Well, we’re less than 36 hours from the race. The forecast still calls for a 60% chance of rain Saturday morning. Here’s hoping the meteorologists are as wrong as they usually are.
Tonight after work, I headed down to the BB&T Running Wild Expo at the Kentucky International Convention Center for packet pick-up. I was happily surprised to see that this year’s shirts are green – my lucky color. I wear a bright green Nike tech shirt when I run, which I will continue to wear for Saturday’s race. There were some other coupons and goodies in the bag, but not a ton of swag.
There were all kinds of booths set up to demonstrate products, promote other races and showcase charities. I ended up walking through it twice because I arrived at the Expo way before my running group buddies.
The second time through, my friends and I had the good fortune to spend some time chatting with Dane Rauschenberg. This guy is pretty incredible. He told us he was a 225-pound rugby player in college, but got into running and it stuck. In 2006, just two years after he took up running, he ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks. During that time, he worked a full-time job in DC and raised more than $43,000 for charity. What an absolutely amazing story and what an inspiration just two days before the race. My friend, Eileen, knew of Dane because he recently spoke to her nephew’s class. Turns out, he likes to visit local schools when he makes appearances at races to promote his book, See Dane Run. I will be reading that ASAP.
After the Expo, my running group (plus some other runner-y friends) partook in the consumption of copious amounts of carbs. We chose The Old Spaghetti Factory since 1) it’s pasta and 2) it’s across the street from the convention center.
Pasta. I have missed you. I ditched pasta last year when I entered a weight-loss contest at work, and I never picked it back up. As far as I can remember, I haven’t eaten pasta in almost a year. Man, did I gobble it up. A whole plate of spaghetti, half covered in browned butter and mizithra cheese and the other half topped with marinara and mushrooms. I made quick work of the whole plate, and I’m pretty sure I could have eaten more.
While dinner was good, the company was even better. I had such a good time listening to stories of previous marathons, getting tips from the seasoned veterans and sharing worries with newbs like me. But the kicker of the night came when my friend, Kyle, pulled out gift bags she’d put together for myself and our friend, Brad. Inside were all kinds of runner’s treats – socks, snacks, muscle ointments.
Kyle put so much effort into the bags that she even stuffed them with what I thought were just little pieces of filler paper. In actuality, every piece had an inspirational quote written on it. We each took a turn pulling one from the bag and reading it aloud to the table (sometimes in a terrible British/Australian accent – I can’t remember why). The whole thing was a sweet and thoughtful gesture that meant a lot to me – especially when it’s coming from a woman who’s run her fair share of marathons.
There was one quote that seemed especially timely and appropriate (since we might be running through some showers this Saturday).
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
This is my last entry before the race. Hopefully, the next one you read will be one of relief, reflection and celebration.
Keep running, friends.