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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Long, busy, but fun weekend

When I left my house at 6:30 AM on my bike Saturday morning, I felt like I was going on an adventure. It was the first time I've ridden south directly from my house and I was on a one-way trip. Very cool! No cars in sight and I'm lovin' it - just me and my bike on a 3-hour adventure.

I was headed to volunteer at mile 26.8 of the Burning River 100, but needed to get a 3-hour ride done first. My hubby was driving down there to get in his own workout (2.5 hour run), so I had a ride home. The ride was relatively uneventful. My legs still aren't back to full strength, but I was able to climb many killer hills without too much stress. And, I got to see a lot of the runners on their way to our aid station.

My coach was the captain of the aid station and a majority of her athletes came out to volunteer with her. It was nice catching up with my friends, but it was even cooler to help out the runners. At this point, most of them still looked pretty fresh and in good spirits. I even got to see my old co-worker and friend, Paul, who had just done the Mohican 100 and BT50K in the prior 2 months. As I'm trying to assist him with his bottles and such, he is nice enough to congratulate me on my Ironman. Thanks Paul!

The last runner came in around 1:15 PM, so we packed up the aid station and Matt and I were on our way home. I caught a quick nap at home and then we went out to the Wine Festival. We really let our hair down and ate/drank whatever seemed like a good idea at the time. We feasted on pulled pork sandwiches (a favorite of mine), mac-n-cheese, baked beans, funnel cake, wine of course and then topped it off with an ice cream cone on the way home. Now, those of you who know my husband, know that this is not standard behavior. But, you only live once, right?

We went to bed early, but the alarm clock was still an unwelcome sound. Matt got up around 2 AM (to get in a run first) and I got up just before 3 AM. See, we volunteered to help e-speed with her aid station at mile 91.3 from 4:45 AM to 8:45 AM. This didn't seem like a big deal to me until I realized it would take 1 hour to drive there. D'oh! Seriously though, it was even better helping the runners at mile 91. They really needed us by then. Most were still in good spirits, but many were slightly delirious.

E-speed and her family were incredible volunteers! E decided the food provided by the race wasn't enough, so she also brought fixings for grilled cheese sandwiches, lunch meat sandwiches and scrambled eggs. When I approached a runner and said "What can I get for you?" most of the time the response was "I don't know" or "The finish line". When I suggested a grilled cheese sandwich, their faces would light up like it was Christmas morning. Very rewarding (although I didn't cook any of the sandwiches - but I did eat a couple leftovers and they were yummy!)

I had to take off early just as the last runner was coming into the station (our aid station saw 70 runners come in, but 2 dropped out there - all 68 made it to the finish). I drove another hour to go for a 90-minute bike ride with my friend and her father (he kicked our butts and he's in his 60s). We then got cleaned up to go to TriSara's baby shower. She got lots of cute stuff and looks absolutely fabulous!

After I got home and did some errands, I was spent. By 7:30 PM, I was zonked on the couch. I don't think I was that tired after Ironman. But, the weekend was rewarding and it feels good to give back! We always get such great volunteer assistance, so why not pay it forward?!

On a completely unrelated note, I went with the first swim picture of me checking my watch between the two laps. I didn't want to spend the jack to get all 3, plus Maggie's boyfriend got a lot of cool swim pictures that I can have for free. Thanks Brad!


Blogger Papa Louie said...

By the time we came to the 91.3 mile aid station we were well satisfied from all the good food from the other stations. Did you save any left overs for me? LOL Sounds like you guys had great food. I'm sure the runners appreciated the good food you guys had. Thanks for volunteering!

2:06 PM

Blogger E-Speed said...

Jen thanks so much for all of your help this weekend! Looking forward to running with you tomorrow night!

2:18 PM

Blogger Mallie said...

I think it's so awesome that you not only race, you also volunteer. If we'd all just volunteer at one race each year, it'd mean so many more races would be well run with plenty of support.

8:06 PM


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