I needn't have worried. People grow and change, yes. But a person's basic Personness, the essence of their being, what drew you to one another and connected you through space and time... that is constant. I don't believe a person can change their basic nature, any more than they can change their DNA or their ancestors.
We talked about the present, we talked about the past, we talked about the long-ago, and then we talked about the future.
Put another way, we talked about what matters little, then about what used to matter, and finally we talked about what matters most.
It was... Restorative.
I broke every rule in the book as to how to prepare for race day. (Here's another good post from Run Eat Repeat)
- Drink lots of water! (Yeah, I might have had a bottle of water. I may also have had about 32 ounces of soda, which is somewhat counterproductive, especially on pre-race day.)
- Don't drink alcohol! (Um, there may have been a glass of bourbon. Or two. Or three. Actually, it's possible there were more than three. Let's not talk about it anymore. *burp.)
- Go to bed early! (2 a.m. IS early!)
- Get plenty of sleep! (Does 4 hours sound like "plenty" to you?)
- Eat your Normal Race Day Breakfast! (I failed to pack my normal PowerBar Trail Mix bar, and my substitute breakfast was far from Normal. It WAS familiar, however, as it was Dunkin Donuts.)
- Don't wear anything new! (okay, I didn't wear anything new, so that one rule remains intact. I also managed to remember to pack AND charge both my Garmin and my iPod, so I had that going for me.)
We took tons of pictures:
of each other,
of our food,
of our drinks,
of each other taking pictures of the food and drinks.
Yup, it was a right true and proper giggly-poo, and I couldn't have appreciated it more.
Oh, right. This is a race recap.
The race was pretty awesome, despite what can best be described as a mild hangover and lack of sleep.
And off we ran. I was feeling pretty good, given the circumstances, but the lack of a warm-up left me wondering if I could get through the whole thing. This shouldn't be hard. Suck it up. You sucked up all that booze last night, you can shut up and run now. I took 30 seconds to walk the water stop, but otherwise, just played Jillian Michaels (aka devil's advocate?) in my head and reminded myself that my legs will do what they were meant to do. The only failure possible here is a failure to maintain mental focus, control and confidence. I did get lapped by a fat guy pushing a stroller at one point, though. That was discouraging!
The end of this race is SO COOL! I didn't realize (having never reviewed the course map) that before you cross the finish line, you race through the concourse, not just outside the ballpark, and finish beneath the famous Wrigley Marquee! There were racers pausing to take photos or video at that point, but I was so near the finish line I couldn't bring myself to slow or stop: I still thought I might have a chance at a PR. It was close! (We went back through after the race was over and took some photos, but it's really not the same without all those racers flowing through...)
Once you exit the concourse you're only feet from the finish line (another photo from after the race), and I checked my Garmin:
|Yes, another PR! About 20 seconds off my previous best.|
|I believe this photo was taken WHILE we were being scolded and asked to leave....|
|The famous ivy...|
So here's the thing: the race results are WAY off and MUST BE IGNORED.
There are also photos "of me" based on my "finish time" - I am in NONE of the photos. Because that is NOT my finish time. So while I loved the experience and will happily run it again because I had a BLAST, I must say this race was NOT well-organized. I'm sticking with my Garmin time of 34:13.58 with a pace of 11:08/mi. And I'm happy to have the photos I have. Though it's sad, because it's only $7 to download all the photos... too bad none of them are of me!
More shenanigans ensued after the race, involving the bar next-door... a lovely place called Murphy's Irish Pub (big surprise, an Irish-themed sports bar next to Wrigley Field?) which had a novelty: a Bloody Mary bar!! This was new to my experience: you order a drink, they hand you a glass of ice and vodka, and you head over here:
|Choose your version of Bloody Mary mix and additives!|
|Liz, having too much fun?|
|Too many great fixings for your beverage!|
When we'd had our fill of Blood Marys we discovered hunger. Liz took me to a fantastical, magical place called Tweet, where we ate (and drank) like queens.
Finally, it was time to head home. One last photo and I hit the road. What a day!!
I have one last thing to say: