(This is all of my loot from the race expo.)
Days Until First Marathon: 1
I can't believe I only have to wait one more day until my first marathon! I had a dream last night that I ran the entire thing effortlessly... until the very end when I had to change shoes for some reason and was only able to cross the finish line in slow motion. Very strange!
Today I was at the race expo right as the doors opened at high noon. There were hundreds of people in line to get in! News crews were there filming. How exciting! I met a woman named Gina, a New York transplant, and we chatted a bit. She's doing the half marathon. I felt very, very proud to answer "full marathon" when anyone asked me which race I was running. :)
When I got to the front of the line a volunteer pointed me to the next available person so I could pick up my packet. It was my friend Kathryn W! She is a runner from my area. It was good to see a familiar face. Next I picked up my friend Kim's half-marathon packet. She works an hour from Little Rock, so I helped her out. From there I had to go to the timing chip table. I got both of our chips (and made sure to put them in the correct packets). Then I had to go to the goody bag table. Two, please! Next I was off to the chip scanner guy who scanned each chip (through the packets) and I OK'd each of our names as they popped up on his laptop. Easy enough! Finally I went to the t-shirt line. This year each runner gets a shirt that states which race they ran. Previously they always listed all of the races on them.
Eureka! It was time to browse all of the vendor booths. I have to admit, I was feeling quite emotional just being there. I kept thinking "I can't believe that I am here. I am doing this." I felt so very proud and accomplished! I bought a pink long-sleeved Wick-Lite shirt that says "26.2 Miles and Still Smiling" from the http://www.onemoremile.net/ booth. I hope that phrase will describe me on Sunday!
I quickly found Lou, the woman who will lead my 5:30 pace group. She was great. We have been e-mailing this week trying to set up a time to meet. She complimented this blog and said her husband (also a runner) was really enjoying reading it. She wanted to find some time and read more of it, herself. She asked what was my next goal. I mentioned the 10-mile race AND the fact that I wanted to run a faster 5K. I told her my 5K PR (31:12, my first 5K, in late 2003). She said she bet I could run a 21 minute 5K one day. WOW! Thanks, Lou! I told her that I'd be needing her help. :)
While browsing I ran into my friend Sherri. She told me how proud she was of me and that she'd be cheering for me after she finished the 5K. How nice! I left the expo feeling great in every sense of the word.