finishing a roller coaster ride of a race, and toughing it out when things went south. Great job!
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Post  Jim fredericks Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:36 am

Congratulations!!
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Post  amyjoann Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:02 pm

Great job on finishing on such a tough day! I'm going to remember forward is a pace,I'm thinking this is going to be my mantra on Nov.5th. I especially like the some day you are an inspiraton ,and some days you need them ! Awesome!
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Post  Dave-O Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:15 pm

Forward is a pace...ha I like it. Well done on a tough day.
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Post  Jim Lentz Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:11 am

Great job on the race!
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