Well, I’ve finished the Chicago Marathon.

Haha. Not quite.

Yesterday morning, my training group coordinated a trip (via school bus) up to mile 20 of the Chicago Marathon course. The bus dropped us off at Halsted & Cermak (so pretty much the middle of nowhere, if you can be in the middle of nowhere in a huge city) around 7:30am, and we took off to run the last 6 miles of the course – through Chinatown, past Comisky Park/US Cellular Field, through the IIT campus (where my sis-in-law and her husband got their architecture degress, and I assume met), past De La Salle Institute (where I think my Grandpa went), up Michigan Ave, over the Roosevelt hill, and up Columbus to where the finish will be next week. And the runners who finished before us (I ran with Amanda and Julie, who I did my 20-miler with), cheered as we “finished.”

The run was great, the weather was perfect, and it was nice to enjoy the part of the course that will probably be a struggle next week. We joked that we were just really confused – “Isn’t the marathon today? Where is everyone?” One couple out walking their dogs asked if we were “practicing” for the marathon.

After the run, we had a nice spread to refuel – bagels, watermelon, grapes, M&Ms, cookies, water, Gatorade – before getting back on the bus and heading home. Now that my marathon training with CARA is over, I’m going to miss all the post-run snacks!

So hopefully, on Sunday, when I get to mile 20 of the course, I can just tell myself “you’ve done this before … it’s not that far” and those miles will go by so quickly. Right?? Or, at least, I’ll remember there is some relief in the shade once you cross the Day Ryan (that’s the 90/94 expressway you’ll run next to for a few blocks, for any out-of-towners reading this). Although it might be better in the sun next Sunday. [Knock on wood.]

Also, if you’re a blogger, and will be in town (or live here), join us for lunch on Saturday. Whether or not you’re running the marathon, and whether or not you’re from Chicago. All running bloggers (and bloggers who run) welcome.