Maree’s 26.2 Journey is my Blog about training for the Chicago Marathon this October. I am an intern at Eastbay this summer, and this will be my first marathon experience. You can follow my Blog to learn what it’s really like to train for your first marathon.

This has been one of the hottest summers that I can remember, which makes marathon training even more of a challenge. The heat was especially noticeable this last weekend when I was in Chicago for the three-day Lollapalooza music festival. I went running before heading to the concerts on Friday morning; it was already 75 degrees at 8:30 am, and the temperature only climbed from there. There are two miles between my apartment and the start of the main Lake Shore path along Lake Shore Drive, and for those two miles I felt tired and dehydrated. However, once I got to the path I took full advantage of the water fountains along the pathway. I must have drank about a gallon of water throughout my six-mile run, but after getting all the water in my system I finished off the run strong and felt great at the end, which just goes to show how important it is to stay hydrated.

The three days of concerts were definitely a cross-training experience. After day two, my friends and I were so sore that we could barely walk up the two flights of stairs to my apartment. We were on our feet from 11 am to 11 pm all three days, and we did a lot of walking to different concerts and dancing to our favorite bands. Again, I was amazed at how I can run over 10 miles and still be sore after a day of just going to concerts.

Lollapalooza consists of over 130 bands performing over three days on eight stages, so there was quite a lot of exercise moving around Grant Park to see all of our favorite performers and standing and dancing among huge crowds. Attendance of the festival reached 240,000 people this year, which is a new Lollapalooza record. It was a really fun weekend, and unexpectedly a great workout, too. Watch this Lollapalooza Recap video to get an idea of what the festival is like.

The crowd at Lollapalooza 2010.

I plan on downloading a lot of music from the festival onto my iPod so I can have a new running soundtrack. I am definitely going to add more Green Day music, since seeing them live on Saturday night was more epic than I could have imagined. Of course, Lady Gaga is always great pump-up music, and now after seeing her live I will get even more of an adrenaline rush listening to her hits. We also saw AFI and Against Me!, which are both excellent punk-rock bands to listen to while running.

I’m definitely going to have to remember to drink a lot of water and listen to energetic music when I do my 15-mile run in the heat this coming weekend. I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll make it through the whole distance!