Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Austin Marathon Weekend

Yesterday afternoon we three strolled, with slight post-marathon limp, from the imposing Texas State Capitol Building, down Congress Avenue, toward the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, where we had run the marathon the previous day. We sat at a patio table, sipping lattes, celebrating victory and the warm spring day.

Runner Dude won his age group.

For us slower runners, race day got warm (with some sunburn) and hills got wearing, with few spectators cheering. We had done our training on a flat indoor track, due to a cold Minnesota January-February. Spring will be welcome!

Hills were moderately tough on my knees and my hip joints muscles are stiff and sore.
But as I ran, I kept thinking, I love running marathons!!
Race officials and volunteers encouraged us.

Sweet Runner Dude coming back to meet us... after running a full award-winning marathon!.... a dearest, most energizing and precious experience. We see him in the distance, running toward, at around mile 22. He brings fresh cold water or Gatorade (the water stops are often shut down by the time we get to that point... except in NYC and Portland OR)... and he carries our most recently shed shirts. He runs/walks with us, checks ahead for traffic where the streets have been opened up, and cheers us on.
Dear Sweetie makes every run and race and marathon a family event for us all.

Our tenth marathon and our ninth state... and for the Fast Runner, his twenty-second marathon and thirteenth state.
We three are all sporting finishers’ medals and shirts.

A hotel room near the start (and finish) and the expo, energized our weekend participation. Our Super Family Events Manager here located a room with kitchen, enabling us to have our usual eggs and oatmeal breakfasts, except on marathon morning, of course. We found some great food for other meals at the super-sized Whole Foods Market, known to some as “Whole Dollar”, but, hey, it beats the regular super markets for healthy choices.

Other highlights of the trip:
Seeing, conversation with, hugging my long-time friend, Peggy, and meeting her dear pre-school granddaughter

Visiting the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library on President’s Day...riding the free 'Dillo trolley to get there.

Last pre-marathon taper run on Town Lake Trail along the Texas Colorado River

Walking in Zilker Park to the Barton Springs Pool, where a few brave souls were swimming.

Finding a succulent fresh head of organic romaine lettuce at a little organic farmers’ market near the Children’s Museum

Pansies blooming

A gloriously tasty lunch at Pappadeaux Restaurant: Spinach and shrimp salad with blue cheese and hot bacon creole dressing for Runner Dude; sky-high grilled chicken salad for Beep;
linguine with crawfish, blackened shrimp, Andouille sausage and crimini mushrooms in a marinara cream sauce to inspire my cooking back home. A business colleague recommended the restaurant.

Saturday... pre-race pasta dinner was excellent: choice of pasta, sauce, and well, yes... Texas toast!! Plus cookies and pastry we probably should have enjoyed looking at, but resisted consuming the fat points. Lemonade. A fine time.

Safe flights (including a spectacular in-flight sunset) , glorious weather, just being in another city..... And another marathon! Yea!

Write this: the best days of the year!

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