Shazaam! I’m back and ready to be regularly blogging once more. Didya miss me? . It’s okay if you say no, I know you have a life outside the interwebs just like I do. What? She has a life other than posting pictures of her food and talking about running? Shocking but true. It’s almost a secret double agent thing I’ve going on here.
Vacation was awesome and I was so glad for the time to unwind and enjoy life. Although, something odd happened while I was in the Sunshine State — I couldn’t get enough sleep! I slept approximately 10 hours EVERY NIGHT and took naps on some afternoons. Then, I’d fall asleep watching a movie. Craziness. At the beginning of our trip, I was also super achy and I couldn’t touch my toes — I could get no farther than my shins. But as soon as I returned to my Midwestern home state, all my symptoms disappeared. Bizarre-o. I have a theory that the median state age of 75 was giving off vibes that made me feel I had oldpersonitis.
Today was an awesome day because I got the chance to pay back some pretty special people for their incredibly inspiring cheering during my half marathon.
That’s my sister in law, Kate, and my father in law, Jim. Today, they safely completed the Flying Pig 2010 Half Marathon. . Let’s back up a little.
Sam and I accompanied them on the trip to downtown Cincinnati to pick up their race packets and tagged along for the health expo the race sponsors had set up. Talk about freebies. It was incredible.
No, the Asics apparel was not free. I wish. I got excited nonetheless. Especially when I saw this tent.
Up until the discovery of the LaraBar tent, I had been telling myself, “now, Bethany, this isn’t your race, this isn’t your free stuff. Do not take a tube of free toothpaste from the P&G people. You aren’t entitled to that Ohio Healthy Living magazine.”. That all went out the window when I saw free samples and they encouraged us to take one of each flavor. Generous folks, those LaraBar vendors. Double smiley face. :)
You know what happens when you’re surrounded by all those booths in a throng of runners? You get a hot, steaming case of race envy. It wasn’t long before I was plotting my next move, picking up pamphlets on upcoming races and mentally checking my calendar for open weekends. I’ll save my plans for another post this week.
The day of the race (this morning) dawned bright and early — in fact, it came before dawn. We had to travel about an hour and a half to the race location (downtown Cincinnati), so the whole crew was up and at ‘em at 3:45. Yikes. I am totally feeling it now, in case you were wondering. *yawn* I think you understand in my stupor I forgot to photograph my brekkie, but it was a delicious Arnold’s Multi Grain sandwich thin, natural creamy PB, a stick of string cheese (mozzarella? who can be sure at a quarter to four?) and coffee. Good, strong coffee. Thank heavens for coffee beans.
It poured and lightening-ed and thundered the whole car ride down to the race. Poor Kate, this was her first half-marathon. I kept wishing the rain would stop so she didn’t have to run in it…but my good thoughts did nothing and Mother Nature was quite a…well, I think we all know.
I have to say, it was almost more stressful watching the race than it was when I was the runner myself. My personal sense of urgency was supah-high because I didn’t want to miss a single opportunity to wish Jim and Kate good luck. Bopping from one mile marker to another in time was no easy feat, either! Especially in flood waters and torrential downpour. I am so impressed by their determination. SO impressed. They were FO-cused.
While we waited at each of the three marks (mile 0.25 — haha, right after the gun went off, mile 4 and the finish line), we cheered on other runners. I would be lying if I didn’t admit I turned into a sentimental sap when I saw t-shirts that read things like “this is for Mike” and “I’m gonna fly this pig”. I got swept up in the emotion. I tried to be uplifting and motivating for all these strangers with “good job!” and “you can do it!” and “you’re looking great!”, but at one point, my lack of sleep caught up with me and I yelled, “real runners do it in the rain!”
I thought it was clever when it was rolling around in my brain. Instead, it came out odd and slightly creepy. Ah, well. Perhaps I motivated someone to run faster away from me . Like this blurry gentleman.
I got a good shot of my family members just about the cross the finish line and the *poof* it was over. Amazing how so many months of training is climaxed by one 2+ hour race. I’m so proud of them — they looked happy and relaxed all the way to the end.
Afterwards, we got Mexican. Because you know, when you’ve been up since 3:45, Mexican brunch at 10:30 seems logical.
I got my usual — chicken enchiladas and they did NOT disappoint. We found this hole in the wall restaurant (one of few open at 10:30am) and it was incredible. The mole sauce was so authentic — holy MOLE! Haha. (Ah, there’s that fatigue talking.)
If you’re even in Newport, KY on Monmouth Street — La Mexicana is the way to please your estomago.
Post race meant loading the car, driving home to our actual house, staring mouth-agape at our forest of a yard (dandelions as tall as elephants, I tell you) and wondering why we left sunny Miami for the rainforest that is now our hometown. May showers bring….flooded basements?
Dinner was a copy-cat of one I see all the time on the Healthy Tipping Point : sweet potato and baked beans. Yum. The beans I found (at my super thifty neighborhood store: Aldi) are pretty rocking, nutritionally.
For a 1/2 cup serving: 100 calories, 0 grams fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 grams fiber, 3 grams protein…and ALLLLLLLL NATURAL. I threw in a side of strawberries for good measure.
Now that I’ve given you cross-eyes with this text heavy post, I’m off to make a tasty treat I’ll share tomorrow.
Have you ever been on the “other side” of the race — cheering people on? How did it make you feel? Were you nervous or just glad you weren’t running?