Today I have another very special birthday boy! Tonight at 8:45 PM it will have been eleven years since we became parents for the first time. Riley surprised us by coming 16 days early and continues to surprise us everyday with his love of learning and sports. It is so much fun to watch him grow, learn new things and develop into the responsible, caring young man that he is becoming! Watch for my interview with Riley- coming soon!
|Riley at 11 years old|
...Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Weekend- Part 1
Tim and I got the boys off to school last Friday morning and then loaded up the car, dropped Aidan off at daycare and headed for Green Bay. It was pouring down rain but we were ok with that- we said that it could rain as long as it wanted on Friday just as long as the weather was good for race day.
As we were driving we realized that we were on the same road and only 20 minutes or so behind our friends that we were going to be meeting up with. Julie and I were texting back and forth about funny things that we were seeing and it felt like we were all riding together! They stopped in Oshkosh to wait for us and we decided to eat lunch together at Legends.
From there we headed to Lambeau Field for packet pick-up and the expo.
I have to say that it was laid out much better this year! Last year we surprised Julie by being near the packet pick up area when she arrived. It was in the atrium (same area as the expo) and seemed congested. This year, packet pick-up was on the Club Level so it was separated from the Expo area and it really made a difference. Pick-up was a breeze- no lines and lots of great volunteers eager to help us! We walked right up to the area designated for our numbers, grabbed our packets and were on our way back down to the expo in no time.
We spent a good amount of time checking out all of the vendors at the expo. Tim and I found some new sunglasses and we picked up our 26.2 stickers for our cars after the race.
There was one vendor that I couldn't wait to visit and I ended up getting a 26.2 shirt and my first flower to wear in my hair on race day.
Several weeks ago I came across these "share" posts on Facebook that I really connected with. They were from Fellow Flowers- what is that? I decided to check it out and what I found was super exciting!
I love their philosophy and how it all started. Then as I "stalked" their Facebook page and website I learned that it all started in Green Bay and that they were going to be at the expo! I couldn't wait to get my own flower- the hardest part was deciding which color I was!
It was tough to decide on a color because I could relate to parts of several different ones. Green? Yellow? White? In the end I decided on......
|ORANGE- The original! |
My flower came with this card.
After really thinking about my journey over the past several years I knew it had to be orange! It was the color that related most to my journey in life, in running, and in doing my first marathon!
My marathon journey started a year ago when I attended the Green Bay Marathon as a spectator- there to surprise my best friend as she was going to do her first marathon. Due to the 2012 race being called due to extreme heat, Julie had unfinished business and knew she was going back for 2013. After being there, in that atmosphere, we often talked about when I would do my first marathon. Knowing that she was going back to Green Bay it was only fitting to make that my first marathon.
After the expo we each went our separate ways to check into our hotels and get things organized there. We decided to meet back up for supper at Applebee's. Once Tim and I were settled into our room we needed to find a grocery store to pick up a few things so we would have some snacks and breakfast on Sunday before the race. We also checked out a Run Away Shoes that was across the street from our hotel. We checked out the area around our hotel and found a better way back to Lambeau for race morning. Before we knew it, it was time to meet up at Applebee's. We enjoyed a great dinner and then drove around the area and did a little shopping at Dick's Sporting Goods before each heading back to our hotels for the night.
Once back at the hotel, Tim and I decided to head to the hot tub to relax for a while before bed. It felt good to begin with but didn't last long- maybe 10-15 minutes before we each got too warm and decided to head back to the room and go to bed.
Saturday morning we slept in and had breakfast at the hotel. The plan for the day was to take in the sights of Green Bay with Julie and Steve. Apparently Tim thinks having underwear is important so we had to stop at Shopko for him to get some on our way to pick them up. While we were there we also did a little shopping for more "athletic apparel". We picked up Julie and Steve from their hotel and headed to Bay Beach where we all had a little fun!
$1/ride on the wooden roller coaster, 25 cents/ride on the slide, 50 cents/ ride on the carousel,
spending time with friends and making memories over those few hours = priceless!
After all of the fun at Bay Beach we were hungry! We picked up sandwiches at Jimmy John's and headed to another park for a picnic and a little relaxing. We then decided that we would try to drive around to find another area where we could get close to the water.
|Picnic, relaxing, and the water front|
Who knew that it would be so hard! We drove on all kinds of "dead end" roads and even found a few gravel roads (we didn't think Wisconsin had gravel roads). Finally we found one little "public access" area. We had to get out and take a few pictures since we worked so hard to find this one little area. Too bad we didn't know it at the time- we were only about 20 miles away from being in Michigan!
Steve wanted to find a tank top so we stopped back at Shopko and then walked around the mall before we decided to grab and early dinner at IHOP. Pancakes and french toast have proven to be good pre-race meals in the past so we thought we would go for those again.
As we were taking Julie and Steve back to their hotel we decided to drive the race course. I like to check out the course in advance when I can- it's nice to have an idea of what it's like going into the race. Julie and Steve's hotel was right along the course, near mile 21, so we dropped them off and finished driving the route before going back to our hotel.
We laid out all of our stuff for the race, made sure all electronics were charged, and packed up everything else so that we would be ready for our early race morning! We were in bed with lights out before 10- that is crazy for us!!!