Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pre-Race Activities - A Plan NOT to Follow! :)

When I finally decided I wanted to run a marathon this fall, I had a fairly simple choice to make. Keep it local with the Grand Rapids Marathon, or travel a bit, stay with family, and run the larger Detroit Free Press Marathon.  There were a number of things I considered, but two points pushed me over the edge toward Detroit - the fact there would be many more spectators (yay for cheering!) and the incredible bling.  

I don't regret this choice for a minute, but traveling even a short distance for a race does have its complications.  As a result, I made a lot of choices that worked against me. And just some bad luck. 

The marathon really ended up being a bit of a weekend-long activity.  I was able to leave work early on Friday, so excited to finish packing up, wait for the kids to get home from school and take off! I wanted to hit the race expo on Friday night to give us more wiggle room for Saturday plans. We were cutting it close, but should have be able to make it. But the rain was terrible, traffic was worse, and we didn't get to my in-laws until after 7 p.m. Boo. That didn't give us enough time to make it downtown and see much of the expo.

Well, that was a bummer but not the end of the world. It made Saturday more complicated.  You see, I have this bad habit of trying to squeeze more into a day than is possible. : / So, alarm was set for 8 am so that we could leave early for Detroit, be there when expo opened at 10, look around quickly, grab race packet, head back to get the kids, go to the cider mill with friends, get back to Mark's sisters and then get them all costumed-up and take them to a Halloween event. Whew.  Busy, but fun day.

So, Friday night, no expo. Spent the evening chatting with Mark's sister and brother-in-law. Played a game until 1 a.m., laughing so hard my stomach hurt! Okay, that was (much) later than I'd planned to go to bed, but I was rolling with it.  Headed up to sleep with the dogs. The damn dogs. They were just so hopped up from traveling and whatnot. Perry stuck his nose in my face around 3 a.m. I was having none of that, so I put him in his crate. Where he wiggled and wagged and scratched and generally made noise for the next several hours. UGH.

Finally gave up and got up around 7:30 to shower.  And COFFEE.  But plan was still on - get ready to head to Detroit, kids would go to nephews' soccer game, we'd hook back up... Um, no. We had some issues to sort out. Which took a long time to sort out. By this point, I'm just not in a good place. I was beyond exhausted, super nervous about the race, and just generally feeling overwhelmed. So I bowed out of our cider mill plans.  Which was SUCH a bummer. But as the day went on, it became more and more clear that it was the right choice. 

We eventually sorted our our kid-drama and got things back on track. Packed kids off to soccer game and finally headed downtown. At this point, it was taking me some effort to keep myself in check We finally make it into the expo. And I'm getting excited. And a little freaked out.

The expo is really nice. Large. Kinda overwhelming! But it was very well organized. We wound through the bajillions of booths and grabbed my packet pretty quickly. I hovered over the pace team table for a bit. Checked out a few items and moved on before I spent a small fortune. Expos sure make it tough - keep your wallet hidden!  

We headed into Mexican Town to pick up some tamales from Evies. We decided we were starving and would just grab some lunch there.  Oh my, yum. I know some runners must be cringing. Mexican food is not typically great pre-run fare.  But my tacos and rice were just a.m.a.z.i.n.g and I don't regret them. :)  By this point, I was feeling much better about things.

So we headed back to Mark's sister's and found a fairly quiet house. I had some time before dinner/costume fun needed to begin so I snuck in a nap. It was heavenly. It wasn't a deep sleep but it made a huge difference. Whew.

The rest of the evening was pretty fun and fairly relaxing. A very yummy dinner of homemade lasagna, salad and bread sticks, ice cream cake (!), and trick or treating around the park with the kids. Before long, kids were winding down with a movie and I was sorting out my race items! So very thankful to my mother in law who took our dogs for the night, which cut that complication out. 

So I laid out my race outfit

Readied my Garmin, iPod, spibelt...

And tried to sleep. Boy, that was tough! Turning of my mind was nearly impossible. I think I mostly snoozed throughout the night and all too soon, my alarm went off at 4:30... race day.

1 comment:

  1. Busy days before races are tough, but sometimes with families that's the reality. Sounds like skipping the cider mill and getting a nap was a great idea. My kids had a band competition that went well after 11pm the night before Grand Rapids. Crazy.