I think I may have to be committed to an asylum after the past 2 weeks of travel. We were lucky enough to get out of Heathrow before all of the volcano stuff happened, but then we headed off again -- this time to the East Coast.
We took a 5 1/2 hr. flight into New York, met my brother in Manhattan to get his apartment keys, traveled to his place in Jersey by subway, and then took the subway back to NY for a little sightseeing. Crazy day. We had a few hours to kill before Caleb got off of work, so we got on Aaron's iphone to find some major tourist attractions to fill up our afternoon. Unfortunately, the only thing that popped up was this:
A tour of the museum cost $16/person, so we decided just to browse through the gift shop. Don't worry, I didn't bring back any souvenirs.
We then took a walk through Madison Square Gardens where the trees were in full bloom:
We met up with Caleb and headed off to a Cuban restaurant for a fabulous meal.
The next morning, Caleb and I took some self-portraits in his FABULOUSLY decorated apartment. I think we may have a male Martha Stewart on our hands, folks!
Caleb was such a great host. He let us sleep in his bed -- and he wasn't even in it! On the nightstand beside the bed, was a beautiful vase of flowers and note sent from a FANTABULOUS friend wishing me luck in the marathon. I am so blessed to have such a great support system.
We rented a car and were off to Boston. Aaron and Caleb navigated, while I rested up.
On Sunday, we went to the EXPO to pick up my race number and join in the craziness of Boston. I bought a souvenir jacket (Thanks, Dad!), and wrote a special wish on The Runner's Wall:
Took a few more pre-race pictures with my guys:
Next, came the hard part. Finding bagels and a banana for my pre-race breakfast. The hotel offered NO free Continental Breakfast, so we started our search for a grocery store. We weren't having any luck, but then I spotted it . . . BUNCHES of bananas in an ice cream store window. Wow! It was fate. The boys stayed outside (they were thoroughly embarrassed) while I ran in and asked the owner if I could buy a banana. He graciously gave me a FREE BANANA!! What luck! He also looked at me like I was a little bit nuts. Well . . . yeah!
The next morning, my good friend and ex-bishop from Taft, California, picked me up at 6 a.m. for the race. We parked in downtown Boston and caught the bus to the starting line. Don't we look excited?!
We then waited under a large tent for HOURS, took some more pre-race shots, used the porta-potty a few times, ate some pre-race fuel, and lined up in the corrals.
I felt like I was being walked to my death. It was crazy! Sterling and I had pace bands we wore on our wrists to help us finish in 3:45. We kept a steady pace: 8:20-8:30min./miles. We also shouted out the mile number everytime we passed a marker, drank lots of fluid, and gagged down a Chocolate Outrage GU every 6 miles.
The EXPERTS told us that the marathon doesn't really start until the halfway point, so when we hit 13.1 miles, we yelled, "Ready, set, go!" I know. It was corny, but very satisfying.
Around the half-way point, the Wellesley College girls (as promised) stood in front of the college and screamed their lungs out for us and held up lots of signs promising kisses:
"Kiss me, it's my b-day!"
"Kiss me, I need a green card!"
"Kiss me, I'm studying for finals!"
"Kiss me, I'm British."
There were spectators along the entire route screaming for us. It was very inspiring. A couple of truly monumental things happened for me during the Boston Marathon. They are listed in order of importance to me:
A) I never had to stop to use the restroom.
B) I never felt like I was running on pirate stumps.
C) I ran a PR: 3:35:31
Truly amazing experience! (In this clip, I was at Mile 20, begging Aaron and Caleb to come run and finish the race with me!)