I am one broken male after the weekend and the Chicago Marathon, and to say I'm gutted would be a bit of an understatement! I managed to finish it in 4 hours and 4 minutes, which although is my best time ever, is annoyingly close to getting under 4 hours like I had planned. I was still on for a sub 4 hour time as well, up until only a mile left, and just needed a 10 minute mile to finally succeed, but some knob head decided to put a huge hill right at the finish and spaghetti legs kicked in, so even though I could see the finish line in site, it just wasn't meant to be! If I didn't manage to twist my ankle 20m after the start and then need the toilet 50m later, it could have been a different story!!
I was treated like a hero though on my return home from Chicago by Candace's parents, who met us at the airport, although I don't think I deserved to be! Candace's mother had made me meatballs and spaghetti, shepherds pie and chicken enchilada's to take back home with me, so I got enough protein after my race, but as each dish could feed a family of four, i think I had better watch myself otherwise I will be returning home rather obese!!!!!!! At least it means I have food now for the next 2 weeks!
Chicago is a strange place as well, for some reason it seems to be full of traditional English pubs selling London pride, and the city is over run by homeless people (at least five begging on every street!) and I lost count of the amount of dodgy guys hanging around street corners as well. One Afro-Caribbean guy accosted me and Candace down a dark street and decided to open his heart to us by telling us how much he hated going to peep shows and seeing erect penis's. After such an emotional confession he then asked us for some spare change—it was definitely the strangest tactic of begging I have ever come across!!!!
I had the joy of meeting some of Candace's family before we flew to Chicago, including her father who I hadn't met before, and who I seemed to get along with well enough. I have a feeling he is looking to bond with me, as he has asked Candace if it's okay to take me to the world's largest machine gun shoot (which I politely declined!) and also deer hunting this weekend (which I also politely declined!!). I also met some of Candace's extended family. I must say that her family is the kind of family that you look for in your other half. Very nice indeed!! I was asked a couple of amusing questions throughout the evening including, 'how do you spell maths in English' and 'how do the English say goodbye'. I think I get the impression that some people think the English talk a completely different language!!!!!!!!
I have also learnt a lot about the drinking laws in Kentucky, and I still can't get my head around them. In Kentucky, only a handful of the counties actually allow alcohol to be served at all, luckily I am living in a county that does allow it, but if I travel 5 miles down the road, then they do not sell it at all. Also no county is allowed to serve alcohol on a Sunday, so that means no bars are even open on a Sunday. Also you aren't allowed to drink in public at all, and if I was to be drinking in a car, then the driver would get fined, not me!! I suppose these laws help me stop spending as much money!!!!! Another lesson I have learnt is never to tell people it has been emotional after meeting them, as they really do think it has been emotional and that they have brought me close to tears! I think it's a case of not getting my sarcastic nature!
Unfortunately, I don't get a nice rest after this weekend, as this coming weekend I have the Louisville Half Marathon, which should be a doddle after the previous 2 marathons in 2 weeks, although as I'm still walking like a 70-year-old man who has just shat himself, I'm not so sure at the moment. After the half marathon on the Sunday, Candace's parents have organised a party in my honour, where I have to meet and greet her family and friends. I'm just hoping I will be in a talkative mood as I'm sure I will have to answer more questions, but I love it really!!!
Its been emotional!
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