It was ridiculously hard, but I didn't order any wine--just had water with dinner. I didn't touch the bread basket, and I ordered a half-order of pasta. I got spaghetti marinara, which ended up being about one cup of pasta with a half-cup of sauce. I added a little parmesan cheese, (along with all the basil leaves that nobody seemed to want on their food--blasphemy!) and that was that. It was delicious, but I still managed to stay on track. The desserts at Biaggi's are amazing, but thankfully, not many people ordered dessert, so it wasn't in my face to tempt me.
At the hotel, everyone was drinking beer; but again, I stuck with water. I even bought a little container of grape tomatoes to snack on, which was totally unlike me. Lately, I've really liked those little tomatoes for some reason! I was super tired, and I actually fell asleep while everyone was hanging out in our hotel room.
For breakfast, I brought a Special K oatmeal cup and an orange, which worked out well in a hotel room. We had to leave the hotel at 6:00 for the race, and there were 18 of us (three full relay teams of five people, plus three others who came to spectate). We squeezed into TWO vehicles--I was in my brother-in-law's truck with EIGHT other people. It was crazy, and so hilarious. We had six of us in the back seat, and we were all crammed in there. We tried so hard to get a picture, but you can't see just how cramped we were.
Because we had three relay teams (Here for the Beer: 1, 2, and 3), we all decided to run together. So runner #1 on each team stuck together as a trio. Then they passed the bib off to runners #2, who all stuck together; and so on. So we went to the first exchange to wait for the first three runners to come through.
I was runner #2. I was totally undecided whether I was going to do this race or not until the last minute. I eventually decided to go for it, because my doctor had given me the okay to try the half-marathon next weekend in Indy, so I figured that if I ran today and had a problem, then I certainly have no business running in Indy.
While we were at the first exchange, I saw Jessica and Renee, who were doing the relay as well. Stephanie was running the full, and she put together a relay team to run alongside her, just like my sister did last year. She'd asked me to join, but I had already committed to doing the relay with my family, so I wasn't able to. I saw Stephanie go by the first exchange, so I cheered for her. About 10 minutes later, our first three runners came through. Kendall, Nathan's girlfriend, handed the bib off to me.
I ran with my sister, Jeanie, and her friend, Jen. We had the longest leg, which was 6.1 miles. I hadn't run at all in about three weeks, so I had no idea what to expect. Thankfully, my leg seemed to be doing great. We took the pace very easy, and I was actually pretty discouraged at how difficult it felt to run at such an easy pace! Jeanie and Jen said, "It's so nice to run at such a relaxed pace--so much more enjoyable" and I wanted to kick them. I was barely able to talk at all, because it was such a struggle for me.
I never had any major problems with my leg, but by mile five, I started questioning whether I could finish. I was dying! Right at the perfect moment, I saw an older man with a jacket on that said "Larry" on the back. And I said to Jeanie, "Do you think that's 1000 Marathons Larry?" We met him at the Rockford Half-Marathon in Illinois, where he was running the full.
We asked him if that was him, and sure enough, it was (although now he goes by "Marathon Maniac Larry"). I was really excited to run into him! I asked him what number marathon it was today, and he said 1,486 (I think--I know it was 1,400-something). Crazy, right?! Even crazier, today's was his third marathon THIS WEEK. He ran Boston on Monday, another marathon yesterday (I can't remember which one he said), and then Glass City today. He's 70 years old, and running marathons every weekend!
I chatted with him for a few minutes, and Jen took a couple of pics of us. Larry is the nicest man! If you ever see him at a race, make sure you take a minute to chat with him. At that moment, I was glad that we were at the back of the pack at this race--otherwise, I wouldn't have run into him!
We moved past him, and continued on. That last quarter mile took every ounce of energy I had. When we got to the relay station, I passed off the bib, and then walked away from the exchange station to cry for a minute. I was just so frustrated that I've had to take so much time off of running, and that running right now feels so hard when it used to feel so easy. I figured that there is no way that I can do Indy if I just practically fell apart after six miles.
I only cried for a minute before rejoining the group. Today was supposed to be all about fun, so I didn't want to dwell on how I felt about my run. I was definitely grateful to have finished it, and that my stress fracture didn't give me troubles.
The rest of the race went well, and I had a blast cheering at the relay stations. That's my favorite part about this race! The relay stations are so much fun. Once we left the last relay station, we headed to the finish line. I knew Stephanie was hoping for a sub-5:00 finish time, and it was getting really close. I was watching for her, and looking at the clock. She came through the finisher's chute and finished in 4:58-something! I was really excited for her.
Just about 20 seconds later, our relay runners came through, so most of us joined them in the chute to run across the finish line. It was a fun finish! (Jen got some really great pictures of the finish but I don't have them yet).
|Nathan, me, Brian, and Jeanie|
I stopped at Subway on the way home for some lunch, because I knew that there was going to be a ton of junk food at the party at my parents' house. I brought some flavored water over there, so I could drink that instead of beer. And I managed to avoid so many temptations: my dad's fried fish, tacos, burgers, a brownie trifle, Better Than Sex cake, and a three layered cake with buttercream frosting. It was really difficult not to just say, "Oh, screw it, I'll just start over tomorrow"... but I've been saying that for a year, and I really am super determined to get back to goal sometime soon. I certainly could have chosen to use my weekly points on some of this stuff, but I want to get back to the point where I feel totally in control and okay saying no. I don't have to eat that crap every time it's in front of me!
Anyway, today was SUPER fun hanging out with my family. This was the first race that all three of my siblings and I were able to participate in together. Even better, our spouses did it, too! (And I'm putting Kendall in the "spouse" category, because she and Nathan are pretty serious). We're already planning to do it again next year!
|Siblings & Spouses: Me, Jerry, Kendall, Nathan, Brian, Becky, Shawn, and Jeanie|