“It was too much tequila, or not quite enough.” ~Jimmy Buffett, Semi-True Story
We love tequila. True story, we do. I know most people cringe at the thought of the T-drink, but we kindly submit that they may be misinformed. We’re not talkin your cheap tequilas that leave you with a hangover like a tap dancing kangaroo bouncing around the inside of your skull. We like to drink the clean stuff. This doesn’t mean expensive, mind you, it just means good clean tasting tequila.
We believe it helps your running too…Now hear us out, as many have scoffed at this claim only to be rebuffed when they tried it demselves. If we’re ever at a night 5k, we’ll do a shot before the race. For whatever reason, it seems to help us run faster. At a recent Dallas night 5k, we convinced our friends Emily and Tracy to try this. It worked – Emily was one of the first finishers and Tracy won her age-group. We’ll also do this before a night social run, and again, we go faster.
There’s also evidence that tequila is good for you. We’ve known for a while that it’s a probiotic, but apparently there’s several other benefits as you can see in this article. Shoot, even The Rock is starting his own tequlia brand. Is it any wonder after reading it’s part of his skin care routine?
Heck, we even gave out tequila shooters at our wedding reception as the take home party favor.
Trust us, we’ve done our research on this topic. So if you’re looking for some of that sweet stuff, here’s our top three (of the moment):
3. El Jimador
This is a regular go-to because of the LOW price point and the smootheness. We’ll go for the reposado most of the time.
2. Number Juan
Our numero two is Number Juan. Oh em gee, this stuff is gooood. We don’t get it as often because it costs a little more, but man it’s good. It’s owned by a couple comedians (Ron White).
1. Casa Amigos
This stuff is da bomb. This is our go to for special occasions. It’s part owned by George Clooney and it’s his friend’s (Bill Murray) drink of choice. It is so smooth. So clean. It costs around the same as Number Juan, maybe a tad more. We love Casa Amigos. We wish they’d back a truck up to our garage and drop off a shipment.
Now you may be wondering how we drink tequila. Even if you’re not, we’re going to tell you. We like to shoot it or sip it straight. As our friend Christie (also a huge tequila fan) if she wanted a margarita, she replied “Why dilute it? Just go right to the source and give me a shot.” LOL, we couldn’t agree more.
We keep our tequila in the freezer, so it’s always cold (no, it doesn’t freeze). If you wan’t it really smooth, then put it in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain. It will taste like sweet water.
How bout you? Ever have a tequila shooter before a race/run? Any tequila favorites we need to know about?
Here’s a super secret we’ve discovered: Forget the salt and limes, instead use cinnamon and orange slices. TRUST US, it will change your tequila lovin world.
So there you go. We hope that helps with your tequila adventures. Those our some quick tips for you.
How bout you? Ever have a tequila shooter before a race/run? Any tequila favorites we need to know about? Tell us in the comments!
Yes, we actually got married DURING a marathon. Not right after, not before, but DURING. We ran 26 miles, paused for the ceremony, then ran the last .2 as husband and wife. We started the marathon engaged and ended it married. Crazy.
Still can’t believe we pulled it off. Right up until the day of the race, we weren’t exactly sure how it would go down. Don’t get us wrong, we planned and stuff, but trying to coordinate a wedding in the middle of a marathon left some balls in the air. But juggled them we did…and of course, we got by with a little help from our friends.
If you don’t know what we’re talking about, you can check out this post. And if you want to see the actual video we made of the race and wedding, check it out here.
Did you watch the video? Good, now we can move on.
The weekend was such a whirlwind, but we’ll try to capture it in this post. Here’s what had happened. We flew into Phoenix a few days before the race. We were staying with our maid of honor – Helly on the Run – and her hubby, the best man, Ben. After lunch at our fave restaurant, Oreganos, we did something ill-advised before a marathon….road trip. But we knew this race was just for fun for us, so we did it anyway. Scott’s dadio hadn’t been to Tombstone, AZ, so we drove the 3+ hours there. Saw the sights, then drove back. It was worth it. So much history and fun.
Celebrated National Margarita Day in Tombstone with moms and dads!
The next day we did a 2+ mile shakeout run with Helly. While we were going into this race just as a training run for Marsha’s upcoming Boston Marathon debut, Helly was going into this race for her own BQ. She was focused and ready. S&M were having fun…as we ought to do.
We had brunch with some Dallas friends before meeting up with more friends, including Carlos The Runner at the Expo. It was an outdoor expo, don’t get to attend too many of those, kinda dig it. We got our race stuff, got some race souvenirs, and took some selfies.
Oh, we also spoke with the race director to make sure everything was coolio. We scouted out the wedding location and gave her the info. She wanted to relay it to the PoPo. She was afraid that a crowd gathering might raise their eyebrows, and she didn’t want them to swarm us or anything. As Helly’s Canadian friend said when we told her, “Oh yeah, you guys have to worry about that kind of stuff in the States.”
After the expo, we ate Oreganos again. In fact, we took it back to Helly and Ben’s house because they were kind enough to invite several people visiting for the wedding/race over for a mini party. Again, ill-advised the night before a marathon, but we were having fun seeing everyone. In fact, we got to meet a few internet friends in person for the first time, including A Fast Paced Life. She had flown in from New York City for the festivities and to run the half marathon. Also in attendance were M’s friends who drove in from Cali, as well as S’s cousin who would be officiating the ceremony, among others.
We tried to get to bed early, doe because we had an early wake up call – something like 2 am. The race would start at 6:00, but we had to drive to the finish area, then take a long bus ride to the starting line 26.2 miles away. It’s kind of cool being up on the desert mountain in the middle of the night morning. Just 3000 runners, a bunch of cactuses, and 80 port-a-potties…Oh yeah, that was about the only hiccup of the day. We were in line to pee so long, we missed the start of the race. We eventually got going about 10 minutes after the gun.
It was perfect temps, just like last year. 37 degrees at the start. Little wind. No humidity to speak of at all. We started down the mountain, gradually shedding our throw-away clothes as we warmed up (they said the discards would be donated to charity – we hope she has a big closet). Speaking of which, our race singlets were just so much us. We found them at Red Shirt Running, and they were perfect! Our friend Christie also made a veil for M to wear. Sew kewt!
The start was almost pitch dark, but the sun eventually rose around mile 3. The course is good – a few miles downhill, two uphill, a few down, then it’s flat flat flat for most of the way home. It’s so flat, and since you go through several stretches without making any turns, we could actually see the mile markers when they were a half mile away abouts.
Along the run we got several comments from the other runners. Many said they had heard of us. Many said they knew of us because we’re friends of the internet famous Helly. Many asked us about our outfits. We received a buttload of, “Awwwwwwws.” We got a few handshakes. One funny dude said we should’ve had the bride’s father walk her down the aisle…hahaha, that’d be a 26 mile journey. There were a ton of, “Congratulations!” from both runners and spectators. We gotta tell you, the running community is grrrrrrreat!
Like we said, we were treating this as a fun run and a training run. With S’s stress fracture and M’s hammy issues over the past year, we really only had one month to try and train for this marathon. Ill-advised, we know. That said, we did aight running-wised, despite our out of shapeness. We did our best to smile through it…and the miles did seem to tick off fairly quickly.
When we approached mile 26, there was a turn right before it, so we couldn’t see if our guests had gathered or where. Even though we had picked the general location the day before, we didn’t know exactly where they’d be able to set up. And we knew parking could be a challenge for the guests. We were also wondering if our friends going for BQ’s and PR’s had gotten them. We hoped they’d be done with their races in time to join us. But we just didn’t know what we’d find when we turned that corner. But then we heard someone yelling our names. At last we saw them. To our pleasant surprise, they had all made it and set up right in the middle of the street! Everyone going for BQ’s and PR’s had gotten them. The out of town guests made it too. It was perfect!
Since S carried a GoPro to record our race running, M carried a phone so we could Facebook live the wedding when we got to that point. We started the broadcast, we got situated, S’s parents gave us the flowers and also had balloons, cuz Nikki’s kids were the ring bears and her hubby the FB live cameraman, S’s mom took photos, Ben and Helly took their spots, other friends started their FB live streams, the race runners kept going past us, strangers took photos, a race photographer snuck in and took pics, cuz Nikki officiated the ceremony.
Cuz Nikki had gotten ordained to do this. She wrote the script. She did an amazing job. Just simply amazing. What she said was perfect. She made sure to include our kids who couldn’t make it from Texas. Again, she did awesome.
After the vows, a stranger yelled, “Hurry up and finish, the clock is ticking.” Hahaha, he was right, we had to get er done. We ran to the finish line hand in hand. The race announcer called our names and told everyone how we got married during the race. The cheers were loud. It was perfect. A photographer took our picture and told us he’d seen countless proposals at races, but never an actual wedding. We got some more high fives and, “Congratulations”. We were happy.
Oh, you want to know our time? We didn’t even check the official results. It was somewhere around 4:19 or 4:20 we think. Not bad for the lack of training, lack of proper race preparation, and not bad for pausing the running to hold a freakin wedding ceremony!!!!! Woohoo! We’re married!
After the race, the parking attendant (Kevin) near the Bermz car asked why we were wearing our wedding outfits. We explained. He said, “Whoa! Wait right there, I have a special treat for you!” He ran to his car and assembled his saxamaphone. Then he played “Here Comes The Bride” for us right there in the parking lot. It’s just too much to handle.
After a quick shower, we were off to the “reception”. Any guesses where? Yup, Oreganos. We don’t know what they put in their food to make it taste so dang yummy. The private room was waiting for a small group of our friends and family. It was so relaxed and happy and fun. Our waitress was quite the photographer as well, directing us as to what to do and stuff.
That night was low key…well, except for when Carlos came over. Action and adventure always seem to follow that guy around, lolol.
The next day was brunch again…Thanks Elle!!! Then more food. And just like the rest of the weekend, being Godparents, we spent lots of time playing with the kiddos!
Monday was the last day of our adventure. It included food, of course. What else, what else? Oh yeah, S&M&Helly got Phoenix tattoos!!!!!! We wanted to commemorate the race where in the past two years we have all either PR’d, BQ’d or gotten married!
And so ends part uno of our wedding adventure. Coming up next – Part Deux, the Dallas Celebration! That will be another epic post. Hope to have it for you in the coming days.
How bout you? Do you turn race trips into epic racecations? Have any race tattoos? Will you join us if we run Phoenix next year for our one year anniversary????
Hello all! We’re still collecting our thoughts and prayers pictures from this past weekend’s Phoenix Marathon. We’ll be posting our experience here in the coming days, but in the meantime, we have a video for you.
We carried a GoPro through the entire race and shot clips of us as we passed each mile marker. Once we got to the wedding site (mile 26), we had several friends Facebook-Live the event. Well, we have combined the videos into one epic one.
Oh, and at the end of the video there’s a bonus…As we were walking back to the car, parking attendant Kevin surprised us with a serenade of sorts. Once he found out we had just gotten hitched, he ran to his car and put together is saxamaphone. It was so sweet.
For everyone who wasn’t at the wedding, we hope this provides the experience for ya. We tried to keep it is as short as possible to prevent any viewers’ from Blair Witchiness enforced puking.
Hope you enjoyed that! Like we had said, we’ll post our review post asap.
So, in a matter of days we’ll be running the Phoenix Marathon. But not just that, we’ll also be getting married during the race. But yes also, we ran this race last year. So for those of you who may be running, or thinking of running this race, we’re here to give you the highdown.
First off, people like to say this is a downhill race. It is…But it’s no Revel. We’re sorry, but we gotta say that we are not fans of the Revel races. Running thousands of feet downhill just seems like cheating. Well, doesn’t seem, it probably is. Thousands of feet net decline?!?! We mean, come on. That said, Phoenix is downhill, but that’s deceiving. It’s a net 800 feet or so down from start to finish (not 5000 feet like a Revel). But also…there is a good 2 mile incline in the full. It goes a little something like this: You run downhill a few miles, you run uphill a couple miles, you run downhill a few more miles, then it’s flat, flat, flat, flat the rest of the way. That’s the nature of the beast. It’s still a runner friendly course: It’s a bit downhill net, it’s point to point, and the course is mostly straight roads (not many turns), around 20% of runners BQ, and race pics are freeeeeeee!
OK, we thinks we’ve gone off on a tangent…let’s regroup.
This is a great race…We love it! This is where Marsha BQ’d!!! This is where we’re getting hitched! This is where our besties live. This is the Valley of the Sun.
And no, this is not the Rock n Roll Phoenix race. That’s the first thing everyone always axes. This is the Phoenix Marathon. Phoenix like the bird who comes back to life from fire. Which is admittedly weird because this race doesn’t even take place in Phoenix, technically it’s in Mesa.
Here’s how it goes: You get up at the butt crack of night to drive to the race finish area. They bus you up to the top of a mountain. It’s freezing cold. They have fires going to keep you warm. It’s pitch perfect dark. They warn you not to wander off the road lest you may encounter a chupacabra or the like. There are no corals. It’s very chill. The race starts early. Early. The sun is not yet up. But once you start running, the sun slowly rises. There is no more glorious sight than the first break of dawn crawling over the cactus covered mountainous desert.
up on a mountain and it’s freezing!
As we said, you go downhill a couple miles. But then you hit the uphill. It’s a good two miles. It sucks. But once you conquer the zenith, you the get reward of going back gravity towards. This part goes through a little mountain side neighborhood. There’s not much crowd support in this race, but this is one of the biggest athletic supporter areas.
Once you get off the mountain, you’re ground level. You are running flat the rest of the way. One thing we love is that the roads are so flipping straight. You don’t have to worry about breaking stride to make turns. You just keep on cruisin.
B to the W, the weather is great. Being the desert, there ain’t much humidity to speak of. Ain’t much wind neither. Last year it was 37 degrees American at the start…Around 50 degrees American at the finish. Perfecto. We went with Helly to Wallfart the day before the race to buy $2 sweat clothes to wear at the start (We threw them off a couple miles in). Again, perfecto.
But alas, here in lies the rub. Lettuce give you our experience, race-wise. Marsha really wanted to BQ. She needed a 3:45, which meant we wanted a 3:40 to be safe. That’s roughly an 8:25 pace per mile. Scott was the pacesetter. Helly said before the race that she wanted to run with us as long as she could. She had just PR’d at NY a few months earlier at just under 4 hours. But she’s a strong runner, getting stronger by the day. So off we went. Scott spent the entire race saying, “Moooooon (his nickname for Marsha).” Meaning, “Marsha, slow it down.” Moon. Mooon. Mooooon. Moooooon. Moooooon. Mooooooooon. The theme of the race. Keeping Marsha in check so she didn’t burn out early. Helly termed this, “In Scott we trust.”
A couple miles in, another nameless friend said, “I can’t keep running this slow.” He took off (we would see him again later, walking around mile 20). But we were focused on the pace goal. It worked. We were cruising. It felt like a jog. The best marathon we had ever run. Around mile 18, Helly put her earphones in. We knew that meant she was starting to ride the struggle bus. She trailed off a bit. We kept on keeping on. At mile 20 Scott said that since we felt good, we could start to push it. We did. These were our fastest miles of the race. Not to brag, but that is so smart…keeping it in the tank so we had something in the tank for the end of the race. “Banking” time is dumb, fo real doe. It’s way much better to finish strong.
But then something bad happened. At mile 23, Scott had to stop. His foot said, “No more, hombre.” But he didn’t want Marsha to miss out on her BQ, so he told her to go on and finish strong. She did. Scott had to limp in the last 3 miles. It sucked. It hurt. It was like a lime had been put in the bottom of his shoe. Turns out his foot was broken, but we didn’t know that until later. Yeah, a stress fracture had fractured his foot. But he still finished in a PR of 3:43, despite having to hobble in.
Marsha, meanwhile was focused. She was focused on finishing strong. She was focused on all the negative things people had said or done to us the past few years when we found each other and ourselves. She used that to embody determination. She turned it positive. She used it for fuel. She used that to BQ. She finished in 3:40.
At the finished line she waited as Scott hobbled in. We were pleased. Then something else amazing happened, we turned around and saw Helly hight tailing it. She had pushed through to finish a little behind Scott with a 15 minute PR! Then we saw her hubby, he had also PR’d (he’s much faster than all of us, so we won’t talk about times ;)). Then we saw our friend J, who had PR’d the half and breaking 2 hours. Even our nameless friend who burn out early had rallied and ran some 20 minutes faster than the marathon he had just run in Houston. It was all good.
The post race party was aight. No free beer like at most races now-a-days, but no worries, we had tequila in the car. And we were happy.
Can’t wait for the Phoenix Marathon! Can’t wait to see everyone! Can’t wait to get married! Can’t wait see how it all goes!
Have you ever run this race? What makes a race special for you?
Apologies, when we decided to start this blog, we had grand aspirations. We’d be regularly updating you on all our many adventures. However, life gets in the way. Between work, running, and having a blended family, we don’t get much free time for blogging. We’re going to try and change that.
we swear little girl G…
smiles in pics….
Birthdays, 2 weeks apart from one another!
We’ve been up to a lot recently. We’ve had a ton of birthday celebrations for the kiddos. We’ve been trying to prepare for our wedding at the Phoenix Marathon. And prepare for our Dallas reception. That said, we have made some headway…Did you see our fancy marriage license on our Instagram?
We’re very excited for it all! We’ve got some friends and family coming to the event. Scott’s parents are going to fly in for it and our friends Laura and Ray! Marsha’s long time BBM now iMessage turned friend Nikki and her husband coming in from Cali. Plus a few others. And, Scott’s cousin even got ordained so she could perform the ceremony!
We’re also going to have some social media friendzies there too. Can’t wait to meet longtime blog bud A Fast Paced Life. We just found out our dino-loving Dallas dude Carlos the Runner will be there. And of course, our Best Man and Woman, Helly on the Run and her hubby Ben will be on hand, and also said their run group is going to be there waiting on us too!
We hope to have some more surprises too, but we need to keep those cats in their bags until we can confirm them. Stay tuuuuuuunnnneeeeeddddd!
And as for the Dallas reception, we just keep hearing better and better news. We are truly overwhelmed by the response we have gotten from friends and family. All the people who are flying in from around the States – you can’t imagine how touched we are.
Ben and Helly
Robyn & Doug
Shout out to y’all out of towners coming to Texas!
We weren’t expecting anyone to be able to come, so we truly feel loved and honored. We can’t wait to see all of you!
That all said, as far as the marathon goes…we are not in any sort of racing shape. Scott has been sidelined most of the year with a stress fracture in his foot. And Marsha has been battling hamstring issues. But we’re doing the best we can to get ready on limited time. We were able to run 14 miles this past Saturday, so that gives us some hope, somewhat. We have no time goal, we just want to finish and have fun along the way. Maybe by race day we won’t be in race shape, but hopefully we won’t be pear shaped either…somewhere in between would be nice.
Besides us, we have several friends like Helly, Ben, Hector, Ray, etc. who are going to be trying to BQ the race. Man, that would be sweet if they all did. Like we said, It’s Going Down In Phoenix!
Oh Em Gee, you need to see our racing outfits. We found these online from Red Shirt Running online and they were able to customize and get them to us lickity split. Perfect, amirite?
OH, and we keep forgetting…people keep asking us where we’re registered. We haven’t actually registered anywhere. We’re at a point in life where we want to minimize, we don’t really have space/use for random stuff. That said, we do enjoy tequila – so a gift card to Total Wine would be boss. We also LOVE getting hand crafted furniture from the UH-MAZE-ING folks at Unique Wood Furniture. We have a couple pieces from them, and they’re just the best! So any gift card things to them would be dope. And of course, we always need groceries, so Target, Kroger, etc. gift cards are radical. We’ll also accept race entries 🙂 But in the end, all we really want is to see your smiling faces.
But we need some help y’all – WE NEED A HASHTAG! We know y’all are a creative lot, can you help us out with suggestions? If we like yours, we may even send you a thank you gift, wink wink.
OK, this post is all over the map. We hope you can navigate it better than Dora the Explorer and make some sense of it. Maybe we should wrap it up before your brain marbles get corfused. Hopefully after this, we’ll be posting more regularly as to avoid random brain dumps like this.
OK, it’s you’re turn. Help us with a hashtag…and…GO!
Yes, you read that right. We’re going to be getting married at the race….or should we say IN the race! That’s our plan. We will run the first 26 miles, then pause our Garmins Suuntos, because at Mile 26 we will take our vows, then run the final point two to the finish line. So yeah, we’ll become officially official during the race. Eeeek!
Before we get to the hows and whys and whos and such, let’s quickly mention how we got engaged. It was during a run, duh. You can read that story HERE. Or if you’re feeling lazy, just watch the 1 min vid we put together of the engagement run:
On to the plans. It’s all very on the fly, as far as wedding planning goes. But we knew a couple things – we didn’t want to wait long to get married, and we wanted to do it while running. Running brought us together. So naturally, we want to make it a part of our big day.
Who is going to officiate? Well, that was a tough one. But then we were reminded that Scott’s uncle lives in AZ…and he’s ordained! Sweet! Unfortunately he will be out of town that weekend. Not so sweet. But his daughter (our favorite cousin) said she would get ordained and do it. Super duper sweet!!! Ain’t the internet grand?
And what about a wedding party? Well, it’s always going to be a party as long as we’re around, but if you mean the actual members of the party, then we got that covered too. Our Best Man and Maid of Honor will also be running the race. Yup, the world famous Helly On The Run and her hubby will be doing the honors.
Now, they are racing the race to try for a BQ. After all, it’s a great race to go for that. Marsha qualified at this race just earlier this year. But we’ve been injured since then, so we’re not in any kind of shape for racing, so we’ll be taking it easy. We just hope Helly & Ben’s tired legs will still be able to carry them back to meet us at the wedding!
As for guests of the wedding…We had discussed eloping. But then Marsha said, “Scott, you can’t elope.” But then Scott replied, “Don’t call me a cantaloupe, you melon head.”
Awesome jokes aside, we’re expecting a handful of close family and friends to be able to make the trip. We understand that doing a fairly rushed wedding out of state makes it challenging for people to get to. But that said, we feel very honored to anyone who will be there. We even hear via the twitters that A Fast Paced Life will be on hand (and feet as she’s running too)!!! And of course, the cheering race spectators will hopefully send us off in loud fashion!
And for those who can’t make it to the Valley of the Sun, we’ll be having a second location reception a couple weeks later back in Dallas. Where? At a brewery of course.
But there’s more details on that to come. In the meantime, we’ve got a wedding to plan!
Our blog selves must’ve been eating too much cheese, because we haven’t been very regular. Apologies, but life with a blended family tends to get in the way. Soccer games, orchestra concerts, school pick-ups, work drop offs….it’s crazy round these parts. Oh, and something else had happened… WE GOT ENGAGED!!!
Here’s the story. Scott’s sister was in Californ-i-a for work for a few months. She wanted to run a race before being sent back home and there was a half marathon coming up in the wine country. Welp, we looked up airfares, not expecting to be able to go, but guess what had happened…they were cheap AF. Round trip DFW>OAK=<100 skrilla units. Sold!
So our trip was set. We’d fly to Cali, Sis would pick us up, We’d stay with her, Run the race, Drink some vino. But then a not so funny thing happened. Sis texted saying her boss is sending her home early. Dang. Then, Cali erupts into flames. Race canceled. The only reasons we were taking this trip were gone in a flash (literally).
Do we cancel our flight? Nah, not the RDL style. We go anyway. Book last minute car, hotel in San Fran and AirBNB in Pacific Grove. And Scott does something sneaky…he goes online to one of those athletic silicone wedding ring websites and orders some to be sent to his work address. Why did he do this? He decided that since the original trip reasons were ruined, to make lemonade out of gatorade.
When/Where would the proposal come? Marsha had recently commented that she saw on the Instagrams the sweetest proposal between Emma Coburn and Joe Bosshard WHILE THEY WERE ON A RUN. Light bulb moment for Scott. Sooo…Scott had looked up google street view for possible locations to pop the question while running in Pacific Grove. You see, it’s on the ocean. Lots of scenic views. He saw a few possibilities, but nothing set in sand. He’d wing it.
Scott didn’t want to wait long. After arriving at the BNB, he determined the next morning’s run would suffice. Suffice to say, it worked. The run started through the old town. Lots of 150 year old houses. Gorgeous. Then we hit the coast. There was a park called Lovers Point. Perfect spot, right? Nah, too cheesy, thought Scott. We’ll find a better spot.
It was overcast. The waves crashed along the rocky coast. Such a beautiful spot to run. We got away from town – heading towards the 17 mile drive (Carmel, Spyglass, Pebble Beach, etc.). There was an old lighthouse. Golf course. Just awesome. Scott kept scouting for spots. Here’s a nice cove – oh wait, there’s another proposal going on – they’re not going to steal our thunder. Oh, here’s a nice cove – what’s that plaque? Oh, this is where John Denver crashed his plane and perished. Nevermind. Here’s a picturesque cove…Scott just has to set up the phone to video the experience…Damnit, it won’t sit against the bench. “Just ask someone to take out picture.” yells Marsha. Nevermind, there’s too many people here now.
We continue the run back to town. Scott begins to think it won’t happen this day. But then a so funny thing happens. We get to Lovers Point Park. The crowds disperse. We’re alone. Scott finds some rocks to prop the phone up against and hits record. Marsha is cold. Wants to keep moving. Scott takes her gloves off. “Why?” she asks. “So you can put this ring on.’ He retorts.
She says yes.
We finish the run. We celebrate. But the celebration is another story. You’ll hear that next.
Peace & Love, Y’all,
S&M – RDL
Questions: Do you have a proposal story? Do you take runcations?
This weekend is the Chicago Marathon. For all y’all running it, we wish you the best of times! We ran it in 2015 – our first marathon together – and absolutely LOVED it! This post gives you our advice…take it if you want, give it back if you don’t.
RUN FOR CHARITY:
Both of us ran this race on behalf of charities. M raised money for the Special Olympics, as M’s brother has Downs Syndrome. S raised skrilla for Alzheimer’s Association, as S’s G-pa passed away from it. This is a great way to run this race if you don’t want to go the lottery route…Or if you just want to do some good! Combined, we raised a few thousand dollars!
This is a bit of a beating. The site is quite a ways from downtown. There are shuttle busses. The ride is long, but at least we had good company.
The expo is pretty crowded and overwhelming at times. But they do have free beer, so hooray for that. Brews are needed to deal with the crowds and commute.
This is fun. A day before the race, tons of people met at The Bean. We took selfies and got a little 2-3 miles in along the shore. Then more selfies, duh.
Get there early. A crap ton of people run this race. You gotta navigate people to the tune of 40+ large to get to the porta-johns, gear check, and corrals.
They paint a line on the street throughout the course – this line is the shortest distance of the race – try to follow it. It will help you hit your tangents.
Everyone says the race is “pancake flat”. Mostly true, but like grandma’s mashed taters, there are a few lumps in it. Mainly the bridges over the rivers. Don’t be surprised by them*.
1st half of the race is downtown and mainly in the shade from the skyscrapers**. This is a good thing. Helps keep it cool. 2nd half of the race is on the outskirts of town. It can be sunny and warm. This was not a good thing. Be ready for it.
Those same tall buildings that shade you, also jack with your GPS**. Everyone, we mean everyone, around us had inaccurate mileage on their Garmins. Mile alerts were beeping at random times. Don’t worry about it, just run your race and don’t obsess over your watch.
Crowd support is AMAZING! Nearly 2 million people cheering their Windy City heads off. And the ethnic neighborhoods have themes – dancing lions in Chinatown, mariachis in Little Mexico and drag cheerleaders in Boystown. Soak it in.
Do. Not. Go. Out. Too. Fast. It’s easy to do in the shaded and boisterous first half. We both made the mistake of thinking we could go faster than we could in the beginning. Suffice it to say, we did not have negative splits this day.
There is a hill*. At. The. Very. End. Of. The. Race. “Pancake flat” they said…yeah, not at the end it’s not. Be ready for that stoopid hill.
Enjoy the after party – beer, music and really really tired people make for a good time.
After you recover a bit, spend the next couple days sightseeing sightseeing sightseeing!
OUR CHICAGO STORY
Personally, we learned a lot running this race. It’s one of our best and favorite marathons ever! We both PR’ed by 20 minutes S: 3:48:28 & M: 3:45:50. Our only regret was that we did not run together. We were assigned different corrals, but we should have found a way to start together. And after seeing our splits online, we realized we would have been right next to each other, just like in training.
We spent the entire 26.2 miles looking for each other. It was an amazing race, but we were sad we didn’t share it together step by step. After that day, we promised ourselves we’d never run separately again. Since then, we’ve run every half and full marathon side by side.
That said, when S crossed the finish line he immediately stopped, turned around and desperately hoped to see M. But there were 40+ thousand folks in this race. How could we possibly find each other in that mess? But about 30 seconds later, it happened: M crossed the finish line we had the biggest hug. We were happy we had a good race result, but happier that we had found each other.
This race also brought us our best good friends in the whole wide world of sports…
First, M got to meet S’s college bud, Rexy (who is fast AF – she ran this race in 3:05). And even though she lives in the great state of Ohio, we’ve all become very close. That’s what happens when good chill people come together. LOVE HER!
Second, we got to meet in person for the first time, the ever so internet famous HellyOnTheRun!
Her and her Hubby have since become our bestest friends ever…our “ride or die”. They even made us Godparents to their sweet little Benny! Can you believe that?!? Some people who we first met over the internet are now so important in our lives. And Chicago was the first in-person meeting. Destiny.
And with this motely crue of misfits, we spent the next couple days frolicking around Chi-Town. It was the. Best. Time. Evah.
GOOD LUCK to everyone running Chicago this weekend, YOU will ROCK IT! And who knows, it may even change your lives for the better forever.
Questions: Do you have any tips for running the Chicago Marathon? Do you have any questions about Chi-Marathon? Have you ever met someone from the internet in person?
Life can be messy and sometimes ugly – but with the right person life is beautiful and amazing. We didn’t get to our lives together in the “traditional” way. We met thru running and it’s why it’s such a big part of our lives.
But let’s get to the messy parts first – We were both married to other people when we met each other. Our previous lives had us in partnerships that weren’t really that. We did countless things alone, and learned to accept it. Don’t get us wrong, marriage is a beautiful thing. Our marriages were happy in the beginning, but just as a tree grows from a single stem into several branches that move away from each other, so did our married relationships. Pictures and smiles and social media say one story, but as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
We recently heard about a study on really happy people – and the overwhelming majority of them could trace their contentment back to the quality of their relationships with other people in their lives. It wasn’t money, or possessions, or anything else…it’s relationships that make people happy.
That all said, we both got divorces. Divorce is an awful process. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, it can lead to all parties involved being happier than they’ve been.
Lettuce get to some running now…We ran alone. Sure, we often ran with groups, but the majority of mornings we were hitting the lonely streets solo. Running lets you see and experience amazing things that most people never see. Oh how we longed to share all those amazing things with someone.
Even surrounded by thousands of people in races, we still felt alone. Most races we only had strangers to cheer for us or run next to us.
39th MCM (Marine Corps Marathon)
Inaugural Dopey Challenge
See those two sets of pics up there? They were taken the same year. But we could’ve chosen pretty much any race from any year. Whether one mile or 26.2 miles, it is a long way to suffer all alone.
But then a curious thing happened. The both of us registered to run the Chicago Marathon on behalf of charities. Curiouser was that we only lived about 3 miles apart. Curiousest was that we both run pretty much the same pace. Boom, we each now had a training partner. And that’s where our story begins.
We had known of each other for years from being part of different running groups, but when we started training for Chicago, that’s when we really got to know each other. We ran hundreds and hundreds of miles together. We told each other about our other lives. How lonely we were. How our smiles were a facade. We grew close through these miles.
***The above pics are from one of our first races together. First place overall for S and first female for M!!! OK, so even if this particular 5k course was a mile short, who cares, it was the same distance for everyone. And now our finishing times are on the internets forever muahahahaha!***
Anyway, the Chicago training went on. 650 miles together. Some easy, some tough. And some were even brutal…during a 20 mile run, S gave in. We were lost. S sat on the curb, defeated. He started to hold back tears and kept saying to M that S wasn’t made for marathons. Or the the time M had to stop running during our 17 miler from a blister and sat near the bathrooms at White Rock Lake while S, exhausted, had to run back 7 miles to the car so he could come back and get M. M was shivering and blue from dehydration on a humid summer day. And it’s in these moments of defeat where we found strength in each other.
For every “bad” run, there were 50 “good” ones. We saw sunrises, wildlife, meteor showers, quiet streets, pre-busy parks, etc. etc. etc. Finally, someone to share these experiences with! Once we longed for someone to share our early morning miles with, and now that we had that person, it was even better than we hoped for.
And by the way, all the training together paid off. We both had 20+ minute PRs in Chi-town!
And by the time of Chicago, we realized how much we had in common (running, yoga, dancing, karaoke, candles, tequila, etc)…and that we needed each other. We knew we made each other happy.
Fast forward to 2017 and we are together. It took a while to get where we are now. We’ve lost friendships and family members along the way, but we’ve also gained wonderful and supportive friends and family to help us through. With their strength and the love of our 4 kids- J, M, G and G – our lives are full of blended happiness and adventures.
We run together every morning, and yes, even in races.
Rest assured, you can trust our smiles on our social media now.
What about you? Do you have someone you can run with? Answer in the comments!
PS. We’re just getting this blog up and running, but it will be more and more regularly posted in as we get it all settled. Please come back soon!