Friday, December 31, 2010

A quest for 3k

Midway through the summer, I posted my halfway through the year where am I at with my goals/resolutions blog, and Joe commented that we were both shooting for 1500 miles this year, and were roughly at the same mileage so far in the year.  We set about checking in at the end of each month to cheer each other on.  After a couple of random injuries, it became clear early in the fall that I was going to come up just short of my goal.

It was at this point that a genius idea was formed:  together we would complete 3,000 miles for the year!  (now you may be thinking...."wow Jeri, that makes you a slacker, since he's picking up all of your slack."  And you would be correct in that statement. :p),  We did end-of-month check ins to see where we were via twitter.  Of course, in coming just down to the wire (after taking a week off after Vegas, and then being deathly ill for a week, I again was coming up short) we realized we were going to meet our goal with a day to spare!  At the beginning of this week we had 9 miles to complete and Joe was having some achilles pain.  Of course, I manned up and offered to carry the team.... (geez, the nerve of the guy... I mean.. COME ON! [said in Gob from Arrested Development voice/tone FYI]). 

After 5 tempo miles were done on Tuesday (yes, me, who's not on a training program, opted to do a tempo run out of my own free will..... I was equally as shocked), we had 4 miles left to complete our goal.  The plan was made:  We would run our remaining miles "together" from different time zones (although don't ask us to coordinate those times... we... uh... struggled a bit) and hit our goal "together"!

#JJ3kChallenge:  Complete!

(FYI My first attempt at this photo was a major fail.  Apparently my macbook's photobooth takes photos in mirror image.... I'm so sweet.)

What do you say Joe, 3200 next year?  I'm in for at least 1600.  ;)

Tuesday tempo miles:  5 miles in 45:11.  Tempo miles:  8:25, 8:20, 8:29.
Thursday easy miles:  3 miles in 28:19.

Don't forget to check out my 100 follower giveaway.  Enter until Wednesday!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

100 followers giveaway!

A few months ago I emailed some companies to see if they would be willing to donate items for my 100th follower giveaway.  And now we are finally there....100 followers!!  Eeeeeeeee!  There are a number of items up for grabs in this giveaway, and I would be ecstatic to win it myself (however, I'm sure it states somewhere that I'm not eligible for my own giveaway.  Hey wait! It's my giveaway I write the rules.... anyway.... I digress... I will not award myself the loot, even though I want to.)

Moving on.  The items included in the giveaway are:
In order to be eligible for the giveaway you must:
Be a follower of Jerbear Shares....woot woot!  
And leave a comment with the one running "must have" that I need to add to my list.  
(Please leave a separate comment for each.)

Additional entries:
  • Tweet tweet tweeeeeeeeeeeet about the giveaway (including @jerilee40 somewhere in the tweet)
  • Post a link on your blog
  • If you've purchased a scarf to support Scarves for PRs you get +2 points (plus my undying love and title of favorite blog readers... just sayin'.....)
You will have until January 5th at noon (CST) to enter the giveaway, so get crack-a-lackin'!

Monday, December 27, 2010

What's Next? + Happy Birthday Me

Going in to the Vegas Marathon, I had some possible races on the horizon for the spring.  I knew I wanted to run the Fargo Marathon in mid-May and that it would be my A Goal race for the season.  I also knew I wanted to run a half marathon PR during training (to avenge my craptastic half in September).

I had originally planned on doing the Earth Day HM in St. Cloud MN, but when a quick mapquest revealed that it was over 4 hours away I thought better of it.  Even if that means that I won't get to meet Marshall Eriksen's family and potentially get one of his 6'9" brothers to fall madly in love with me.  Drat!  In addition the course description of hills (said in hushed tones with accompanying shudders and chills), didn't really "have me at hello" if you know what I mean.

Magically, I found a small half marathon race 25 minutes from my parents, and in the same city as my BFFF Sheana.  Since the course will be along the river, there is a very good chance for hills (shudders) as well, at least I'll only have to drive an hour to experience them, and will get to do them with my fam and bestie running around town cheering for me.  River Rat Half Marathon, you are on my LIST!  (Uh yeah.... gross name right?)

I have been toying with the idea of running the LA Marathon in March as well.  Megan is running it, and one of my college friends who is out in San Diego is doing it as her first and wanted me to accompany her.  After Vegas, I decided LA was a no go.  And then I decided I would do it with my friend as a training run for Fargo.  And then I decided that I would race it as redemption for Vegas.  And then I actually thought about it (as if I hadn't thought about it enough....clearly) and realized that the smart decision was to scratch LA, take the next 8 weeks easy-ish, slowing building up my mileage and strengthening my hips and knees, and destroying my training for Fargo starting in mid-February.

Please tell me the rest of you runners all have this obsessive of a mind......right?

So that lets you know what's on my agenda for the next six months:
4/23/10 River Rat Half Marathon
5/21/10 Fargo Marathon

For a super fun day, I also plan to take on the Irishman Challenge (our city's version of the Goofy Challenge, apparently).  Since I'm a girl of green (and am more than a wee bit o' Irish) I take my St. Patty's Day celebrations very seriously.  They have a 5 mile, 5k, and 1 mile race.  I've done the 5 mile once, and the 5k twice.  By participating in all 3 you get a sweet Irishman Award.  YES PLEASE.  I'm also hoping I can wrangle Miss Alyssa in to attending because I just plain miss her face. :D

In keeping with the birthday/26.2 tradition (yes it's now a tradition because it's happened twice) I signed up for Fargo as my birthday gift to myself yesterday.  Marathon #3 here I come!

I had a first the other day.  My mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas/birthday (clearly she doesn't read my blog) and I sent her a link to some new shoes I've been coveting.  Uh...hello lovers.....  The link was from the exact google shopping search to make the shopping easy peasy.  I explained to her that it should show all the online options so she could select the cheapest option available.

MamaBear:  So I just click on the shoe, make sure it says size 8 and give them my credit card number....and then they just send the shoes to me????
Jerbear:  Uh yeah.... what did you expect to do?

(Sidenote:  I actual refer to my parents as MamaBear and PapaBear in my head.... so very random.  Also, my friends used to make fun of me in high school because I referred to my mom as "Maaaaaw."  Pretty sure I still do that. :p)

Hi Mom, welcome to almost 2011...this is online shopping.  Given the fact that I only shop online I was pretty perplexed that there was someone left on the earth who wasn't familiar with the idea.  Apparently this apple fell miles and miles away from the tree.   Although it shouldn't surprise me too much, my parents still don't have a cell phone and got a DVD player (for the first time) 2 years ago and that was only because the local gas station that has movie rentals (yes I'm from the tiniest town ever) switched over from VHS to DVD and they had no choice. :p

I ran my first run as a 27 year old in them (along with a super cute almost all green outfit) yesterday and it was love.  I forgot my knee strap and had almost zero knee pain running in them.  Love love love!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Race Reflection

After a somewhat disappointing fall racing schedule, I've done quite a bit of reflection to solve the why.  I tend to be a problem solver through and through, so this is pretty natural for me.  My two disappointing races were the Sioux Falls Half in September and the Vegas Marathon in December.

I trained hard for the Sioux Falls half, including two days of speed work per week in my schedule coming off 6 weeks of racing 5ks.  On paper, I should've knocked a PR out of the park.  Instead of my 1:45 A goal, or even my sub 1:50 should-be-a-gimme goal, I had a disappointing (to me) 1:53:47.  Still a course PR, but very far from what I felt I was capable of running.

Vegas was to serve as redemption for my spoiled half.  I was sure a PR was in the bag, and thought that I had put in the work for a sub-4 finish if I worked hard enough in the race.  Granted, my legs/hips/knees wouldn't have allowed for a faster finish than the 4:31 I pulled off, but I'm not sure I would've gotten my sub-4 goal even if all the stars did align that day.

Somewhere along the line instead of just respecting the race distance, I became fearful of it.  And fearful of the pain that it takes to run that hard for that long (26.2 or 13.1).

Thinking back on some of my best races, I had put no pressure on myself.  Dallas White Rock Half Marathon 2009:  I'd been injured and wasn't even sure if I could run the race.  A PR was out of the question.  Yet to date, this is my fastest pace for the 13.1 distance (it was a long course, so ends up being a longer time over a longer distance, but faster pace than my actual PR...confused  yet?).  In August, I met up with Alyssa to do the Urban Wildland Half for fun.  Sioux Falls was my goal race, so I was just taking this as race to see what my legs could do.  No pressure = PR.  Granted it was a 27 second PR, but a PR nonetheless.  :)

In Green Bay I had some time frames I thought I would finish in, but more than anything I just wanted to leave Wisconsin as a marathoner.  And I had a very strong marathon finishing time.

Even going back as far as my sprinting days in high school, my best 100 m. dash was in the semi finals at conference where I was the #1 seed in my heat.  Since I knew I was supposed to win my heat pretty easily, it wasn't a big deal, and I just ran.  Naturally, this is the one and only race I would run faster than the 100 m qualifying standards for the SD state meet.  Regionals?  Choke Fest.  State meet?  Utter chokefest.

Maybe I'm entirely too wrapped up in times and finishes.  Maybe I'm taking the fun out of the running and racing by obsessing over all the minute details.  For sure I'm way too scared to try and fail.  And scared to push myself to the limits in a race and crash and burn.

Don't think; Just run.

Much easier to say than it is to do. :)
Sorry about the hohumness of this post.  I've 100% moved past being bummed/upset about these races, just needed to put it all down on words before I could close the book on 2010. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dashing Through the Snow......

This weekend I was lamenting to Aaron that I didn't think I was going to get a chance to enjoy a Christmas light run before everyone took down their lights.  And then to my great surprise today through the fluffy beautiful snowflakes falling, I noticed that the temp would be.... kinda warm.... after work.  And the wind would be... almost non-existent.  30 degrees that actually feels like 30 degrees.... I might be in love with you!  For the record I haven't ran outside in South Dakota since before Thanksgiving.  Wow.

I came home and got super excited to put on my new running coat.  I figured since it was a Christmas run, I would take my new coat picture in front of my Christmas tree.  It only seems natural.  I loaded up my iPod with Glee Christmas songs and I was out the door.

I had no plan for time/mileage/route and headed for the southwest side of town thinking that if the sidewalks were bad I could run in the street (very low traffic/residential area).  Immediately I knew the run was going to be slow going.  The two blocks surrounding my apartment were free and clear of snow, but there were a good 3" of slush and snow from there on out.  At one point I had to detour in to a parking lot and through snow drifts behind a business to reroute from the 3 feet of snow drifts covering the sidewalk.  When I made my way back to the sidewalk I found again that it was blocked.  I had no choice but to run on the road...... oh hai super busy street in town at night.  Sure glad my new running coat is WHITE SO YOU CAN SEE ME.  DON'T WANT TO DIE KTHXBAI. (That's me trying to be cool like The Angry Runner, FYI.)

I received one honk from a big city truck which I like to think meant "Cute new coat Jerbear!" and not "You stupid idiot you're going to get struck and die!"  To which I would reply, "If you did your job and enforced the snow removal policies I wouldn't have to....neener neener!"  But these are just hypothetical conversations, naturally.

I saw some houses that had some great light displays.  I found an all green light house (my fave, duh) and one with a movable blow up carousal in their yard (impressive).  I have many many "Naughty List" notices that are going out in tomorrow's mail to the a-holes who clearly haven't scooped their sidewalks since before I left for Vegas (that's right, I measured your snow accumulation....shape up!).  I chattered merrily to the folks out scooping their sidewalks when I ran by.  I like to think positive reinforcement helps, no?

My knees and hips started to huuuuuuuurt about 4 miles in to the run from all the slipping and sliding around.  I contemplated rockin' out some snow angels to get some icing in, but thought people would think I am loco.

The whole time I was running, I was so very proud of myself for not looking at my time or distance on my garmin (because A) I knew it was slow, and B) really didn't care how far I was going).  And was even more proud that I wasn't having anxiety over finishing the run at an obscure amount (ie: anything other than .0, .25, .5, .75).  Go figure, when I was a block from home I heard my Garmin beep for the first time the whole run, and decided to just stop there. win this time......

I did 7 miles in 1:15:40 for a pace of 11 something.  The last 5 blocks that were completely clear (near a hospital building, so go figure) I averaged a 8:35 pace.  Snow = not easy. :)

I got to combine two of my favorite things:  running + Christmas....and could not be happier about it.  I'm fairly certain that I'm so obsessed about Christmas because I had to wait a full 364 days to celebrate my first one!!!  NOT FAIR.

In addition to the sweet Christmas lights, I also counted birthday candles that people had out to celebrate ME!  When I was little, I always used to think that the Noel candles people had on their porches were for me and Jesus' birthday!  Well, that stuck, and I still get all sorts of excited when I see them.  I found two different households with them, for a grand total of 5.  I'll probably have to find another 22 before Sunday (or my OCD will, I should say....).

I got my first birthday present in the mail from Danielle this weekend.  YAY!  So so so cute.  And I was surprised that she sent the green and gold prior to GB v. Pats match up (sadly they didn't help us get the W, at least it was a good game!)  Thanks so much Danielle, you're ze best.

I also came home to a bunch of fun Holiday cards today.......
Miss SusanJason, and one of my BFFs Nikki.  I also had my free birthday drink coupon from starbucks!!!!  Oh pumpkin spice latte, I'm a-comin' for you. 

And I found this gem when I was putting up my Christmas decorations this year.... my original stocking. Part of me wants to find some white felt and add the missing 40 to the end.  Twitter love, right?  ;)  #SuchADork

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vegas Marathon Race Photos

Friday night (yes I'm so cool that I go to the gym on a Friday night) I hit the gym for run #2 post-Vegas.  Can I just say how hard it is to find motivation to run when A) it's balls cold outside (yes that's an official temp here in SoDak) and B) the treadmill is sooooo boring.  Luckily I don't start official training until mid-February, so I'm cutting back my mileage quite a bit to give my body and brain a break.

I had another 3 miles to run.  My legs felt like junk again for the first half mile, but after that they loosened up quite nicely and the run flew by.  I would've actually done 5 miles if I had the time to do so. Social life calls!  Apparently the word has got out that cuckoo runner Jerbear isn't quite as cuckoo right now, so everyone wants to hang out before I disappear off the planet again.  Yippee!  :p

I did 3 miles in 27:53 for a pace of 9:17.

The good news is that my heart rate wasn't terrible high after the run, and came down really quickly when I was doing my cooldown walk.  Much much better than Wednesday's run where it was still 150-160 2-3 minutes after being done.  Haha.  Yikes.

I know I included a lot of the proofs from the race in to my race report, but I ended up breaking down and buying my race pics.  About a quarter of the way into the marathon, when I knew it wasn't going to go as planned, my new race goal was to take great race photos.  It seemed only right to have this as my goal after spending the weekend with The Angry Runner whom is known for taking some amazingly awesome race photos (to be honest, it's because she's a b.a. runner, not because she's not cute).
I can't believe the peace sign chick is trying to steal my cuteness thunder in this photo.  Damn her.

This is my fakey mcfake smile. 

My favorite photo of the bunch.

Naturally I found the lady in green to pose with for my finisher photo.  
Cute touch by RnR.

And there's gotta be one deathly awful photo right?  
What is it that my arms are doing exactly?

I wish there was a close up finisher picture.  
At least we can pretend that it's uber cute since there's no proof of otherwise.
Also, apparently I got a nice little tan frolicking around the desert for 4 1/2 hours.  

The best part of the race pics is that Luke and I were out celebrating life on Tuesday night when he got the email that the race photos were posted.  You'd better believe we stopped in our tracks to view all of our race photos immediately.  We're really cool like that.  :)

I gave in and did the Top Words on Facebook that tells you the top 10 words that were used in Facebook statuses for 2010.  I thought mine were not even a little bit surprising and wanted to share them.....
Here are top words from my Facebook status messages!

I'd say that pretty much sums me up to a T, no?  Except the D.  I'm willing to bet that D actually equals yeah... again.  Sums me right up.  Hah.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Run RUN RUUUUNNNN + Deserted Island

After Vegasssssss, I had planned to take roughly a week off from running.  Saturday morning I woke up raring to go for a run, and realized that I would have to rent a toboggan to make it to my gym.  Sunday I woke up with a cold to end all colds, and by Sunday evening it had progressed in to full on bubonic plague (I tend to be a bit of a worries).

Andrew commented on one of my Vegas posts wondering:
BTW how many germ-filled hands pulled on those knobs huh? 
In reference to the giant slot machine (I still giggle whenever I say slot FYI).  Answer:  at least one with the bubonic plague.

Monday and Tuesday were spent sleeping or laying on the couch, resulting in me freaking out about not having run in a week and a half.  I'm fairly certain this is the longest I've gone without running since I started running regularly 2 years ago.  I was feeling better Tuesday night and knew I'd make it to work on Wednesday.  As extra incentive to make it through the whole day, I laid out my running clothes and darted off to bed.

Wednesday I was counting down the hours and Kleenexes I was burning through in anticipation for THE RUN.  I hit the treadmill, although looking back it was perfect winter weather for running outside:  20 degrees, but almost no wind.  Thick beautiful snowflakes falling.  Sigh.  Next time.  Anyway, my legs felt like garbage starting out, but only took about a quarter of a mile to loosen up.  There were some random knee and hip aches during the run, but nothing I would consider actual pain.

I did 3 miles in 28:20 for a pace of 9:27.  I heart running.

I also got to try out my new Wave Rider 14s that I got today.  Has anyone switched from the 13s to the 14s?  I kind of hate them.  They feel giant compared to my cute little 13s.  But they're so cute in their pretty pink.  Hmmmm.


So Miss Susan tagged me in her deserted island post as one of the 7 people she would want with her on an island.  Yay!  As part of the tag, I am to answer 7 questions that she has posed to me and 6 others, and then make up 7 new questions for my deserted island pals.

1.  What’s the latest book you would recommend reading?  
The Raw Shark Texts.  I actually hope to re-read it somewhat soon.  It's pretty out there but oh so good.
2.  What’s your favorite holiday cookie?  

I love my Grandma's molasses cookies.  I've tried to remake them with her recipe but they never turn out right.  :(
3.  You have to sing karaoke:  What song are you singing?  

Since it's Christmas time, I would do Glee's version of Last Christmas.  Any other time of the year I'd be all about Alanis.... probably Head Over Feet.
4.  When you were four years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?  

I wanted to be a baby doctor.  Pediatrician was a tough word for a 4 year old.
5.  What are you most proud of in 2010?  

Running my first marathon.  Loving it enough to train for and complete the second one as well.
6.  You have the day off to do whatever you want…what are your plans?  

Barnes and Noble to wander around the books with a pumpkin spice latte in my hand.  Lunch at sushi masa without having to wait in line for a table.  Ice skating at an indoor rink, or a 10 mile run in freakishly warm temps that feels effortless.  Someone to cook me a really great homemade dinner and then head to Falls Park to look at the Christmas lights.  And then magically have this last season's episodes of Dexter so I can catch up.
7.  What’s on the top of your holiday wishlist?  (I need ideas!)  

A nook.

Now it's my turn to tag 7 folks.  Obviously Susan would be on my deserted island as well, but since I don't want her to have to answer more questions, I will choose:
**Man, apparently Luke's going to be a lucky lucky man on this island. :p

1.  Since you're all runners, what has been your favorite race you've done to date?
2.  And which is your dream race?
3.  What is your favorite holiday and why?
4.  What is your favorite running blog to read (no need to suck up and say mine, as that's a given....)?
5.  What is your favorite non-running blog to read (clearly I'm looking for some new awesome blogs to add to my reader)?
6.  What is your favorite guilty pleasure TV show?
7.  When are you going to run a race with me?  :)

If you're not tagged, do not feel left out.... answer a question of your choice.  :D

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The End of the Vegas Shenanigans

Tuesday was spent 100% Jeri style.  We slept in, threw on our swimming suits, grabbed starbucks, and laid out by the pool.  Heaven.  Give me a drink in my hand (even if it's a hot latte) and some sun on my face and I'll be a happy girl.  I had to laugh at the lifeguards who were wearing parkas and shoes.  The weather was tropical compared to the teen temps back home!

Since it was our last night in Vegas we decided to do it up large, Vegas style.  We spent some time in Paris where I insisted on talking with a French accent (which later segued into a French/Russian hybrid accent).  And decided to go up in the Eiffel Tower (aka Ifeeeeel Towaiiiiiiiiirr).  There is nothing cooler than seeing the strip all lit up at night.  But wait... there is.... getting to see the Bellagio light and water show from up above.  So. Stinkin. Cool.

I was super impressed with the extent of all the Christmas decorations around the casinos.  It was like a different winter wonderland with every different building we stepped in to.  "I just like to meet other humans who share my affinity for elf culture......"

And apparently at one point I thought I was a fish.... so that was cool....

After some more drinks it was finally on to our much anticipated sushi dinner.  Mmmmmmmm.  Luke is demonstrating the proper way to drink wine with chopsticks.  Please take note.  The food was soooooo good. 

And then we were off to Treasure Island for the highlight of the trip (IMO):  The Cirque du Soleil show Mystere!  The show was absolutely amazing.  It was so eerie and out there, and just fabulous.  There were moments that I had to remind myself that I wasn't on any hallucinogenics because everything was just sooooo crazy!
After the show, we randomly met up with one of my best friends who ended up being in Vegas for work.  Extra random is the fact that I went with him on my initial (and only) Vegas adventure in college.  A few short hours later it was time to say goodbye to Vegas.  See ya Sin City.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Adventures in Vegas

After the race on Sunday we all hobbled back to our hotel room to find the other boys fast asleep in our hotel room.  Jerks.  We decided that post-race drinking was far more important than rest or hygiene, so we threw on our compression socks and headed down to a casino bar.  A drink and a half down and my rage window was quickly slamming shut.  

We got all gussied up (aka de-salted ourselves...ok just me...hello salt block!) and hit up a buffet for our post-marathon meal.  Random note:  This is the first time that I've ever eaten my moneys worth at a buffet.  Shocker.  I know.  I think the full plate of desserts really did it for me.  Mmmm desserts..... 

There was some Kitty Glitter losses by Laura and I, and some major winning by the boys (jerks, AGAIN!) and far too much walking for my brokey hips and knees.  I also spent far too much time finding a dollar bill to get my fortune told by Zoltar and then found some random wedding bubbles in my purse.  Clearly this is an everyday use purse for me..... or not.  What better place to blow bubbles than on the Vegas strip?  There isn't.  

Once Luke revealed that he was trying to make us walk to a club in Canada, we all cried foul (and I literally almost cried because my legs hurt sooooooo baaaaaaaaaaad) and we parked ourselves in some random Harley Davidson bar.  The walk home in the pouring rain (I thought this was a desert G.D. it!!!!) with broken legs was less than awesome.

Monday morning we set out to see the strip before Laura had to head back hooooooome.  Mission A:  Find a giant frozen drink.  Check!
I think this was my one drink before I gave it back to Luke.  Oy kill me sometimes.  We wandered along the strip taking gazillions of pictures.  And I proved that yet again I can't take reflective photos.  Oh well.

I happened upon some old friends.......

And then found the perfect photo location to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and reveal that I'm moving to Colorado!!!

Juuuuuust kiddding....hehe.  Man that was mean. :)

Before long it was time to say goodbye to Laura, and continue on our PRR session.  

Bai friend!
(P.S. I kind of love this picture of us.)

For those of you following along at home for my fun and festive tweets, here's what it looked like behind the scenes.  Yes, at some point I thought it was clever to actually type on my qwerty keyboard using proper typing form.  Once I had perfected it, Luke made me try on his touch screen phone.  Sidenote:  I can't use a touchscreen keyboard normally.  I probably should've tweeted those tweets just for fun.

And then we ended the night with me not winning any money, but WINNING the impromptu PRPRR.  WINNAAAAAAAH.  Better luck next time Luke!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Vegas Race Expo

So you've all ready about the marathon, but I'd like to back track a bit to explore the rest of the weekend.  I'd been putting off packing until approximately 45 minutes before I was set to leave for the airport.  Granted, everything was laid out, but I have this weird thing about packing before I walk out the door.  Chalk it up to the double, triple, quadruple checking that must occur.  I thought my packing pile was pretty intense and worth sharing. :)

Upon getting into Vegas on Friday I was all by my lonesome.  Laura was set to get in late and I was bored.  I resisted the urge to pull up a spot at the bar and latch my hand around a yard long margarita.  And let's just say that resist is a pretty large understatement.  Before too long I was napping (lil Jerbear was all tuckered out, I guess), and then was ready to meet up with Jenny for a drink!  Random note:  She had actually saw me at Curly's Pub when I was in Green Bay and was too cool to say hi (jk!), so when I realized we were at the same hotel this time around we HAD to meet up.  ;)  We talked racing, running, and then had a random cowboy join our fun.  There was a big bull riding competition going on so Vegas was crawling with cowboys.  YEEHAH!

After falling asleep yet again and being awoken by the LOUDEST fire alarm, Laura had finally arrived.  Is it weird to meet your roomie for the weekend at midnight?  I didn't think.  Welcome to our hotel room, please don't chop me up in to bits, I'm too tired to fend you off.  Of course we had to talk for a gazillion hours, and a few short hours later Luke was at our door donning Starbucks deliciousness.  Mmmmm.  We waited around for Ryan and Dan to get in and then it was off to the Race Expo.  I probably walked much too far to get there, and my lesson was learned. 

We got our bibs, did some more standing around, and then because everyone was sick of listening to me whine about being hangry we finally made our way to find 5pm.  Yes, I didn't eat until 5pm the day before a marathon, and spent way too long on my feet.  Anyone else seeing some rookie mistakes for a non-rookie?  Uh... I am.

Awkward family photo? Check!

Hanging out with our best good pal Meb. NBD.

We hit up Buca di Beppo for my first experience with their food, and it left me 100% satisfied (twss).  I managed to eat about 3 meals worth of food in one sitting.  I heart carbs.

When we got back to the hotel, Laura and I met up with Sam whom I had met pacing the Mankato Marathon/Half Marathon.  I may have had my second dinner of chips and quac while listening to Sam's stories.  The fact that I was falling asleep at the table while Sam was going a mile a minute was quite the turnaround from Mankato where Alyssa and I were dance partying it up pre-race with Sam was grumbling about needing coffee.  Early bird, meet night owl.  :)

The rest of the night was spent talking (ie:  me freaking out about the race) with my legs up on the headboard (that kind of sounds dirty, but I'm going to leave it regardless.....hah).  Light's out!  There's a race in the morning.  :)