Posts Tagged ‘10K’

Sunday, October 17, 2010

When we got to Springfield this afternoon, we drove straight to Old Chicago for some football and comfort food. We hadn’t meant to leave St. Louis so early, but my knee is way more messed up than I realized.

We ate breakfast in the hotel with our costumes on, which started some interesting conversation, and we got someone to take a couple of pictures of us. Then we went to the 10K and it was really a neat experience to take in everything from serious runners who were really there to compete, to some really great and even some totally outrageous costumes. The guy who won the costume contest made a huge cage and half a praying mantis sticking up about 3 feet out of the top of it. He made fake human legs hanging over the front, and his legs were praying mantis’ legs running on the bottom. He carried that thing for the entire 6.2 miles.

About 3 miles in, my knee just started killing me. I tried to run through the pain, but I couldn’t. I told my wife to just go on ahead and not let me ruin it for her, but she just kept saying, “We’re together.” She stayed with me while I had to walk most of the last 3 miles and not only didn’t complain, but made me feel like I was the most important thing in the world to her. I jogged a little bit here and there, but never very long because of the pain. When we could see the finish line, we took each other’s hand and ran the last part together. I almost fell because it hurt so much, but I was determined that we wouldn’t walk across the finish line.

After the race, I could barely walk, so after the costume contest was over and the prizes awarded, I hobbled to the car and we went for lunch and then hit the road. It was a shame to be hurt like that, but Ceecee was so wonderful and loving that it almost didn’t matter. I was just a little worried about what the implications were and whether I would end up having to have surgery on my knee.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beautiful day in St. Louis today. Got here in the morning and went straight to Soulard’s, a huge farmer’s market down by the river in the French district. They serve jello shots, which in and of itself makes it probably the world’s coolest farmer’s market. Of course we went to the zoo and visited the penguins and had lunch on the Hill. The weather has been perfect, and the day has been relaxing and fun. The only thing we had to do today was pick up our race packets and shirts, but we drove up this morning so we could spend the day doing our usual “day in St. Louis” things.

We ate a long leisurely lunch outside at Guido’s and I couldn’t help thinking of the day back in July when we sat at the same table with my daughter and the tide had really begun to turn for us. That day, I was facing the fear of never being able to work things out and the upcoming school year looming before us. Today, we were as relaxed and happy as two people could be and we just basked in the spirit of love and celebration.

In the afternoon, we picked up our race packets and t-shirts. Of course, we’ll be wearing our costumes during the race. We’re staying at a Drury Inn and they have free food and drinks in the evening, so we decided to go for it. Being foodies, it was a pretty funny experience. They had hot dogs and chips, Bud Light (which was ghastly), and a lot of stuff that we normally never eat. Then we spent some time in the hot tub and indoor pool. After a while, we got overrun with kids and my wife offended somebody by calling the kids critters, but we didn’t care. It was all in fun.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Our actual anniversary isn’t until Wednesday, but as of 3:00 today when we left work, anniversary week has begun! We are going all out and this is going to actually be a nine day anniversary celebration, because this is the one that was never going to be until the miracle of our restoration began taking place. It’s really almost 10 days if you count tonight, which I am.

Tomorrow we leave for St. Louis and a week from Sunday, we’ll be coming back from Tennessee. We’ve had some Cat Stevens references going back and forth on Facebook between us today. Ceecee wrote, “The wild world sent me home…where I belong,” and “You found your hard headed woman.” I wrote back, “And I know the rest of my life will be blessed.” We are the only ones who truly know how much that exchange meant, but let’s just say it did my heart a lot of good. On the one hand, I don’t really like it when she plays “wild world” in the car, because I know it represented her leaving me to go see what was out there on the wild side, but on the other hand, that CD was a gift of love that I gave her and there are some other songs on it that have become meaningful to us.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Got our costumes finished today for the Halloween 10K. Not everyone runs in costume, but a lot of people do and we wanted to come up with something that would be fun and also mean something.

We’ve been talking about it off and on for a while now, but it was my wife that came up with the idea that we ended up going with. One day, just out of nowhere, she said, “Why don’t we go as opposite sides of the same coin?” I immediately loved it, because that was the phrase that my friend Adam had used months ago to describe us

We were separated and Ceecee and I had gone to art walk with Adam joining as kind of a third wheel. When I talked to him on the phone soon after and asked him if he was confused about why Ceecee and I weren’t together, he had said, “You guys are one. You’re opposite sides of the same coin.” I had told Ceecee that he had said that, but of course, we weren’t together then, so she didn’t respond and I was very pleasantly surprised to realize now that she still remembered that and still thinks about it.

This is really what the restoration tour is all about. Revisiting the same literal, physical places where things happened while we were breaking apart, and also revisiting those memories, those words that were spoken, those actions that were done that hurt each other and that we would never do now that we are in love again.

So how are we going as opposite sides of the same coin, you may wonder?, We are wearing tight black running pants or shorts with long-sleeved black shirts. We made signs that go on our backs with black on white for one and white on black for the other that say “Opposite sides of” and “the same coin.” Then we used a projector at school to trace and draw the front and back of a Missouri quarter onto cardboard cut-outs painted silver.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

We took our bikes out today instead of running because I hurt my knee last weekend. I was running with Ceecee and we were interval training (run/walk) and I don’t know what happened. It was at about the 8 mile mark that I started getting a stabbing pain in my right knee. I tried to just run through it, but I couldn’t. The pain became unbearable at about 9 miles and I couldn’t keep going.

The problem was, we were about two miles from the car and I still had to walk back to it, hurting every step of the way. Going up the stairs at the loft was awful, but by the next day it had mostly settled down, so we’re just kind of watching it to see what happens. I figure that if I mostly rest it, I’ll still be able to run the 10K on the 17th.

Anyway, we were in Nathaniel Greene Park – a place we really love that the South Creek Trail goes through – and a walnut fell from a tree and got me right on the forearm. Ceecee thought it was funny, but it really hurt. I guess it was funny actually, but I wasn’t laughing at the time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Part of what we’re doing for our anniversary is going to Tennessee and attending an NFL game between the Eagles and the Titans, our two favorite teams. I’ve always loved the Philadelphia Eagles, and since most of Ceecee’s family lives in Tennessee, they’ve all become Titans fans.

Our actual anniversary is in the middle of the week, and the game is the weekend after. The weekend before, we’re going to run the Halloween 10K in St. Louis. It’s a race through downtown where a lot of people run in costumes and it sounds great. By sandwiching it between the two weekends, we are going to kind of make this year’s anniversary a week long celebration.

Monday, September 20, 2010

We got back in the pool for the first time in almost a month. Our tattoo artist wants people to wait four weeks after a tat before getting in a swimming pool. Ceecee is still training for her marathon and I won’t be doing another triathlon until at least next Spring, so I’m not very motivated to be in the pool. I’m one of those triathletes who considers swimming to be a necessary evil. We have one, and maybe two 10K’s coming up, though, so I need to stay in running shape.

When we left St. Louis on the Sunday before our anniversary, my knee was in so much pain, I could hardly walk.  After the 10K and the costume contest was over, I limped back to the car and we drove back to the hotel to check out.  Normally, we would have spent more time in town, but since I was hurting so much, there wasn’t really anything to do but go home.  Our hearts were full despite the pain, and it was only the beginning of an anniversary week to remember and treasure always.

It took two or three days for my knee to settle down, but school was in session during that time, so we still had to work all that week.  We planned to go out to eat on Wednesday evening, but we didn’t have any real specific plans for a huge date night.  We really wanted the whole week to carry a feeling of celebration, so we planned to try to do at least something each day.

Old Chicago is one of our guilty pleasures, and we ended up going to the one in our city twice that week.  It’s pretty unhealthy and very high calorie food, but it’s one of our favorite places anyway.  We pretty much love everything they have there, from the appetizers to the pizza to the pastas.  They also have a great beer list.

My wife’s brother is a beer connoisseur (yes, there is such a thing, and they don’t drink Coors or Budweiser), and because of him, we got into drinking imported beer and microbrews.  Old Chicago has a club called the World Beer Tour that you can join, and throughout the year, they have a series of mini tours.  At the time of our anniversary, they were having the Halloween mini tour, where, if you try eight different themed beers during the tour dates, you get a t-shirt.  We wanted the shirts, so we spent too much time and money that week on beer and food, but we sure enjoyed it.

On Wednesday evening, we went to a Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar that my wife had been to, but I hadn’t.  She has liked sushi for a long time, but it took me a while to develop a taste for it.  We had originally planned that I would order an entrée off the main menu and she would have sushi, but we ended up spending the whole evening at the sushi bar.  The people preparing it are inside an oval that is ringed by the seats, and in between is a moat where little boats circle that they put food items on for people to select.  It was a lot of fun, and we both got stuffed, although I’m not sure I know what some of the things were that I ate.

I also gave my wife her anniversary present that day. I had bought it nearly two months prior and kept it hidden.  She has never really liked surprises, and she usually tells me exactly what she wants for Christmas, Birthdays, and so on.  I have to get creative to surprise her anyway, and sometimes I can pull it off.

She likes black onyx jewelry, and had been looking for a certain style ring for a long time.  She knew what it would look like, and figured that it must exist, but we had never found a ring that was exactly it.  One day, soon after we got back together, she came to see me at Macy’s and passed by the jewelry counter on the way to my department.  When she found me, she told me about a ring they had there that was the one she wanted.

I pretended that the price was more than we could afford and acted like I wasn’t really listening to her, but I bought it the very next day and hoped she wouldn’t suspect.  I kept it hidden in a drawer for about two months and never talked about it again.  She didn’t forget about it, and hoped all along that she would get it, but at least she didn’t know for sure until I gave it to her.

To find out what I got, you’ll have to wait and read tomorrow’s post…

A few days after last July’s first friday art walk, I called my friend who had gone with us.  I suspected he had seen what I had seen that evening and that he would confirm what I was thinking.  I asked him over the phone, “Are you as confused as I am about why my wife and I are separated?”

“Definitely,” he told me.  “You guys are one.  You’re opposite sides of the same coin.”  I loved that phrase.  I actually told my wife that he said that soon afterward, but I didn’t think she had really paid any attention to it.   In fact, I forgot all about it until she brought it up during the restoration tour.

Right after we got back together, I completed my first triathlon, and my wife was training for her first full marathon.  Once the triathlon was over, I was looking for a new challenge, and we decided to train for some 10K races.  There were two in October – one in Springfield near our loft, and one in St. Louis close to our anniversary.

When we looked into the Halloween 10K in St, Louis, we found out that it’s not just a race.  It’s a fun event where many people run in costumes, there are props and Halloween themed scenes along the route, and a costume contest after the race.  We knew we wanted to be part of it, and we knew we wanted to run in costumes, but we didn’t know what to dress up as.

We kicked around different ideas, but nothing really stood out.  Then one day, my wife said, “Why don’t we go as opposite sides of the same coin?”  I was thrilled that she had remembered that and still thought about it, but I wasn’t sure how you could make a costume out of that.  I asked her, and as always, she had a great idea.

We cut out circles of cardboard and painted them silver.  Then she used a black marker and a projector at school to trace the features of a quarter on each, heads on one and tails on the other.  We used a Missouri quarter because it has the St. Louis Arch on the back of it.  We dressed in all black with the quarters attached to the front of our shirts.  We printed each half of the phrase on different sheets of paper, and attached them in sheet protectors to our backs.

We probably looked pretty silly and they were really unprofessional costumes, but we couldn’t have been happier with them.  We got people to take pictures of us in the hotel lobby and at the race.  It was a great experience and one that we look forward to making an annual tradition.  The only negative about it was that I injured my knee a few weeks beforehand, and ended up having to walk part of it and cross the finish line in a lot of pain.

Even that ended up being a blessing, because my wife refused to run on ahead and leave my side.  I kept telling her not to let me ruin the race for her, and she just kept saying, “We’re together.”  She stayed with me every step of the way, and we joined hands for the last few steps as we crossed the finish line.  Our times were not even close to competitive, but that didn’t matter.  Everything about the race was symbolic of what had changed between us since getting back together.

What had changed was everything.  It continues to amaze me that my wife is so different now.  When you’ve been with someone for more than a decade, you think you know everything about them.  You assume that you know how they will react, and what they will do at any given time, but everything was new and different.  It’s true that opposites do attract.  My wife and I are very different from each other, but it takes the two sides to make the one coin.