Sorry friends this may be a longer recap than normal, but there is just so much to tell you all about!!!
Thursday morning I rose bright and early to catch a 5:30am flight off to Chicago! I brought a simple and healthy breakfast from home to take with me on the plane.
I landed in the beautiful windy city around 3:00pm and headed downtown for our first RunWESTIN meeting!
I checked in at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel and was very pleased with the super comfy bed!
There was a nice little workspace to check emails at. I was also blessed to have been gifted unlimited amounts of STARBUCKS while here!
As soon as our first meeting was over, I ordered dinner. I love that their menu has so many â€œhealthierâ€ options. They really believe in building a colorful plate.
Dinner was Potato Crusted Salmonâ€¦ heavenly.
I hit the hay early and got up at the crack of dawn for a 30 minute run on the riverfront. I also did a little Summer Shred strength workout in their state-of-the-art gym.
For the next three days my outfit pretty much consisted of one of RunWESTINâ€™s super cute New Balance shirts, shoes and black capris. Did you know that when you stay at a Westin they have a GEAR LENDING program? Westin Hotels & Resorts have a partnership with New Balance that allows guests to rent sneakers, workout tops, socks, shorts and pants at any of the 190 Westin properties for $5. Westin locations also provide running maps of the area for guests to use. Fun little fact!
So if you forget your shoes, shirt, sports bra or socks, they will lend you some for just $5 for your entire stay???? AS A RUNNER, I thought this was genius! They really are the RUNNERSâ€™ CHOICE hotel!
At 8:30am, we all met downstairs for breakfast at the Sheraton, where I enjoyed an egg white veggie omelet and stayed clear of the home fries!
After breakfast, it was on to the Rock and Roll Chicago 1/2 Marathon Expo! I love love love EXPOS! I always feel like a kid in a candy store!
Our booth was pretty sweet! Love how clean and stylish it looked.
Here is some of the GEAR LENDING itemsâ€¦
While I was at the expo, I got the chance to work with some fun new friends that Westin hired to help us out for the weekend. We were handing out free pace bracelets to runners as well as telling them about Westin Hotels & Resorts’ VIP Packages that they will be offering starting in September 2013. I loved getting a chance to chat with some pretty accomplish runners!
Runners have some great stories to tell and when you get a chance to listen, your minds will be blown!
After working the booth, I headed over to the Westin Hotel to work at the front desk as the RunWESTIN Concierge. A little taste of what the job would look like (fingers crossed). Welcoming guests comes naturally to me, so this part was just as fun!
The day didnâ€™t end there. I headed back to the Expo for a little EXPO STAGE interview with the other candidates and John Bingham! Such a funny guy. He made the interview a lot of fun.
Then we were off to our hotel to get spruced up for a little VIP Roof Top Party at the Wit Hotel downtown. I canâ€™t remember the last time that I got to get this dressed up! I even wore eye liner!
The BEBE dress was courtesy of my beautiful friend Susie. I was really surprise that my hair was cooperating with all the humidity!
When we got there the place was packed!
What an amazing view!
The event was put on by the Rock and Roll Marathon corp. They had some amazing appetizers, sushi, grilled tacos, sliders and gourmet mac-n-cheese. I enjoyed mostly sushi and…
I just had to try a slider!
One of the other finalist and I called it a night early as we were still on PST and were about to pass out!
We had a little time to ourselves on Saturday morning so I spent some time reflecting on everything that I am so thankful for. With everything going so fast, sometimes just being still for 5 minutes refreshes my entire soul!
I enjoyed a clean breakfast in the club loungeâ€¦
â€¦and then I was on my way again!!! Loved walking down the Magnificent Mile all weekend!
All kinds of fun things to see.
Day 3 was a lot like Day 2â€¦ Expo and Front Desk.
When I had a chance to take a break, I enjoyed an Apples nâ€™ Greens from Jamba Juice to keep me moving!
At 5:00pm, we all met up to take the Westin VIP Members on a fun 2 mile run along the lake to loosen up their legs. What I didn’t tell you is that all of this was done on CAMERA! I got a taste of what it would be like to be on a reality TV show!
By the time dinner rolled around, I was SPENT! My feet were ready to be up and I was pretty hungry! I ordered a Shrimp Salad and some Veggie Pot Stickers. The Veggie Pot Stickers were probably not the healthiest choice, but I thought, â€œWhat the heckâ€¦got to live a littleâ€.
On SUNDAY (my last day) the alarm went off at 3:15am and I shot right out of bed! I was ready for some marathon action!
Even though I wasn’t running it, I was super excited to wish everyone â€œGood Luckâ€!
Before we headed to the start line, we got to encourage runners at the Westin VIP Grab and Go Breakfast.Â Lots of wonderful healthy pre-race fuel. Dry cereal, coffee, juice, toast, bananas, peanut butter, oatmeal, fresh fruit and much more!
At 5:30am, we headed to the start line!
This was a moment to remember! All three RunWESTIN finalist got a chance to give a little last piece of advice to all 20,000 runners on the MAIN STAGE! Talk about thrilling!
After the start of the marathon we headed back to the Westin to congratulate all the VIP runners! It was so encouraging seeing their faces of achievement! We also gave them ice and water for recovery. After the last runner came in, we all parted ways and headed back to the airport.
I enjoyed a lovely Quinoa Veggie Bowl and glass of Cab to wind down before my flight took off.
Right when my first flight was about to take off, I got a call from United that my connecting plane in SF to home was cancelled!!!! Hubby wasnâ€™t too happyâ€¦lolâ€¦
Thank goodness they put me up in a decent hotel room so I wouldnâ€™t have to stay in the airport all night.
I took off this morning at 6:55am and had one last hour flight to HOME!!!
I was greeted with these amazing flowers and dark chocolate from my MANâ€¦
â€¦and when I walked into our house my other man couldnâ€™t keep his paws off me!!!
Someone was a little busy this weekend and put in my much wanted/needed giant white board as an anniversary gift (6 years on Sunday). I will be doing a HOW-TO post on this soon!!! All this for $30! Yupâ€¦ Iâ€™m sure that catch your attention!
And the Best Husband Award goes toâ€¦â€¦ MATT MCCORMICK!
Well there you have it folksâ€¦ my weekend in a nut shell! I wonâ€™t find out if I got the job for a while and even when I do hear from RunWESTIN, I have to keep it â€œhush-hushâ€ until mid-August. So patience and prayers appreciated!
I will tell you this, after getting a feel for the job and really getting to experience it for myself, I know that this would be a great fit for me. But God has my path planned for me already so Iâ€™m blessed either way!
To be continuedâ€¦
What do you think about the Gear Lending program that Westin offers?
Have you ever been to Chicago?
Whatâ€™s your favorite hotel to stay at when running a marathon?