Friday, May 31, 2013

Cleveland or Bust- 26.2 Part Two

When my Mom said that she didn't have my bag, that it was back at the hotel, because of a change in plans, I think I just stood there stunned. For quite a few miles I had been dreaming of that bag. There wasn't really anything life or death in the bag but I was fixated with it. Before I could say anything (at least it felt that way) my Dad was off and running, a few blocks, back to the hotel to get my bag. I had already told myself that when I got to my family, which was about the half way point, I would take an extended break. Since I was already in the mindset of just enjoying the experience I knew some rest and rejuvenation was in order to mentally prepare for what was to come.

Since my calves were feeling great and I was beginning to warm up I took my calf sleeves off. The 26.2 headband I had bought was slipping off and since the sun seemed like it was there to stay, I swapped my headband for my Shut Up + Run visor. My signature look if I do say so myself! By this point I was ready for some music so I also prepared my iPhone and headphones. I also took some time to do some minor stretching. It was while I was squatting down that I noticed multiple marathoners passing me and I wish (briefly) that I had been on my way already. After about ten minutes or so my Dad reappeared and I loaded up on sunscreen, Chapstick, swapped out my Gatorade and popped a couple ibuprofen. I debated putting more body glide on my feet or swapping socks but my feet still felt good and I didn't want to mess with a good thing. Now looking back I wonder if it would have made a difference.  

I thanked everyone and we talked about where they would hope to see me again and then I was off. Thank goodness it wasn't turning out like the dream I had. I went over the half way check point and figured whoever was tracking me at home probably thought something was wrong or that I took a snooze along the way. As soon as I had made the split for the full I felt like I was on my own. The crowd support disappeared and I was missing the many runners who were driving me crazy just a few miles prior. I'll be honest and say I don't remember much of the next couple miles. It was crazy hot, sunny and there was very little coverage from the sun. I was enjoying the marathon play list I had created though. Somewhere during mile 15, I saw a runner ahead of me and there was a sign on her backpack that said she was running in memory or honor of someone. I decided to make a friend and figured the sign would be a good conversation starter. The runner's name was Jody and she was running in honor of a child who was suffering from Cancer. I believe his name was Alex. Alex was going to meet Jody with a half mile left and run to the finish with her, so cool! Jody was from Ohio and this was her third marathon. She assured me that the feeling at the finish would be worth it all. Jody was not your average runner. As unaverage as I am of a runner, Jody was even more, and I liked that about her. Did that sentence make sense? Jody was running every other mile. Her outlook was brilliant because as we approached mile 16 she said she only had to run 5 more times and that seemed totally manageable. During this part of the run the marathoners had a switchback so there were tons of speedy people heading in our direction. I wondered what mile they were at and how long it would be until I was where they were. Apparently a long a$$ time. We turned a corner and there was a gas station there. I decided I needed a cold beverage. Not that kind, I had already had a couple sips of beer during the first half.  I told Jody I'd catch up with her later. The air conditioning felt great when I stepped inside and I considered asking them how much it would cost to rent out their ice cooler. I got a cold Gatorade and the cashier looked at me like I was nuts. I told her to keep the change because I didn't want the jingling for the next ten miles. I had a few sips and then I stuck the icy beverage into my cleavage, yea real classy, but cool and refreshing at the same time. Next time Im running in this...

As I was plodding along, keeping Jody in my sights to catch up with her, a familiar face caught my eye. Rob was in his running gear and was standing on a corner holding a bottle of water. I was pretty happy to see him. It appeared like he was alone so I asked what he was doing. He said he had run from the hotel (about 2 miles) and came to run with me for a bit. He did have a long run to get in and even though it wasn't his ideal pace, I welcomed the company and conversation. As we started to move forward I told him quickly that he needed to run on my left because that is where Molly always runs! I told him about Jody and we worked to catch up with her. Aside from the killer heat and sun I physically was doing okay. We did some running and walking and I apologized to Rob a few times because I felt bad that I wasn't running more. He just kept saying to not worry, it was my race and to do what I had to do. He even held my Gatorade for me. Have I said what a lucky girl I am? So lucky. Still no spectators and at this point even the volunteers at the aid stations were tired and trying to find any shade possible. On a few occasions volunteers offered hoses with cold water, but I was hesitant to enjoy it, for fear of chaffing and blisters. Rob reminded me about finding landmarks and making mini running goals, which is something I say to my Girls on The Run team so often. We picked telephone poles, signage and aid stations to run and walk to. At one point we were pretty close to catching up with Jody so we ran to her and I introduced her to Rob. I asked her if it was a walking mile and she said her legs were really bothering her and she was walking a running mile.

During mile 18 I decided to call Molly for a pep talk. It was also during part of this mile that I knew we were out as far as we were going to go and that we would get to start making our way back to the city. Woohoo! I don't really remember the conversation with Molly but she was positive and encouraging and it was what I needed. Before I knew it I was hearing familiar cheers and a cowbell and my parents were in front of me at an aid station at mile 19.

Great race support team, even with the bag mix-up

Okay, I promise to try to wrap this up in the next one, if it feels long, IT WAS!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cleveland or Bust- 26.2 Part One

I am sorry that this race recap is so stretched out. Life has really gotten in the way the last couple of weeks. Hopefully you are still waiting with baited breath, haha. I know I had to look back to see where I left off, you too

I woke up very bright and early and started my preparations. Having everything laid out was really helpful, especially because I was trying to be kind to Rob who was still sleeping. The plan was to meet my Dad around 5:20ish and meet some Rochester peeps in the hotel lobby at 5:30. When I got to my parents room my Dad opened the door very slowly and looked at me cautiously. I smiled and said something along the lines of "let me in". He reminded me of the time we traveled to Buffalo for a half marathon and I knocked on their hotel door panicking because I had been sick all night and morning and was going to have to drop out of the race. He was nervous that I might be having the same issue.  
Nope, good to go, let's get running!

I handed my race bag and Gatorade to my Mom and Dad and I headed downstairs. We met up with some fabulous ladies from Rochester and started to follow the masses walking towards the Cleveland Browns Stadium. It was on the cooler side but it was definitely humid and it wasn't even 6am. Ugh. Walking over with a mass amount of people made me so excited. I was surprisingly calm and couldn't wait to get started. Once we got near the stadium we decided to go inside to use real bathrooms and check out the scene. 


You wouldn't think it was that big of a luxury to use a real bathroom but believe me, it was! The lines moved fast too. I wasn't overly hungry so I slowly munched on my bagel as we walked around. We went outside of the stadium and took so pre-race photos. You know, to prove that I was actually there. 

Aren't you impressed with my color coordination?
Dad and Me,
Getting ready to set new distance PR's!!
Exactly two years after our first 5k race together. 

We walked down to the starting coral to find a spot to sit and relax a bit. Getting there really early can be annoying, but I'd rather be there and have time to kill then run late and stress out. We found the 12 minute pace flag which was located near the 10k start flag, so Dad and I would get to stay together until it was my time to run off. The marathon started at 7am and the 10k started at 7:30. Or whenever the hell I got my slow butt out of the way. While waiting, Mr. Dave found me! Here is proof that he was there as well. It was nice to have some familiar faces even though I knew I would be primarily running alone.  

We were all just sitting on the curb hanging out and people watching and at one point it started to get pretty crowded. There was so much energy and excitement in the air. There was a strong police presence and they even had dogs tracking for scents. Good thing I still smelled good at that point.

Starting to line up.
As the time got closer to 7am there was cheering and clapping and a helicopter flying over head and then it was time to go. But not really. If you've ever done a decent sized race you know what I'm talking about. You start and then stop and start up again and then slow down. It took me about 10 minutes to get to the starting line. Dad followed me on the sidewalk for a while smiling and waving and it is such a blur now. I do remember the juggling runner, more on that later. Glad I recorded some of it.

There was music, announcers and a ton of spectators cheering. I do have a strong memory of runners slapping the start line banner when they went under it, so of course I did too. I felt cool. It was a little overwhelming and I am pretty sure I got a lump in my throat and maybe some watery eyes. But I was just ready to run. Physically and mentally I felt great and I was looking forward to seeing Rob and Mom who were just a mile or so into the race. I knew where they were going to be and I didn't see them right away so I remember looking all over for them and hoping I didn't pass them. I don't think they were expecting me either because my Mom was struggling with the camera as I approached them for a hug and a kiss. I knew I wouldn't see any family members until the half way point so I wanted to soak up as much support as I could, even though it was so early in the race. 

The first half of the race was wonderful. Tons of crowd support. There were also aid stations every 1-2 miles and they were organized with signs and volunteers yelling out the type of drink they were passing out. The race started out by running on the expressway, what a great way to see a new city. It was cool and the wind actually made me have chills for the first hour or so. Also, since we drove this part of the course I knew there was a great deal of shade. I went out conservatively and slowed down during the water stops just like I wanted to, all was going smoothly. 

Oh shady streets, how I took you for granted! 

I do remember lots of signs, the best said "run fast, she farted" and had an arrow pointing to another spectator. I remember a lot of singers, bands and announcers. I remember lots of yellow volunteer shirts. I remember lots of high fives to kids and even a few adults. One neighborhood/aid station that stuck out a lot was the Tremont area. They welcomed the runners with a banner hung high and their aid station was like no other. TONS of spectators, hanging out at a bar none the less, loud music and crazy volunteers. It was at this point (not sure of the mileage) that I decided to take a port a potty break. I was concerned about the line and waiting in it as runners passed me by and then I remember something Thea told me prior to the race and that was to enjoy the experience. It was at that exact moment that I decided that I didn't care what my time was, or how close to last I was, I just wanted to finish and I was going to enjoy getting there. Miles 10-12 were challenging mentally. Hearing so many people around me say how close they were to finishing was frustrating. I told myself I wasn't going to use music until the second half, but I was really tempted to put my ear buds in. It was also during this time that the sun had come out, it was still humid and it was starting to get hot. The bridge coming back into the city had a great view and if I had been doing the half I probably would have enjoyed it a bit more. I just kept telling myself that I would see my family at the half, could take a little break, make some changes and get mentally refreshed for what was still to come. I also had texted my Mom and Dad and asked if they could get a soda for me. I was looking forward to something caffeinated, cold and sweet. 

The signage for the race was great. Everything was color coded based on the race you were doing and this made navigating much easier. I was happy to see that the split for the half and full marathoners was a few blocks from the finish line so it wasn't too torturous. It was a killer to see lots of runners with medals strolling back to their hotels or cars with their family members. My Dad met me and ran a few blocks with me to my Mom and Rob. It was great to have some familiar company. When we got to my Mom and Rob I stopped and drank some soda and asked for my bag since I didn't see it, but my bag was not there. 

Come back for more...I'll try to be quicker this time!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cleveland or Bust- Pre Race Jitters

In my previous post I failed to mention the fact that on the bus ride from the expo I got super nervous. Anytime I would think about the race my stomach would flip. What is it about the race that adds all that pressure? During my training runs, even the 20 miler, I never got nervous. It must be because all I have been thinking about for sixth months was that date and that race and now it was finally here! After Rob and I got settled in our hotel room we decided to head over to some shops across the street from the hotel. An Indians game had just let out so the place was a bit crowded and apparently this was a popular spot to take wedding photographs so we saw lots of wedding parties throughout the afternoon.


Our hotel!
The Hyatt Arcade offered one free boxed breakfast to each of the race participants. This was a total surprise since they didn't advertise this anywhere I can remember. I thought it was really cool because I have had a bagel before every single training run and I was really adamant about trying to get one for race morning. My Dad and I went down to get them with our tickets and by the time we arrived in the lounge Dad's ticket had disappeared! Somewhere between our rooms and the lounge it had managed to fall off, so we retraced our steps and it was nowhere to be found. We even did this funny elevator stunt to try and get back on the same exact elevator we had rode down. The people walking by probably thought we were weird. The good news was, I still got my boxed breakfast and it came with a bagel! Sorry Pops!
It was too early for the pasta dinner, and it was too nice out not to explore the city, but Dad and I didn't want to do a lot of walking. We decided instead of just sitting around the hotel getting antsy that we would drive some of the course. We followed one of the maps and only made a few wrong turns, overall it did seem really flat and most of the parts of the course we drove were shaded. Notice I said "that we drove". Bad foreshadowing. We wound up traveling the first half of the course. While we were out Dad needed to put gas in the car and I thought this was ironic...

Once we returned back to the hotel we had about ten minutes until the pasta dinner would open and they set it up in the atrium of the hotel. It is such a neat and historic hotel.

Even though the pasta dinner was pricey it was right in the hotel, they had a lot of variety, the food was great and you could eat as much as you wanted.

I didn't want to over do it and pay for it in the morning, so I had a nice helping and then went back up for a little more. Some of the elites were sitting at the table across from us and I have never seen so much pasta and so many rolls piled high with such a skinny person holding the plate. Let the record show that I also skipped dessert, that never happens. Ever.
After we finished I went to our room to get all of my stuff laid out, fill my water bottles and attach my race bib. Leading up to the race I had read a blog post from one of the official Cleveland bloggers about getting different bags ready for before, during and after. I decided I would make one bag that I would want during the race and then at the finish line. I also would throw an extra bottle of Gatorade in it. My parents said they were happy to hold on to the bag and have it with them when they would see me. Remember that nugget of info for the next post.

Once everything was organized, Rob and I went to hang out in my parents room for a short bit and then we turned in early. I never sleep well the night before a race. This time I know I slept, but my mind was on and running the entire night. I would wake up here and there and couldn't remember if I had just been awake or asleep. It was kinda weird.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cleveland Or Bust- Expo

Rob and I woke up bright and early on Saturday to head to Cleveland! We even left one minute ahead of schedule.

After some time in Pennsylvania we arrived in Ohio!

Yes, I am so excited that I am clapping in the background, and yes I am directing the camera man. The drive was pretty painless and we arrived right on time! My parents greeted us at the entrance and so did the hotel...

I am a marathon participant!! 
We tried checking in, but since we were early, our room wasn't quite ready. We decided to put our stuff in my Mom and Dad's room and head to the race expo. The Hyatt Arcade was the official hotel for the race and they offered a free shuttle bus to the expo.

We jumped on the school bus and traveled to the I-X Center which was near the airport, and a pretty good distance from downtown. As soon as we got off the bus there were beautiful, athletic people all over! The expo was huge and very well organized. We were given our bib numbers ahead of time but they had an alphabetized list posted as well.

Once we entered, we were surrounded by all sorts of cool products and merchandise. I headed over to the table where the official race gear was located but didn't find the finisher's jacket I knew I wanted. I guess they were only available for ordering after the race. Next up Dad purchased a 10k sticker since he would be achieving a new distance PR the next day!!

We then headed over to bib pick up and I got my bib. But that was it. No shirt or goodies or anything else. Weird. I headed over to where Dad was picking up his bib and the volunteer instructed him to proceed over to the next line where he would get his shirt and bag! Why didn't my guy tell me that?!?! Oh well.

Lucky number 13 in the middle! 
I am always nervous about my tech race shirts, I never know what size to order, especially when they offer a women's fit. The volunteer was VERY helpful in making sure I got a size that worked for me. I was a bit disappointed because I am not a big fan of white tech shirts, but beggars can't be choosy.

We then walked around the expo and checked out the different vendors and booths. I was excited to see that Road I.D. was there because I have been wanting to order other colors. Mom even tried to order me some for Christmas and didn't have any luck. So she bought me the colors I wanted and even bought a new color for Rob.

After we walked around we got a light (and expensive) lunch at the expo and headed back on the school bus to the hotel. Riding the shuttle to the expo was pretty neat because I got the opportunity to talk to other runners and listen to other running war stories. When we arrived back at the hotel our room was ready so Rob and I took some time to get settled.

Sweet souvenir room key! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

RUN CLE Goals and Prep

"If you want to run, run a mile. 
If you want to experience another life, run a marathon."
-Emil Zatopek

A little under 48 hours until I run my first marathon. Wow, the date I have been thinking about for 5-6 months is almost here. It's kinda funny when you think of a marathon. What I have been excited about and looking forward to, will probably be the most challenging and possibly painful experience of my life to date. It's probably what I would think pregnancy feels like, but the anticipation is even longer. Plus then you have to kinda raise the kid for the rest of your life. Hell, a marathon sounds like a walk in the park to me now that I think of it. No wonder people think marathoners/runners are insane and why many people have probably blocked me on their Facebook news feed. I have been so excited this week and am hoping the runner's high sticks with me for the 5-6 hours it will take me to complete the race. I've read many things that say don't worry about time for your first marathon. It's a guaranteed PR (personal record)! Well that's nice and all, but I think most runners are a little competitive and so I've set some goals for myself. Don't laugh too hard at my turtle pace, after all, how many miles will you be running on Sunday? Don't answer that if you are running 26.2 or more ;)

Lots of training miles under my belt. 

My major goal is to just finish. I just want to keep telling myself to put one foot in front of the other and go get em'. I've been picturing that finish line for a while and imagining what the relief will feel like when it's all done. In my spin class we always finish with a 90 second "mile" at the end of each class. There is this awesome celtic song she plays and prior to us starting she always tells us to imagine a finish line and the people there waiting to cheer us on. Every single time I have pictured Cleveland, even though I really don't know what the finish area looks like, haha. The last spin class I took I actually got a little teary eyed (thank goodness it's dark). Deep down I want everything to go smoothly and I just want to get to that finish line. But of course I have a time goal too.

B Goal: Sub 6 hours
Part of the reason I picked to run Cleveland is that I heard it was flat and fast. It also has an 8 hour course time, so I thought if the "you know what" hits the fan, I wont get kicked off the course. I would really like to finish under 6 hours. I know it is possible, but it will depend on a lot of factors and I don't want to have this be my only goal and get upset if I don't achieve it. I'm hesitant because all of my long runs were done in much cooler temperatures, but it would be great if there is a 5 in front of my number when I'm laying on Ohio ground, with a medal around my neck, most likely balling my eyes out. My plan is to tape a pace chart to my water bottle in my fuel belt. Then I have it on me if my time seems close and I can refer to it if all is going well.

Looking toasty. 

If you're not doing anything on Sunday you are welcome to track my progress. If we are FB friends I have it set to show up in my news feed, hopefully it works. If not, then you can go to this link and create a user name/password, search for me (Last name: Keiser) and you can have it emailed, text, or posted to your FB or Twitter pages.

A lovely "good luck" gift from my coworker. 

I cannot thank you all enough for the well wishes and support I have received throughout this entire process. I started the blog as a journal and a place for me to vent when the going got tough. It was challenging but that is exactly what I signed up for. I hope to capture the weekend with lots of photos and videos so I am sure there will be a series of race recaps. Stay tuned and hopefully I'll be wearing this and my medal Sunday afternoon...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Week Seventeen Made Me Gleam

Wow what a fantastic week of training, I feel completely rejuventated. Now don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I want to ramp up my mileage any time soon, but I think I should just continuously taper, like forever. Aside from my right calf still being tight, my body feels rested and (hopefully) ready for Sunday. I am leaning more and more towards wearing my calf sleeves and since I tested them out for the 20 miler I think that should help. I have had no hip/butt pain and I hope it stays that way.  

Monday- Rest.

Wednesday- 1 hour spin and sculpt class at the RAC. 

Thursday- 3.2 miles around Pittsford with Molly

Friday- Rest.

Saturday- 8 miles around Fairport with Molly.

Sunday- Rest.  

Total Miles: 16.5            Planned Miles: 21        
Total Marathon Miles: 321.5

After Girls On The Run Thursday, Molly and I got a run in together around Pittsford. Molly had taken a bit of a running hiatus and it was her first run in about ten days. She pulled through like a champ and even though we didn't go very fast it was a really fun run filled with lots of chit chat and marathon planning. Plus we were both proud that we had run farther then the girls that day, because in the previous weeks that wasn't so true. They had been kicking our butts.  

Friday night I hung out at my sisters house and helped them with the kids while they did yard work in the rain. Guess who had more fun?!

We did!!

I woke up Saturday morning for my long run and "We are the Champions" by Queen just happened to be playing on the radio. It was cold, super cloudy and looked like it was about to poor at any minute. Molly met me in Fairport for our last pre-marathon long run together. I showed Molly my usual 5 mile route, since she is moving to Fairport soon. Welcome to hill land sista. Since we had 8 on the schedule and I usually turn around at the canal, we decided to just add the extra 3 by going out a mile and a half and back. It worked perfect and she really liked the route. 

At noon Rob and I headed to Watkins Glen for the Fly By Night Duathlon that takes place on the race course. My parents decided to come watch and stayed for the weekend at the KOA nearby. This was Rob's first race of 2013, what the heck has he been waiting for?!? Actually since we are trying to save money for the wedding we have both cut our races back a lot this year. We went to the campground and hung out with my parents for a few hours and then headed over to the track. We met up with the Tuckers there and had fun entertaining each other...

Hanging out near the garages.
This race was so cool, transition is actually on pit road and we got to see them multiple times because their bike loops go around the track. It was hard cheering for so many people and paying attention to who was where. Rob wound up taking 8 or 9 minutes of his time so he was excited about that. 

Scott and Rob strategizing in transition. 

After the race ended we headed back to the RV for a late dinner. Usually sleeping in the top bunk of the RV can be uncomfortable and I usually wake up with a stiff back, but I think we were both pretty tired so we just passed out. Rob locked his keys in the trunk Sunday morning as we were packing our things and my parents thought it was funny that we don't have each others car keys. Maybe we'll have a key exchanging ceremony as part of the wedding, haha. After we got on our way we stopped at one winery, actually it was a meadery, did some tasting testing and bought a couple bottles to take home. 

Monday is usually a rest/yoga day, but I had to get a run in since my Thursday schedule is different this week. I had made two running dates and instead of canceling on either one I combined them! So I picked up Evan and we went to Molly's place to run around the city. I couldn't believe how different everything looked in spring, compared to the last time I ran that same route when our training started back in January. It was quite chilly, in fact I busted out my tights, good thing I never really put them away. Another great run and even Molly was on the happy train this time. We did so well that instead of walking in her complex as a cool down, like usual, we ran in!  On the way home I treated Evan to Tom Wahl's for an orange float. I didn't really care for this and wish I had gotten my usual strawberry milkshake. So much for watching my intake leading up to the marathon. 

Today started off great too! I got to school and in my mailbox was this...

5 miles stand between me and the marathon, wow! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Taper Tantrum

Happy Wednesday! All is well in taper land. In fact, everything is going really well. I'm on track for training this week so I'm already doing better then the past two weeks. Every now and then my mind drifts to the marathon and I seriously get butterfly's in my stomach. CRAZY! Everyone keeps asking me how wedding plans are going and I think to myself, who cares I've got a marathon in 10 days!! Here is my train of thought, bear (bare?) with me...

Crazy awesome run yesterday! My usual 5 mile route around Fairport was in bloom and smelled beautiful. The last time I had a short run I ran with Rob and he pushed me to move pretty quickly. I set out on my own and had great weather. It was sunny and warm, but with a nice cool light breeze. My first two miles were quick and life was good. I continued along the canal smiling and waving to other runners, cyclists and cute babies. Perinton Park is always my half way point and sometimes I'll stop to get a drink and go to the bathroom. This time I thought I'd pull up a swing and soak in the sights for a short time.

I see green trees.

Enjoying some quiet time.

While I was enjoying my break, the Fairport crew teams were practicing on the canal and that was pretty entertaining.

Go Evan Tucker!! Look at those trees.

After a brief break I got some sips at the water fountain and continued on my way. As I was approaching the end of my run I realized I could push myself a bit harder and hit five miles slightly under an hour. Which I've done before, but not recently. I all of a sudden got really competitive and kicked myself into high gear, reaching and beating my goal. Ever have everything fall into place and feel invincible? Life is good.

Tonight I had my usual spin and sculpt class and it was quite possibly the best spin class I have ever had. Same instructor, same music, same drills. But I felt different. I felt really strong. I felt like I could push myself harder then before. I'm not sure if it is all the rest I've had lately, and that my body is reacting well to that, but I am loving my workouts this week and am no longer feeling burnt out.

I have started planning for our trip to Cleveland. Since I've never been there I hope to get in some sightseeing, mostly when running and driving to and from the expo. But we are planning to go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Great Lakes Brewery, all after the race of course.

Officially in my app favorites.
Time to stalk the weatherman.

Yes, I printed an actual paper map with directions. Call me old fashioned.

Ever been to Cleveland, have any recommendations?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Picture Perfect Weekend

Tapering = less time talking about running! So, how was your weekend? What's new in your life? We never really talk about you, it's normally all about me. In upstate NY we were greeted with lovely weather the past few days and Rob and I had a relaxing, but busy weekend.

Friday after coaching Girls on The Run I met Rob near Eastview Mall and we went to P.F. Changs for dinner. Yummy! We got there early enough so there was no wait and we used a gift card we got for Easter. Free and fun date night, I'll take it!

Saturday Rob and I both had good intentions of working out in the AM, but we both enjoyed sleeping in and having a lazy morning way more. We ordered breakfast from a local restaurant and watched some t.v. we had recorded. I added a couple more items to our wedding registry via the internet and then we drove to a salon to pay a deposit towards the wedding. On the way home we hit up a local bike store, I feel like I have been to all of them in the last month or so. When Spring hits Rob gets bike store fever.

Their chandelier made out of bike reflectors
and gears, pretty cool.
When we got home Rob went on a pretty long bike ride and I think I continued to have a lazy afternoon. That night we had plans to attend the Lollypop Farm Gala at the convention center. The theme was "purrr imagination" and people were encouraged to come dressed with Willy Wonka inspiration.

Our Golden Ticket.
We got there pretty early, we didn't realize there was going to be a long cocktail hour first. But being the first to the food and having no line at an open bar was a nice perk.

How about this for some drink service!
Two chocolate fountains. 

I have no idea why one was missing :)

We had a good time at the gala. It was ultimately free, five bucks for parking and five bucks for tipping the bartenders. Not too shabby for an interesting evening out. Sunday we woke up and headed to Cicero to celebrate my moms birthday with a brunch and lots more desserts. Aside from a spider dropping into my glass of milk it was a pretty great day. Even though these are from other occasions the pics were hanging out on my phone and I decided to throw them in here...

Ainsley Kate rockin' her shades.

Dad enjoying German fair at Reinblicks.
Doesn't he look like a giant with a tiny mug, hehe. 

Finally, Rob and I ended our Sunday with some grocery shopping and we worked on designing our wedding invite. Here is the mock up, hopefully it isn't anatomically correct...