Thursday, December 13, 2012

Marathon Weekend Recap: Day 2

First, sorry its taken me a few days to get this up.  My daughter came home from school sick with double ear-infections yesterday and taking care of her has kept me pretty busy.   And again, I apologize in advance for rambling, this is very detailed because I want to remember the details of the weekend!

Day two, or Friday for future reference, was set to be a pretty laid back day.  My mom and sister were set to arrive from Alabama that morning.  My sister was going to stay with Tommy and the kids in the hotel and mom and I were going to go for a tour of St Jude.  After parking at the convention center, Mom and I walked across the street to the Marriott to wait for the tour bus to take us over.    

Mom and I with the box of cards - showing a sample 
Of course, we weren't empty handed, we were toting nearly 300 card for the kids of St Jude!  A month or so before I left for the marathon I decided I wanted to do something a bit more personal for the kids of St Jude.  After discussing it with my mom, the crazy idea was born.  She read somewhere that there were around 80-90 inpatient children and they see nearly 200 patients a day.  Our goal was to make cards for one day.  I managed to make 87 cards with the help of my daughter (she did 15 or so with my help).  Thanks to my mom's help (she made nearly 100), the help of several friends, and my daughter's girl scout troop we were able to surpass that goal.   

The tour of the hospital was emotional for my mom and I.  Having lost Tammie to a brain tumor we both found ourselves thinking "if only this had been around when Tammie was sick."  They have gone to great extremes to make the hospital a non-sterile looking environment.  From beautiful murals on the walls and fun decorative floors to patient artwork and photos around the hospital.  We heard all about the things they do at the hospital to make the kids feel more comfortable and at home.  I think we could have had a better tour guide but overall a very meaningful thing to get to be within the walls of a hospital that is making such great advances in the fight against childhood cancer.   I am going to share a few photos now, I may do another post I finish the race recap with some more of the photos.  

Santa house display - so neat!murals on walls (showed all seasons) and  floor decor
After the hospital tour, Mom and I walked around the St. Jude campus looking at the statues and other "landmarks."  We also visited the gift shop to pick up a few items for my mom and I got another ornament!  (Will try to share a photo of the ornaments in my next post... too late tonight to go dig them out)

Instead of waiting for the bus we decided to walk back to the convention center (it was a short walk).  On the walk I showed my mom where her hotel was located and we decided to keep walking to my hotel.  Along the way we were on the search for a place to eat lunch.  We found a local place called Sam's Burgers and More that had baked potatoes so after much discussion we decided we would walk back down there to eat.  Unfortunately, by the time we got to my hotel and back down to the restaurant they only had one baked potato left and I ordered it for my sister not realizing it was the last one.  Whoops - so I ended up walking over to subway and getting a sub to eat instead (big no, no and NOT on my pre-race diet).  I did keep it pretty minimal but there was cheese on it which I typically avoid, but I couldn't just do the chicken and bread.

After lunch, we checked my Mom and sister into their hotel and left everyone there while she and I ran to Kroger to get munchies and drinks for the kids.   By the time we got back it was time for Tommy and I to get ready for the pasta party.  While getting ready I realized I had misplaced the pasta party tickets.  Luckily - after talking to some people we were able to get in without the tickets.

the only picture I took at the pasta party - whoops
The Heroes pasta party was a nice way to get ready for the race the next day.  I wish I was more outgoing as I felt sort of out of place sitting at a table with people I didn't know.  I didn't talk to anyone really because I lack that confidence, but the best part was hearing the speech given by Ingram's dad.  During my fundraising, I remember seeing Ingram's sister Madison at the top of the fundraising board nearly every time I logged in.  I was amazed that a little girl could raise so much money.  Come to find out, her sister was also fundraising.  These two girls, both still KIDS managed to raise over $200,000 - I am in awe of them!  I had read the family's story and such, but hearing Ingram's dad speak touched my heart.  After the pasta party, I had to stop back by my mom's hotel room to give my kids a huge hug.  I needed them to know that I loved them.  I needed to wrap my arms around them and thank God for the gift he has given me.

The only downside to the pasta party is that I had a very hard time eating.  I typically eat pasta with marinara sauce the night before a race, nothing else.  Unfortunately, the pasta options all had dairy or cream or some other ingredient I shouldn't have.  So, I had to "wing it" with a half a chicken breast, a bread stick, and a bag of pretzels.  While eating my food, I was praying it wouldn't negatively affect me the next day.  It was a bit defeating to see how many runners could eat whatever they wanted without concern for how it would affect their running - I hate my sensitive tummy!   They did have a nice plate of cookies on every table too, but again... I was good and avoided them!

All in all, Friday was a good day.  I might have done a bit more walking around than I normally would before a race, and perhaps not taken in enough water.  I did do my best to stick to my dietary restrictions but I knew I hadn't done a perfect job.  After giving my kids goodnight kisses (they stayed with my mom and sister to give me the best rest possible before the race), Tommy and I headed back to our hotel.  I took time to lay out everything I needed for the race, but was in bed pretty early.

Up next... race day.

In case you missed it, you can check out day one here... 


  1. Your idea of making cards for the kids at St. Jude is such a wonderful idea and I'm sure they really appreciated them and will enjoy looking at them during their stay there.

  2. I was not aware of the connection with Tammie (I am guessing your sister?) and how this passion for St. Jude keeps you focused on the difference you can make in the world. Thanks for the wonderful effort you are putting into these acts of kindness.

    1. Tammie was actually our mother's cousin who was diagnosed with cancer in 1969 at age 3 and passed away about a year later. When my sister was born my mom chose to honor Tammie's memory by using her middle name for my sister's middle name. Jenn and I grew up hearing about Tammie and I know how much her name means to my sister since she did the same and passed the middle name down to her own daughter.