Thanks again to everyone for your comments and your concern -- it really is touching how many of you care about me. In general, I'm touched by how many people have been inquiring into how I did on the race and how I'm feeling (in all regards): my friends, my family, my colleagues, my running group coach and fellow group runners, even students have been calling, dropping by and emailing to see how I am -- so even though it was a rough race, it has helped remind me what a large network of supporters I have, and that's very valuable.
Today, I am still feeling a bit out of sorts -- lingering headache and some slight vertigo (which is also the result of flying -- I am very sensitive to motion sickness and I usually feel a plane or boat ride for days after I'm done with it) -- and while I considered using a sick day for today, I decided that ultimately I have too much to do at work and too many students to catch up with, so here I am -- at school like a good little soldier.
Certainly, in retrospect, there are things I would have done differently (brought a fuel belt), and there are things I think race coordinators could have done differently (anticipate that hot runners will take more than one glass of water), but in the end, this was a unique race day and no one could have fully understood beforehand what would happen. So I'm not bitter about the experience. It was a disappointment, of course, (I mean, if I think about the money, time, and effort that I spent on this singular race I get a bit down) but ultimately focusing on what is now the past is rather fruitless.
As I said yesterday, I'll learn from the event (and I hope other runners, coaches, and race organizers do as well) and I'll apply that knowledge to my future running. For now, I don't see a marathon in the near future, but I was thinking that pre-Chicago. I think I'll focus on some smaller events and races and just see what happens. Specifically, I'd like to work on a PR for a 5K and I'd like to complete a half marathon, so those goals are now what I'm beginning to think about.
Anyway, I still want to post pictures of the race and from our trip (plus, I do have lots to tell you about the trip overall -- which was great BTW), so I'll post again soon to provide you with some lighter material. Until then, congrats to all of those who were able to finish Chicago, and congrats to all of those who gave it their best shot! And lastly, thanks again for all of your emails, comments, and calls -- it has been wonderful!