it finally came! i feel like i was waiting forever, but in the same time it came so quickly. the week leading up to it was crazy just like everytime i go out of town it seems. i had my final project for my class due on tuesday and had to get everything finished before we left because there was no way i was doing it while out of town or when we got home late monday. plus work was crazy trying to wrap everything up for the first week of school for all my students. like i said, the week leading up to going out of town is always crazy.
soon enough it was friday evening which i was spending part of out at lake las vegas for jesis bachelorette party so i needed to be pretty much ready to go before then. i had time to finish my last minute packing and even clean the apartment before it was party time! we had a great time at dinner and the hotel was beautiful, i was a little jealous i wasnt staying the night. but my 6am wake up call the next day to get on the road was awfully early. i made it to bed that night around midnight and was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. the next morning came too quickly and i was up and in the shower so we could head out. after a quick stop at einsteins for delicious bagels we were headed south!
we made it in great time, right about noon to the abundant and beautiful sunshine of long beach, ca! the plan was to hit the expo first, lunch and then check into the hotel. the expo is seriously one of my favorite parts of the whole weekend, the energy is fantastic and the bib makes it very real. this expo was a little on the small side and i kept expecting more. it was nice to finish rather quick though. the original plan was lunch on our own then met my husband, nate for dinner. he had a concert that night though and we switched thing around for lunch. he had found a diner near our hotel that we were going to meet around 130p at. we crossed the bridge from long beach to san pedro where were staying and i felt like we were in a whole new world, i was pretty sure we were one of the only people that spoke english. we found the hotel pretty easily and i was really glad i picked a brand name (the crowne plaza, more on that later). we ventured to the diner to meet nate a few minutes early and as soon as we pulled in, i was like oh no we are not staying here! we were definitely not in the right part of town and we needed to get out of there, even in the daylight! once nate got there we decided to head back over the bridge to the pike next to the beach instead.
once we got back to the right part of town lol the 3 of us decided on islands for lunch and were starving! lunch was delicious and we had a great time all catching up. nate and richard had never met and they both were definitely scopping each other out:) (nate and i went to college together and he has remained one of my best friends since. in fact in college people joked we were married because we were always together. in march he is getting married in england i will be heading over the pond to celebrate!)
|with 2 of my favorite guys:)|
afterward nate was headed back to the oc to meet his friends for the concert and we decided to venture back over the bridge to our hotel and maybe catch a nap before dinner. the hotel was really nice, a king bed and lots of space! i mainly picked it because it had a shuttle that would take us to and from the start line on race day. this was the deciding fact because parking for the race in long beach is a nightmare. the staff was great and we headed over to the bell desk to sign up for the shuttle right away. however because it was almost 4p on saturday we got stuck with the 430am shuttle! oh lord that means a crazy early wake up call and hanging around the start line for 2 hours before the race starts!
once we napped a little and watched some tv, it was so nice to just lay around sometimes, we decided it was time to find somewhere for dinner. it was right around 6p so it was perfect time. richard wanted to walk around the shops we had seen on the scary drive to the restaurant and i wanted to beeline for the restaurant. the concierge suggested a pasta and seafood house super close so we were ok with walking. now by that i mean i had big crazy eyes trying to be alert and richard was on facebook or looking in all the shops that had closed at 6p instead. we got to the restaurant and i knew it was time to carb up. i found a seafood pasta dish that sounded delicious and richard found lasagna. now the seafood pasta could have been split between 2-3 people once i realized how big it was! it was soooo good though, the seafood was super fresh and the sauce was just enough.
after rolling myself back to the hotel i started to get ready for the next morning. i laid out all my clothes and snacks and bags so all i had to do was grab and go in the morning. it was so great to be back to the hotel early and get to bed early, this never seems to happen. 330am though still came damn early. we arrived super early at the start line and the day went smooth from there. check out my next post for the full race report! it was just too long to fit in one post:) but know that my training all came together and i could not be happier about my finish!
|1/2 marathon #5, done!|
amazing support team!
later that morning, yes it was still morning, i hobbled away slowly from the finish line festival in search of one thing...chicken and waffles. i really wanted that to be my post-race breakfast in nashville but it never happened. then randomly i got online to the famous roscoes in los anglelos website and found out they had one in long beach less than a mile from where i was crossing the finish line. i had been excited for days and couldnt wait to finally taste the meal i had heard so much about. we arrived to about a 20 minute wait, no big deal as we sat in the lounge and watched more runners pile in. our number was called shortly after and we made our way through the super busy restaurant to the back for our table.
looking at the menu i was almost overwhelmed but decided not to go too overboard and ordered a waffle and thigh. the food came pretty quick and smelled fantastic. i dove into the chicken 1st and it was aaa-mazing. so juicy and succulent, dang thats a big word for fried chicken. then came the waffle that was phhh-enomenal. the right amount of sweet and savory and a perfect balance to the chicken. the best part was the syrup came in a little container on the side so i didnt have to worry about anything touching the other. richard and i both devoured our breakfast pretty quickly. our only regret was not getting more chicken. we instantly made the resolution to come back in the morning for another round.
afterward we made our way back to the shuttle stop just in time for the 1st ride back. i hobbled my way into the shower as soon as i got upstairs and headed straight for our very comfy king size bed to take at least an hour nap before the afternoon adventures. richard stayed up and watched nascar while i was fast asleep. we had already decided to not stay in long beach for the rest of the day, but to venture up to santa monica to the famous pier and the 3rd street promenade. after again hobbling around to get dressed from my pjs and make it down to the car we headed north, only getting on to one wrong freeway, to beautiful santa monica.
i had been once before, but richard hadnt. we battled the crazy traffic and decided richard couldnt live there or he would be mad all the time, finally finding a parking spot near the beach. it was beautiful! a nice warm day with lots of people, maybe too many. we saw amazing houses and hotels right on the beach i would have gladly upgraded for. we mosied our way to the pier partially because i couldnt go anywhere fast and partially because we were finally in no hurry. we scoped out the sunglasses and souvenirs at the shops along with people watching the whole way. it was a great afternoon that ended with my first taste of ice cream in the form of a homemade dutch chocolate milkshake that was glorious.
we made our way off the pier and up to the massive shopping center called the 3rd street promenade. this place is huge and has tons of shops and restaurants, perfect for strolling around for the rest of our day. we finally found richard a pair of sunglasses and went into a few store here and there. we ended up deciding on pizza that night for dinner, one of the other things i dearly missed in my training. it was also super delicious.
by this time most things were closing and the cool beach air was settling in on our shorts and tanks/tees, definitely time to head back to the car. finally making it and not being too cold we made our way back through the 3 ghettos to our hotel. we made it another early night and watched part of kim kardashians wedding before blissfully falling asleep for another early morning wake up call the next day. the alarm began ringing about 6am so we could check out and get back to roscoes for breakfast before driving back to vegas. except roscoes clearly does not run that early since they didnt open till 8am and we were there at 715ish. richard convinced me not to wait as were on a slight time budget to make it back for nick and jesis weekend and we found a delicious donut shop a few lights down.
as i drove back with richard sleeping in the front seat i replayed the weekend in my head. having a super fun lunch with nate and walking around in the ghetto next to our hotel totally freaked out. the amazing race i had just won and knocked off huge numbers from nashville. the fact that i had just finished 1/2 marathon #5 and already had plans for #6 and #7. and the amazing support i have from the guy sitting next to me that didnt complain about getting up at 345am the morning before to catch a shuttle that got us to the start line 2 hours early. i decided i was a lucky girl and have a lot of things really going my way.
we made it back into vegas in time to pick up a few things on the way home and for me to take about a 1/2 hour nap before the wedding. dont worry, all those things are coming up in later posts:)