Hot Hot Hot

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Well sometimes you get what you ask for.

For some time now I have been complaining about how the temperatures have been bouncing around this spring with it being 30, one day one place, then 80 the next day, somewhere else.  We have run races recently with many layers at the start with long tights and pants being the standard.

Well it finally caught up with us with our race in Schaumburg, Illinois.  The temperature at the start being predicted to be 84 and 88 by the time we get finished.  This race took socially distancing to the extreme with being assigned start times depending on your predicted pace.  So for us that was 11:31 am.  I guess I should have fudged my pace.  Oh well, I am sure we will get it done.

We are not only here to get the state of Illinois done.  This will be number 34 with our 12th race this year but also to visit our dear friend, Deborah Dean.  We first met her nearly 11 years ago on a running cruise with Marathon Expeditions in Alaska.

It has been 18 months Since we last saw her in Loretto, Mexico with our fellow “Band” members, Kim, Mike and Kay.  She currently lives in the Oak Park area of Chicago and she was able to give us a great tour of the Frank Loyd Wright, 1889-1909, homes and and Unity Temple he built including his home and now museum.

Frank Loyd Wright

Wright’s bold design with its cubist features and use of poured reinforced concrete, broke all the rules of American religious architecture.  The all-concrete building was entirely cast here at this site, including the distinctive columns near the top, which support the overhanging roof.  The design creates an imposing facade and the concrete muffles street noise.

Unity Temple has been in continuous use since 1908 by the congregation that commissioned it, now a Unitarian Universalist Congregation.  It fits right in with the area’s all concrete post office right across the street.  In July of 2019 Unity Temple, along with seven other Wright buildings, was inscribed as part of the “The 20th Century of Frank Lloyd Wright” UNESCO World Heritage designation , among only 24 sites in the U.S. representing significant cultural and natural value.

Deborah, correctly decided, not to run with Catherine so that meant we were able to be dropped off and picked up right at the start finish line.  We arrived at 11 and was then told that we could start right away.  I now wished that I had arrived an hour earlier. As fortune would have it the temperature at the start was only 77 degrees and 82  at the finish but still it was, Hot Hot Hot.

Chicagoland Spring Marathon and Half Marathon

In an effort to get this race over with I did push us a bit at the start of the race so no negative split for us since the first 3 miles was on mostly concrete two lane closed road that was slightly downhill.  So no way I was going to be able to do any faster coming back up it in the heat of the day.  We did come in right at our usual race time of 2:44, not bad for soon to be 66 year old.

After that portion we did go off on to their bike and running trail system for 3.5 miles which was asphalt and very scenic.  I now see why they spaced starts out so much since the trail was not very wide. It was an out and back and other runners, walkers and bikers were using the path.

Two very happy runners

I must say, when it was all said and done, I did not much like this race. It was much harder than the third half marathon we did in 5 days, last week. I am sure as time goes on I will feel better about it.  That is how it always happens or who would do these races more than once.  I use to say the same about marathons and that it must be like child birth.  I have often been corrected.

Architectural Tour

The next day we did do some more sightseeing, this time by boat, on the Architectural tour by Wendella Sightseeing Company.  Here we got an up-close perspective of Chicago’s Internationally-know architecture as seen from the Chicago River.  We ventured through the Chicago Lock to gain a new perspective of Chicago’s architecture from Lake Michigan.

We finished off the day with a walk around Millennium Park and had to take some pictures of us in front of the sculpture called, cloud gate. Cloud Gate is a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Sir Anish Kapoor, that is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. Constructed between 2004 and 2006, the sculpture is nicknamed The Bean because of its shape, a name Kapoor initially disliked, but later grew fond of. Made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together, its highly polished exterior has no visible seams. It measures 33 by 66 by 42 feet and weighs 110 short tons.

I crack myself up

Where to next

Tomorrow we are off to Atlanta to meet up with my younger looking older Sister, Gwen, and then drive down to see my daughter, Mariah in Athens, Ga.  After 3 days there we are on our way to Bloomington for memorial day get together with her daughter and family.

Catherine will have her first speech therapy appointment with Fox Rehabilitation that have an office in Bloomington.  They also have one in Atlanta but right now do not have any therapist available.  They also have tele-a-health so while we are on the road the therapist and Catherine can connect.

From there a few days stop in the Jeffersonville area then off to Maryland, New Jersey and Massachusetts for thee more half marathons, this time in 7 days with Mainly Marathons. We hope to see some friendly faces out there and maybe a new best friend or two. .


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