Tuesday, October 16, 2012

And the whirlwind Marathon tour continues...

I flew from chicago to bozeman wednesday and then left early thursday am for San Fran.  The Nike Women's Marathon weekend was FINALLY here!  It felt great to have a successful Chicago full behind me and I was amped to meet the other girls. I forgot to have ben snap a pic so I took one in our lovely remodeled Bozeman Airport Bathroom.  Faaahhhhhncy.
Unfortunately we were all delayed flying into San Fran due to fog--but at least we were all in it together.  When we finally arrived, however, it was a quick change into amazing gear and head out to a photo shoot.  Those of you that know me know I am NOT photogenic.  I tend to look as though I am being electrocuted or having a stroke.  It doesn't help that I have HUGE teeth and no lips... I digress.  It was great to cruise through the city and see the various neighborhoods and chit chat with the other girls. They were all VERY photogenic and comfortable infront of the camera: GO GIRLS!!  Me not so much.  i have NO fierce face.  but it was still very fun.  even though I was shaking due to the level of discomfort I was experiencing.  Renisha was hilarious and told us these nonsequitor stories to help keep the tone natural, although they made me giggle due to the random content.
Here she was telling us about "Fried Chicken" and I couldn't stop laughing because I know she is a vegetarian.  She is such a great person.  She was telling us about how she has struggled with low self esteem (i think we can all relate) but she is so adorable and fun and kind and sweet and I hope she realizes she has a lot to offer!! :)

When we went to our rooms there was a bag of yet MORE GEAR waiting for us!!  It was awesome!  The hoodie is stellar and I wore it a lot over the weekend.  Also  grey pair of my fave black capris--so I was stoked.  Plus a pair of the nike free 3.0.  They are so cute with the neon laces!  Also i received a great white and gray jacket--super light weight and comfortable. 

That first night we went to dinner with Robin from Team Epiphany and Lydia from Nikewomen.  Robin was our stylist for the shoots and she was great.  She herself is adorable and pixie like in stature but edgy with green locks and hilarious and patient to deal with us!! It was great to meet these women too since we have only been communicating via email and a few calls. After dinner we went up to our rooms to find these lovelies waiting!  I was so ecstatic I yelled out loud!  I was not expecting these shoes since they were selling out so quickly, etc.

Before we met for our stretch session we all ate breakfast in Tiara's room where karen and I were practicing our Fierce faces.  #photoshopfierceness

Friday am we met up with Marie for a stretch session at Fisherman's wharf with the NikeFuel team too.  It was scenic and felt so good after two days of airport travel.  It was awesome to meet the Nike Fuel team--they are so fun and positive and pumped about their product (as #SistersInNike are too!). 

On our walk back we ran into a great statue
After our stretch out session we went on another photo shoot with Jerome and Lydia and Robin.  This went a lot better than the day before.

After the shoot it was time to go pick up packets and check out the expo.  Also around this time Hubbee showed up. We also went and picked out our items to be customized.  Nikewomen gave us gift cards to go to Niketown and choose our items.  I chose a half zip.  I love the fabric; it is dri-fit and super soft/smooth. 

Friday was a busy day.  Stretch, photo shoot, expo, shopping, dinner with Nikewomen and Marie (also her mom--who is super cute!) then off to the ice party.  A VIP event where they unveiled the Tiffany finisher's medal and Joan Benoit Samuelson spoke, as did Jay Blahnik.  I was star struck by the whole affair.  It was so cool to be among some serious game changers!!  
Karen was on the fuelstream!!  So was Tiara several times! Yay Chicas!!

Saturday was a shake out run with Marie.  It was over by the Golden Gate bridge and the weather was AMAZING.  Marie warned us not to push too much on the hills to save your legs for later in the race.  I think this was key to success.

Renisha and Nerissa coming down the pier.

After the shake out run we had some free time.  Most rested their legs.  I went sightseeing with hubbee.  My goal for the weekend was to ride the trolley and ring the bell.  Mission accomplished!

WE took the trolley past our hotel, the sir frances drake, and over the hill to Fisherman's wharf.  it was hokey but fun. 

We had a little snack on the pier and then meandered our way back to the hotel.  We walked down lombard street where their were some girls passing out free Red bulls (helped me kick the hills butts).

The hydrangeas were ENORMOUS!  They were bigger than my head and more like a tree than a bush.  Gorgeous.  I also ate a nutella and banana crepe.  I haven't had one since paris and that was forever ago... such a fun city to walk around.

We laid low in the hotel saturday night and my friend Vanessa popped in for a visit.  Before bed Karen, Renisha and I met for a pow wow.  I think this was the first race I was not nervous about.  After Chicago I was not sure how it was going to go but just planned on running an easy pace and taking pics.

Race day!!!  I was consuming my pre race coffee and meeting the girls in the lobby at 6:30.  Get your game face on!!

NikeFuel was there in the am to get prerace fuel pics to compare with post race.  This is one of my fave pics from the weekend.  I think we all look great and ready to conquer!!  I had a blast at the race.  I did have a stomach issue between mile 3 and 4 but after that it was GREAT.  Even with the fog and mist it was beautiful. And being among that many women pushing for the same goal and running for an important cause was motivating.  I loved the hills.  They let other muscles in my legs rest and made me check in with my posture.  Around mile 9 I picked up my pace and at mile 10 saw Hubbee which always gives a boost.  Then you could see the surf and we entered Golden Gate park.  I laughed as I passed Bison due to the randomness.  I became a bit emotional when I suddenly felt paul's presence.  I know he was there at both races and during all my training.  Sunday was the one year anniversary of his passing.  I fortunately was able to regroup and blast through my last mile and a half.  I was so happy to finish strong and with my ever present SMILE.  

I picked up the pace quite a bit on the last mile so hubbee didn't actually get to see me cross the finish.  oh well.  it happened!! 
I was waiting for all the girls to finish.  Although with the crowds it was hard to see anyone and the cell service was very spotty.  I must have just missed Nerissa while I was walking back towards the course, but she RALLIED.  we both felt like our races went well and we were prepared.  I walked up the course a bit to take pics of Karen and Tiara.  Tiara texted that she was struggling.  I was sending good thoughts and even tried tweeting to NikeFuel to boost her along if they were out on the course.  I saw Karen(she is so tall she is harder to miss than Nerissa or me!) and then received a text from Tiara that she didn't think she could do it.  I dropped my stuff by hubbee and start running up the course.  I didn't want her to NOT finish when she had made it sooooooo close.  She pepped right up and back to the Tiara we know and love when she saw me.  It is so helpful to have distractions when you hit a tough patch.

She's doing it!  And yes, I LOVE to run! :)
Here are some pics of Karen Tiara and me after the finish.

We all made our way back to the hotel.  Tiara and I ran into Joan Benoit Samuelson leaving her hotel.  She was great and posed for pics, however Tiara has it.  it is also on INstagram Im turtlegirl00 (bet you never would've figured that out!! :))  That was a fun treat!!  :)

Ben and I met up with Angie, our friend for lunch and a well deserved beer.
We moved to an outdoor patio but I switched to water. The beer at lunch hit me fast!! :) And I wanted to be able to have a cocktail with the ladies too and not feel like ass in the am.

Here we are at the lobby of our hotel having a "breakfast at Tiffany's" cocktail in honor of our hard earned BLING!!

even my cap is Nike!  I bought it in amsterdam or south africa several years ago...

I had a nightmare time getting home due to the fog... but I made it.  Adios San Fran!!

It was a trip of a lifetime.  I can't thank Marie Purvis, NikeWomen, NikeFuel, Team Epiphany and my #SistersInNike enough.  The race was so well done and such a wonderful event in which to take part.  I always feel a bit blue after a race is completed.  What next? where to go from here? how to get back into training?  But I know I have made virtual training partners for life and I am hoping and praying that the team Karen and I put together for Hood to Coast is chosen.  That would be such a blast!!!!  I am also looking forward to the virtual 10k on Feb 9th that NikeWomensMarathon is hosting.  I am honored to take part in this experience and feel as though it was the best way to honor my step dads passing, too.  Thanks everyone for making it so amazing and monumental.

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