Once upon a time I had a blog that was left to gather dust and cobwebs. After signing back up with Team In Training today I went back to dig up some of those old posts. This is part one of the blog about my first full marathon and first TNT experience.
I DID IT!!!!!! (Part 1)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18TH
I opted to park my car with the in-laws as opposed to spending the $48+tax on the hotel parking (per night!). I check in, and then head straight over to the Nike Expotique for my Race Packet pick up. Because I am with the Team in Training group we have a shuttle that takes us from the hotel to the expo at Union Square. The expo is JAM PACKED with people when I arrive.
INSANE. I want to enjoy myself after picking up my bib and race packets, but I really can’t. The lines for everything are out of this world. For example, they had a place to get youriPod etched (what the hell is that called???) but the wait was like 20 minutes. I opted to wait my 30 minutes in the line for the massage (which lasted 15 min). Then I head for the shortest line in the building. The Oxygen Bar. If you ever have a chance, try it. Strange but refreshing.
I didn’t have patience with the crazy Nike Town store so I went straight to the Macy’s building and headed to the food court where I was disappointed to find that Pete’s Coffee had been replaced with a Tom’s Cookie. WTF? Their coffee is SO NOT Pete’s Coffee good. As I was heading out the escalator with coffee and cookie (you didn’t think I was so put off by the replacement of Pete’s that I would not take the chance to sample the cookies, did you?) in hand when I heard “Oh my God, is that Gina? Gina!!!” Lo and behold behind me in the escalator is my good friend and neighbor Colleen who was here on her own for the half marathon. I love when things like that happen. After words I headed back to the hotel for the Pasta Party.
As I stood down stairs with our group waiting for the shuttle I had no idea what was in store for me at the Pasta Party. I expected some good eats and some rah-rah go get ’em speeches, but not what we actually encountered. When we arrived there were hundreds of people filing into the Moscone Center. Once inside the building all you could hear was cheering. Cheering for us. The participants, the friends, and family. Words cannot describe what this was like. Lining the path for us to the escalators, down the sides of the escalators and at the bottom of the escalators to the doors of the dinner hall, the mentors, coaches, and captains cheered for us. It was overwhelming. I tried in vain to fight back the tears. I don’t know what it was. Excitement, pride, joy? As I reached the bottom of the escalator I saw my coaches and mentors at the very bottom, and they were so excited to see me!!! So of course I let a few tears fall with a big smile! Hugs all around and then into the chow hall. These pictures do not do it justice!
Dinner was good. The entertainment was good and the honoree who spoke (I believe her name was Anne) was moving. Everyone rallied in excitement over the next days event.
The Redwood Empire team had a little pow-wow after and called one of our honoreesHank, who was supposed to be participating in the 1/2 marathon with us, but couldn’t’ because he was still in the hospital after 39 days of receiving many units of blood. But we knew he was with us anyway, and I was sure to think of Hank as I prepared for the marathon the next day, knowing how much it meant to him that we were there and knowing how much he truly had wanted to be there. After dinner I walked back to the hotel with my mentor Angela and her husband. We took a few detours looking for a Walgreen’s however we were in the Financial District and apparently everything closes at 5pm there. 😦 But it was good to chat with Angela and she gave me even more “you can do it” boosts before sending me to bed.
As I lay down that night I had set my cell alarm and the radio alarm, and put out everything i needed for the morning. Coach Renie and Coach Kathleen had made it clear they would meet me in the lobby at 4:15am to walk me to the starting line. Hmmm, the night before I went to bed at 4:15am! I did toss and turn, and continually check the alarm in through the night. I was afraid I would oversleep. But I didn’t. I was up at 3:45am and was about to set out on a life changing experience!
To be continued…