Thursday, May 05, 2011

Boston interlude

I'll finish my Boston writeup some time when I'm not supposed to be grading papers... I promise.  I, however, wanted to note to the world that I picked up my wedding dress today.  It's lovely.  It's white...with a hint of blue...  Who's my designer, you ask?  Nike.  Really.  I'm actually quite angry with Nike right now over their crap customer service policy re: items purchased at a race expo that turn out to have semi-major flaws, but alas, they had the *perfect* dress, and as we all know, when a girl finds her perfect dress in a catalog, the only proper thing to do is order it, sight unseen, in two sizes.  You can do that when your wedding dress is an off-the-rack tennis dress.  Score one for the nontraditionalists.

After receiving an email this morning from Jason "David's Bridal" Page, and a follow up from the lovely Kim "why is my husband answering the phone at our store 'David's Bridal'" Page, I ventured over to Bull City after hauling our catering point-man over to Umstead to check out the wedding brunch site.  I'll get back to the dress in a second, but I wanted to throw this out there as well: I imagine people in catering have a lot going on right now with graduations galore coming up, but the following conversation was not super confidence-building (noting that it was not the owner of the business I was talking to, but our assigned event point-man):
"You're having the wedding at your house?"
"No - the reception is at the house"
"With brunch?"
"No - the wedding and brunch are here at the park"
"In the afternoon?"
"No - at 8:30AM"
"Oh....*puzzled look*"
Now I know that they probably don't do many 8:30AM weddings, and they probably also don't do many weddings that are followed by brunch AND an afterparty, and I'm sure they'll look over the plans again somewhere closer to the date, but I still have visions of Victor and our lovely brunch sitting at the house while we all die of starvation, and a pile of turkey breast arriving at Umstead sometime Sunday for the horseflies (don't even get me started on wedding day horsefly fears) to eat.  Regardless, take away previous point awarded to the nontraditionalists :(

ANYWAY, back to the dress.  I arrived at Bull City and found Jason and George looking just a wee bit bored and searching for entertainment.  Apparently 4PM on a Thursday is not a big time at the store (note to anyone looking for extra super customer service)?  Their faces positively lit up upon my arrival (I may be exaggerating a bit here... but they did seem a little happier to see me than normal).  I'd like to think it was because they were excited about spending a few minutes with me, but I think George was really looking forward to mocking my ordering of a tennis dress from a running store and Jason was still secretly uber-excited about finding the perfect blue to go with Ronnie's vest and wanted to see it in its full glory.  I was slightly less excited as I was secretly wondering if either dress would fit, as I seem to have ventured into some sizing void by dropping 5 lbs to get down to fighting weight (and find my abs again).  Luckily, when I pulled out the dresses, I found the medium was... pretty good... a little loose up top, but nothing a little tailoring wouldn't fix... not sure if the tailor people are up for an integrated sports bra, but was to be a problem for another day.  The small was... um... scandalous.  As Jason put it (not having seen the disaster as I did not wear it out of the dressing room), "it took the wedding from family-friendly to NC 17".  There was really nothing left to the imagination.  At all.  AND it was white. So that helped.

So medium it was.  As an added bonus, the fine folks at Nike had sent a wind jacket in place of Ronnie's shirt, so I scored a new jacket ... and Ronnie may be going shirtless.  C'est la vie.  At least his vest will match the dress....though without a shirt, he looks kind of like a stripper in the bowtie, vest, and tails, so perhaps I should have gone with the small to maintain the theme?  ...but I digress...

So I took my medium dress home and pondered what to do about the ineffectual (and oddly bulky and visible from the outside) integrated bra.  ...and then I did what any normal bride-to-be would do: I cut up my wedding dress.  Take THAT ineffectual bra!  So now that I've gotten rid of the weird, bulky, ill-fitting, ineffectual bra, the dress actually lies much better...though it is now completely lacking in support and a little see-through (still a good match for shirtless Ronnie and the NC17 wedding... which is what I will name my band if I ever start one).  So my next mission is clear: find a bra that will accommodate the asymmetrical neckline of my now customized wedding dress... and plastic wine glasses...we need plastic wine glasses.

Until next time, my pretties...

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Boston Marathon - check! Pre-gaming

I'd feel like a bit of a jerk if I wrote up a 3-part post about trying to qualify for Boston and then didn't write anything ABOUT Boston... goes...

As soon as I got through Uwharrie, Boston began to loom on the horizon, so I forced myself through recovery (involves a lot of the inner football coach saying, "you are NOT tired - KEEP RUNNING!  You can slow down if you MUST, but KEEP RUNNING!") and began ramping up to the gold standard 20+ mile runs again.  From the second I registered, I had been waffling about whether to TRY at Boston or not... On the one hand, I wanted to justify my place there, but on the other, I didn't want to hate the whole experience and miss out on things like kissing the Wellesley girls and high-fiving 800 little kids.  It was pretty much going to come down to a game day decision, but I figured I should probably try to train for the former possibility because it certainly couldn't hurt the latter.

It turns out TRY was the operative word in "try to train" above.  While I got all my long runs in, no problem, the track workouts were lacking due to a particularly insidious combination of work commitments, social commitments, and obnoxious weather in the 2 mos leading up to the race.  That, coupled with an absolutely horrendous sleep schedule the week prior pointed me to the "enjoy the experience" side of things.

SO we arrived in Boston the day before the race, realizing, of course, that we had forgotten the little cards that said "if you don't have this with you, you can't pick up your packet".  We suspected this was not actually the case, and that they were just trying to gently encourage people to remember them, but we were still a little apprehensive as we lined up to get into packet pickup.  Fortunately, our suspicions were right and the nice lady in the 'problems' booth printed us new ones.  We then picked up our packets and headed to the expo to try out all the next big things.  Here are my reviews:
Pom blueberry juice - awesome
Power bar nuggets - awesome
Weird pink Gatorade recovery beverage - decent
Cherry extract drink - wow.  that sure does taste like cherry... really... a lot
Fage Yogurt - yup - tastes like yogurt.. thank you!
Weird fruity herby water - surprisingly awesome... though it made me have to pee REALLLY bad
Anything given away at the GNC booth - DUDE - people really drink/eat this stuff???? That's just crazy.

Then we proceeded to Acton, MA, where Shawn's family awaited us so we could go candle pin bowling.  It turns out I'm even worse at candle pin bowling than I am at regular bowling.  ...unless I go two-hands-between-the-legs-granny-style, in which case, I rule!  If there had just been 3 more frames, I'm pretty sure I would have caught and passed Ronnie, who was trying to emulate the pros and becoming progressively worse.

Our final pre-marathon stop was Shawn's brother's house, where we ate dinner, rummaged through our freebie bags, and found proofreading errors in the official Boston Marathon Race guide before going to bed where a giant black cat stationed herself just above my head to stare at me for the better part of the night.