I seriously could not stop smiling when I saw MY NAME printed on my bib!
I knew that Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer of Runner's World magazine, and author of one of the most entertaining and inspiring running books I've read, would be giving a seminar at 1:30, and Barbara was indulging my running geekiness by attending it with me. Imagine my glee when I SAW Bart at the Runner's World booth - just standing there and chatting like a normal person! Of course I had to go over and say hello, and then I had to buy another copy of his book so he could autograph it for me (I lent my copy to a friend, but I wouldn't have thought to bring it with me anyway). Here's me and Bart:
Perhaps some of Bart's running expertise will transfer over to me now that I've touched him???
We wandered around the expo - this was my first one, so it was an interesting experience. I wasn't too tempted to buy many things there (other than the book), but when I came upon the Thorlo Experia booth and saw that they had purple socks, I had to get a pair - after all, our outfits were featuring purple and this was the final touch - yay Thorlo for finally adding purple to your color line! We went to Bart's seminar, which was even more interesting than I had anticipated. What a neat guy - he really loves running, and he really appreciates all kinds of runners.
Then we had a lovely dinner at the Chart House restaurant - the weather was gorgeous and the sea views were so pretty from the restaurant.
Barbara and Dave treated us for dinner - it was wonderful, thank you!
After dinner it was slumber party time - we bunked together and had a fun evening sharing stories. Lots of laughter - the only hard part was ending it at a reasonable time so we could wake up at the insane hour of 3:30 a.m.
Seriously, we were laughing so hard that it's amazing we settled down for any sleep!
So the 3:30 a.m. alarms went off - we all somehow managed to get dressed and checked out of the hotel, and in our cars for the drive to the shopping center where we were to park and board the buses that would take us out to our race start. The logistics of this race are incredibly complicated, considering it's on Highway 1, which is a two-lane (at best) coastal road. We just rolled with everything - Barbara and I were in her car and somehow got separated from Matt and Lynda, who were in his car. We jumped onto a bus (thank goodness for the heater - it was cold!) and figured that they would catch the next bus, which they did. Quick picture of bleary-eyed Barbara and I on the bus for posterity:
Have mercy. This was a rough morning!
About a 30 minute ride later, we were at the race start. Matt and Lynda caught up to us - and the fun began. I have so many pictures that I'll split this recap into two parts, with most of the scenic shots coming on Wednesday. Barbara and Lynda walked at a faster pace so they were ahead of Matt and I for most of the race. I was really grateful that Matt was fine with walking - we originally planned on running this race together, but then my ankle happened, and my plan got changed. Lucky for me, he changed his plan, too. :) OK, here goes part one - the race:
At the start - it was cold! We were trying to show our bibs with our names but some of us were more successful than others, lol.
Matt and I decided to take a picture every time Ricky Bobby chimed a mile. This was mile one - we were looking good, right?
Mile two - still feeling good, plus the sun was finally starting to come up.
Mile three - these fun markers were for the marathon, which was an out-and-back this year due to part of the highway falling into the sea. You can see the marathoners running in the opposite direction in the background of this picture.
Mile four - and I believe we saw the actual Henry Gong, sponsor of the mile 18 marker, running back and forth in this area - and yes, he WAS wearing a bow tie!
Mile five - we heard the sounds of the piano for at least a mile leading up to it. What other race has a grand piano with a tuxedoed player on the course? This was quite amazing!
Mile six - more than halfway there. We were beginning to get tired. Legs were aching, feet were sore, my ankle was talking to me. But the beauty of the course and our constant joking around kept us moving forward in good spirits.
It finally warmed up enough for a photo op with Barbara in our coordinating outfits!
Mile seven - can you tell we were tired by the fact that we sat down for this photo?
Mile eight - it was in a not-so-pretty area, plus we were tired of posing.
Mile nine - we realized we were nearing the end and got our posing mojo back!
Mile ten! Only .6 left to go!!!
We finished!!! With our medals, although we called them our "ceramics" since that's what they were made out of. Woohoo, I finally have another medal to put on my medal hanger!
Barbara and I - happy, tired, done. What a crazyfun thing for her to choose to commemorate turning 50 - I'm so glad I was able to join her for the festivities!