Friday, October 1, 2010

Twin Cities Marathon: Friday

This is the first of my three posts from the Marathon. I had to break it down because otherwise it would be a novel. This is more of a journal recap of events so that I know what works for me on marathon weekend.

I woke up at 545am to get ready for Michelle Hazelton to pick me up. I had a mango smoothie with rice protein powder and was soon ready to go. Michelle arrived right on time and dropped me off at the airport, where I checked one bag and made my way through the security and to the gate. I hung out with Mike, Andrea and Bill until we boarded our plane. I was able to read most of my book and the two-hour flight flew by.

I arrived to the Twin Cities on Friday in mid-morning and Bill and I almost couldn't find our luggage because the carousels were confusing and unmarked. Somehow Mike found it though and had already grabbed my bag, which was rocking a WF label since it was my official travel bag back in my college XC days. My parents picked me up from the airport and we went to Holiday Inn - St. Paul in hopes of checking in early. Fortunately for us, they let us check in around 10am, which was amazing! As soon as we got to the room, I pulled my parent's luggage off of the luggage carrier, and a game in a 5-lb box crashed onto my left big toe, causing it to bleed and bruise. I immediately iced and tried not to freak out as it was throbbing. I decided to give it a go by running with Mike. We met in the lobby for an easy 5 miles along the Mississippi River with Chloe Shea in the jogger, and my dad in tow. I could feel my toe if I landed on my foot a certain way, but my thoughts of worry vanished as I realized it wouldn't affect my marathon in just two days' time.

Afterwards, my parents and I headed to Whole Foods for a healthy lunch of a sandwich with some salad. Once we returned to the hotel, we walked to the expo which was across the street from our hotel. I met Bill briefly, but we eventually lost him in the flurry of activity and the bustling crowd. Jordan texted me and told me to stop by a booth where his co-worker from The Genesis Agency was and to ask for Lee. I did just that. I bought two pairs of Balega socks and, in return, Lee gave me three packs of Nuun, and a Nuun water bottle. I was a happy camper and glad to support my favorite training partner's company. I walked by the Cascadian Farms and Larabar booths three times so I could get as many free samples as possible. I came out on top.

I also learned something about big marathon expos: get your marathon gear the first day of the expo, or as soon as it opens, so that you can get the size you want in Official Marathon Gear. I was lucky enough that my parents bought me a really nice Brooks all-weather jacket that had a nice emblem of the marathon's logo on the right side. When I went again on Saturday, all of the jackets were gone, except for ten Extra Larges.

Next, my parents and I made our way to the Elite Hospitality Suite at the Crowne Plaza, which was about five blocks from the expo. There were snacks such as crackers, Fig Newton's, bagels, peanut butter, and soft drinks and gatorade for the elites. It was a very nice setup on the 20th floor, overlooking the Mississippi. I picked up my race number and my bag for gear. Soon, it was time for the massage I had made on Thursday, and I headed to the pool area where I would wait for the therapist to come get me. I noticed a young blonde woman sitting at another table, and I wondered if she was another elite. Turns out we ended up in the same massage room.

Meeting Ruth Perkins was the best thing that could have happened to me this weekend. A bubbly blond, an alum of Seattle Pacific University, mother of two toddlers and a personal trainer, Ruth made me feel at ease and confident. After asserting that she got faster after having two kids, I found out that her marathon PR was 2:50 and that she was also going for the qualifier, with a race plan to run 2:44, an average of 6:15 pace. We found out that our other PRs were right around the same time, so she offered that we work together. The kicker was that she wanted to go out in 6:10, but I wanted to go out in 6:30. We both agreed it wasn't good to steer away from our respective race plans and dropped the subject. Little did I know that we would end up working together and actually recruiting other women to run with us during the race.

After our massages, we found out that Ruth and her husband Dean were also staying in the Holiday Inn, so we invited them to walk back to the hotel with us. They checked in, and when they walked to their room, they could hear our voices, and Ruth knocked on our door to tell us that they were just across from us! Fate brought us together on this trip, I swear. Ruth gave us the idea of running the last four miles of the course, since she was taking the bus tour of the marathon course on Saturay, and then jumping off at Mile 22. I didn't like the idea of sitting on a school bus for two hours, so we stole from her the next morning and had my parents drive us.

Already it was time for an early dinner, so I coordinated with Mike and Bill to meet at an Italian restaurant just down the street from the Holiday Inn. Bill walked from the Crowne Plaza to join us and we had a great conversation and enjoyed watching Chloe Shea eat her ravioli with her fingers. I could tell my parents were having a great time, talking running with Bill and learning more about Andrea and Mike. They loved hanging out with the CRC crew!

Once we got back, I watched Dexter on my mom's laptop and read some of my book that I needed to read by the time I got back to Charlotte so that Meagan could read it for our book club meeting in a week. Lights were off at 9pm and I put in my ear plugs and slept until around 2am, when the people in the room next to ours were having a party with twelve people. I found out the next morning that Ruth went over and told them to be quiet, and then when they didn't listen to her after another 15 minutes, called the front desk. We were all woken up from their rowdiness. Other than that, I slept great!

Check for the Saturday's course of events soon.


mrn said...

all i took from this post is that jordan is your favorite training partner. thanks a lot.

caitchris said...

hahaha. i still have three more posts.

tom said...

she also said the elitists get the best snacks. elitists.

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