Busiest Week Possible, No Biggie...

12:08 PM

How dare a marathon get in the way of the busiest week of the entire year.

Isn't it Murhpy's law, that anything that can happen, will. Well that is exactly how the week leading up to my FIRST marathon was turning out to me.

So, knowing that I always get to host our December Girls Night, I make it a point to have my decorations up and a tree looking gorgeous the weekend after Thanksgiving. This along with my running schedule, made it more stressful this year, but I was not letting my girls down. It's not that I have a huge amount of decorations, but on top of decorating, I had to clean the entire downstairs too. I themed the bathroom, blue, silver, and white - I love new decorations, even if they are minimal. Everything was pulled out, set-up, old things were in the garbage, and the tree was bright with lights and ornaments (my fave part)! This all took place, pretty much most of Sunday and late Sunday evening (especially the tree).

My new, favorite decoration.
My tree has character this year & there's even presents wrapped already!
On Monday, as usual, I had an indoor soccer game. I chose to play because I LOVE the sport. I knew I'd hold back if I needed too, but we were playing against my old team and good friend, so I wanted in on the action. Luckily, no one (especially me) was injured. Just bruised egos, because WE WON!

I decided to skip my Strength and Conditioning classes for the week (Tuesday and Thursday) to keep it low key before the Marathon. Now that I can look back on this decision, I wish I would have only skipped Thursday's workout. I think I could have adjusted Tuesday's workout if it was too intense. Oh well, you live and you learn. I did have to postpone my Monday easy run to Tuesday, so I did do something, just nothing of real sustenance. Tuesday was also the official start of "The Almond Conference". This is significant for two reasons:

A. - This is a huge conference for anything and all things Almonds.
B. - This also is reminder that my year anniversary with BDG is here. It will always be a highlight, because every year it starts will be a reminder of when I started working here.

I skipped out on the Tuesday seminars and action at the Almond Conference, but Wednesday was spent the entire day there, until about 3:30PM, which I then went to the office. The first seminar I went to was awesome, all of the speakers were insightful and great presenters. I learned a bunch and some of the slides were awesome:

Logo/Ads for almonds in China.

I was even surprised at how delicious the lunch was. Most banquet lunches aren't that good. I'm never a huge fan of rice pilaf or "Holiday Rice" as they listed it, but it wasn't bad. After you picked out the weird, wet dry fruit that was in it.
Pretty good banquet lunch.
I came home to a great snail mail surprise, my Lulu order came a day early. That'll make any girl happy! I also had my last training run with Fleet Feet. The week prior they mentioned we'd do an easy 4 miles, but they switched it up on us. We did a little speed workout for 20 minutes, with a warm up and cool down, both were 10 minutes. It was cold to say the least, but it wasn't bad. Then I went to have dinner with Poppa Bear. Of course, he thought it was too boughie and didn't eat much. That meant delicious left overs for me, carbs, carbs, carbs!
Thursday was the last day of the Almond Conference and my Girls Night! I only had one seminar to go to in the afternoon, but it was the best one because they gave out a treat and who doesn't love to hear about chocolate :)
Almonds & Chocolate, the Dynamic Duo
Then I came home to get ready for a night of girls, food, and laughter. Thanks to my amazing parentals, I outsourced some food to them - tri tip and chicken wings. These were a hit. One friend said "I haven't had meat this good in a long time!" The parentals came in clutch, they even delivered it before their date night to celebrate  Momma's official retirement. They seriously spoil me beyond belief.
The girls started to arrive with an abundance of goodies and beverages. We had our white elephant exchange and hung out, played with babies, and laughed about life. We were missing a few, but we had a great time! I'm so lucky to say this is our 3rd annual holiday gathering and I hope I can say this again, many years down the road.
Happy December, Love the Girls
One of the only boys allowed!
Love this little girl!
It's all about the small touches!
After cleaning up and saying goodbyes, I was in the best mood possible. Being surrounded by so many strong, beautiful women is something most cannot say. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but each of us bring out the best in one another. They are the most encouraging and supportive group of women you could have in your corner. Whether it's tragedy or a happy event, they always take time to make congratulate or console you!
To add to the madness, Friday was the Holiday Work Lunch that I was in charge of. Luckily the location as beautiful on it's own, so I didn't have to decorate at all. I was able to order gifts for everyone - a set of stemless, logo'd wine glasses - which I was really excited to have and see every ones reaction! It was great, we also were able to recognize a fellow employee who will be retiring shortly, but his service of 44 years has been beyond outstanding! It was a great time, lots of marathon talk, congratulating everyone on a very successful year, and every having copious amounts of wine. Lucky us, we all got to take the rest of the day off, so a few of us sat at the bar and drank - the GM even gave us $40 for the tab, that was so incredibly nice.
Il Fornaio
Filetto al Balsamico
Beef tenderloin grilled rare, topped with rosemary, green peppercorns and balsamic vinegar; served with seasonal vegetables and Yukon Gold  potatoes

Rosina al Cioccolato

Chocolate mousse, fresh raspberries, sponge cake drizzled with triple sec;

served with orange crème anglaise

Our server was impeccable. You can tell he's a "lifer" and this is his craft. He was sweet and very good at his job. After a few glasses of wine during lunch and then one more at the bar, when I got home I had no motivation to get my 3 miles in at all. So what do you do when you need someone to push you, you post in on social media!
Social media holds me accountable ;)
I took a nap, read my responses, bundled up and got out there. You know you are crazy when there are only 2 other people out on the trail with you. When normally, there are at least 20 people out running/walking. Oh well, it must get done! I have the best support group ever!
Pretty self explanatory.
After I defrosted, it was time for carbs and hydration. This is pretty much a staple pre-race meal days before the big day. Then I had an unconventional dessert, which I am totally okay with. I bought such a huge box, sue me it was only $0.20 more, and I need to get through it - which is way too easy for me!
My favorite carbs, ranch is a carb right?
My new fave dessert.
Oh man! I was fairly nervous and anxious to get to race day. But I knew Friday's sleep was most important. I set my alarm for 9AM, but couldn't really sleep past 8:15AM. So I got up to relax and enjoy my breakfast before a quick trip to the gym.
Carbs are my BFF!
As I was enjoying breakfast, the Bestest text me for a gym date. It's always fun to go with her, we laugh way too much and way too loud. Poor souls who workout near us, I'm sure they don't appreciate our fart convos or our actual farts! We did a few easy miles on the elliptical and then a quick little arm workout - hammer curls, push ups, and rockers (or whatever they are called, I cannot remember). I stretched and had to leave to get ready for the CIM expo. She stayed and did another weight workout, what a beast!
Deathy by eliptical.
Shit got really real once we walked into the Expo at the Sacramento Convention Center. You could feel the tension, they anxiety, the anxiousness, and the excitedness of everyone. Not going to lie, seeing all of the Boston Marathon gear made me intimated to say the least. I know, from previous year's attendance, that everyone one, especially Fleet Feet, has crazy good deals on clothes, shoes, inserts, gu's...basically all things running. So I waited to buy socks and gu for the longest time. My coaches told us not to walk around at all during the expo, but I wasn't listening to him. And of course, guess who I run into while shopping...Coach! Oh well, we laughed, he asked the obligatory questions, gave me a hug and said good luck! We only planned to stay an hour, because that's all the parking sign allowed for. But we were enjoying it way too much, so Lil went out to feed the meter for another hour of fun. We listed to part of the breakdown of the course by the pro's. We stopped at every booth, even got a huge coconut water and tons of KIND bar goodies from the rep. We bought a Nike dri-fit shirt to commemorate our big race, Lil's friends were working the booth, so that was fun to say hi and get high fives. We ran into friends, took some amazing pictures and made plans for our carb dinner.
Lil getting her race shirt!
1-2-3 Jump, apparently MT didn't get the memo!
We started this journey together and we will both cross the finish line tomorrow!!
I'm obsessed with these lulus, even though in pics it looks like I have CT :/
We were starving so we decided we'd had enough and it was time to get off of our feet. We decided sandwiches sounded perfect. We got them to go, stopped at the store for chips and good hydration, then parked it on my couch. To top off the afternoon I made us FINALLY watch "Spirit of the Marathon". It was okay, a little dated. I fell asleep I was so exhausted and overly full from lunch. After the movie was over we both took a nap, before we knew it it was time to head over for dinner.
Dad's - Hot Blonde is magical!
Shit's getting real here!
With the Grid being the way it is, reservations during the CIM are crazy hard to come buy. So we decide to place a takeout order and eat it in the comforts of our friends home. The take out situation was a little rough at the restaurant. However, after all was said and done, we were home eating the carb goodness.
Cool upside down pic, huh? To-go from Pete's.
We looked up times of celebrities we were hoping to beat. You should try that. It really was interesting to see who got what times. We discussed race strategy, gear, nutrition, and the weather. We watched our local indoor team play a game in Vegas, via the Internet. They got spanked and the quality was bad, but I guess that's what you get for a $7 fee. Overall, I think we all left there as we should have, full of carbs and high hopes for what our race would have. Out of the 7 that were there, 4 were running it. Lil and I were the newbies. At this point, I was ready to just get it over with. It had been a long week of craziness and anticipation, I was ready to run this damn thing.
So, when I got home I thought I'd better set out my gear and fuel/hydration so I didn't forget anything. With such an early wake-up call, I didn't want to leave anything to chance. Because the weather was forcasted in the low 20's I needed to be prepared. I found a $10 vest I'd gotten at Target, last black Friday, that was perfect for the first few miles to keep me warm. Don't get me wrong, this baller-on-a-budget didn't really want to throw away anything, but I knew it was the best chance I had at staying warm. So, it is un-pictured, but it was coming with me. Also not pictured, was my pre-race sweats to keep me warm on the bus. I picked things I didn't mind loosing if they lost my sweat check bag!
Gear Grid - I'll be rocking Under Armour, Lulu, Saucony, Balega, SPI Belt, The North Face, & my Garmin.

I was prepared as I'd ever be. The race was in the hands of the race God's. It was either going to be my race or not. As many runners say this, it is 100% true. On race day, you know if it will be your day or not. I needed to just ease my mind and get some sleep. Thanks to my sweet roommate, at 12:30AM I was awoken by the sounds of what I thought were people robbing me. Turns out her and her drunk friend knocked over bikes and fell right by my door. Great, just what I needed. I had adrenaline pumping, because I thought I'd have to fight or scare off intruders. Nope, just a drunk roommate and her friend being a-holes. She apologized a couple of times, I just said "it's okay" in a very not-so-nice tone and helped put the bikes up. I'm not sure how long it took me to fall back asleep, but I eventually did. Again, Murphy's law was at play, if it can happen, it will!

The Marathon is so much more than just 26.2 miles...

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