Monday, September 29, 2008

Crazy weekend

Over the weekend, I surprised Angie with a lovely trip to...drum roll, please... Omaha, Nebraska. She thought I was taking her to the zoo, which I was. Just not the Kansas City Zoo. I'd packed our overnight bags and shuffled the chihuahua to my folks' house, so we were all set for a fun weekend getaway. Besides the zoo, I had an ulterior motive for wanting to go to Omaha. As part of my marathon training, I wanted to run a half marathon. The Omaha Half Marathon seemed to fit the schedule perfectly, so off we went.

We arrived in Omaha around noon and headed right to the zoo. That place was amazing. We were there for almost 6 hours, and still saw only half of the place. We had an extremely unhealthy lunch (pizza, chips, and ice cream) near some cute penguins.

After the zoo, we checked into our hotel. I provided my driver's license and credit card, and the woman behind the counter handed me the room key, as well as two warm chocolate chip cookies. When we got to our room, we tried the cookies, and they were pretty damn awesome.

Dinner was at a brewery in the Old Market District of downtown Omaha. Artichoke dip, lots of bread, and a Thai chicken salad. Note to self: "carbo loading" does NOT mean you get to eat an entire basket of bread the night before a race.

As I slept Saturday night, I had a dream that I my alarm didn't go off, and I missed the race. I made myself wake up, and then noted the time: 4:50 a.m., which was 5 minutes before the alarm went off. I hate it when that happens. In a groggy stupor, Angie and I packed up our stuff, ate muffins, and got ready for the big event. This is me, "getting ready." Take special note of the bed-head, as well as the ski bunny pajama pants:

When we got to the race site, it was chilly. All the participants were lined up at the start, rubbing their arms to keep warm. As Angie wished me luck and moved out of the way, I started to choke up a bit. Her support through all this marathon business has been nothing short of amazing, and I was getting emotional just thinking about it. Leave it to me to cry before the race even starts. Geez. Here we are before the gun went off:

I was thankful to get the party started so I could get warm. I was getting passed by race walkers right and left, which was slightly embarrassing. However, I resisted the urge to keep up with the pack, and warmed up at my own slow pace. After a few minutes, I was ready to step it up. It felt wonderful to be racing again. I really enjoy my training runs with my friends, but there's something about a live race that is exhilarating and engaging. I was truly happy to be there, in that moment, running with such vigor and intensity. When I reached the halfway point and saw Angie, I flashed the cheesiest, dorkiest pose I could muster:

The second half of the race was hilly. I happened to be wearing my racing shirt from the Hospital Hill event I did a few months ago. On the back, it says "I Conquered the Hill." As I was running up an enormous hill that seemed to go on for miles, I really wanted to stop and walk. The only thing that kept me from doing so was the fact that my back said "I Conquered the Hill" and I didn't want to look like a chump. It worked.

My finish time was 2:17:30. I definitely wasn't first, but I wasn't last, either.

After getting my medal and grabbing some post-race treats, we immediately started our drive back to K.C. We got to relax for about 3 hours, but then it was time to get ready for a friend's wedding.

The after-effects of eating an entire basket of "beer bread"... painful.

Running 13.1 miles... really painful.

Squeezing into high heels after running 13.1 miles... holy-crap-i-am-gonna-die painful.

Feeling pretty in a short, black dress... priceless!


Rachel said...

holy smokes! you look fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Yes, you do look fantastic. And I have that dress! Awesome. :)

Topher said...

Way to keep that one a secret, both the zoo surprise from Angie and the 1/2 Mary from the rest of us. I read everything via Google Reader so don't see much of actual blogs, but I see you had it listed on your workout list for the week. 2:17 is KICK.BUTT.AWESOME!!!! Good for you.

Morgan said...

Yeah, I couldn't mention the trip (or the half-marathon) in the blog, because I didn't want to ruin the surprise for Angie. It was tough keeping it from you guys, though!

Anonymous said...

One word - stupendous! That was a great race time, not to mention the surprise etc. Oh yeah, you look fabulous in the little black dress - :D


SuperDave said...

Pretty incredible! Love the story and good race.. :)

Laura said...

What an AWESOME time on your race! You have come so far with your training and should be so proud of yourself! All of us that read your blog are so inspired by you.

The Lady of Things Forgotten said...

Awesome all around!

(you look fabulous. Also, the picture of you and Angie is suuuuper cute)

nicole said...

Hi Morgan! Been reading your blog for a while now and this last post inspiried me to say hello and congragulate you on your 1/2 marathon, you kick a$$! You guys look so cute together and it sounds like it was a fun weekend.

Also wanted to tell you how much you have inspiried me. I am now running for the first time in my life and you have given me the courage to dream about running a marathon. I'm not anywhere near where I need to be but I'm getting there. Thanks so much and keep up the good work! -n

Mal said...

Hotcha chotcha! You look foxy, lady! But, I have a special soft spot for marathoners... mrowww!

Mandy said...

Awesome job Morgan, what a great time!! You looked great in the race & super in your little black dress. I'm so glad you and Angie had a great trip. We missed you last weekend. See you Saturday! Mandy