Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Pasta Party

It was finally time to start the "marathon festivities." Team in Training puts on a pasta party the night before their marathons. We were so excited about this.
We walked down to the convention center, tickets in hand, with the Louisiana Team. They were really turning heads and I heard a lot of comments from different people "that must be the New Orleans team" because they were all decked out in their Mardi Gras beads, yellow green and gold feathers, and crazy hats.

No one else looked like this (typical Louisiana... I love the flare).
When we got about 100 feet from the door, I heard Amy say, "get your camera out Karen." She asked why and seemed like she wasn't going to. I fussed at her and said, "I don't know why, but just do it because someone told you to. They must know something we don't."
Well, boy that was an understatement! When we walked in, the first 100 yards or so was lined with our coaches and survivors cheering us on.

They all had noisemakers and were clapping as loud as possible.
It was so amazing. It truly felt like we were Olympians walking into the opening ceremonies. We waved to them as we paraded by and took in all of their cheers of encouragement and appreciation for what we had done. This was one of the most awesome experiences of the whole weekend.
Karen and I both teared up. It was so emotional. Our heroes made us feel like we were their heroes.
And into the pasta party we went.
Team in Training has this down to a science. The first thing they had us do was go through the food line. You hadn't even sat down before you got your food. This made for a smooth transition and no "hanging around" before getting to the business of the party.
We ate while some awards were presented for fundraising and participation and recognition was given to all sorts of different groups: first timers - 10 timers, ect.
Then we had the funniest speaker. He writes for Runners World and is known for being a very slow marathoner.
He talked about nutrition on race day. Some people have a banana for breakfast, some only coffee. He balked at that! He said, "I'm going to miss two full meals while I'm out! I'm eatin' breakfast!"
Then he spoke about the start line and how it's nothing like what you think of, or at least not for the masses. Those elite runners have that "dream" start... the gun goes off and off they go! We, however, stand there for about 15 minutes and slowly, slowly make our way towards the start line. The imitation of everyone at the end of the line shuffling to the start was hilarious. What I didn't realize at that time was just how true that is.

We got to see a slide show of the people that are our heroes and who we are doing this all for and many other uplifting things.
It was an inspiring night. Karen was presented with her certificates in leu of door decorations (Hilton did not let the coaches decorate doors the night before the race).

I was able to meet with my team for an inspirational and informational talk about tomorrow's race.
It was a great night and we were pumped for the next day.

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