As I’m sure you can guess, this weekend was pretty action packed so I’m splitting my recap into a few parts. And I suppose the best place to start is the beginning! On Friday, the Huz and I dropped Bodhi off at the in-laws and headed down to DC. My friend, Kristin, graciously welcomed us into her newly purchased home and informed us that we’d even get our own bedroom (hers!). After meeting the cats (3) and getting the grand tour (the house is adorable!), we ventured out into her neighborhood for a quick stop at Target and Home Depot. I want to know what they put in the air at Target b/c it just isn’t possible for me to leave there without spending at least $60. What is up with that?! On this trip, we picked up a new chef’s knife (a housewarming present), and a few miscellaneous items (super soft, inexpensive sports bras!).
At Home Depot, we grabbed three bundles of fire wood in preparation for our dessert.
Later in the afternoon, my other wonderful friend, Doug (this photo is of both Kristin and Doug at my wedding last year):
joined us and The Huz went to work at the grill, cooking absolutely fantastic steak and baked potatoes for us. Sadly, no wine was enjoyed with dinner since, you know, we were running a marathon in 36 hours. But the meal was still delicious. After we’d cleared the table, Kristin stoked the fire and handed out freshly gathered sticks for, you guessed it, S’mores!! I completely adore s’mores and our many years in girls scouts together had Kristin and me reminiscing over sticky fingers and crumbly graham crackers.
Saturday morning dawned warm and bright, contrary to the rainy forecast, but the rain started almost as soon as we drove onto the Beltway. Thankfully, it was just a sprinkle so we didn’t mind parking a few blocks from the convention center and walking to the marathon expo. I was so thankful the expo location was moved this year. When Kristin ran in 2006, it was in a tent outdoors someplace and we all had to stand outside in a line, waiting to get in while the wind gusted around us. Not quite the best way to keep our muscles warm and loose before a marathon! This time, the expo was spread out over the main space in the convention center and it was perfect. As we headed toward packet pickup, Doug and I started joking with Kristin that it wasn’t too late for her to change her mind and run the race too. She’d registered with me after the cold and muddy 10k back in March but life has a funny way of getting in the way of our best laid plans sometimes and between registration and race day, Kristin was busy finishing graduate school, working a full time job, picking up two part time jobs, volunteering, and, oh yea, buying and fixing up a house!! Not surprisingly, marathon training had gone on the back burner a bit and she hadn’t had a chance to run more than about 13 miles. After a solid 10 minutes of good old-fashioned peer pressure (what are your oldest friends for, after all?), she caved and picked up her bib and packet. I promised her I wouldn’t pressure her anymore and that at least now she had the option of running.
With that out of the way, we took in the sprawling expo with wide eyes – it was huge! Rows and rows of price-slashed shoes (I picked up a new pair of my running shoes), Gu and shot blocks (we picked up Gu for Kristin and grabbed a back-up pack for me too), super cool zebra headbands (for Kristin), and advertisements for other races (including the Pittsburgh marathon – represent!!). I admit, I dragged my two friends around for quite a while, determined to take full advantage of this expo. I also grabbed a super cool pace tattoo and can happily say I’m still sporting it with pride (though much to the in-laws chagrin). Last, but most certainly not least, I spotted someone’s name out of the corner of my eye. Around the huge Clif Bar booth and across from the line for smoothie samples, I saw her – Kathrine Switzer. For those who don’t know who she is, she’s the first woman to register and run a marathon. She’s also an incredible writer. I bought her book at a race in Maine in 2007 (the race was all women + 1 man!) and I was totally star struck to meet her then and get her autograph in my book (which I read during my training for Nike 2007 and brought me to tears countless times). This time was no different. I walked right up and gave her a HUGE hug, blathered on for a few minutes about how we’d met before, the book, the race, etc. Honestly, I probably completely embarrassed myself. But seriously, this woman is a total fireball and a tremendous inspiration to me. Then, I asked her if she wouldn’t mind signing my race shirt:
and taking a picture with me:
I was grinning ear to ear all afternoon!! After my celebrity sighting, we happily met up with the other superstar runner of our little group (Kristen), and headed to lunch with some other great friends (part of the Boston crew).
I was a bit nervous about eating restaurant food the day before the race, but I ordered a veggie burger that was fantastic – black beans, corn, mushrooms – yum – and it was served with veggie chips! After we bid farewell to our friends, we headed home to rest. We all passed out for several hours and woke up just in time for dinner. Kristin had started a fresh batch of her homemade tomato sauce the day before and it was just as delicious as I remembered it. The savory flavor of her homegrown tomatoes mixed and melted with a touch of sugar, roasted garlic and the last minute addition of ground turkey. Served over a healthy portion of pasta and with a big glass of water, I was fueled and ready to rock. We stayed up just late enough to gather our gear for the next morning – I finally settled on my race outfit, attached my bib number, pinned my Gus to my shorts, set out my breakfast and selected my post-race apparel. We were in bed and dreaming of blue skies and fast feet by 10:30pm!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the recap, where I’ll break the race down mile-per-mile. I don’t want to say too much, but I’ll leave you with this shiny teaser….