I’m sure by now you all are tired of my marathon talk, but in all honesty, this was *such* a big accomplishment for me, so I want to make sure and capture it all! In the case you missed previous recaps, here are the most recent Marathon Posts:
So where did I leave off? Ah yes, the finish line!
After I met up with Ryan, Happs and Kathy, we made our way back to the car. They parked about a 15 minute walk away, and it felt good to keep my legs moving. Like I said before, the only “pain” I felt was muscle soreness in my quads. Strangely enough, my calves felt fine, and the soreness I experienced wasn’t really any different from the soreness I felt from one of my long-runs during training.
Once we got to the car I stretched myself out in the backseat and got to using the stick! Seriously, that baby is one of the best pieces of exercise equipment out there. I also had some bites of a protein-bar they were handing out at the finish, drank some good ‘ole H2o and ate part of an apple. It’s weird, but whenever I finish a long-run, my appetite is usually missing for a few hours. My reasoning is it’s because all of my blood is flowing to my muscles rather than my stomach. Regardless, though, I made sure to get some food in me to replenish my glycogen stores.
I called my mom during the car ride home and I could just feel her beaming smile reaching out to me through the phone. I can’t wait to show her my medal when she and Gerry come into town on Saturday! I also called my dad and told him the big news, and he was quite excited for me as well.
Once home, we gave Happs some water and I made my way to the kitchen to figure out what to eat. I didn’t have an appetite quite yet, but I forced down some Great Harvest Bread slices and a banana.
By the time I was cleaned up and hydrated, it was already 2PM. I knew I had to get to work on my biostatistics exam, so instead of taking my usual post-race nap, I reluctantly sat myself down at the kitchen table and got to work on my final. Ryan and Happy both took a long afternoon nap, and it took so much effort not to join them! I did take a few breaks in between my biostats problem-sets to stretch out a few times, though.
When 5pM rolled around, it was like an alarm in my stomach went off—I became so hungry that I seriously contemplated eating my arm off!! (Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration…). I marched into where Ryan and Happy were taking a nap and plopped myself down on the bed next to them. They totally could have kept sleeping, but I would not allow it. Um hello—homegirl just ran a marathon and is now ready to appease her fully returned appetite! Ryan finally came to and I had already pulled up on the internet potential restaurants for us to enjoy—the majority of them being pizza places.
After getting dressed, Ryan and I headed down to the car. (Note, my mom’s home in Ohio is located in the legit woods and if you step outside, you automatically turn into a billy-goat because it is so freakin’ hilly. At this point in the day, hills…and anything resembling them…such as stairs, were not my friends.)
(Okay so I know that picture above is completely random, but I just had to include it because it’s so funny! My mom told me and Ryan that we could take home an old Sherpa bag of hers to use for Happy on an upcoming Christmas trip to Arkansas, so we just wanted to make sure it worked).
We ended up going to Dewey’s Pizza in Kenwood, and ohmigaaawd was it delicious. I frequented this restaurant back when I was in high school, and I knew it would be the perfect night to show Ryan what it was all about.
What’s so delicious about this pizza is the fact that you can tailor it to any craving on the planet. Not only do they have an amaaazing home-made red sauce (that I can seriously eat by itself, don’t judge me), but they have this awesome garlic white-sauce, too! Heaven. On. A. Plate.
Anyway, I started off with a huge jass salad topped with every single vegetable known to man, goat cheese (seriously y’all, them billygoats follow me everywhere), and their homemade Greek Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette.
I also ordered an eat-your-heart-out Killer Veggie Pizza, and it was to die for…
Because we’re carbohydrate lovers in the HappyTales household (I mean seriously now, my last name is Rice…how can we not be?), Ryan ordered his own pizza, too.
So yes, this dining experience was one for the books. Not only did we have a great time celebrating my accomplishment from earlier in the day, but I was also able to completely set aside my worries surrounding my biostats final and leave them on the table at home—that in and of itself is a great accomplishment for me! I was completely relaxed and enjoyed myself in the moment for the entire time we were out.
After leaving Dewey’s, we decided that we didn’t want to head home quite yet. So where did we end up finding ourselves?
Graeters, of course!
Graeters Ice Cream is seriously the best known ice cream on the planet. Heck, Oprah even had it on her Favorite Things show! Cincinnatians pride themselves on this stuff. If you haven’t tried it, you must make your way to Ohio ASAP and get yourself a cone. You will not regret it.
Ryan and I hadn’t been to Graeters in over a year, so we went big. After sampling a few of the flavors, I settled on one scoop of Cookie Dough, and two scoops of Buckeye Blitz (who am I kidding, I will always get Buckeye Blitz… it is so.freaking.good!). Ryan got some tutti-frutti thing that I can’t remember (if chocolate is not involved, it’s not important to me…).
Cookie Dough + Buckeye Blitz (aka, peanut butter and chocolate w/ cookie dough chunks mixed in) = YUM!
I proooobably should have skipped the cookie dough and just stuck with the Buckeye Blitz, because after all of the Dewey’s Pizza, my stomach was a little unsettled. But oh my lawd, my tastebuds were in heaven!
It took me 30 minutes to eat that thing because it was so damn rich. But it was so good, and it was just what I needed to get back to another few hours worth of studying.
Once home, I hit the books again for a few more hours. Around midnight I got to packing up my things to get ready for our early wake-up call and drive back to Charlotte. In the midst of running around the house packing my things up, I heard Ryan yell from the living room “Oh my GOD!!! Hurry, come in here!!!”
The urgency in Ryan’s voice made my heart sink, and I thought something horrible had happened to Happy. Turns out, he was sitting on the edge of the couch, staring at the news channel – I looked at the screen, and read the news of something that will forever be a part of this generation –Osama Bin Laden had been killed.
I was completely stunned. Shocked. Didn’t know what that meant. Couldn’t comprehend all of the celebrations taking place in the streets. Was it really justice? I wasn’t sure. And I’m still not. So I’m not even going to get into it. But I will say that my bedtime became even later (and yes, this is still the day that I had a 3:30AM wake up call, ran a marathon, didn’t take a nap, and worked on a biostats final…), and I didn’t end up hitting the hay until 2:45AM. Adrenaline is an amazing thing, my friends.
Monday morning we woke up around 8AM (ohmygosh, sleep never felt SO GOOD!), ate some brekkie, and packed up the car.
Once again, I started out the drive so that I could later attempt a nap and work on my biostats final.
By the time we got to the Mountains of the TN/NC border, I was finally starting to transfer some of my answers to the computer, and typing up my test document. I ended up finishing it and turning it in around 2AM later that night (err, morning?). That final ended up being 23 pages long of pure biostatistics. Yes, twenty-three pages… of pure numbers, equations and analysis.
But you know what makes all of that hard-work worthwhile? The fact that I ended up with a 95% on the final!!!!!!
Our drive was very uneventful (thank the lord for no more flats!) and we made it back to Charlotte by 6PM. Once we got back into Charlotte, I whipped out the 26.2 sticker I bought at the Expo…
…and found a nice little spot for it on my car
How do you recover from long runs/big races? Do you like to take naps? What’s your favorite post-race meal? What do you consider the best ice-cream flavor in the entire world? Have you ever enjoyed a scoop of Graeters Ice-Cream? If not, what are you waiting for?!?!