Friday, March 30, 2007

Atlanta part2: Shop til we drop

So, when I last left you we had made it to Atlanta along with half the state of Illinois and enjoyed our first night in our posh room. I actually woke up sort of early Saturday morning (around 8 am). I'm in the love with the big rain type shower we had in the room and I'm determined to find the same one somewhere around here and buy it. We got dressed and walked a couple of blocks over to the expo. If it wasn't for the long line and crowds you really wouldn't have known there was an expo. The Miami marathon (also sponsored by ING) had massive quantities of balloons, signs, and really cute little orange feet leading you up to the expo. We got there right as the expo opened and the line was around the block. Once you got in the doors the line for marathon participants was really short, so we were able to get our packets really quickly. Brent had already decided to run the half instead of the full months ago but he didn't officially swap because for some reason that was a $10 fee. As if. We walked around and I bought some Cliff Bloks for the race and grabbed a few race brochures and free samples. The Waffle House booth was a scam, all the free t-shirts were for later. We did get a free CD from a radio station booth from a nice DJ who empathized with our lack of a decent alternative station here in Nashville, and we greatly enjoyed the wit and sarcasm of the guy stuck in the inflatable fruit juice bottle. The best swag was the free vinyl ING bags. I made a trip past that booth a few times. I would have gone a few more times if I knew they were better supplied with bags than Powerade! Overall the expo was OK, pretty standard stuff. I had fun posing on the ING bench with random people. In Miami they had photographers taking your pic on the bench and then emailing you a link to get your photo online. In Georgia the bench was much more multipurpose.

From there we headed out to IKEA. We had lunch in the IKEA cafeteria and shopped all the goodies for a few hours. Our top find was really cute shaped ice cubes - just like what Colin Cowie uses. We bought several shapes we're going to be using at a cookout we're having tomorrow night. From there we asked a redneck in the parking garage where West Elm was, and he said there wasn't one in Georgia. We found it about a half mile down the road in part of a really cool live/work/shop community full of great shops. We shopped there for a while then kicked back in a coffee shop for a little while. From there we hung out in Little Five Points for a while before driving around some older historic neighborhoods and ultimately having a quiet little Italian dinner at a restaurant we found on the race course. We thought we had hit gold when we saw a Trader Joe's but it was still under construction. I'd love to check out Trader Joe's! (We are getting a Whole Foods here which I'm pretty excited about!)

We turned in early (after making a horrible turn and ending up in a not-so-happy-place) and got all our gear ready for race morning. Of course it took me forever to go to sleep but when the alarm went off I was pretty excited and ready to go. We had some breakfast, took care of business, and headed to the start area. It was pretty much a mess. I'm not sure why they didn't have starting corrals. It's really not rocket science and it makes for a much better start. They had pace groups but people were really standing wherever. At first we stood near the 4:15 group, even though I knew I wouldn't be going that fast. We moved up to near the 3:45 group only because a bunch of people I KNEW I would be faster than kept pushing up past us. I even heard one person say 'let's get closer to the front so we can see the starting area'. Um, yeah. The announcer kept going on about how hot it was going to be and to make sure you drank lots of Powerade, and that it would be available every MILE. Literally, he said every mile. I knew from the course map they said it would be available about every 2 miles, so I thought they had made a wise decision and amped that up due to the heat (foreshadowing people). He also kept going on about how they would start on time, but then the race started 5 minutes late due to a parked car on the course and people stuck on a MARTA train. Obviously someone just needed to take away his mike because he was useless. My favorite pre-race moment came when "Elbows" (the annoying guy standing in front of us who was completely unaware of the breadth of his elbows) wouldn't quit staring at me. I ignored him because I was in pre-race zone. He caught Brent's eye and said "Pretty fancy watches you guys have. I bet they do a lot". "Um yeah." "Do they have GPS?". "Yeah." "That's pretty crazy, I guess we may need to get one of those one day"-he said to his friend. His friend said "Nah,I thought about it and then decided I could do the same thing online once I got home." So what types of watches were they wearing, you might wonder? The online mapper had no watch and Elbows was wearing a dress watch. Seriously. Do they make those with a lap function???

After a short devo where a priest hoped we all got closer to God and called on him at least once during the race (I do believe I called on God many a times last Sunday.....) the wheelchairs were off and so were we........

And until I get my actual race report up you can enjoy the post about the race on our local running board. We actually saw P there (he's our Nashville Strider's president). I think it's pretty sad he had to run into a CVS and buy Gatorade, but I wish I thought of doing that myself! It reminds me a lot of the American Express commercial with Meb!

We bought all new bedding tonight!! Whew, expensive! We went super nice with an 800 thread count down comforter & fabulous sheets! Our new bedroom furntire is being delivered tomorrow and we're also having a cookout tomorrow night. Should be fun & hopefully the rain will hold off. Have a great weekend!


At 4:01 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Rae and Brent

I am SO sorry the race was so nutty. I knew the director from my previous life,,,and I wondered how she'd pull it off. Sounds like same stuff, different company.

You guys still had fun and made the best of it.

I hope all is well..missed ya on St. Pats. Hope everything is ok a few blocks over!!

See you at CMM??

At 6:13 AM, Blogger Sadie Pug said...

Great pre-race report.  It's good that you made the most of your time in Atlanta and had a sense of humor about the pre-start nuissances.  I was laughing to myself through your entire post.

Nice timing on the new bedding for right after your marathon.  Now I bet that was a good night's sleep!

At 6:13 AM, Blogger Full Metal Lunchbox said...

Sorry, that last comment was supposed to be from me.  I forgot I was still logged in as Sadie.

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Just12Finish said...

Elbows and online mapper - I hope I never run into them!

At 3:27 PM, Blogger David said...

You sure are a take no prisoners/no grief woman. It beter be right or you've got a riff to drop.

You should go run Jamaica one time... Don't worry. Be happy.

At 7:34 PM, Blogger Anne said...

Wait, did you not know the people you were posing with on the ING bench?! that's too funny. Almost as funny as a Waffle House being at a fitness expo. What the heck?


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