May 18, 2012

Cleveland (Day 1)

I'm here in Cleveland! I can't believe it's actually the marathon weekend. I'm terrified out of my mind, but there really is no turning back now. I didn't get much any packing done yesterday, so I had to get up early today and pack. Estelle was extremely curious, per usual:
We finally headed out at about nine o'clock this morning. We had just gotten on the Ohio turnpike (a toll road that has VERY few exits) when Eli said he had to go to the bathroom. And not just pee, either. We started waiting for an exit, and I got worried he was seriously going to poop his pants in the car. I was tempted to just pull over and let him go outside, but we finally saw an exit to another highway. We found a gas station in the middle of nowhere.

Of course they didn't have public restrooms, and they told us we had to use the porta-potty outside behind the building. A six-year old boy, porta-potties, and a germaphobe mom don't mix very well. Jerry just took care of Eli and I sat in the car pretending that he was in a nice, clean restroom somewhere. So our drive started off very well! I read my Runner's World magazine, and I read something that I found hysterical (and totally something I would write!):
The hotel said we could check in early, so we went right there and unloaded our stuff. Then we decided to go to Melt Bar & Grilled for lunch. I had seen it on The Food Network, and I'd heard really good things about it. When we got there, I immediately thought, "This place is awesome!" The decorations were really fun. When the host took my name to wait for a table, they had me pull a fake name tag from a basket... and I laughed when I saw it:
"San Dimas High School football rules!"
The menu was amazing. They had some really creative sandwich concoctions! They had a special that looked extremely interesting, and I was tempted to order it just for the novelty of it. But I'm not a huge "deep fried sandwich" kind of girl.
"The Glazed & Very Confused Donut Bacon Burger Melt"... an 8-oz ground steak
burger; crisp hickory bacon; glazed donut; herb cream cheese; sweet berry
jalapeno jam; then slathered in donut batter and deep fried to sweet perfection.

Crazy, right?! I didn't want to get a "plain Jane" sandwich, so I picked something that sounded like it might be really good. The "Turtle Pizza Roll Melt", which was described on the menu as: "authentic pizza rolls, homemade marinara, basil pesto cream cheese, provolone & romano". The "authentic pizza rolls" cracked me up--no off-brand pizza rolls for this sandwich! ;)

When the food came, I was kind of shocked at how huge it was:
Ohmygoodnessgracious, I am not lying when I say that was the BEST sandwich I've ever had!! It was SO good. Before I took a bite, I figured I'd eat half so that I wouldn't get too full. But once I ate a bite, I just couldn't stop. I ate the entire sandwich, about 1/3 of the fries, and about five bites of the coleslaw (the coleslaw was good, but I wanted to fill my belly with the REALLY good stuff). The basil pesto cream cheese was amazing.

When we left Melt, we went to the Great Lakes Science Center. Jerry and I went there before, and I remembered enjoying it; but today, I wasn't impressed. We spent $55 for the four of us to get in, and about half of the exhibits weren't working. We were done in about 20 minutes, but then there was a play area that the kids played in for a long time--so at least they had fun doing that.

When we were done with the Science Center, we came back to the hotel because the boys were excited to swim. Tomorrow, the kids are actually going to do the Kids Fun Run--I'm so glad that they want to do it! I had to bribe them--I told them I would give them each a Gu before the race if they would do it, lol. Then we'll probably meet up with Jessica, Renee, and Andrea. Not sure exactly what our plans are for the afternoon, but we have dinner reservations at Buca di Beppo tomorrow to carb load.

By the way, thank you so much for the nice comments on my post yesterday! I was embarrassed posting those pictures, but from what you said, it sounds like I'm just being too hard on myself. I wish I didn't see all my flaws, but it's hard for me to see what other people see. I'm glad I picked the looser yellow shirt--especially after that sandwich I ate today! ;)


  1. yay! sounds like your marathon weekend is off to a great start. your blog is pretty much my favorite blog - I love reading your posts. you inspire me SO much!!! and fwiw, you picked the best shirt of the bunch and look fabulous. enjoy your weekend!!!!

  2. oh, also- my neighbor is a VP at under armour and I had never even heard of that until i started reading your blog. LOL. but since i started reading your blog, i got inspired to start running and am now running a 5K in june. :-) i am going to see if my neighbor can hook me up with some clothes. LOL. i am so proud of you for doing this marathon- i know you keep saying it will be your ONLY marathon- but who knows? do you think you will ever do one again? i can't wait to hear how you feel after you are done on sunday (or maybe next week when you're recovered)...

  3. Good Luck and have a blast! I love reading about your adventures! (LOVE the name tag quote from Bill and Ted!!)

  4. Om nom nom, that sandwich looks so good!

    Love the pic too, your hair looks awesome like that.

  5. I just want you to know, i was born in San Dimas, CA!

  6. I'm drooling your sandwich sounds and looks delicious!

  7. I don't know if you'll have enough time but, when my kids and I were in Cleveland last May, we had an amazing time at the zoo! It's big, beautiful and VERY clean. I was so impressed. My kids had a great time and honestly, if my 13 and 16yo's love a zoo, it has to be good lol

    I hope you have a great little get-away with your family and am sending you good thoughts for Sunday!!

  8. I loved the shirt that you ended up with. You look great(in all of the shirts). Good luck on your 1st marathon! You are an inspiration!!!

  9. That sandwich place looks awesome! I live south of Toledo, so I'll have to give that a try the next time in Cleveland.

    You looked great in all of the shirts, but I know exactly what you mean about seeing all of your own little lumps n bumps. Even if people tell me I look great, I won't be comfortable if I feel weird in it. The bright yellow shirt is an awesome color & it sounds like you feel comfy in it - perfect marathon shirt! Have a great race!!! :)

  10. So glad to hear you got to experience Melt! I'm from Akron and make the trek up to Cleveland once every month or two to indulge in its deliciousness!

  11. Sounds like a good first day in Cleveland! Too bad about the Science Center though, that's disappointing! Enjoy Buca di Beppo, I love that place!!

  12. See you soon!! I might just run to that restuarant while you guys are running and order that sandwich eat and meet you guys at the next point! YUMMY!!!

  13. Adam Richman and Man vs. Food was at Melt! I think food won that round. Did you see that if you get a Melt tattoo you get 25% off for life?!? I guess you REALLY have to like grilled cheese to go that far!

    Hope you have a great day today!

  14. haha, the name tag, HILARIOUS, just because I always say that, only, preceded by "It's like computers..."
    Good luck on the marathon. I'm feeling your heat woes. I've got a craft booth and it is blazing hot under my tent. Granted I'm not physically exerting myself like you are.

  15. So very excited for you! I hope your trip continues to be exciting and fun! I think its wonderful your kids are with yall! I wish I had brought mine down to see my hubs cross the finish at his marathon! Kick some a$$ tomorrow!

  16. Ha ha, I laughed out loud at your name tag! Love that movie!!

    Hope your today is great, too--rest up tonight (well, as best you can) and enjoy your time with friends!

  17. My cats help me pack as well. Good luck tomorrow Katie!! I am so excited for you!

  18. AnonymousMay 19, 2012

    That sandwich looks amazing, Katie!!! YUM! I would totally eat that donut one right now, too. You know, since it's breakfast time. :) Wishing you soooo much luck this weekend! But you won't need it - you are READY!


  19. Katie,
    As I get ready this morning my my big 7 miler, I was wishing you luck this morning. Both my wife and I love following your posts. As a newbie to running, with hopes of a marathon next year; you are inspirational!
    ~Josh & Jessica

  20. It sounds like you're having a blast! I'm glad your trip is going well. I saw that question in RW and texted a photo of it to my friend. It cracked me up.

  21. Loved this post. As a non-runner I especially enjoy your posts about your regular and like this weekend not so regular life. Estelle in the suitcase cracked me up, she just wanted to go along!
    Then the story about Eli having to "go" particularly cracked me up. When my boys were younger, we had a similar experience only we couldn't find anyplace to stop. We had a big cup from a convenience store so older son held it while younger son started peeing. He really had to pee badly though, and as the cup got fuller and fuller, older son started to panic. It's one of those stories we still laugh about.
    I wish you the best of luck on your marathon tomorrow. Remember if you walk for part of it, it's not a sin or a failure. I understand your terror. I feel it every time the phone rings and it's an offer to substitute teach. Hope I get over that soon. I know you will do great and will be the cutest runner out there!

  22. CourtneyMay 19, 2012

    Hey Katie good luck in Cleveland!! Melt is by far my family and I fav place to go. My fiance and I live right by the one on the east side so we constantly go on Friday nights because of their amazzinnggg beer list! Cant wait to hear about the marathon,your going to do great!! This has to be one of my favorite posts, maybe cause im a proud Clevelander, never the less enjoy your trip:).

  23. AnonymousMay 19, 2012

    Katie, I'm so excited for you I cant stand it!!I cant wait to hear the report! I love your yellow outfit! I stress over what to where for every race. I just completed my first half in Nashville 3 wks ago. 2:25:59! It was hot and hilly! Melt looks awesome! A coworker and I have to go to Cleveland in Sept. for work and I am def going to have to check it out! Good luck, and remember the "nerves" fly away when the gun fires! Deb from TN


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