Visiting Chicago is a challenge for me. I was born and raised in the area until I was seventeen. Then I moved back in my twenties for a few years.

I know so many fun people in my life and have good memories in that city. On the other hand, I have a lot of misplaced anxiety that serves no purpose and makes me weird.

If you’re a basic bitch, you take all that negative energy and make poor choices. If you’re me, you’re still a mess; however, you try to create new memories to replace the old ones.

This past weekend, I flew into Chicago for 30 hours to see my girlfriend and walk through Frank Lloyd Wright homes. We had been planning this for at least six months, although we’ve been talking about this event forever. And it was an excellent cultural experience, although it was initially stressful. Beyond the fact that I’ve been on the road too much and wasn’t excited about cramming in a weekend in Chicago, I also had to prepare my marathon (also in Chicago — October 2016) by running for 1:40 minutes before our home tour.

It was rough.

I woke up at the ass-crack of dawn. I accidentally packed my husband’s running socks, so I wore them. I didn’t bring my stash of running snacks, so I grabbed some Twizzlers from the hotel gift shop (in case my blood sugar levels felt sketchy). And I ran the best I could for a woman who’s been in three hotel rooms in four days.

It’s like — exercise? At this ungodly hour? Please. Let me sleep in this stuffy hotel room for twenty more minutes.

But running is one of a limited number of ways that I can live with my general anxiety disorder and not stab someone in the face. And if there’s any place that makes me feel stabby, it’s in Chicago. So I woke up and found some peace in the woods.

Beautiful morning for my first long run of the marathon season. #chicagomarathon #runchi

A photo posted by Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann) on

Next time, I’ll pack better socks.


  1. Loved this post Laurie. I know both the anticipation and excitement of marathon training. And I love that you are replacing your old notions – a sort of reclaiming of Chicago for your mind. Godspeed to you.

  2. Sounds like some weird stuff went down in Chicago? Good idea to run through it. Looks peaceful. I can’t run anymore (hips, knees, blah…). I do miss it with pictures like this where it’s just you and the road (read: pain) 🙂

Comments are closed.