Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Marathon Weekend Trip Recap: Day 1 of 4

I figure its about time I try to start putting my thoughts on the marathon down on paper before they all disappear and I am left with nothing to document.  I still haven't totally processed the whole experience, but I am going to start with my pre-race experiences and hope everything catches up with me as I go!

Warning, I ramble... A LOT.  Sorry.

We left Indiana EARLY Thursday morning, about 4 am and hit the road for Memphis.  Our travels took us through Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and finally Tennessee.  The last few hours of our trip were through a pretty deserted area (at least for us, we are used to driving down highways and having gas/food options at nearly every exit).  The trip was rather uneventful and we made great time.

We stopped in Blythesville, Arkansas for lunch.   I had decided we would get cold cuts and make sandwiches hoping to stick as close as possible to my dietary plan to ensure my stomach cooperated for the marathon.  Fast food is NOT part of that plan, though it would have been easier.  We stopped at Wal-Mart where I was rewarded with the slowest, crappiest customer service ever - and the lunch meat was terrible.  I ate what I could, but because of this I ended up eating more tortilla chips than I intended. (side note: I like the Tostitos Artisan Recipe fire roasted chipotle chips, but Meijer's black bean and salsa ones are SO much better!)

I hate bridges, but was relieved to see this one - less than 10 minutes left!
We knew we were ahead of schedule so we called our hotel to ask if we could check in early - luckily they said they had rooms available so we were able to save money by not paying for parking at the convention center - SCORE!  After checking into our room we got things organized and headed to the expo - as we left though we realized our door wasn't locking correctly!  After playing with it for about 5 minutes Tommy was able to get our room secured.  Downstairs we asked to be pointed in the direction of the expo - they said we should take the trolley because it wasn't walkable.

After over 10 hours in the car, the last thing I wanted to do was sit on my butt in a trolley!  I decided to risk it and we headed out on foot.  After getting turned around and walking an extra half mile or so, we finally made it to the expo.  I am still trying to figure out why the route wasn't walkable - we walked it at least 6-8 times that weekend and saw many people doing the same!  Anyway, inside I found my bib number and picked up my bib and race shirt then we hit up the St Jude merchandise area.  I ended up buying myself an ornament, Daniel an ornament, a 26.2 bumper sticker, and a teddy bear for Natalie.  I was super bummed that they didn't have a marathon weekend logo sweatshirt.  They had St Jude ones but I wanted one with mention of the marathon too.
Ignore the goofy pose and slippers! 

The expo itself wasn't all that great. There were a couple booths I stopped to look at, but nothing I couldn't say no to.  Many of the exhibitors weren't set up yet.  I did get my fist peek at the medal and talked with the pace team.  The best part of course was the heroes area.  You walked down the red carpet and could get photos taken in a photo booth.  They were also passing out pasta samples (I skipped them) and you could pick up your pasta party tickets, vip lounge stuff, exchange singlet sizes, pick up items to cheer on heroes/runners as well as an area to drop off last minute donations.

We did donate $5 to a charity group and two puzzles to the kids at St Jude.  (They had dollar store type items set up and you could buy them for your kids and the money goes to charity, or you could donate the toys to the hospital)  Since my kids have so many toys already, we had Natalie pick out two puzzles - she loved knowing she was giving a gift to someone else!

After that, we headed back to our hotel where we ordered dinner from the TGIF that was just downstairs.  We knew the kids weren't up to eating out after the long day in the car.  Hubby had Korean tacos of some sort and I had Kung Pao Chicken - again, not the greatest choice, but the best given my options!  After filling our bellies, we fell asleep pretty early.  Me and two kids in a double bed - I knew it would be a long night!

Enough rambling for now.. up next in tomorrow's post - Friday excitement and race prep!

1 comment:

  1. I think it's neat that you bought your 26.2 sticker before the race. Call me crazy but I was too superstitious to buy one before. I almost did but then I changed my mind. Can't wait to see the ornaments you picked out!