Nikki and I flew to Chicago on Friday evening as we would be staying with Deb and her family Friday night and then driving to Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon. The airport was very uneventful and we were the only two people in the security line. I was randomly assigned TSA pre-check but it really didn't benefit me much at the Cleveland airport. Oh well! Once we had been picked up from the airport we made a quick stop for ice cream and then made it to Deb's house.
Deb's husband, Jeremy, was planning to run the 1/2 with us so he ran some errands for the trip while Deb, Nikki, and I headed out to breakfast. After breakfast we went with Deb to watch Andrew (Deb's son) play in his soccer game. Andrew and Ellie (Deb's daughter) were both planning to stay behind in Chicago with friends but Ellie's plans fell through so Deb asked me to text Ellie and see if she wanted to run/walk the half with me. In the end Andrew stayed behind and Ellie came with us. Once we made it to Wisconsin we headed to the expo to register Ellie and pick up everyone else's packets. We didn't stay at the expo to long as everyone was pretty hungry. We enjoyed a nice dinner and a drink and then headed back to our hotel to get some rest.
We met in the lobby at 6:00 AM and grabbed some food and then headed out to the race start to try and find parking. We arrived and parked quite easily and then headed inside to use the restrooms before the race start. We also took some pictures while we were waiting as the 1/2 marathon started an hour after the full marathon.
|"The Girls" and Jeremy|
|Ellie takes good start line selfies|
We started out slow and when my watch said it was time to walk, Ellie wasn't ready so we continued to run to the first mile marker and then we walked for a short while. I did mention to her that my rule was that she had to walk for at least a minute each time we took a walk break. For the most part we would walk at the start of the next mile and then we would run until the next mile marker or the water stop (whichever came first). Ellie really did an amazing job out there! She listened to everything I told her to do and she did not complain once! That says a lot for a 14 year old who had never run further than 3 miles that morning! Ellie really enjoyed reading the signs and talking with the other runners. There was even an older runner that was trying to get Ellie to race him but she was good and listened to me and didn't wear herself out (and yes she did beat him in the end). As we entered the stadium, we saw Nikki coming back out to finish. Ellie was smiling and seemed quite happy. We crossed the finish line, side by side, in 2:41. Upon our arrival, Deb and Jeremy were standing there waiting for us. I was slightly confused as I thought "why didn't they say anything to us when they passed us on the course". Deb then explained that Jeremy was struggling with his knee and some other issues so they ended up dropping out of the race around mile 5 and walking back to the stadium so they could see Ellie finish. Since this race allowed us to cross Wisconsin off our list of 50 states, Deb will have to "make up" Wisconsin at a later date but Jeremy said he would do it with her! Poor girl still has to "make up" Alabama as she was incredibly sick and couldn't make it.
|Incredibly proud of this little lady!|
|See our state status below!|
Complete a half in all 50 states status: 17 states and D.C. completed
Completed states: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
While we were in Wisconsin we did discuss our next state. We are definitely leaning toward Marshall University in West Virginia in November but we are hoping to possibly get another state in before then.
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!