Sorry that I didn't get to do a Motivational Monday post yesterday. I'll save the submissions for next week!
I'm not going to get into all the details of the weekend, because it would take several posts, but here is a quick rundown and some pictures...
Jerry and I got the kids off to school and then headed to Indianapolis. It's a four-hour drive, and I was super excited to get there. We stayed at the same hotel we always have for the race, the Embassy Suites Downtown. We stopped at the airport to pick up Paige and Martha. Bonnie and her friend, Nancy, were already at the hotel. We went to the expo for a little while. Our hotel had free happy hour from 5:30-7:30 every day, so we took advantage of that.
At 8:00, Jerry and I went to the airport to pick up Thomas and Cat... and a surprise Sole Mate, Hilary! I had been keeping it a secret for so long, and was super excited to bring her to the hotel. Nobody knew she was coming. When we got to the hotel, we went into the room where everyone was hanging out, and I said I picked up a surprise at the airport. Then I opened the door, and in walked Hilary. There gasps and tears and smiles all around, which was perfect! We went for a late dinner at Chipotle, had a couple of drinks at the hotel, and then went to bed.
On Friday, we had breakfast at the hotel, and went to the expo again (with everyone this time). Rik, the captain of my From Fat to Finish Line team, and his wife, Cynthia, drove in from Wisconsin that afternoon. We had dinner at Buca di Beppo. With my sister and her friends, there were 20 of us, and the restaurant did a fantastic job with such a large party. After dinner, we hit up happy hour at the hotel again. It was so great to have time to chat with everyone!
|Dinner at Buca di Beppo|
Everyone was up bright and early for the race on Saturday. Saturday morning was bittersweet for me. I felt like a loser for being the only runner in the group NOT running the Indy Mini (half-marathon), but I knew I'd made the right decision. I'm just so tired of this stupid stress fracture! Anyway, we had a quick breakfast and then everyone made their way to the corrals. I walked with Jerry and Rik to their corral. Rik was planning to pace Jerry for his first half-marathon, so I knew Jerry would probably have a great race. I gave him a quick hug and kiss, and started making my way to the finish line to wait. Cynthia isn't a runner, so thankfully I had some company.
|Cynthia and me at the finish line|
The 5K was finishing up when we got over to the finish line. We found a good spot to stand and cheer on the runners. Watching the back of the pack of the 5K was awesome! There were so many inspiring people--very young kids walking with a parent, people in wheelchairs being pushed by a loved one, very overweight people who looked like it was a huge struggle, but were so proud to cross that finish line--all sorts of inspiration!
After the 5K finished, we only had to wait about 10 minutes before the hand-cyclists and wheelchairs of the half-marathon started coming through. I'm always in awe when I see them finishing a half-marathon with their upper body strength alone! While we were standing there, Lise, a reader of my blog, stopped by to say hello! I'll save her story for Motivational Monday, but it was her first 5K, and she did awesome.
Shortly after the wheelchairs came through, the elite men started making their way across the finish line. I got a great photo of Elisha Barno, the first male to finish:
|Elisha Barno (I like to imagine I look like that when I run! haha)|
After the elites finished, I started getting some text updates from everyone else in the race. I'd signed up for notifications, and it was exciting to see each one come through. I knew Thomas would be the next one to finish, and he finished right when he predicted--1:42:26. I managed to have some good photography skills with my iPhone this time, and got a great pic as he ran by!
Jerry was due to finish in around 2:10 (actually, I'd told him to try and beat MY first Indy Mini run time, which was 2:10:40). Right as I was explaining to Thomas that we'd know from far away when they were coming through because Jerry would be acting very goofy and easy to spot. I pointed to a couple of people and started to say, "Just like those guys", when I realized that it WAS Rik and Jerry! And sure enough, they were showing their excitement ;) I hurriedly grabbed my phone and started snapping pictures.
Even though I was practically in their faces, Jerry never spotted me. Rik saw me, though. They crossed the finish line in 2:09:03!
I knew that we had about 20 minutes before anyone else would finish, so I started making my way to the post race party to congratulate Jerry. I'm SUPER proud of him! He really worked hard to train for this, fitting in his runs even after working 12-hour shifts.
I headed back to the finish line to watch the rest of the group finish. I had told everyone to finish on the right-hand side of the street, where I knew I'd be standing; still, I managed to miss Cat, Becky (my sister-in-law), and almost missed Hilary and Paige, who were running together. I caught them at the last second, so I didn't get good pics. But I got a fantastic picture of Bonnie!
And of my sister...
Once everyone had finished the race, we went back to the finish line party where everyone could talk about the race. Again, I felt totally left out because I had no stories about the course or even a medal to wear, but I really did have a great time at the finish line. We took some fun pictures.
|Martha, Jerry, Rik, Thomas; Cat, Paige, me, Hilary|
|Jerry faces all around|
|I love this picture of Paige and me!|
After the race, we went back to the hotel so everyone could shower. Then Jerry, Thomas, Rik, and Cynthia went to see The Avengers movie, while the rest of us went to get frozen yogurt for lunch. I didn't "earn" it like the rest of them, but I certainly wanted some, too! Paige showed us how to make what she calls "yogurt lasagna"--where you start with a layer of toppings, and then add a layer of fro-yo. You bang it on the table to get the air pockets out, and then repeat. We each made a huge cup of frozen yogurt, and it was worth every mile that I didn't run that day!
|Mine is on the bottom right|
That evening, we stayed at the hotel and ordered pizza. I had one more big surprise for the group, so after we ate, I headed down to the lobby to wait for the surprise to show up ;) I had a drink with Jeanie, Becky, and Jen at the hotel bar, and explained to them what was going on--Dean was driving in on his motorcycle after work! Dean had a very important event going on at work all weekend, so he wasn't able to make it to the race. A couple of weeks ago, he decided to make the 2-1/2 hour drive to Indy after work on Saturday, and then drive home early on Sunday morning.
Jeanie, Becky, and Jen came up with a story to help me carry out the surprise for the Sole Mates. When Dean arrived, I went up to the room first. A few minutes later, Jeanie, Becky, and Jen came in, and Jeanie said they'd met some guy at the bar and he came with them. Everyone looked slightly uncomfortable, like, "You picked up some guy?!" and then in walked Dean.
It was AWESOME--everybody was very surprised and excited to see him! There were screams and tears and hugs once again, which was so fun. Everyone kept exclaiming about how thin Dean is now, and I forgot that they hadn't seen him since Ragnar last year. I've seen him a few times, so I'm used to him getting smaller and smaller each time!
We went down to the hotel bar and played Cards Against Humanity for a while. Then we got a group picture of all the Sole Mates--and I loved this "outtake" photo! We were laughing so hard as we tried to figure out how to fit us all into the picture.
The next morning was sad all around, because everyone started heading home. Saying good-bye is hard, because you never know when you're going to get together again. Jerry and I left at around 11, and Thomas rode to Michigan with us for a short visit before heading home to Portland yesterday. We played Keno on Sunday night. Bonnie had PR'ed her half-marathon with a 2:22:22, so I played my usual numbers plus "22"--and I did pretty well!
Yesterday, while the kids were in school, Thomas, Jerry and I went to The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. Even though I've been there several times, I still like it--I always notice things I hadn't seen before. Then we went to La Pita for lunch, since Thomas has heard so much about it on my blog--thankfully, he loved it as much as I do!
After the kids got out of school, we all went miniature golfing and took a ride on the go-carts. It was so much fun! The last time I had been there was when I was probably 17 years old and on a date with Jerry, so it was nostalgic in a way. I took Thomas to the airport at around 8:30, and then headed home.
The whole long weekend was AMAZING, and I had so much fun with my Sole Mates! I want to do Indy next year, because seeing the finish line really made me want to run the race again. And I'm going to try and start planning another Sole Mates reunion for next year (not at Indy, but another fun place).
Now, it's back to the norm!