Monday, May 08, 2006

Cincinnati: Where Pigs Fly!

Hey guys!! Getting nine hours of sleep last night was SO nice! I'm still totally exhausted from the weekend but we're getting things back to normal. Laundry is in the dryer and Pippin is sound asleep in his little bed. I think he's more worn out than we are.

I'm not sure how far I'll get in my race report, so when it gets unbearably long or I decide to get some sleep I'll cut it off somewhere!

Friday we took another half day of vacation. I could REALLY get used to that! It started off as a great day, Brent won a $25 gas gift card from a drawing at work and our name was drawn for a computer monitor give away at work. (Everyone has been upgraded to flat screens so they were giving away the old school monitors via a drawing.) We calculated the gift card would get us about 130 miles down the road on our trip in our oversized Expedition. Sweet!

The drive from Nashville to Cincinnati is really dull. It's about 5 hours from our side of town to my brother's house on the north side of Cinci. By the time we dropped Pips off at the kennel it was around 12:30, factor in the time change headed from Central time to Eastern and it was already 1:30. It takes 3 hours from Nashville to Louisville and then another 2 to Cinci. The first leg is pretty dull and full of nothing but farmland and horses, with a few roadside cavern attractions (like Mammoth Cave). We saw a few traffic jams but fortunately they were always on the other side of the road. At our first pit stop we saw a butterfly had been our first casualty. Right past Louisville my brother called to see where we were at and to start the ordeal of picking where we would eat for dinner. We're not picky, we like all types of ethnic foods and are MUCH happier in a dive of a restaurant than an overpriced, cliche chain. Chili's is about the only chain we ever eat at because their fajitas ARE SO FREAKIN' good. And two for one margaritas! =) We managed to pass through Louisville around 4:30 and started through Cincinnati around 6, so we managed to perfectly time both cities to get some rush hour traffic. It really wasn't bad, there was some slow traffic headed towards my brother's northern suburb.

My nephew was really excited to see us. He's 4.5 years old. He started talking as soon as we got out of the car and is probably still talking. My niece just turned one. We unloaded our luggage and hopped in their car to head out to dinner. We decided on Mexican, without even realizing it was Cinco De Mayo. The first Mexican joint (Abuelos) had an hour and a half wait. Uh no. We asked them if they had a local Mexican place so 15 minutes later we drove up and people were everywhere. We drove past another one that was also packed. Their suburb is miserably overcrowded, I would lose my mind. We ended up at a place that's basically the same as a Chipotle's/Moe's burrito joint. It wasn't very good, but it was food. Afterwards we played on the nephew's swing set and checked out my brother's new game room. He's just added a ping pong table, air hockey table and rod hockey game.

The next morning we woke up around 7:30-ish. I opened the door to our room to see my nephew just standing there. I had told him not to wake us up the next morning under any circumstances, and he didn't!! I asked him how long he had been standing there and he said "since the morning" so I'm not sure what that meant. Brent, my brother and I went for a 2 mile run in his neighborhood just to stretch our legs. It was fun. My brother has just started running and was doing part of the marathon relay with some other guys from his church. On their team of 4, 3 of them (including my bro) had never done a race before, so they were all really nervous about it. We did some bike shopping that morning (I think we're about decided on the Trek bikes we want) and then went to the expo that afternoon.

The expo was pretty nice. It's quite a bit smaller than the Country Music Marathon expo, but still a really nice expo. You get SO much free stuff for this race! We got our t-shirts and race bib/final instructions, a REALLY nice gym bag with the race log embroidered on it, and a race poster. We also got the goodie bag of free samples and race brochures and pig noses! We walked around the booths and left with arms FULL of freebies. They also had a race course video playing, so we stopped to watch that. The Eden Park hill looked pretty terrible from the video, blah! My brother was rushing us the whole time. Their church was having a spaghetti dinner for all of the runners. It turns out my sis-in-law had signed up to help decorate. Somehow that translated into us helping her, so we went straight from the expo to the church building to blow up balloons and listen to an absolute brothel of children run around like screaming banshees for an hour and a half before the dinner started. It was NOT the way to spend the afternoon before race day! I was SO tired. The dinner was nice, and we got to meet several other guys running including my brother's teammates. They were all really excited about the race. Two guys there were running their very first whole marathon the following day, and another guy was running his first half. It was fun to be around so many enthusiastic "first-timers".

After we ate we headed back to my brother's house and got all our stuff ready for the following morning. I'm still trying to convince my brother of the virtues of moisture wicking fabric. I may just have to buy him an outfit and mail it to him. It makes such a difference!!!! My brother's part of the relay was the final leg (mile 20-26.2), so he didn't need to be there as early as Brent and I. When we backed into it I was so bummed to realize we'd have to get up at 3 a.m., EST. That's just not right. The race started at 6 am EST, and I like to be there around an 1:15 early for a large race. Ugh. We went to bed a little after 9, and as I plugged my phone in I saw I had somehow missed a call from Elizabeth! She told us where she planned to be and what she planned to wear. Yeah!!!

When my alarm went off the next morning the first thing that went through my head was "Oh dear God. This is not fun. Whyyyyyy do I do this to us????" Then I got up, got dressed and ate some oatmeal. It was REALLY chilly outside. We didn't pack much in the way of long sleeves, but we had our trash bags to wear pre-race. We left right around 4:15, arrived downtown a little before 5. We got turned around a little, but ended up parking in a garage very close to the finish line. We followed some other runners over to the start area and there were a TON of porta-johns!! Yeah Flying Pig!!! We walked right up, used the john and found a place to sit down. I even went back again a few minutes later, and only stood in line about 5 minutes. Closer to race time there were some small lines, but nothing like CMM. Go pig!! One of my brother's friends spotted us so we talked to him before the race and then it was time to line up! I was sleepy, but ready to run. We had decided to run together, and run comfortable. I just wasn't in the mood to "push". I was at the Pig, I wanted to have fun! We got in the starting corrals, enjoyed the anthem, and the cannon was fired!!

To be continued.......we have some sugar free cookies in the oven and I have earned them!!!


Monday - NONE! There was no dog here to walk this morning, and tonight is a REST night!


At 7:47 PM, Blogger Darrell said...

love the description of the little rugrats and your absolute refusal to accept the change in timezones. Where are the pignose pictures?

At 8:11 PM, Blogger E-Speed said...

Your sis's kid was too cute! He's definitely a talker! Man I thought I had it bad waking up at 5!

At 4:21 AM, Blogger BuckeyeRunner said...

Looking good so far! Can't wait to hear the rest!

At 4:31 AM, Blogger Danny said...

i like the picture of your neice carb loading...

At 9:43 AM, Blogger KT said...

Mmmm, cookies. Sounds like you accomplished your mission to run a fun half!

At 10:33 AM, Blogger D said...

How awesome that you ran together! ...and a PR for Brent - right?

You guys are the king and queen of meeting fellow bloggers - how cool.

Your nephew is adorable!

At 11:37 AM, Blogger PLANET3RRY said...

Cincinny is only like 4 hours from Knoxville... I'll have to remember that. I would love to cross Ohio off my list with either Columbus or Flying Pig.

Can't wait for the rest of the story

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous angie's pink fuzzy said...

what cute pictures!

so, are you going to do the Sugar & Spice 50k??? ;)

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Lana said...

OH MY GOSH those kids are soooo cute!!!! I love it!

So what kind of Trek are you guys getting? Road bike or Mtn bike? Which model? I almost bought a Trek before I bought my Quintana Roo. I love the Roo, but sometimes I wish I had a good Trek road bike instead of a Tri bike. Maybe someday I'll get the Trek too!
I have gotten both my boys Treks, and they are awesome!

At 6:04 AM, Blogger Scott said...

OMG - screaming children... run...

Can't wait to read about the race itself.

At 2:53 PM, Blogger katierose said...

If you guys do end up getting bikes it would be fun for you to do the Danskin Triathlon. Although it's only for girls it is really fun. They have them all over the country throughout the year. I'll be at the one in Austin, TX on June 11th. You'd dominate the running portion!

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