trips galore

April 26, 2004

hear it in the stairwell: Dave Matthews Band- Crash

I’m tempted not to give at least some detail concerning my Colorado trip because it seems like so long ago already but I don’t want any of my faithful blog readers to feel cheated by my “details to come” promises. I flew into Denver, CO via the Dallas airport last Friday night and arrived around 10p.m. (12a.m. Ohio time) only to find that Avis car rental desk workers are the most inept humans alive. They denied me a previously-made car reservation and left me stranded 100’s of miles from home with no transportation. Having not slept in the past 20 hours and just spent a two hour flight hip-to-hip with grandma-talks-a-lot, I did the Christian thing: grabbed my bookbag and stomped away to spend another late-night hour scouring the airport for the ONE rental car company that would give me a car. And, praise God, it was a sweet car- CD player, sun roof, pimped out. So it’s a little after 11p.m. and I’m finally on my way to Colorado Spring…an hour drive from Denver. In an effort to stay alert, I open all windows and blast the stereo. Remember, I’ve never seen the Rocky Mountains so arriving in Colorado after dark is such a tease! I know mountains are looming above and around but I can’t see anything! So I’m about half way to Springs and I discover that in my rush to make it to the airport in time earlier that day I forgot to grab the handy map-quest maps I had printed out with directions to all of my destinations. I have no clue where Stef’s house is and it’s midnight. With only his street address in hand, I manage to find his apartment building with the help of but one gas station attendant. New discovery: I have his street address but no apartment number. I drive around the parking lot (mind you, it’s after 12a.m. (2a.m. Ohio time)) until I recognize his blue VW van and head to the closest apartment door to look for his last name on a mail box. I find it and enjoy a glorious 6 hours of couch sleep.

I walk out the door (very) early Saturday morning and freeze. Not only is it the most beautiful day thus far this year, there are the most beautiful mountains all around and a spectacular view of Pikes Peak from the porch. I spend about 3 hours hiking, climbing and exploring Garden of the God’s before me and my rental car begin the climb up Pikes Peak. Colorado is quite possible the most beautiful location I’ve ever been to.

After a quick stop at Red Rocks amphitheatre, I find myself back at the Denver airport and, via the Dallas airport, back in Dayton late Saturday night. Yes, I made a 24 hour trip to Colorado and it was more than worth it.

On to this weekend…

Friday morning Eric, Andy, Natalie, Trish and I set out for Nashville, TN with our game faces on. Yes, it’s marathon time.

(Eric spazing out next to pool)

Upon arriving at our hotel (which shared a parking lot with the Titans Stadium AND has a guitar-shaped pool), we meet up with the rest of our long-distance team, pick up our race numbers (and tons of other free junk for runners) and then off to eat ridiculous amounts of pasta at the Rain Forest Cafe at the Opry Land Mall. We head to bed early b/c of our 4:30a.m. mandated wakeup call. At the stadium, at 5a.m. we stand in line for the shuttle in a torrential downpour: thunder, lightening, and standing water.

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By 7a.m. we are officially drenched, freezing and at our corrals ready for go-time. One minute before the race begins, as 16,000 runners are perched and ready to run the most soggy race known to marathoners, the rain stops! And although our shoes and socks are already water-logged, the crowd begins to cheer and trash bags and rain ponchos fly into the air. Let the race begin!

Let me tell you now, after mile 9, no pair of shoes is comfortable let alone wet ones. The wetness factor, combined with the fact that the Nashville marathon is the most hilly marathon course in America did not make my first experience peachy. Luckily the weather was cool, every inch of the course was lined by people cheering, there was a ridiculously twangy country band every two miles, and gatorade was provided in abundance. Miles 5-7 were in neighborhoods and it was during those few miles that I experienced more white-booty-hanging-out-on-the-side-of-the-road than I ever care to see. Yes, many people decided against the plethora of port-o-potties and opted for the in-clear-view ditch for their bathroom needs. Lovely motivation to run just a little bit faster.

post-race happiness

All-in-all it was an awesome experience. All of us met our goals…Andy and Eric did under 9 minute miles (Andy did full marathon)and none of us girls walked at all! Pictures will be posted soon and more detail will be added then:) Stay tuned…


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