I have been sitting on a big secret for WEEKS and I have been dying to write about it... and today is the day I can spill the beans!
As I've mentioned a few times, my sister (Jeanie) is running her first half-marathon tomorrow. She only started running in December when I planned the Runs for Cookies Virtual 5K for my birthday. She made a goal to run the 5K, and she did the Couch to 5K program to get there. And she did it!
Then, she decided to keep going, and started doing 10K training. And then 12 weeks ago, half-marathon training. Jeanie lives in Illinois, and I thought about going to cheer her on at the finish line, but there were a few factors keeping me from that--money, time away, and the family reunion tomorrow.
When I mentioned to Shawn (Jeanie's husband) that I was hoping to see her finish, he told me that Jeanie would be thrilled if I was there, and even more so if I ran it with her. He said that Jeanie was worried about running it by herself. I knew this race was a HUGE deal to Jeanie, and I didn't want it to be a bad experience.
Shawn and I talked about the logistics, and we got it all worked out--he wanted to buy Jeanie a gift for doing the half-marathon, so he said it would be ME :) Hahaha, so I booked a flight to Chicago, and registered for the Rockford Half-Marathon.
It was SO HARD not to say anything to Jeanie about it. Remember when we went for a run together a couple of weeks ago? She talked about how she was going to be running alone, because she's a slow runner, and didn't want to hold Shawn back (it's his first half-marathon, too).
Jeanie reads my blog, so I couldn't write anything about it--even though I was DYING to. I wanted to keep her from suspecting anything, so I wrote a few things that would throw her off. I mentioned going to the family reunion, doing my long run on Thursday, having a nice relaxing "rest day" today... nothing too obvious, but things to throw her off.
This morning, I got up at 4:30 to get ready for my flight. Jerry drove me to the airport, and I got on an 8:55 flight to Chicago. When I got to Chicago, I had to get on a bus to take me about another hour to where my sister lives. Shawn picked me up from the bus station, and Jeanie was at work until noon, so we went back to their house and waited for her to get home.
While we waited for Jeanie, I showed Shawn how to use the video on my phone. I wanted to get a video of the surprise. He even practiced it a few times to make sure he knew how to do it. Then we heard Jeanie at the door, and I ran and hid. Shawn told her that he got her something she could run with at the race tomorrow, and told he to close her eyes. Then I stepped out next to him, and he said to open her eyes.
She was completely surprised (and thankfully, very excited)! In retrospect, she thought of some things that seemed a little odd, but she hadn't thought much of them, and they all make sense now.
I was really excited to post the video here, because everything went even better than I'd hoped, but unfortunately, Shawn accidentally took a picture instead of video--and the picture wasn't even a good one! I thought it was hilarious, and I feel bad for him because he was so worried about messing it up. So you'll just have to use your imagination :) Here is a pic we took afterward:
So anyway, I'll be running the Rockford Half-Marathon side-by-side with my sister tomorrow! I'm staying the night tomorrow night as well (we have to celebrate, of course), and then I'll head home on Monday.
Many thanks to Shawn, my mom and dad (for helping with the kids), Jerry (for being a stay-at-home dad for the weekend), and Jeanie's friend Jen (who made sure that Jeanie would have Monday off work, because she was in on the secret, too).