visual evidence of the weekend

{warning: long post alert, full of pictures and some narrative. come back later if you so choose.}

I got the perfect surprise today at work: I didn't have to stay past lunch and let's just say this was exactly what my body needed. I had big plans for my afternoon off [laundry, groceries, cleaning...all of the stupid stuff that can't get done when you are away all weekend long]. What did I do instead?

Treated myself to a little Panera for lunch and then passed out on the couch for a solid two hour nap, snuggled up next to a very tired fluff ball named Henry. Both of us slept so hard that we were a little delirious when we finally awoke. It was one of THOSE naps, you guys....the freaking bomb, even though I still have a pounding headache that is going strong since yesterday. I'm not going to let my neurotic self imagine it's brain cancer, or an aneurysm, or something else completely fatal. I'm going to use my realist side and say it's probably just fatigue, still, right?

Okay, so let's move onto the pictures. I was all ready to say, "I didn't take that many this weekend, and it felt kind of good not to be pressured to snap away the weekend." And then, I uploaded my pictures to find a total of 135 images. Whoops! Guess I did manage to go photog-crazy as usual. It was just odd to be without a camera at the actual race, but more on that later.

Our drive down: I got off work a tad early so we hit the road by 3:30 which might not seem like a big deal but it literally made the weekend SO much more tolerable. Arriving at 9:30 instead of our originally planned midnight was freaking huge.

Our family spends the six hour trip as follows: Me, the shutterbug:
then there is me

Nate, the annoyed driver:the driver
I must say this: I won 'wife of the year' by offering to drive halfway on the trip home. That was a stupid idea on my part, considering the horrid weather and my extreme fatigue. What can I say, I'm quite the catch---and he owes me big time. I hate that drive with a passion....but let's move on.

And finally Henry, the ever-stressed world traveler who pants the entire trip as if to say,"Where are you taking me, you crazy humans? Let me out of this forsaken car!" At least he's cute when he travels.
panting the trip away

Should we take this as an omen for the upcoming race?
interesting sign

The sunset was only decent on this day, but I took pictures anyway. Nothing like a little farmland to make a scenery shot.
sunset from I-55

Once we finally arrived at our destination on Friday night, we chatted with Hannah and Michael until the wee hours of the morning. It happens everytime no matter how tired we are. It's just so good to be in the presence of old friends again. Sigh.

Speaking of, on Saturday Keri came to town. Hannah, Keri and I went to eat lunch at McGurks and I almost passed out from the intense love I felt towards my Three Grilled Cheese. Then Keri and I went to get a pedicure, praying we wouldn't run it off the next day. I sometimes forget that Keri HATES when they use that holey stone thing to scrape the bottoms of your feet. She freaks out and squeals and giggles. And thus, I took pictures.
Keri loves pedicures part 2

Keri loves pedicures part 1
Now I don't know about you, but I think it's official: Keri got her groove back. Her eyes have that sparkle again, her laugh has that familiar happy pitch to it, and she looks freaking amazing. I'm so proud of my friend and I miss her dearly. Again....old friends just make my heart feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Speaking of making my heart happy: it's definitely a season called 'Spring' in St. Louis. Which is funny because as I type this, it's a measly 39 degrees outside. And the forecast calls for the 'S-word' tomorrow. I cannot even type the word S-N-O-W without gagging in my mouth a little bit. So let's move onto a better climate: The STL, shown via these pretty images I loved taking:
Springtime flowers in STL

Springtime flowers in STL

Springtime flowers in STL

Springtime flowers in STL

Springtime flowers in STL

Springtime flowers in STL

Springtime flowers in STL

Love it. Can't wait for flowers of our own up in The Great North.

Also, going with my favorite themes of dogs and is another cute dog for your viewing pleasure. His name is Sampson, he's a Wheaton Terrier, and he is Hannah and Michael's I guess that makes him our host dog. He and Henry grew up together as puppies when Hannah and I lived together [before we each got hitched] and the dogs are obsessed with each other. Also, Sampson is obsessed with the camera and is a total poser. He rushed up to me as soon as he caught a glimpse of my camera and smiled for this shot:
Sampson the Wheaton Terrier

Oh, the boys. Seemingly innocent, aren't they?
the boys know how to sit

For our pre-run dinner we opted for Vitos and although it was pure torture to order anything besides their bomb pizza, the spaghetti and meatballs dish was pretty tasty and full of adequate carbs. I did not take pictures and I think Hannah was immediately disappointed in me, questioning how I would write a decent weekend post without pictures of my pre-game meal. She is right, you know. I'm a slacker:)

So we went to bed nice and early only to awake at 5 a.m. the next morning: half marathon morning. Did you know it's still dark out at 5 a.m.? Yep, sure is.
Marathon morning

The eluisve self-timer picture taken at 5:30 a.m. Do we look pumped?
Before, with the self-timer at 5:30 am

One really cool thing about being up before the sun is the gorgeous light. I believe this would be 'twlight', right? Love this shot of my boys:
My boys in the twilight

This shot is a little blurry [darn 1.8 lens doesn't like low light conditions much] but I still like it. I spy bokeh!
Before sunrise, blurry but fun

The race began at 7 a.m. and the rain started at 6:15....of course the weather men were right on this occasion, right? All I kept saying was, "At least it's not cold AND could be 40 degrees right now and that would be pure hell." Instead it was a nice 50-60 degree day albeit sopping wet. Here is our view from the start line taken with Nate's wannabe iPhone camera:
start line at Go! St. Louis marathon 2009
So apparently there were 15,000 runners at this race which was freaking insane! It was awesome to run with so many people but a little challenging, too. Not a big fan of dodging other runners throughout the course [and all I kept thinking was that Chicago would be about 3 times as crowded]. I can't believe how many spectators there were enduring the horrible conditions to cheer us crazies on---I love big races for that feeling of unity, the knowledge that every runner has a story and every spectator has a desire to support these runners. It's so freaking awesome, you guys. Even when it sucks. :)

Because of the sheer number of people and the mad chaos in the morning of the race, I didn't get to meet up with Keri which is a bummer but I knew she'd be in good hands with her sister and some other friends. I know Ker was nervous about finishing but of course, she kicked major A and pushed through like a champ. It was her first half marathon and I bet she'll catch the bug and do more in the future. Again, so proud of her!

As far as our run goes, I am very pleased with our 1:57 time, which is a little less than a 9 minute mile pace as an average. In our 2005 half marathon we clocked a 2:10 time, or a 10 minute mile average, so this race we shaved a full minute off each mile...I'm impressed! I really didn't feel like I was pushing myself until mile 10 when I figured out we could actually go sub two hours...then it felt like we sprinted the remainder of the course. Which is probably why I'm the sorest I've been since my full marathon....except I'm actually functioning today instead of hobbling around like a cripple. I'd say it's only a slight limp today so that's good:)

Here is the only picture we have of us together at the race, and this is right after we finished. Again, Nate's camera phone isn't quite the same as my SLR but I didn't think running for two hours with a giant camera slung around my neck would be a good look:)
after, drenched but happy
We were very wet and started getting cold after we stopped running, and I must say that showers taken after half and full marathons are pretty much the best thing ever.

Here we are back at Hannah's before the shower. We don't even look that wet, do we? But I promise we were. Even Henry was annoyed with us dripping all over him.
The family, after a 13.1 race.

We cleaned up and my appetite came out to play with a vengance. We chose Square One Brewery for the specific purpose of order thier amazing pancakes. This meal DID deserve a photograph simply because it was so mouth watering.
Wheat germ pancakes at Square One Brewery

And after that we were back in the car for the world longest drive. If I ever try to pull this stunt again....running a half marathon and driving all the way home in the same day....someone please talk some sense into me. I knew it would suck but I had no idea how badly. I should know better, I'm practically geriatric with my birthday next week.

I have one more post full of even more pictures waiting in the wings---if you can handle it. I'm not sure posts like these are even interesting to most of you readers but I'm still running low on my 'witty tank' at the moment. Do forgive me:)


  1. J--be honest---Nate sprinted the entire 13.1 miles!

  2. Great job on the half-marathon!

    I am also in love with your picture of the lilac! The smell must have been fabulous. Being in Canada it feels like we have to wait until August for those to bloom... ok, maybe only July, but still.

    Good to hear that you are recovering and by the way, your 'witty-tank' seems to be doing fine:)

  3. Congrats on your time!
    And I concur, Square One has the BEST pancakes ever! Kristal organized a GNO a few months back for the stlwed girls and we went there and I had them...they were the best eva.

  4. Great post and congrats on the run! Love the pictures too. Keri does look so happy - laughing pictures are the best!

  5. I cant believe you did all of that in a span of like 48 hours. You deserve an extra medal.

    those pedi pics are the best! the emotions are so real. great job.

  6. Love the pics, and great job on the sub 2-hour time!!

    You are right, Chicago is CRAZY crowded, but the energy is awesome. You should do it!

  7. love the pictures, don't stop!

    i'm pretty much just a lurker but i love your blog. i live in STL and was actually handing out water at mile 19 of the marathon on Sunday. I give all of you runners major credit!
    set to run my first marathon (Chicago) in the fall...and the whole time on Sunday I kept praying that come October, it won't be raining in Chicago :)

  8. Oh wow you inspire me. Just wow. I love reading your blog, don't ever stop!

  9. Great job on the half! I applaud you for sticking it out through that rain. Rain makes me crabby!

    Love the pictures, as always :)

  10. Love it!! I'm so impressed with you guys running sub 2 hours! You're gonna kick Oprah's ass for sure this year :)

  11. Congrats on the great half marathon, girl! (And Nate!) Sounds like a lot of fun - glad you made it home safely in the icky weather!

  12. 1. Congrats on the half-marathon! I'm in awe of everyone who participated with such yucky weather.

    2. The grilled cheese at McGurk's is my favorite as well. So, so good.

    3. Keri looks fantastic! I'm so happy for her.

    3. Gorgeous pictures! Love all the floral ones.

  13. Love your first photo of Keri - it's beautiful.

    Saskia x

  14. I am so impressed with your photography skills! Those pics are gorgeous!!
    Congrats on the race and a kick ass time!

  15. Thanks for sharing! I love your pictures. Keri looks great!

    Congrats on the awesome race time!


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