Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cleveland Marathon Part 1 - Travel and Expo

Hello Beautiful People,

Well Cleveland was a whirlwind weekend. I had hoped to tell you all about it while I was still at my brother's, but I was too preoccupied with my cutie pie nephews. They get all of Aunt Jennie's attention.

I left for Pittsburgh on Friday. I had clients in the morning and then got on the road. Well after a quick stop at Starbucks. I was so anxious to leave that I forgot to asked for an iced drink. I had to put my air conditioning on high for the first couple of hours. It was a free drink and I had a long drive ahead of me. That Venti would last a while.

The drive was beautiful through the mountains. It just stunk on my knees. It was my first time making that drive so I had a hard time trying to figure out lunch. Ideally I wanted a Subway, but I kept finding them in Gas Stations and I opted to keep moving. I finally couldn't take it and pulled over after a few hours for gas, a potty stop, and a Subway stop. I ate my ham on flatbread there and took my chips for the road.

I started my drive at 9 am and didn't arrive until almost 7pm. Of course I hit Pittsburgh around Rush Hour...and I had been drinking a lot of water. You do that math. Basically, when I finally pulled in I couldn't even hug the nephew before I bolted upstairs to the bathroom.

I got my Hello snuggle from Nephew and then went over to meet my new nephew. Oh so cute!

Luckily dinner was just about ready. Ms. Theresa made an awesome chicken and mashed potatoes meal...mmm...mashed potatoes, my happy place. 

I played with the boys as much as I could, but after I gave nephew his bath and put him to bed I was ready to pass out. I had a big weekend coming up.

It took us a little while to get on the road in the morning, but we were on the road around 11. We took two cars. My brother drove ahead of us, and I rode with Ms. Theresa and the boys. My knee was feeling a little tight from the drive the day before.

We drove to the hotel first to use the bathroom and leave a car. Then it was time to head into Cleveland to the packet pickup expo.

The start and finish lines were blocks apart from each other. We drove by the start line at the Field where the Indians play baseball. The Finish line was over by the football stadium and right next to the convention center.

We were still hungry, but figured we would see what food they had there. The first step though was picking up our bibs. It was a little thrill to see my name on my bib. Yeah, that was pretty cool. Then we needed to head downstairs for our shirts and the rest of the expo.

I got a Large shirt because I always go Large for women's shirts. I need that boob room for running. When I held the shirt up it seemed a bit big, but that's okay. *I wore it the day after and it is a bit big on me. Hooray!

We decided to split up and check out the exhibits on our own. It wasn't that big. My first stop was the Run for Autism table. No one was there so I made a bee line for the consessions stand. All they had to eat were $4 hot dogs and $2.50 mini pb&j sandwiches. I opted for the pb&j because I was deliriously hungry.

I went back to the Run for Autism table and Ms. Katie was back. I had some checks to give her and she showed me where she would be on race day. I made sure she knew that I would be finishing at the end of the day. She said she would be there. Hooray!  We talked about the team. There were 13 on the team I think. We were spread out among the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K.

I got a couple new stickers and a Cleveland shirt, then I went to watch the video of the course. I had no idea what to expect. I taped it so that I could watch it that night (I forgot and didn't do that).

Before we left I found the Bondiband table. Oh you KNOW how much I love my Bondibands. I got two with patterns and one that felt very appropriate:

One of the exhibits was for a Christmas Story 5k in December. What I wouldn't give to be in that....but alas, that s Marathon #3 weekend. I really need to pay attention to my new headband. lol.

After we left, we drove to see part of the course. We were looking for a spot where Ms. Theresa and the boys could try to see us. The road was a pretty drive and I saw the flag mile markers up. I got a little thrill seeing them. We went to a spot that would be mile marker 15 going one direction and 20  going the other way. When we got back on the highway I looked over and saw the skyline of Cleveland. I commented on how far away it looked. It's a good reminder that Marathons are not your 5K.

We went back to the hotel to unload then then we needed to get our carb loading on. We found a pizza place close to the hotel so Brother and I headed over for some take out. I ordered some pasta with a couple of meatballs. I'm not sure I breathed when I ate it.

I also made sure to finish a Gatorade while we were at the hotel. Oh the hotel was fun. There was a prom. So we did a lot of prom dress watching.

Brother and I got spent some time getting our stuff ready for the morning. We would be leaving around 5am.

I got my ipod ready. I got my fuel belt ready. I got my race gear ready. All I had left to do was to get my legs ready. I brought my resistance band along. I got on the floor and spent some time stretching my calves, hamstrings, and hips. I felt nice and relaxed when it was time to get in bed.

I had limited my caffeine intake for the day so that I could pass out. I just kept thinking about my insomnia the night before the first Marathon. I had been told that it doesn't matter how many you do, it's a common occurance.

My body was tired, but my brain was still a little anxious. I honestly didn't know what I would do in the morning. Would I stick with the Full Marathon or just take the Half Marathon course? I wasn't 100% sure that my body was going to make it. Remember what I said earlier about my knee feeling tight? Well I was limping all over the expo. My knee kept locking and stopping me in my tracks. I kept that information to myself. Amazingly I was able to fall asleep and stay asleep.

So what happened on Race Day? You'll have to come back tomorrow to find out.

Before I go, I must wish Tony Stewart a very happy Birthday. But, first he must call me!

Have a Blessed Evening

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support. 
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