After work on Friday, I flew out of LAX and landed at MDW just before midnight.
I checked into a motel and slept for an hour before I headed over to the Museum of Science and Technology.
On the shuttle to the starting line, I met a runner named Moses from Wisconsin.
We were transported back to the Finish Line where we ran down the chute and collected the medals we didn't actually earn.
Moses and I grabbed slices of Lou Malnati's pizza and found a shady spot to relax.
The conversation came easily as it always seems to when you are among other runners. Our first topic was, of course, running.
We discussed the High Altitude Training Centre (HATC) in Eldoret, Kenya.
I got excited when Daniel Kirwa walked by and gave Moses a nod. I had to remind myself that these guys were friends.
We walked around and then headed down to the Lake Michigan beach. We sat on the cement wall and people watched as we chatted.
We talked about other elite runners. We discussed the tragic loss of Sammy Wanjiru. It was almost surreal to me that I was talking to someone who knew Sammy personally.
I showed him the pictures I had taken out on the course and he was shocked that I was able to snap shots while running.
He asked me where I carry the camera and I explained how I store it in my hydration belt. He asked me if I just pull it out and click and when I nodded my head, he stared at me in amazement.
I couldn't help but laugh when I realized in many ways, he was in as much awe of me as I was of him.
On my flight back home, I kept replaying the events of the day in my head.
It was truly the perfect ending to a less than perfect race day.