Back in 2004 I went back to Chicago to attend the 100th Anniversary celebration. It was quite the soiree! One of my closest friends and I decided that we'd go back to the annual reunion every five years. This was that year! So Chasen, Isaac and I headed up there (by car) on Thursday night. We drove half way (4 hours) and stayed the night in Mt. Vernon, IL. On the way we stopped for dinner at Lambert's Cafe -- home of the 'throwed' rolls. They literally throw delicious rolls to/at you.
On Friday we made the rest of the drive. Isaac did really well, I must say. Thank the Lord!
Aaaah - in the hotel at last.
We stayed in the south suburbs because that is where the reunion was to be held on Saturday morning. Upon arriving I met up with my fave girl Martina, as she was staying there, too. She snapped this photo of the very happy Isaac.
On Friday night more old friends who would not be able to come to the reunion were able to stop by our hotel. We had Giordano's pizza (the best pizza ever!) and I even drank half a martini. Look out, world! We all stayed up gabbing until 11:30 PM, which is NOT the way I usually approach the night before a long run.
By 6:58 AM on Saturday morning I hit the start button on my Garmin. I was running in Tinley Park, IL -- although I would ultimately pass through several 'burbs. John wanted me to run 13.1 miles continuously. Wha???? AND he wanted me to maintain a 12:20 pace. Double wha???? I set off saying "Let's do this thing."
For the first three miles I felt so heavy... like my legs just wouldn't move. I thought to myself "Well, even if you go slower than prescribed, maybe you can still just run the whole thing continuously." After three miles I took a gel, and the next thing I knew I was speeding up. It was just easier on me to try to run a little faster. I was to my halfway point before I knew it. I beat Martina (my pit crew) there! In fact I turned around and met her at about 7.12 miles or so, where she gave me a new G2, more gel and she showed me some awesome motivational signs that she had printed off for me. What a gal, that Martina!
When traveling, I like to do an out-and-back course so I do not get lost. Well, I have no idea how, but I managed to get off course -- and my cel phone had died. I asked a local runner that I spotted for the best way to get back where I was going, and we determined a public running trail would be the best way. That trail was hilly as all get-out. My heart rate was soaring, so I actually took a break. I finally exited the trail, and was still off-course. This time another runner pointed me in the right direction. Oh the kindness of runners!
I knew I was behind schedule for the morning, so I really had to hustle to finish up so I'd be able to get both Isaac and myself ready to go to the reunion. Martina had planned to meet me a ways away from the hotel and run me in... but as it turned out, I was too far away thanks to my missteps, so she just picked me up where I finished and we zoomed on back!Here I am after finishing 13.1 miles.
John wanted me to run 12:20 miles, as I said before, which would have made the finish somewhere around 2:40 - 2:42. Here are my splits: 12:28, 12:41, 12:30, 12:07, 11:49, 11:52, 12:11, 11:43, 12:06, 11:46, 11:50, 12:04, 12:46, 1:00. That makes for a grand total of 2:39:01!!! Wow! The average was 12:09. Yay! Who knew?!?
I had to run the majority of it on concrete. OUCH. My hip flexors hurt for the rest of the day. Our hotel room only had a shower, so I had to take a "poor man's ice bath" by letting cold water pelt my sore legs. After that, I was off to the reunion!
Here we are, so of the ladies of the 90's!
Isaac is still under the weather, so I really dreaded the 8-hour drive home. All things considered, he did really well. The trick was always having one of us always sitting in the back seat with him. There's no better entertainment than Mommy and Daddy! Considering our stops, we made it home in 9 1/2 hours. That is such a long drive for a little one... so needless to say Isaac has been ecstatic to be able to lay down, crawl around, etc. Now I have a mountain of laundry to tackle. I feel like Kate Gosselin. *smirk*
This week will be extremely challenging, both running-wise and life-wise. Wish me luck!