Summary: Last week my friend sent me an email inviting me to run with him and another guy on an impromptu marathon around the city. He called it the Chicago Stadium marathon because the path was set up to run past the 4 primary Chicago stadiums including, Wrigley Field, Soldier Field, the United Center, and Sox Park.
While I hadn’t run anywhere close to that distance since the 32 miler in January (and there was a lot of walking in that one), it sounded like an interesting idea.
“We’re just going to do 8:30 min miles or so,” he said.
That was a little slower than I normally run so I figured it wouldn’t be too tough. Once you get the confidence to run long distances, it doesn’t take much to convince yourself that you can still do it.
We started running south from Foster down Damen Avenue. This took us through Lakeview, Roscoe Village, Bucktown, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, all the way down to the United Center where the Bulls play. I felt pretty good despite the drizzling rain.
We turned east down Madison and started running towards the city. We went all the way down to Halsted and headed south again. This took us through Greek Town and Pilsen. This part was some of the same roads that you run on the Chicago marathon. Remembering times I’ve done that race made me smile.
When we got to 35th street we turned east again and ran to Sox Park. The stadium has been renamed Cellular Field but it will always be Comiskey to me.
The wind started kicking up and the rain felt a little colder. At this point in the run, we had been going for about 2 hours. I only had one drop joggling but I could feel myself tiring. I’m a little more out of shape than I thought.
We next ran past Stephen Douglas’ tomb which I didn’t even know was in Chicago. We went over Lake Shore Drive via a walking bridge and made it to the running path. This was the same running path in which I did the 50 miler and set the world joggling record for that distance. It would’ve made me smile more if the wind was blowing so strong and I didn’t feel so wet & cold.
I started to noticeably get slower than my running companions. This made me feel a little embarrassed as I think a person who’s done 50 miles shouldn’t tire from an “easy” 18+ miles. But I kept going as best as I could and the other runners (Andy, Richard, Mike) didn’t get too far ahead of me.
We ran north on the path and went past McCormick Place, then Soldiers Field. It was pretty cool. We followed the path past the Shed Aquarium, the Field Museum and the Adler Planetarium. There is so much cool stuff in Chicago.
After hitting those sites, we went into Grant Park and passed the Buckingham Fountain where there were a bunch of bands setting up, waiting their turn to march in the parade that was being held on the road next to the park. As I joggled by, some kids in the band started yelling for me to drop a ball. I threw one high in the air, turned and waved, then turned back to catch the Gballz . The band started cheering loudly.
We left the park and ran over the Chicago River which had just been dyed bright green. It was quite cool.
The path then took us down Michigan Avenue where we had to avoid crowds of people who were out shopping and making their way to watch the parade. It’s amazing the number of people who still come out on cold and rainy days.
We left the bustle of downtown and got back on the lakefront running path. I ran with my two remaining companions until North Avenue. I turned off and they kept going to finish the 26.2 mile route. I had to get home and was feeling pretty tired so I cut the run short.
It was a great time and I’m happy I did it. But I tell you what, I was tired! My run the next day was tough.