Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

At approximately 12:16 AM on Friday, as I was putting clothes in my suitcase, I asked Doug if he printed off some of the confirmations for our trip. He said no, and proceeded to "take care of that". A few minutes later, he sang Happy Birthday to me ...

That was 1.

Somewhere around 12:40 AM, I stopped panicking. I noticed that I was breathing deeply and I easily fell asleep.

Only to wake up to Doug towering over me saying "It's time to get up" - it was 4:30 AM. I said "No." - there were further attempts to convince me, but I remained firm until 4:40.

When we woke Dominic up around 5:30 AM, he sang Happy Birthday to me.

That was 2.

We were packed and ready to go with the car started at 6:34 AM. My mom arrived with Sausage biscuits and coffee and of course sang Happy Birthday to me.

That was 3.

We easily made it to the airport and got through security before 8 AM ... even with the first security guy chatting with me about my birthday and the marathon.

That was 4.

By 8:05AM, we were safely ensconced in the comforting haven of the Crown Room ... where I received several random acts of kindness because it was my birthday ...

That was 5 and 6.

I phoned mentor Page to alert her of my presence at the airport and was serenaded on the phone with another delightful rendition "Happy Birthday" from her and those surrounding her.

That was 7.

The flight went by fairly quick ... Dominic played for a bit, watched a DVD on my laptop, and played with the Photobooth camera ... see picture above. And, at the end of the flight, the flight attendant announced my birthday and everyone clapped!

That was 8.

The entire traveling party, Doug, Dominic, my mom, and I arrived safely as did our luggage and our room was ready when we arrived at the hotel (the conveniently located Hyatt downtown). When we picked up the car at the airport, the car attendant noticed it was my birthday from my license and wished me a Happy Birthday.

That was 9. OK - it wasn't quite the airport - I think we were on the rental car bus for an hour (or longer) AND the bus driver DID NOT announce my birthday (hmmph) - thank goodness the attendant managed to pull through!

I received Happy Birthday's from the Race Packet Picket volunteers at check in as well as an "in person" serenade from Chuck, Page, Yo and the gang when I ran into them at the Expo.

That was 10. Note: I was scolded by Page because I was holding a tasting cup of beer. Now I ask you, they had a beer tasting at the Marathon/Half Marathon Runners EXPO ... what else was I supposed to do? It's my birthday! Chuck said, "Yah, they finally had to throw us out when we were there".

I attended a mini seminar by John Bingham. If you've never read anything by him, you should - he's hysterical. Oh, and he had everyone in the audience sing "Happy Birthday" to me (when I asked my question - which I'll get to in a minute).

That was 11.

I am in the 11th coral to start on Sunday (in the back ... by choice this time). My race number is 11496 (I broke that down to ... "11" because my birthday is the 11th... "4" and "9" because 4+9=13 and I'm running my first marathon on the 13th ... and "6" because I would like to finish in 6 hours! Let's call that Numer-lisa-ology.
It's just how my mind works.

Prior to listening to John, I had a mental chat with myself - "I have trained, I am ready, I know it will hurt (but it will be temporary ... I can do absolutely nothing else about anything now". Except of course, hydrate, stretch, rest and eat carbs. :-)

On Thursday, I had some awesome inspirational emails, face to face chats, and phone calls - thank you!!! All, which definitely attributed to me reaching the "it is what it is" state.

So back to my frame of mind (no panic) and John Bingham. After listening to his story, my question to him was, "What mind games do you play at mile 20?" His answer was simple. The first 20 miles are his "marathon" - he runs with purpose and respect . When he reached 20, the last 6.2 are his "play time" - he slaps hands, talks to everyone he can, takes in the scenery, absorbs what he can from the course, and truly experiences the marathon ... he says sometimes those last 6 miles take him 2 hours! (I, of course can relate to that.) He also made the point that for those of us who run slowly, actually get a better value for the amount of time and effort that was put into the race ... why would you want to hurry through something that took you 4 or 5 months for which to prepare? I love this guy.

I have had a fabulous birthday (and yes, there were many more birthday serenades, text messages, emails and general good wishes throughout the remainder of the day)! You all are awesome ... and I am humbled by how fortunate I am to have such a phenomenal support network!

So, yes, I will DEFINITELY have fun on Sunday ... I WILL finish, and I'm sure there will be a certain amount of pain (no caps on that one) - but in truth, I don't believe I would have gotten this far without all of the prayers and positive energy that continually surround me!

Oh wait, Doug is singing a final "Happy Birthday" ... have to run now!

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