On Saturday night we had the TNT pasta party. They served a cheese-filled tortellini, which probably wasn’t the best choice for me to eat. I usually eat pretty plain the night before long runs… whole wheat spaghetti, with tomato-basil sauce and wilted spinach. But at this party I ate plain penne, cheese-filled pasta, a roll and salad; even sampled some bread pudding… just got caught up in the festivities I guess.
The speakers were amazing. We got to hear from John ‘The Penguin’ Bingham. He is famous in the running world for reminding runners that you don’t necessarily need to be the fastest runner on the course, just as long as you are out there enjoying yourself and “running your own race”, that should be enough. His books are really good and have a lot of motivational messages. I would really recommend people check them out, even if you are looking to push your pace and performance.
Marathoning for Mortals
Running for Mortals: A Commonsense Plan for Changing Your Life With Running
No Need for Speed: A Beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running
The Courage To Start: A Guide To Running for Your Life
We also heard from a woman who lives in Texas and has done a Triathlon and Century bike ride with Team In Training. She has a little boy, Morgan, who lost his battle to lymphomas and leukemias when he was 4-years-old (after 3 different diagnoses). She told a story about his last diagnosis and how they were greeted with phrases like “make him comfortable” and “build memories”, instead of promises of treatments and remission. She was upset and her son looked at her and said, “Don’t be sad Mommy. Look what I drew for you.” Most of the time he had created typical child-like scribbles that were fairly incomprehensible, but this time it was very clear he had drawn a butterfly. After her son passed away the butterfly drawing was placed on his grave. While training for her Century ride she saw many butterflies while riding and was inspired by those. Since her ride was in the Northeast, her teammates had the drawing turned into an iron-on patch so she would be certain to see butterflies during the ride and keep her spirits high. It was a beautiful story.
After the party, I went back to the room and tried to chill out a little. I made sure all of my stuff was prepared and ready to go (repeatedly checking) and then finally decided to try to get some sleep. I had to be ready to board the bus to the starting line by 5:45 or 5:50 AM (which was 3:45 my time!), so I wanted to go to bed early. I had just managed to drift off when my sister-in-law texted me to wish me good luck. I appreciate the sentiment, but as I was jerked out of sleep I had some pretty angry words flying out of my mouth as I tried to silence the chirping coming from my phone! 🙂
I got up in the morning, ate my oatmeal and got dressed for the race. It was very cold in the morning, the city was under a freeze watch so I was a little apprehensive about the weather. I had a throwaway sweatshirt and some throwaway gloves to keep me warm at the start. I had also bought a pair of Gizmo sleeves at the expo to keep my arms warm.
The race was supposed to start at 7:30 AM, but there were delays with all of the buses shuttling people to the start line. So the gun didn’t actually go off until about 7:44 AM. And because of the wave start and the way they released the corrals, my start time wasn’t for about another 20 minutes after that.
But the time finally arrived and we were on the course!
To be continued…