Monday, May 17, 2010

I Left My Camera at Home, So I Illustrated this Post with Paint.

Friday, I drove down about an hour south of Cleveland to sleep over at a friend’s house. We gorged ourselves with Olive Garden (smoked mozzarella fonduta owns my life – I LOVE THAT STUFF), then waddled to the movies to Letters to Juliet, a movie she choose. It has been quite a few years since I’ve seen a movie in a huge megaplex– we get most movies from the library or Redbox, and sometimes the local little indie theater. My verdict on the movie? It was a pile of clichés, ridiculous characters, and terrible writing. I adore Amanda Seyfried in Big Love, but even she didn’t make this movie better. There may have been a great deal of eye-rolling during movie. I may be heartless and unromantic, because I think most of the girls in the theater loved it. ALSO – the most ridiculous trailer I’ve ever seen in my life. Owls flying in slow motion, their fur blowing in the wind as dramatic music swells – am I really supposed to take this seriously? I giggled hysterically both times they showed the preview. Again, this is probably some Big Deal and I’m heartless and clueless. Oh, well. It’s hilarious.

 I couldn’t sleep past 6:30 the next morning, so I left to go home. By 9am, I was back home and had grocery shopped (20 minutes in Trader Joes and I’m done shopping for the next two weeks. Booyah.), stopped for coffee, and filled my gas tank. It was a productive morning.

That afternoon, the marathon festivities commenced – and didn’t stop for the next 24 hours. We rode our bikes a few miles (which was both totally awesome and tiring in my current physical state) and carpooled downtown with the other runners in Mike’s group. (He was part of a group that raised money for children in Cleveland and Madagascar as they trained for the 10K, half, and full marathon.) We picked up their racing packets and promptly ate all the delicious samples Mike got – I am pregnant and he is training for a marathon. With our appetites combined, we are ready to eat at any time. Downtown was crazy busy and I got hives when I thought driving and parking there the next morning, so our friend agreed to drive us there and we could take the train home. Public transportation was cheaper than parking, anyway. Score. 

We drove part of the marathon route and then back to Mike’s school where all the runners and their families had Mass and an amazing pasta dinner together. They said it was a “spaghetti dinner” – it was really an amazing salad, orecchiette with spinach, mushrooms, and garlic, and the best parmesan breadsticks I’ve EVER HAD. Oh. And watermelon and oranges for dessert. Yum. I gorged myself for the second time in two days and we rode our bikes back home in time to get in bed by 9pm. On a Saturday night. We live a wild life, my friends.
 (I know. This looks nothing like a scale.)

The alarm went off at 5am on Sunday, and after a few minutes – I was surprised at how human I actually felt. It was sort of invigorating to be awake and out that early. Aside from supporting Mike, I had signed up volunteer in the media room while Mike ran. Plus, I wanted to be there for all the excitement of the race! I’d never actually seen a marathon – just 5 and 10Ks. The crowds were HUGE – the lines for the Porta Potties were insanely long (everyone was trying to get their pre-run *ahem* taken care of, I imagine) and people were just flooding the streets, sidewalks, hotel lobbies, EVERYWHERE. I have never seen so many people before 7am in my life.

We parted ways just before 7, Mike and his friend went to the starting line and I bought a banana for breakfast, and then had the most pathetic volunteering experience of my life. They didn’t actually need volunteers, so instead we got to crash the VIP breakfast and sit around talking (and eavesdropping on the press interviewing the winners). After two hours of this, I just left and went for a long walk for two hours. I actually quite enjoyed walking downtown alone for a few hours. 

I knew Mike hoped to finish the marathon around four hours, so I headed to the finish line 30 minutes before I expected him to be there. I didn’t anticipate getting as emotional as I did watching people run their last minute of a 26.2 mile race. Running a marathon is an incredible commitment of time and energy to train – and I could tell by the looks on the faces of the runners how much it meant to them to be finishing it. Some pumped their fists in the air, some hobbled along in obvious pain, a few were accompanied by a little kids racing alongside them, and one mom ran over to the crowd, kissed her son and daughter and finished the race. I’m getting teary-eyed again as I type that. It was just adorable. It was inspiring to see all the different sizes, shapes, ages, and types of people finish the race.

A college student who’d had open heart surgery a year ago finished the marathon and I decided that I want to do this. I want to run a marathon. Someday. (Last December, I mentioned to Mike that perhaps a marathon would be my 2010 goal – train for nine months and run a marathon in August. Little did I know this August I’d be in a whole OTHER kind of marathon.)

I actually feel guilty and a bit lazy for not running anymore. I tried to run last week for a few minutes, but had to stop because of a cramp in my stomach. I’m inspired enough to go get a belly support band and see if that helps a bit. I miss being exhausted and sweating and my feet pounding on the pavement. 

Aside from all the inspiring, making-me-want-to-run hoopla, I also saw one of the Worst Things Ever:

 Can you tell what that is? It’s a man whose shirt rubbed against his nipples so much that they BLED TRHOUGH HIS SHIRT. *shudder* I can’t even think about it. Ew ew ew.
We spent the next few hours hanging out, seeing other runners we knew, and visiting the beer garden before taking the rapid back home – nine hours after we’d left that morning. The afternoon and evening was a blur of napping, take-out, and Friends. My body was pathetically sore from all the walking, but complaining about that when Mike had just run for four hours? Didn’t get much sympathy for some reason. I did get a nice little sunburn, though. And we signed a petition for more humane farms in Ohio - giving chickens enough room to turn around and sit down instead of having to stand on top of each other. So radical.

Oh, and Mike ran the marathon in just under four hours That is about nine minutes a mile for ALMOST FOUR HOURS. I am lucky if I get two nine-minute miles in a row. And I am four years younger. (He ran a marathon eight years ago and his time was 20 minutes shorter. He thinks he's getting old.)

I am pretty much married to a superstar.
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