NOTE: NBC 5 will offer complete live coverage of the 2017 race beginning at 7 a.m. CT online and on TV. The race can be streamed live from around world on the NBC Chicago app, which will also offer a live stream of the finish line from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click here for more.
As Chicago celebrates the 40th anniversary of rambunctious running on such a jubilant day, I want all the runners to know - the difficult part is over.
You survived training.
Seasoned runners know that's an extremely exhausting but incredibly rewarding feat. If you're new to this, welcome to the club.
The matrimony to the pavement, that Apple Watch and your favorite running shoes will toe the line in a few short weeks.
Here's a list of 40 race-day tips and motivating thoughts as you prepare for the 40th Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
1. Start making your playlist now. I'm a fan of creating a list of songs that reminds me of everything from my childhood to my current birthday behavior songs.
2. Don't interrupt your nutrition as you taper. Continue to properly fuel and hydrate your body.
3. Repeat a few songs to learn the lyrics.
4. Jog or power walk, when necessary.
5. Have your family and friends create a sign with your mantra written on it.
6. Pace yourself. I repeat. Pace yourself. Don't start the race like a bat out of hell.
7. Halfway through the race mix it up. Run fast, run slow.
8. Wear gear you would normally flaunt to a long run. New gear could bring new problems, you're not prepared for.
9. The bananas and oranges will come right on time.
10. Be compassionate to your body and thoughts.
11. Halloween is near. You have more than enough time to think of the best costume of 2017.
12. You came prepared. Let the training speak for itself.
13. The dragons in Chinatown town are a thrill. Take a boomerang or selfie.
14. The infamous hill towards the end of the race is a sign: you're almost done.
15. You've reached the hill. As you turn onto Roosevelt push your chest out and lean forward.
16. Every 3 to 5 miles check in on your surroundings. What neighborhood are you in?
17. Take your earplugs out from time to time. Embrace the crowd.
18. Make sure you hydrate but don't overdo it. Drink a sip and keep it moving.
19. The inevitable will happen. Grab the vaseline. Chafing stings.
20. The patches of crowd drought will come. Turn your music up and push through.
21. It's the Windy City. While it might not be where the city got this nickname, the wind can still be tricky. If the race wind is too much, run with a group of people. Runners will block the wind.
22. The pain will come and go. Be patient with your body.
23. Break the race up into 5 mile increments. Every fifth mile celebrate it and let a spectator know.
24. Two words: Swedish fish. Have your friends and family ready to pass you handfuls on the route.
25. If you need to stop, step away from the path into a safe area on the side of the road or grass.
26. Chafing, Sweat and Tears.
27. You came to win, no matter what it takes.
28. Nothing can take the finish line away from you.
29. Your legs have wings. Fly.
30. Working through the pain is living life to the fullest.
31. You already won. The marathon is the celebration.
32. Start and finish. Everything in between is multiple choice.
33. You're stronger than you give yourself credit for.
34. Make post marathon plans to getaway and plan a vacation.
35. This is your stage and thousands of people are rooting for you.
36. As you taper, reconnect with the things that matter to you most. Go on that lunch date you've been postponing or read that book collecting dust at the coffee table.
37. Be a cheerleader for your fellow runners and show some love throughout the race.
38. Write your mantra on your arm or hand. Yell it out loud and proud.
39. Create a list of 26 local things you want to do post marathon. Visit that local speakeasy, finally.
40. Wear your medal the entire week post marathon. Affirmation on repeat.
One thing's for sure, no matter how race day starts or ends it's only temporary. Enjoy the highs and break through the lows.