Yesterday was not a good day.  After the high of Sunday, having my best race experience ever, it was a bit of a come down.  It started of well.  Well it started of lazy.  I spent most of the morning in bed chilling and writing my blog.  Then I went on a little run/walking tour of my own creation to see Lake Michigan (which is seriously wow) and go get my Medal engraved.  I stopped to take lots of photos and discovered American Girl which is both very strange and pretty cool.  I wish we’d had it as kids.  And and and their kids large t-shirts fit me.  I know because I’m wearing one right now (and I got a free matching one for Marakey (Don’t judge, he now has two t-shirts but I ain’t even).

The Nike Chicago store were doing medal engraving for all marathon runners so I went to get mine done.  The line was actually that bad to leave the medal.  They had some pretty good crowd management going on to.  I also got to do my stair test up and down the stairs in the store. My legs are in pretty good shape. Whilst I waited for my medal to be done I went down Magnificent Mile and did a bit of a Let’s Roam scavenger hunt.  I didn’t have time to finish but it was pretty fun.

2019 Chicago marathon medal engraved by the Nike Chicago store

The lines were much longer to collect medals.  It made me a bit ill so I Ubered to the planned next stop the Skydeck.  Now I need to take responsibility for the next bit.  I mean I knew that they’d be lines for the Skydeck but I didn’t expect it to be two and a half hours.  I very quickly had a new realisation, I shouldn’t have booked it.  I shouldn’t book anything with a line really.  I planned to go but explained my situation to the guy at the entrance and he said I might by able to get a refund.  He let me through security to go and talk to someone at the ticket desk. After waiting in that line for a lifetime (20 minutes) I was told that I probably wouldn’t get my money back, I’d have to contact the headquarters, but that the line was only 90 minutes from this point and I could continue if I wanted even though, as I told him, I’d cut the line (I obviously never intended to).   I stood at the entrance debating navigating the line and my moral compass in regards to cutting the line but then deciced to go ahead.  I really wish I hadn’t.

The queue weaved around a dark room with flashing lights.  There were no windows.  No way to know if I was upside down or the right way up.  By the time I got to the top I was too far gone to get it back.  I could barely move.  I couldn’t see, barely talk, there was no seats so I had to perch on the bottom of a telescope to recover.  There’s only one window that faces the sunset because of the glass ledges that people can stand in for a few seconds for photos.  I couldn’t do the ledge because there was no way I could do another long line.  I managed to get a spot at the sunset window and it was pretty incredible but once I got there I literally couldn’t move.  I kept freezing and shaking and I was seriously so dizzy.  I thought the world was upside down.  I think if I’d just been able to stay in a spot and look at a view I would have recovered after five or ten minutes.  Maybe 15.  It didn’t happen though because every time I’d start to get it together enough to move someone would push into me or  box me in and stick their cameras in front of me to get a photo.  I zoned out from the people pointing and talking about me shaking because I don’t pay attention to that stuff any more. None of them spoke directly to me or asked if I was OK, I guess they were too busy sticking their cameras in front of my face to take a photo of the view.  When I did start being able to move I wouldn’t be able to because I was squished in so much.  Then this would make me more ill.  I haven’t stopped being dizzy yet and it’s almost 24 hours later.

Sunset from the Skydeck

It’s so frustrating because it’s such a simple thing standing in a line.  I know most people hate it but it’s not difficult.  Why can’t I just stand in a stupid line?  Usually I’d have James with me and I think I’ve taken for granted how much he protects me from the people around me and I wouldn’t need to worry about being ill because he’d look after me.  On my own I have no safety net.  I can usually maintain my illness to a level where I can take care of myself but only in the right situations.  Away from crowds, lines, loud repetitive music, flashing lights.  If I avoid triggers then the worst is being hungover in a world of fog.  It’s not nice but I can pretty much deal with it. When I get really bad though, I need to think through every step of every action whilst being hungover and drunk at the same time.  What it boils down to really is that I can’t put myself in those situations any more. Lines and crowds are out, which is pretty much most tourist attractions.

I also considered adjusting my holiday to take an easier path.  I’m due to go to Baltimore for two nights after Niagara Falls.  I did consider changing it and going straight to Washington as I’m not that girl that can do whirl wind tours of cities in a few days anymore.    I’m go slow Sarah now, sometimes don’t go at all Sarah.  Alas my hotel in Washington was fully booked for the days though and I’m a very big believer in fate.  If I wasn’t meant to go to Baltimore then the hotel would have been free. 

This post probably sounds a bit defeatist.  It honestly isn’t, I’m still going to try and do as much as possible on this adventure (and some running of course) but I have to accept that as my illness gets worse my limitations increase.  A part of me is thinking that this might be my last solo adventure.  I hope it isn’t but I’m not going to take it for granted just in case.