Monday, October 20, 2008

Indianapolis Half-Marathon 2008 & Elliot's baptism

This past weekend was a huge one for our little family. This might get long--I want to write it all down and never forget it. Any of it.

The Indianapolis Half-Marathon (13.1 miles)

On Friday afternoon Brendan, Meg, Elliot and I packed up and headed to Indy to pick up our race packets for the half-marathon. After picking up the packets and having a pasta dinner, we headed to the hospital to see my friend Jenn and pick up the key to her apartment. I was glad we got to see her that night for a few minutes. Back at her place that night Meg and I prepared for the race. Elliot seemed a little freaked out about sleeping in a new place, but he calmed down quickly and slept.

On Saturday morning we got up and headed to the race sight about an hour before the start. I spent a large portion of our spare time in line at the port-a-potties. The people in line behind me discussed all sorts of things, my favorite of which was a segment that began with a middle aged man saying, "You know, sometimes I look at women wearing sports bras and think to myself that looks like a good idea. More than once I've considered wearing one. I think they might help, you know?" No, really, I had no idea what that would help for him. Really.

We crossed the start line about 8:35 am. The weather was perfect. The course was nice, though odd in places. Early in the race we were graced by a man in a velour shirt covering a Meatloaf song. We passed him again around mile 11 as he presented the worst cover of a Johnny Cash song I've ever heard. He provided us with some good laughs. Other highlights: after spending some time looking for mile marker 4 we looked up and saw mile marker 5. Score! The portion of the race through the woods was also really nice. It included some serious hills (well, for girls accustomed to running in Illinois) and nice views. Also, we saw our cheering section a few times. Here is a picture of Brendan and Elliot waiting for us to pass them.

We kept a reasonably constant pace, Meg tells me. The race felt pretty good. I didn't feel like I was struggling like I did at our first race. Like any long run, we had periods of faster and slower running. Our training definitely paid off. We ate at a perfect point in the race. Just when I started to feel sluggish my beans kicked in. We also knew not to get carried away early in the race, but to pick a pace we could sustain. I started getting tired around mile 11, but by then we were so close that it wasn't hard to keep up our pace and keep going. At mile 12 we picked up the pace, then at about 100 meters out we started a sprint to the finish. We finished in 2:08:26--three and a half minutes faster than our last race. Woohooo!!! Here is a picture of us approaching the finish line (we're the two people just behind the blue strip). And, true confession, even though training was spotty (no Monday workouts and no speed workouts to speak of), started slow (remember the pain expressed in my posts in July), Elliot isn't even 5 months old, and we said our goal was just to finish, I've been kicking myself since mile 12 for not running this race faster. Secretly, I really want to break that 2 hour mark. And we will. Eventually.

My friend Kate also ran the race. Here's a picture of her on the course (in the middle with her arms up). Her husband, who is also a good friend of ours, was also there to support her. I wish we had taken pictures of all of us! My mother-in-law was also there. She drove all the way from Maryland just to see the race and hang out with us. It was a great day. Also below is a picture of me with my baby post-race. I really wanted a picture with Elliot post-race. I want to always be able to look back at this and show him that I did something I loved and he was part of it. I also want to always be able to look back and know that I did this when he was not quite 5 months old. That's something I'm proud of.

After the race we ate a little bit, then headed back to my friend Jenn's to hang out with her for a little while. Again, I wish I'd thought to take a picture! It was great to hang out with her and introduce her to Elliot a bit more. She's good people. We've promised to make more of a point of getting together, which I'm looking forward to.

After hanging out with Jenn we headed back to Champaign. We spent the evening at home with our parents, then later with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece, when they arrived after their drive from Detroit.

Elliot's baptism
Sunday was a HUGE day in Elliot's life. He was baptized! Below is a picture of us with our fabulous Pastor Donna and Elliot's sponsors/Godparents. I want to thank M & J for sponsoring Elliot. We feel incredibly blessed to have a community of faith and such friends supporting us in the Christian upbringing of our son. Not only are they good friends of ours, but are also a family that we respect for their values and deeds to say the least. We are so blessed! We were also thrilled to celebrate this day with our friends that could come to the worship service.

The weekend was also crammed with prime photo opps for the grandparents. Here is Grandpa Paulson with Elliot. As if this weekend weren't sweet enough after all of this, but I also got to meet my niece, Nadia Simone Paulson. She is a tiny little bunch of wonderful! I can't decide which of these pictures I like best, so I'm going to go overboard and include them all.

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