Hello again! Sorry that this will once again be a bit more than things other than running, but I'm trying to check in at least once a week, and, well, since I'm not running a heck of a lot, I have to tackle other topics! ;--)
* Congrats to all of you who finished the Chicago Marathon Sunday! It was a beautiful day to spectate -- and pretty decent conditions to run too -- and Darcy and I were there as guests of Bank of America in their awesome hospitality tent.
My favorite photo from the finish line area is this one of 2004 Olympic bronze medalist and 2005 Chicago Marathon champion Deena Kastor. At age 42 she continues to rock it, finishing as the top American female and set an American master's record with her run in 2:27:47.
The thing I like about this photo is the huge smile on Deena's face! I interviewed her for a story about 10 years ago and she was one of the sweetest people you could ever meet!
I met a lot of interesting people in the tent, and on our way back to the car we crossed paths with Bill Rancic, who had run the race and was so gracious in our brief conversation with him. If you want to see more of my photo gallery, check out my Facebook page.
As always, watching runners stream across the finish line was truly inspirational...so much so that I have already decided to run next year!
* Cubs! Along with running, one of my true passions in life is baseball. I have been a Cubs fan my whole life (I saw my first game at Wrigley Field on June 11, 1977) and of course am over the moon with the success of the team this year.
So of course, we got to #FlyTheW after the game. It's a long-time tradition that the Cubs fly a white flag with a blue "W" after every win, and we brought our along too!
It's not easy being a Cubs fan sometimes, in my lifetime they have made the playoffs six times while suffering 30 losing seasons, so I am going to celebrate this like crazy. Contrary to the popular narrative, not all of us are drunks who show up at the game for the party...I care deeply about this team, and millions of others do too. I took a lot of people to that game in my heart, especially my sister Joni, who died of cancer four years ago and was the biggest Cubs fan I've ever known, and my mom, who is 78 and saw a game with me there last June. My mom saw her first Cubs game in 1942!
One memory I have of Joni is that one Christmas I bought her a "W" flag, which she flew outside of her house after each victory. As her cancer progressed, I once sent her a text after a win, and Joni's reply was one I will remember forever.
"I can't tell you what seeing that flag blowing in the breeze does for me."
Don't believe what you read, we represent the fan base, not the frat boys and girls who the media (and White Sox fans) like to talk about. Our love for this team is deep, and most of us know the game pretty damn well.
Having seen many of the current Cubs in the low minors over the last few years, I knew this day would come but it's still better than anything I could have ever dreamed up. The next few weeks could be gut-wrenching, but I don't want it any other way!
* Italy! The trip is finally here! I hope to write next Thursday's installment after my first jet-lagged run in Milan. Then this space will become a running travel blog again. The run I'm most excited to do will be in Rome, as our accommodations sit about a 5K run from the Colosseum. So a jaunt there and back should be fun. There is also a nice park nearby I hope to check out too.
* Bonus: Today is the last day to get the best pricing for next May's Indy Mini Marathon. Make plans to join me there, and don't forget to tell them I sent you! That can be done by selecting my name in the Ambassador's drop down. Like this: