EXPO & LUNCH:
We met Jill and Diana to carpool up to Seattle for the Expo. I LOVE Expos!! I really need to plan better so I have more time to just wonder around. I felt pretty rushed the whole time and like I did not get to see too much.
-Meeting Cheryl at Razzyroo, she has soooo many awesome pieces.
-Posing for a potty-inspired photo and WINNING the hourly photo prize through Brooks.
-Picking up 4 VIP Porta Potty Passe with Brooks HERE
-Watching Kerrie HERE pick up her bib
-Spending time with Stacie HERE
-Meeting Julie HERE
-Buying Sof Sole socks 3 pairs for $5
-Giving Chelsea HERE her ceremonial Tall Mom Half Marathon magnet, she did the miles so in my book she earned it!! See Jane Run will make it race clock official.
After the expo we headed to lunch at the Edgewater Hotel at Chelsea's idea! Props to Chelsea this was amazing, I did a little work for my Big Girl job, then settled for a nice lunch.
The AMAZING folks at Onlineshoes HERE offered to sponsor our Bloggy Meet-up Swag Bags!! SCORE!!! Onlines shoes is GREAT, FREE Shipping, FREE Exchanges and 365 day return, go shop there!! We went to the loading dock to get the bags.
Onlines Shoes made our Bloggy swag legit!!
Jess and I got home and had a few minutes to refresh then we were back in the car. The traffic was GROSS!! Friday city traffic with 26,000 folks makes a BIG DIFFERENCE. I was stressing about being late, but there was nothing I could do. Jess got to hear me freak, I called Kerrie who was a bit ahead, that made me feel better. Jess was not feeling well, read the DETAILS HERE.. After a quick pit stop we were fashionable late.
I was not 100% pleased with the space as one LONG table makes it tough to move around and talk, as an Event Planner I am HARD on myself for the little things.. But it was free for a large group, so we made it work. While setting up I saw Amanda and had to pause, a lot has happened the last few months and I needed a HUG from my good friend...She gives great hugs, we were both tearing up...LOVE HER!!
I made a few Welcome remarks then we went around the room with introductions. I love love love meeting new people and spending time with my buddies. We had a GREAT group!! 33++ folks including a few spouses, race crew and kiddos.
Amy S.- http://www.dailymile.com/people/Astrick
Jesse + Tressa- http://trackcoach-tressaabe11.blogspot.com/
Kasey - http://blondemomruns.blogspot.com/
Kerrie - http://momvsmarathon.blogspot.com/
Lauren - http://marathonlar.blogspot.com/
Megan - http://www.mymarathondiaries.com/
Stacie - http://skippinginseattle.wordpress.com
Zoe - http://www.runzoerun.com
Kerrie made her famous name tags, Alma added some fun things to the gift bags, Amy contributed Avon products from her Mom, and Zoe pulled out some MAJOR CREATIVITY!! Trading cards!!! They were awesome and the intent was to get people to go around and chat, it worked, photos of the trading cards soon. All in all it was a great night!! Clearly Megan had fun :)
Special thanks to our Sponsors!!
- http://www.onlineshoes.com/ - AMAZING Gift Bags with a Puma Water Bottle, Clarks Travel Mug and T-shirts.
- http://www.nuun.com/ - Sample tablets
- http://guenergy.com/ - Samples
- Scape Suncreen HERE sent some samples that were in my mailbox the next day :( If you NEED Sports Sunscreen check it out, this stuff works, I battle tested it on a Marathon in 85 and did not get itchy or burnt.
We ended at about 8:30PM and set out. I realized that there was a card in my purse…hmmmm… I opened it and it was from Chelsea thanking me for being her coach with an amazing gift card for relaxation. Her words and sentiment made me CRY! So I called her, she and Jill were being silly in the parking lot so I hopped out to give her a thank you hug.. This is what happened..
Jill with the photobomb, or did we photobomb her?? Hmmmm...
The moment I found out that Amanda HERE was coming to run Rock N Roll Seattle I knew that my only goal for the race was to be her lead/shadow for 13.1. I have found in my short racing "career" that I enjoy the races I have run WITH my friends a million times more than racing for PR Glory. Yes I can go fast, but what is the point when I cross the Finish Line alone?? Then have to wait for others. I didn't care about the pace or Finish time, I wanted to enjoy with my dear long lost friend. We all met up to carpool, Amy had her camera and snapped our picture.
Kasey HERE came back for the race too!! It was fun to be with Kerrie and Zoe before their first race and I LOVED meeting Christine.
My Mom gave me a bag full of toss-aways, not sure if this was my Brother's or Dad's but it was a XXXL and was totally cozy!! Thanks Mom!! I love the Brooks HERE VIP Potties.. so easy to Run Happy when you don't have to hit the stinky Honey Buckets.
Jess moved up a few corrals and I moved back, the 3 Chicas together in Corral #7. We planned a Pre-race Bloggy photo, last year Corral #6 was a great spot….well they moved the Corrals.. UGH!! I felt so bad #21 was now where #6 was and all my Bloggy buddies had to fight a crowd to get to 6.. FAIL!! We were a little behind the 6:30 schedule, sorry to anyone who missed the photo!! I was surprised to see how many folks still made the effort.. Thank you!! LOVED IT!! I got to meet Clint from Daily Mile and EMZ was there on her way to her super-speedy Corral. Coach HERE, Alma HERE and Shelby HERE added to the fun. We settled in to the back of #6, oops and off we went.
Amy and Chelsea would be on the course cheering and taking photos, thanks ladies!! I loved having people out there to cheer us on.
-A Goat Couple sitting in Lawn Chairs with coffee Mugs, so funny, they were in character and even made "Baaaa" noises.
-Flags and photos of fallen heroes made us all tear up.
-Sign which read "That is not sweat it is your fat cells crying."
-Awesome cheerleader groups
-An Alaska Airplane which made me think of the Little Studs
-Spotting Chelsea and her crew with big smiles.
-Getting fun action shots!
-Seeing Amy and saying "Is that Amy" over and over, looking like a dope
-Feeling strong and taking in the sites, smells and excitement.
-Keeping a Vibram HERE count, I saw 6 pairs.
-People introducing themselves along the course.
-Not taking the right turn toward the I-90 bridge for the Full Course
-Not taking the right turn to Aurora for the Full Course
-All the Determination people cheering for Amanda and her amazing fund raising efforts for Cancer.
-Taking a picture of Amanda sig pose mid race.
-Taking a picture of the Blonde Ponytail bouncing in front of me.
-Not Running the Full Marathon :)
-Seeing the Finish Line and sprinting with my friends.
-The Tunnel was HOT, I felt like my sweat gland were expanding and I could hardly breathe. It was loud and creepy.
-Amanda and I were not wonderful on the hills, we tried to keep up with Jess.
-Nearly puking just after the finish line for no reason??
Having only run the Full Marathon in past years I did not know the excitement and CROWDS that are there for the Half Runners. It was busy!! We Finished and found Amy, she had her awesome camera out and snapped a few photos, LOVE HER!! Then Jill HERE came and had a new PR, sub 2:00!!! Thumbs up to that.. We also saw the Speedy Jill HERE who had an impressive 1:35 finish. We grouped together for the photog and grabbed snacks. The plan was to set up camp at Family Reunion area B and we did. WE set out space blankets and made ourselves at home. Chelsea brought Oranges slices, bananas and my favorite, M&M's, love her!! We took pictures and bloggers and readers came by to say Hello. It was AWESOME. The down-side was poor Alma has a mid-0race injury and was not able to Finish, I was so SAD to see her face and dissappointment. She hid is well but I knew she was dying inside.
I was having so much fun relaxing, posing for photos and just being with my buddies. With my Tall Amy, she has an injury but I am praying she will run again soon!!We had a MISSION to see our girls FINISH the Marathon! T HERE was sending us updates on Zoe and Kerrie. When we thought they were about 25 minutes out we made way to the Finish Area. SLOWLY moving to get Chelsea a good spot with her camera. Coach passed to his first Marathon Finish, Congrats to Coach and his adorable wife as they are expecting or had a baby girl. We cheered and waited for our girls. The Half Walkers confused me a bit, I am still a little baffled by those who took their shoes off and carried them, very WEIRD!! We waited, stared, cheered...
Then there they were!! I rang Kerrie's Cowbell and we SCREAMED!! I started to tear up knowing the feeling of pride and accomplishment for my good friends. They ran every step of the 26.2++ together. We ran down to catch them and take a few more pictures. My heart was racing. Zoe looked so beautiful with her freckles shining. Kerrie was cool calm and collected, almost less tired than our lunch runs, which was pretty amazing!! More group pictures (WILL POST HERE SOON), family pictures then Zoe's family had to leave. I made it my mission to take care of Zoe because I know how nice it is to have someone take care of you after a race. We went to get her drop bag and she got asked about her Garmin, changed into Recovery Socks and Crocs and she ate some food. We hung around for a bit then headed out to Chelsea's car, As we walked I heard "Mel!!" Kerrie, who had just run a Marathon was sprinting after me because I had her keys.. FRIEND FAIL!! It was All over and the day was PERFECT… well not quite.
SLUMBER PARTY! To be continued...