Here is Sylvia and I at the Health and Fitness Expo Friday night. It was an absolute blast. We had so much fun. We checked in and picked up our racing bibs, marathon posters, and t-shirts. We went to all the booths and got fun give-aways like trial size toothpaste, little energy bars, Smuckers jellies, pens, bandannas, stickers, magnets, etc. (There was Scope too, but that doesn't mean we had bad breath. Really.) There was also LOTS of cools Flying Pig stuff to buy. We showed great restraint in this area and left with most of our money still in our purses. (but not all our moolah!$$$$) I got to meet my friend Michelle who I have known on-line for almost 3 years but never had a chance to see her face to face. She's a top marathon runner. (she actually "wins" marathons) To me it was like meeting a rockstar!!! She was really nice (not a surprise).
We went home totally pumped up and determined to bring big bucks to the expo next year. I "need" that pink jacket, seriously. (and the hat!)
Saturday morning was WET!!!! We got the most awesome parking spot thanks to Eric! It was raining, but not too bad for the start of my race. I was VERY nervous and the butterflies in my stomach were huge! I started the race and got to wave to Sylvia and Eric. (They yelled out "BOOGETY, BOOGETY, BOOGETY BOYS! LET'S GO RACING!- the traditional start at NASCAR races. It was a great way to start the race.)
The best decision I made during this race was head for the first port-a-potty I saw. Very smart. I felt much better and I ran a lot more comfortably after that. My plan was to run and when I got tired take a break and walk. However, I ran almost THE WHOLE THING!!!!! I walked at one water station and once to check my voice mail because I missed a phone call. (It was Karlin. She's so great! She told me she was proud of me and hoped I have a good race. So cool!) That's when I was just crossing the bridge over into Kentucky.
The two best things that happened while I was running was when the conductor running the train on the train bridge waved to me. I waved back and a minute later I heard behind me the train whistle blowing for all us runners. Later, while running along a street in Dayton, Kentucky we ran past a senior citizen apartment building. Several older people had come out to watch the race and several women were waving to us from the windows. I got to wave to two sweet women who had the BEST SMILES! They really made the race more fun.
The hardest part of the race was crossing the big bridge back into Cincinnati. It was the 6th mile and SO STEEP! Lots of the runners were walking. Who could blame them? Coming over the top of the bridge was so great. At that point you know you are almost done and you are actually going to survive. I could see Sylvia and Eric waiting at the "FINISH SWINE" (why didn't I get a picture of that sign?) and I knew I was done. I finished the 6.2 miles in about an hour and 15 minutes! I'm so happy. (Two years ago it took me an hour and 7 minutes. At that time I had been running all year and weighed 20 pounds less than I do now. ) Sylvia and Eric congratulated me and then Sylvia walked me down to the goodie tables. We got the coolest hand towels!
We rested back in the car and snacked until it was time for Sylvia's race, the 5K at 11 am. I'm not going to write much, because it's her deal and she's a better writer anyway. But I will say-SHE WAS AWESOME!!!! It was absolutely POURING rain at the beginning and for about the first half of the race. These are pictures of us on the Kentucky side of the Purple People Bridge heading back into Cincy.
After we crossed the bridge we headed to the finish line. I skipped ahead off to the side (because I couldn't cross the finish line since I didn't pay for the race. I was just the walking buddy.) I got to stand be Eric and cheer for Sylvia as she finished the race. It was a great moment to see her accomplish her goal.