Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Two Years - and a Day Downtown with my Favorite Guy

I intended to post about the Chicago Marathon wayyyy sooner, but it just didn't happen (obviously). I dare you to ask me about the last two days at work. Trust me, if you do you'll wish you hadn't... >:|

Good news is...I'll post about the Marathon today! This actually works out very well, because today is mine and Cam's two year anniversary (dating), and our little adventure downtown on Sunday was such a reminder to me about why I'm with him. Not like I question our being together...we're like PB&J or Mac&Cheese or *insert other corny duo here*...but it's nice to do something together out of the norm and realize your relationship, though way more stable, is just as fun and exciting as it was when you started dating. :)

So with that said...

The Marathon was amazing. I said earlier that I'd never spectated before...I think the only race I'd ever spectated was the Turkey Trot in my hometown, and it was only because I couldn't run it because I'd acquired a knee injury (doing jiu jitsu).

Obviously this race was totally different. The weather was perfect - high 60s/low 70s all morning, and it got warmer after that. With the shade from the buildings I ended up wearing my sweatshirt all morning too.

We left Cam's at 7:15 and got downtown just before 8:00. Shout out to Google Maps for great directions, and having every single blocked road marked. That was a huge relief. We found a parking lot about 2 blocks from where we wanted to plant ourselves - smack between Mile 13 and 13.1, so we'd see the runners just as they came across the river.

We met Mama and Papa Bender there (if I haven't said this before, they're the parents of one of my best friends from college. Two of the nicest people on this planet...). Papa Bender took a picture of me and Cam:

The race started at 7:20 with the wheelchairs, elites went at 7:30, and I was tracking Uncle Jim and Katie so I knew when they both started (7:41 and 8:01, respectively). It was obviously a lot of waiting, but it was so cool seeing all the different athletes go by. I was in awe of the wheelchair racers because I cannot imagine racing an entire marathon with your arms.

So we got to see the elite men go by, the pace car showing 1:04:33 for a half marathon...

And a few minutes later (I think it was 1:10) the elite women...

We had to wait about another hourish for Uncle Jim (then Katie), and about 10 minutes before that, Papa Bender's phone started ringing. It was Uncle Jim calling! to tell us he'd just got to the 12 mile mark. He kept cruising along, talking to Papa Bender and then we just had to wait for him!

And before long, there he was!

The man did not look like he'd run 13 miles. (Spoiler alert: At the end he didn't look like he'd run 26.2 either.)

He stopped and chatted for a while, and then after he headed off, Mama and Papa Bender decided to make their way to Grant Park for the after party while Cam and I waited for Katie.

I'm bummed out that Cam didn't manage to get a picture of Katie as she ran by...I was looking and looking for her and when I finally saw her he just didn't have enough time to snag one before she practically flew by. I believe she saw my sign though and that's how she knew it was was big and bright...actually, it was bigger and brighter than a lot of the other signs I saw. Not embarrassed at all, pretty proud of that, if I'm being honest!

Cam took this picture about an hour later...but we'll get there!
Anyways, she shouted "Thank you!" to me, I said, "You're welcome!" and gave her a high five, and she kept on going. And good thing too...but I won't spoil the 'why''s her story to tell, so keep an eye on her blog to find out how she did.

*Edit: She's posted her recap over on her blog. Go read it!!!*

Second spoiler alert: When I saw her final time I was floored. She seriously did such an amazing job, and because I've been reading her blog for a while now I knew that it was a big deal.

After she ran by, Cam and I decided to start walking towards Grant Park, and maybe grab some coffee and a snack on the way. Now...I'm not a fool, and because of my ankle I took crutches downtown with me to help with the walking. I'm glad I did too, because walking too much really makes the tendinitis flare, but using the crutches to assist my walking kept it from hurting at all. That said, I got a ton of weird looks for hobbling around the city on crutches.

Our walk ended up taking us by the Sears ("Willis") Tower, and Cam turned to me and said, "You ever been to the Skydeck?" And I told him yes, but I was really 6 or 7 (turns out I was actually about 5) and it was cloudy the day we went. So he suggested we go right then.

At first I said no, because it's expensive ($19.50 per person), but he said he didn't care, and it would be fun since we had so much time to kill. So in we went! On the elevator ride up they have a video that shows all the buildings you're "passing" in height as you go up...that was pretty cool! The Sears Tower is now the 13th tallest building in the world, but it's still the tallest building in the US (okay, technically it's One World Trade Center, but only because it's antenna is taller. The Sears Tower has more floors - 108 to 104 - booya). It's one of those things that grinds Chicagoans' gears that the Sears Tower's antennas are not included in it's height because they weren't part of the architectural design, but other towers' "spires" are. It's dumb, honestly. Architects are now fancifying the antennas (ahemm, "spires") to add height, so there are a few towers considered "taller" than ours. But screw them! We still beat out half of the 12 "taller" buildings with occupied floors. So there.

Annnywhoodles. We went up up up, and saw the city from it's pinnacle:

A view of the lake...

Marathoners marathoning!

Snagging a pic with the Hancock in the background (forget about Trump tower...that silly man).

And my mom's office, which is right in the tower's sights...not crazy enough to tell you which one it is though!
After we wandered around and took a few pictures, we got in line to go in one of the glass floor sky boxes. It took ages (I think some families decide to photo shoot for their Christmas pictures up there...), and we took our own!

A view down-down-down town. The very first thing I said when I stepped in the box was "wow, that'd be a really long way to fall!" ...I'm sure people loved that ;)
Cam also took that picture above with me holding the sign for Katie, and I instagrammed it telling her I was still cheering for her from the top of Chicago! And then...

Cam got this great selfie of us :)
**Cheesy moment alert**

Sometimes, I really struggle with stopping and living in the moment. I have trouble focusing on enjoying what I'm doing because I'm thinking about all the other things I have or want to do, and it's not until later that I realize I could have done more in those moments. But Cam...well I'm grateful for him. He is the one who reminds me to stop and do things because we can, and because they are fun and we'll appreciate having done them together later.

And I did enjoy it. Spending time with Cam on Sunday was the best part of the entire day. Sure, the marathoners were super inspiring, and seeing Mama and Papa Bender was fantastic, but hobbling around the city with my best friend was hands down the best experience of the day. I'm beyond lucky to have someone so loving and fun to be with, and it was nice to break out of the routine and do something different this weekend.

So, le boyfriend, here's to two years down practically in the blink of an eye, and a lifetime to go. And with you, I know it will be the better than the best I could dream of. Love you, Bรคr.


To dispell the cheese, here's a random housekeeping item: For some dumb reason, ages ago I installed Disqus on my blog. I've never liked it but it hasn't been working really well lately which was driving me insane.'s gone now. Thank god. It should make comment moderation way easier for me (not that I really get any comments anyway *frowny sad face*).


  1. Hi Quote girl, loved your blog and pictures. I'm Erin Bender's mom Janeice. You are a very gifted writer.

    1. Thank you very much, Janeice! I'm sure I saw you (very) briefly at their wedding a few years ago, but in case I didn't, thanks for introducing yourself :)