Day One is in the books!

California International Marathon – here I come!

Today was the official start of my 20 week marathon training plan. With a goal of qualifying for Boston in 2015 (I’m hoping to get a charity number for 2014 – my name is on a list at this point) I knew I needed a long and solid training plan. I decided on 20 weeks instead of 16 to help get an even better base under me.

I’m using the Cool Runnings Beginner training plan to start. I’m nervous that it won’t give me quite the distance that I need to get my BQ, but I also don’t want to jump in headfirst and risk injury.

Speaking of injuries, today was one of those mornings where you go back to bed and get up again in an attempt to start over.

Chris woke me up for our bike ride (I’ve got killer shin splints at the moment so I decided to cross train day one) and as I went down the stairs in my socks (NEVER a good idea…) my left foot went out from under me and down the stairs I fell!

A little steep huh? and yes.. that wallpaper is for real. No, we didn't pick it out.

A little steep huh? and yes.. that wallpaper is for real. No, we didn’t pick it out.

It’s funny how when you are falling it feels like an eternity and you can think so many thoughts in such a short time. I remember thinking “Don’t break your leg! You can’t go to the beach in a cast!” (normal reaction, huh?) and “I knew I should have put my shoes on first!” and “well, there goes the bike ride this morning…”. All that in the span of about 5 steps – madness!

Luckily there were no broken bones – just a bruised rear end and sore arm – so off we went on our ride.

At this point I should probably also mention that this is only the third time I’ve ridden my bike off of the magnetic trainer in our “gym” (more on that later). The last 2 times I’m fairly certain ended with me falling off my bike. True story.

Chris got me a fancy Felt Racing women’s bike for my birthday a couple of years ago. Up until then, the last time I had ridden a bike was in middle school, and it was the kind where the cross bar went down on a diagonal. Niiiiicee and easy. This one has a horizontal cross bar, so I’m constantly forgetting I have to take a foot out and lean forward and to the side to get off the bike :/ It does have pretty pink handles though!

july-5 july-4

Aren't they nice?

Aren’t they nice?

Anyway, back to the actual ride. We took off from the house and headed over to the Charles River. It has been so humid out lately, but the breeze off the water was nice and light. The fact that it was overcast was great too, since there was no glare off the river. We biked down Memorial Drive about 4 miles, and then cut across the river and came back down Storrow.

I have always loved running on Memorial Drive. It gives you some of the most beautiful views of the city. On a calm day the reflection in the water of the Hancock Tower and the Prudential Building are unbelievable.

It’s also fun this time of year because the city is setting up for the Fourth of July. Here in Boston we have the Boston Pops concert and the fireworks display on the Esplanade. There are huge barges that set up in the middle of the river to shoot off the fireworks. The barges went out to their station last week, so it’s cool to see them floating out there.

All in all it was a pretty great ride. With the exception of a couple less than stellar dismounts from the bike, I managed not to make a complete fool of myself. I got in a great workout, and prevented myself from further bothering my shin. I think Chris and I are planning on heading out again tomorrow for another ride, weather permitting…

hmmmmm

hmmmmm

Welcome Back!

After almost 14 months of a hiatus from blogging, I am back! So much has changed in my life in the last year, and to be quite honest I have sincerely missed the health and fitness community here in the blogosphere!

Up until about January, I hadn’t really been doing much in terms of running or exercising at all. Thank god for my cousin, who talked me into running the Run To Remember Half Marathon here in Boston on May 26th. Training had been a little lax on my part until April 15, 2013, which I consider one of, if not the, worst day of my life so far. I will save the full tale for another post later because of my intense emotions about that day. There is no way that a person, with as much love for the Boston Marathon as I have, couldn’t have been changed on that day. Two days after the Marathon I ran 10 miles after minimal training. It was that day, on that run, that I remembered WHY I love to run so much. Running has helped me heal many emotional wounds from that day and the turmoil that ensued in the city of Boston in the following days. The running community itself has helped me heal in ways that it will never know.

May 26th has come and gone, and my cousin and I successfully completed the 13.1 mile Run to Remember.

RuntoRememberStart

The Run to Remember was an amazing event that allowed runners to come together in the city of Boston for the first time since the Boston Marathon to honor those who had been injured, or had lost their lives in the attacks. The Run to Remember has always been an event to honor fallen police officers, but this year with the loss of Officer Sean Collier, it had an extra special meaning behind it. A full recap of this race will be coming soon as well.

Since then I have signed up of the California International Marathon on December 8, 2013 in Sacramento, CA.

Why run a marathon in California when I live in Boston?

Because I’m moving.

3000 miles away from the place I have always called my home.

driving map

The New Yorker’s company is closing it’s offices here in MA and is relocating to LA county. Talk about a change! No more shoveling snow for this lifelong New Englander! We are super excited about the move, and can’t wait to start our cross country adventure – which it’s bound to be with an 18 month old boxer puppy and a crotchety 12 year old cat in a Jeep!

I’m really excited to be back to my blog. It has always been such a nice little place for me and I’m ready to start adding to it more.

Thanks for stopping by to check it out, and hopefully I’ll be “seeing” a lot more of everyone!

Fit Friday And A Special Request

This has been a great week! Here’s the recap in case you missed something:
Beautiful Mondays had an amazing Guest Post from one of my favorite people
– Tuesday showed you something a little crafty that I did
– Wednesday was all about a great dinner
– Thursday gave you a glimpse into my home decorating

So here we are on Friday. This has been the first week in a long time where I have been able to post every day. It’s been really nice, and I’ve totally enjoyed it! I think I’ll be keeping up the current format and series. I hope you all are liking it as well!

So moving on to the last new series: Fit Friday

This one is another brain child of the Lovely Miss Kara, who pointed out that Fridays should be about fitness to help motivate you to keep up your fitness throughout the weekend. She’s such a smart cookie! 🙂

Back at the beginning of February, I made a list of goals to help keep me fit in Feb. I would give myself a solid score of 50%. I did get 3 new recipes that The New Yorker and I LOVE, and I registered for a 5K. On the other hand, 100 miles of running ended up with 3, and Meatless Mondays morphed into “oh shoot, it’s Lent and I’m not allowed to eat meat on Fridays”.

My biggest accomplishment, hands down though, was starting CrossFit. I have to say, I’m already addicted, and am dreading next week when I can’t make my favorite class (stupid work…)!

Source: lifeasrx.com via Cameron on Pinterest

 

The CrossFit gym where The New Yorker goes has a great way of introducing new clients to CrossFit. There are a lot of techniques that you need to know in order to keep you safe (and not looking like an idiot) in the classes. They start with a free intro class where they go over the basics:
Different equipment in the gym
Squat series
Push ups
sit ups
Pull Ups
and so on.

Then she put me through a workout. The workout was the Baseline workout for CrossFit:

500m row
40 squats
30 sit ups
20 push ups
10 pullups

Source: google.com via G. on Pinterest

 

The intro class lasted about 45 minutes, and I left completely unable to walk down the stairs! My trainer was awesome, and I had signed up for 2 “onboarding” classes before I walked out the door. The Onboarding classes were even more technique focused than the intro class, and I learned a ton. We went over a lot of the modifications that I would need until I was stronger, like using a band to help me with my pullups.

Then I bought a 10 class pack.

With the class pack came the CrossFit log book for the gym. It has an AMAZING amount of information about Paleo, the  bench mark workouts, technique, and more.

The best thing in the book, hands down, is the measurement pages. I immediately had The New Yorker help me with all of my measurements, and I can’t wait until next month when I get to check and see my progress!

So back to the classes:

Last Saturday I did the Bootcamp class. My trainer from the onboarding classes was teaching it, so I felt more comfortable knowing that she knew my limitations. The workout for class was

3 Rounds for Time-cutoff is 40min:

50 Kb Swings 24/16 (scale down as appropriate)
45 Single Jump Ropes (scale up for double unders)
40 Lawnmowers 35#/20# (scale down as appropriate and split between both arms)
35 Ab Mat Situps
30 Walking Lunges
250 M Row
25 Burpees
20 Box Jumps 24 inch/20inch
15 Push Press 85#/65#
10 Lemon Squeezers
5 Dead Hang Pullups

Can you say HOLY HELL?? I got through 2 rounds + and was pretty pumped. I didn’t wimp out, and did every.single.rep. It was such a great feeling.

(Sorry, this is staring to get wordy.. I’ll hurry it up!)

After my class, The New Yorker was doing the CrossFit Open at the gym. The Open is like the Olympic Trials. There is a set  of workouts that anyone can do every week, as long as they are judged by an eligible judge. The people who do the best at round 1 of the open, move on to regionals, and so on, until they have the competitors for the CrossFit Games.

The New Yorker’s Open workout on Saturday was 7 minutes of Burpees.  If you’ve ever done burpees, you’re cringing right now. I can see you! If not, here’s the basic idea:

Source: tumblr.com via Emily on Pinterest

 

The New Yorker did amazing, and got 95 burpees in 7 minutes!! He’s headed back tomorrow for workout #2, I’ll keep you posted on how he does!

And FINALLY, my first Beginner CrossFit class was Monday. I was terrified! The Bootcamp had been more cardio focused, where this class was way more weight focused. We did 2 seperate workouts.

#1
15 Min AMRAP
2 Muscle Ups
10 Handstand Pushups
10 KB Swings

Then WOD #2
22-20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4 Rep Rounds of
Ab Mat Situps
Sumo Dead Lift High Pulls

We modified workout 1 a LOT. Muscle Ups are this absurd thing where you go from hanging on a set of rings, to a pushup-like position on them, to pushing your whole body to an upright position. It’s super hard to explain, so here’s a picture to help you out a bit:

 

Our modifications were 1: working on the dip movement on the rings and then 2: dead hang pull ups.
Then for the Handstand push ups, the mods were handstands against a wall for 10 seconds, followed by 10 pushups off of a bench.

It was an insanely hard workout for me, but again, I did everything and was really excited when I didn’t totally suck at it!

Now, I’m hooked and headed back for another BootCamp class tomorrow. I just looked up the workout:

SKILL REVIEW- 1 ARM KB Snatch

Each exercise is 30 seconds on/15 seconds rest (off)
5 Rounds at each station and then move to the next station
1. Mountain climbers
2. KB Sumo Deadlift High pulls
3. Burpees
4. Split squats (right leg)
5. Gymnastics Push ups
6. Sit Stands
7. Triple Extension Jumps
8. Split squats (left leg)
9. Ab Mat Situps
10. 1-arm snatch left arm
11. 1 arm snatch right arm

Here is my new motivator – and this workout is helping me become more useful in general 😉

Source: zazzle.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

 

I hope you all have a great weekend, and a HUGE shout-out to Krysten from Darwinian Fail, who is  running a Half Marathon this weekend, and then turning right around and going in for major surgery on Monday. Please keep her in your thoughts this weekend, this girl is phenomenal!

Check It Off The List!

Yesterday was full of new and exciting things.

My day started out with an intro class at the CrossFit gym. Yup, that’s right, I FINALLY started CrossFit! (I can cross it off of my Fit February list!)

 

I walked into the gym, and had a slight panic attack. It was packed with equipment that I had very strategically avoided in the past. No comfy treadmill, no familiar dumbbell.

CrossFit gyms are referred to (lovingly) as a “box”. Nothing fancy, just 4 walls a ceiling, and a padded floor. There were 4 pull up bars, a few racks, and otherwise just space and some mobile equipment.

Source

Heather greeted me right away, and was super friendly. She showed me around the box, and then went over a quick warm up with me. Following that we went through some of the basic movements used in the Workout of the Day (WOD).

(Each of the following movements has a link to a Youtube video so you can see the if you are unfamiliar, which I was for most of them!)

We went over the different types of squats:

Air Squats

Front Squats 

Back Squats

Overhead Squats

Then we did sit ups Crossfit style!

Next we moved on to push ups. Heather said she was impressed with what I could manage for a push up (which isn’t much!) I actually snorted when she told me I could do those for a short time (like 10-20 push ups) but if I was going to do more – say 50 to 100 – I should do modified. (Later on I maxed out my modified push ups at 12… I have a ways to go!!)

Finally she showed me the pull up bars. She brought me over to one and demonstrated a jumping pull up. I was a little too short for the box and bar that she had set up, so we moved to the smaller bar. MUCH better!

Last but not least, we went over pull ups with the assist of a band.

When all of that was over, Heather looked at me and said “Are you ready for your first CrossFit Workout?”

Wait. What?? Didn’t we go over enough? My quads were already screaming from all of the squats. Oh hell…

So off we went. She explained the workout and set me up on the rower. All the sudden I heard. “3..2..1.. GO!” and I started rowing.

I rowed for 500 meters. Then I hopped up and did 40 Air Squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups (where I figured out my current max…) and 10 assisted pull ups.

Holy Moly! I may be able to run a half marathon and be fine when I’m done, but that had me huffing and puffing!!

I finished in 7:15. I have absolutely nothing to compare this to other than the New Yorker’s best time of 4:xx

I left feeling awesome! How can you not after something like that? I have 2 more private sessions with Heather, and then I’ll jump into the group classes.

How am I feeling today though, you ask? Well. I’m walking like a penguin.

Source: google.com via Kara on Pinterest

 

This little guy looks cute. I – however – look silly. Oh well. I’m going back Friday, so as long as I can lift my arms above my shoulders by then, I’ll be golden 🙂

Next fun thing:

I got my new glasses yesterday! They are these from For Eyes:

I’ll have to get a picture of me in them soon, but right now my face has abandoned the treaty we made, where I told it NOT to break out like a 15 year old. Fail. Oh well, soon enough!

I also got my new contacts yesterday. Those look like contacts. Nothing super fun.

And FINALLY, the BEST thing we got yesterday….

The New Yorker picked up his new 2012 VW Jetta GLI 🙂 Boy, was he a happy camper!!

This is actually a funny story. I was at work this weekend, and the plan was for him to go do the “first test drive” since he didn’t want to waste his time planning on a car if he didn’t like how it drove.

I got the phone call that said “Hey Kate, they’re giving me a good deal….” and that was that. The car was his.

Here’s the inside (done at night, on my phone.. sorry!)

It has all the bells and whistles from heated seats, to bluetooth phone connection, to a Fender sound system. The car is AMAZING and I’m so happy he loves it. He gets stuck in traffic every day, so this will make the traffic a LOT nicer to sit through!

Even better? Now I have a car! We kept the Toyota, since it’s still in great condition, and now I am free to go further than the T will take me!

Woo!! So there you have it! The PastaFree house had an amazing day yesterday!

I hope everyone has a happy Valentine’s Day!

What is something great that happened to you yesterday?

Fit February

I have to admit, I’ve been in a bit of a funk now that my half is over.

I couldn’t even be bothered to put together a decent post yesterday. I just didn’t want to.

But, here I am today, with a post and a plan! I need definite goals for my fitness. I need a race to look forward to and train for. It keeps the excitement in exercising, and gives me the push I need to get out the door.

With that in mind, I am unveiling….

(that little button took me WAY too long to make! I need a photoshop class ASAP!)

The plan is simple.

5 goals, all with health and fitness in mind, completed by the end of the month.

 

So, without further ado, here are the 5 goals for Fit February:

1. Meatless Mondays

Source: google.com via Kristin on Pinterest

I’m hoping this one will be easy! I’m trying to cut down on my meat consumption ever since hearing a little tidbit that stated that the average person should only be eating half a  pound of meat per week, not per day like the average American does. YIKES! (I’ll have to hunt that down and verify it!)

2. Run 100 miles in February.

Source: weheartit.com via Angie on Pinterest

 

This breaks down to roughly 3.5 miles/day. Totally do-able!

3. Register for a
-5k
-10k
-Half Marathon
-Full Marathon

 

(Not all to be done in Feb, just register for them.. I need the ooomph to get me moving!)

4. Find and make 3 completely new recipes

 

 

5. Start Crossfit!

I’ve been DYING to do this one! My hand is feeling better, so hopefully this will be a go!

 

And there it is, my friends. My plan for a Fit February. Hopefully this will give me the excitement and push I’ve been looking for the last couple of days.

 

What do you do to pick yourself up after a big race or exciting event is over?

And.. We’re off!

We woke up to the alarms at 3:45am.. ouch!

Luckily, Amy had set up a little love note for us to wake up to:

How can you not get excited with that!

We got changed, ate a banana and peanut butter, and headed off for the metro a couple of minutes after our planned time.

As we were walking down the road (and joking that if it were not a race day, Amy would probably just be coming in from the bars) a car zoomed by us. It slammed on the breaks and backed up. We were both a little confused, and definitely cautious. A kid rolled down the window and asked if we wanted a ride to the metro. I peered in his car and saw that he had a number pinned to his shirt, as well as all his race stuff in the back seat. Amy didn’t know him, but he was clearly going to the race, so we hopped in.

Lucky that we did, because we ran into some trouble at the metro station!

First trouble: we would have been super close to missing the first train, which was key! Everyone told us the day before that if we missed the first train, it would be super tricky to get into our corrals on time.

We had to be in the corrals by 5:55am, and the first train started at 5 am. I guess in past years the metro has started running at 4, but at the last minute they backed out of their promise this year, and waited until the normal 5am to start, leaving people praying that they made that first train.

Second trouble: We should have bought our metro tickets at the expo, or stopped and bought them the night before. It never dawned on us that the ticket machines would be locked before the station opened. Shoot! We ended up having to stand in line for a while to get our ticket.

In Boston, you can load money onto a card, swipe it, and then hand it back to the next person to use. Apparently you can’t do that in Miami! After a frantic conversation with the attendant, he swiped my card back out, and had Amy run through behind him when he swiped it again. Also in Boston, you don’t need to swipe your Charlie Card to get out of the  station!!

Once that crises was averted, we sprinted up the stairs just in time for the first train. We got on without any trouble, and took it to the Government Center stop. From there we got off and walked because the “Metro Movers” were packed! It took us about 10-15 minutes to walk to the start line. I tried to take pictures, but it was too dark to really make anything out along our walk.

We finally arrived at the starting area at about 5:45 – 10 minutes to find and get into our corral. We didn’t think it would be too hard to find, but after several attempts to get across the street, we both started getting nervous. We ended up having to back track quite a bit, and got confused by a couple of signs that pointed us in the wrong direction. We found our corral and were in it at 5:54- JUST in time!

We were smack in front of American Airlines Arena

and another pretty building that I never found out the name of

As you can see, it was pretty dark!

There were TONS of people at the start – 25,000 to be exact! The announcer was really excited to announce that this was the first year the full and half had sold out!

The music at the start was really upbeat, and we couldn’t help but get excited.

The National Anthem was sung, and then the announcer led us in a countdown to send off the wheelchair and disabled runners. Finally, FINALLY, it was time for the corrals to get moving!

We crossed the start line, started our watches and got to running!

The first mile was unbelievably frustrating for us. Both Amy and I agreed that our main complaint with the entire course was that there were walkers in the corrals ahead of us. We spent the whole race dodging people who walked the entire way! Most of the walkers weren’t runners who needed a quick break, they were just there to walk the course. While I have no problem with people walking courses like that, I do have a HUGE problem with them being in corrals in front of runners, and not having any direction (or consideration) to stay to one side. People were walking in groups that would actually stretch across big sections of the road and we were having to push through them. It was awful!

Once we got into a rhythm of dodging people we started having some fun. We chatted and told each other fun or inspirational things we saw. There was one woman who had a shirt that said “Not even Chemo can break my 10 year streak!” She was jogging slowly with a friend who had a shirt that said “This is my first half marathon, and she talked me into it!” You couldn’t help but be inspired by that duo! Then we saw a woman with a shirt that said “I have run a marathon in all 50 states!”. She was wearing a Hawaiian grass skirt, and Statue of Liberty crown. We also saw a man dressed in full Army fatigues (and let me tell you, it was HUMID!), full gear, and carrying an American flag.

There were also the tutus! We must have seen 4 or 5 of them on the course!

We ran down a really pretty stretch by Miami Beach that I attempted to get a picture of. It’s hard to run and take pictures!

We were expecting entertainment along the course (it was designated on the map of the course), but unfortunately either we were too late for most of it (too late?? it was 7am!) or it wasn’t there. There were a few drum groups, which were great, and a cheerleading squad, as well as the Lulu cheer section, but other than that, we were on our own. Good thing we had a guy run by us around mile 7 singing “Club Can’t Handle me” really loudly along with his headphones!

Also around mile 7 there was a REALLY narrow road that we had to run down. The course was pretty packed the whole time, and then having to dodge walkers, and condense all those runners into a narrow road was miserable, to be honest. Luckily it was only a short stretch and we were through it pretty quickly.

Another gripe was the water stations. The first few weren’t too bad, but by the time we hit miles 5,6,7 and so on, we had to wait for water to be poured, so we actually had to stop completely. I just don’t think they had enough volunteers for the amount of runners that there were. It’s completely understandable though because they didn’t sell out the race until 3 days before.

The breeze on the second causeway was AMAZING! It was a perfect, cool breeze that really helped make us feel better.

Mile 10 was where things got tough. Amy and I were both tired and our legs were starting to get tight. I attempted to stretch a little at the water stop, but knew it was a bad idea right away.

Mile 11 had me calling my Aunt to let her know we were about 15 minutes away. I also think that’s where the official cheering section was. It was so great to see all those people with the signs, and to have people screaming our names. A guy from Amy’s school was there standing on an island giving high fives to everyone who ran by. She told me he is in charge of the “Random Acts of Kindness” group on campus, and is frequently found in  the library giving out chocolate kisses!

Mile 12 was a blur. The race coordinators did a great job of separating the half from the full runners. The first attempt at separating everyone was a little fuzzy (a bunch of teen boys standing in a line not really yelling too loudly) but after that, it was pretty clear as to where we were supposed to go.

Mile 13 to 13.1 FLEW by! Amy and I both picked up the pace big time. We followed a guy who was screaming at the walkers to move, which was a huge help. I remember Amy actually saying at one point “You have 0.1 miles left to go! Why aren’t you running?!”

We also managed to find my aunt and Sara in the crowd which was awesome!

We crossed the finish line and gave each other a big high five and hug – we did it!! Our time on my Garmin was 2:25, which we were both happy with considering all of the dodging we had to do!

The chute after the finish line was long. We walked a good distance from the finish before we got water. Once we got water though, it was straight to the medals (which were GIGANTIC!) and then right on to food. There was a lot of food, bananas, strawberries, crackers, and to Amy’s  delight – Chocolate chip cookies!

We meandered around for a bit before meeting up with my aunt and Sara. As soon as we found them, it was time for a finishers photo!

Seriously, check out the hardware! The inside of the 0 on the 10 spins! How cool is that!?

Overall, I think the race was well done. The expo was huge, number pick-up was a cinch, and the course itself was beautiful. I think they got into trouble when it came to the walkers being placed in the wrong corrals (keep them to the end!) and being sold out with only 3 days to go. If they had had more volunteers, and kept the walkers either to one side, or at the back of the runners, I think this would have been an amazing race!

Also, in their defense, this race is only 10 years old. That means, they’ve only had 9 other shots to iron out the kinks. I’ll give them that, and maybe in a few years I’ll head back to do the full!

Did you run or cheer at this race? What did you think of it?

Party in the city where the heat is on!

What an AMAZING weekend!! A HUGE thank you to Amy for hosting and hanging out with her cuzzz 🙂

Let’s see, where did I leave off? Ah yes, heading to the expo. Again, I apologize for the pictures… My little camera, not so great!

We went over to meet my Aunt and her friend Sara for breakfast. There were some gorgeous flowers along the way that I had to take a picture of.

After breakfast we drove to South Beach for the expo. We went by palm trees, vultures, cruise ships, and huge houses on private islands. I couldn’t get over the sizes of the houses!!

I've never seen one before!

They are so big!

When we got to South Beach, we parked the car and headed out in search of the expo. There was a slight detour (we thought that following the couple in the running gear, including tags still attached to a visor, was a good idea. It wasn’t) we finally found where we wanted to be!

There were some runner cut-outs lining the way that Amy and I stopped to take pictures with.

We headed over to pick up our numbers which was a really smooth process. We were directed to another table to get our shirts and bags. That also went really smoothly, which was really nice. The whole process of picking up numbers and shirts took less than 5 minutes!

We hit the booths, and we were both really impressed and overwhelmed with how many booths there were! We attempted to get through them all, but ended up only going around the perimeter for the most part. We both got a pair of Zensah compression sleeves for a great deal, and I also picked up an SPI Belt (which was so unbelievably useful during the race!) at a great price!

We found the Lululemon booth:

We also chatted with the people at the transportation information booth. My aunt had offered to drive us to the start line, but after talking with them, we decided it would be much easier for her if we just took the metro.

We found a fun station that had a finish line set up and took a fun picture:

According to my aunt’s friend, these water pouches were what was being handed out on the race course the next day.

They weren’t very easy to use, and Sara saw someone explode one all over himself at the expo! Amy was also pretty upset (and rightfully so!) about the amount of plastic that would be tossed on the roads.

Finally, on the way out we took another picture with the runner cut-out and our numbers

At that point we were all starving! We walked back through the Lincoln Road Mall, and after a few false starts, and some WAY overly pushy hosts, we found a place that had great gnocchi for Amy, and quinoa spaghetti for me! I can’t even explain how excited I was to be able to eat “pasta” before the race!

We got back to Amy’s around 8 and started to prep for the next morning.

We set our alarms for 3:45, since we wanted to leave for the metro at 4:30. We set up all of our clothes, showered, and hit the hay by 9pm.

As I was drifting off, all I could think of was “in just a few hours, Amy and I will be in our corral, waiting to run!”

To be continued…..