Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Back to life...back to reality

Wow. The last few weeks have flown by. So many activites! We held our Max Muscle Vancouver Half Marathon on Sunday, February 28th. My birthday was the 26th, we ran an 18 mile marathon training run on the 21st, I drove three hours both ways to see the Bon Jovi concert in Seattle on the 19th. Can you say "exhausted".

I knew we'd have a ton of things to do the week before the half marathon, but I really under estimated how much that drive to Seattle and 2 am bedtime would take out of me. Add onto that a serious allergy situation due to all the blooming trees, an 18 mile run and I was dragging all week long.

I am prettty impressed that there was no major melt down. Trevor and I only had one situation, but that was because he over estimates my ability to listen. I swear, that man is a saint.

The final week was spent trying to figure out how many people were actually going to show up on Sunday morning. On Monday, I realized I wasn't going to have enough finishers medals, so I had to rush order some more. I also realized I would not have enough tshirts or bib numbers. Again, rush order. I wasn't really feeling stressed, there were just alot of things to do and it never seemed to end.

Trevor was building the start/finish line in our garage right up until Saturday. That turned out great. He did such a good job.

Packet pickup was Friday and Saturday at the stores. Friday was my birthday and I spent 10 am to 8 pm at the store getting packets to the participants. It made me a little sad that we weren't going to dinner or anything, but it was fun to meet all the people who were going to be a part of our first event.

At about 7:45, my friends Doug and Trish showed up - with a present and cake in hand. I just about broke down in tears. It was so nice of them to make me feel special. Otherwise I might have started feeling sorry for myself. They are the best friends ever and for some reason, they love me. They are clearly sick in the head.

I had confirmed and reconfirmed with everyone. We ran the route on Saturday morning to lay down the markers so Sunday morning I could go mark the route with cones and signs. At about 7 on Saturday night, it occurred to me that I had not confirmed with the sound system people. I panicked a bit - called and left them a message. I figured it would be how it would be and we'd deal with it in the morning.

We went to bed at 8:30 the night before the race and I felt pretty good about things, except the sound system. At 9:45, the sound guy called to tell me they got my message and yes, they would be there. Perfect.

Sunday morning we were up at 4 am. I was SO cranky. I was in the shower and I thought "holy shit, this is going to be a rough day". I was really worried how I would be able to be happy and cheerful to all the people I would encounter. Just like every other day, I guess. I took Maggie and headed out to mark the course. That took longer than expected - there was dew on the street posts where I was planning to hang signs...tape wouldn't stick...plan B? I got that figured out and got back to the store about 2 minutes before the first volunteers showed up.

Pete and Barb. They set the tone for the day. They got there, they took over and I didn't have to think about the things they were in charge of again....

That is how the rest of the day went. I had almost 50 volunteers. Every person who said they would help, showed up. Thinking about that now makes me want to cry. People surprise me. I usually think they suck, sometimes, people can rock. The people who helped us totally rocked.

We had a volunteer meeting and I told them that I was handing the event over to them and they would either make it or break it. No pressure, right? It was incredibly hard to take all my plans, all the things I had though about, fretted over, meticulously put into place and say "here you go - make it happen." But they did. Amazing.

We had only one minor traffic control glitch that I don't like to think about. Other than that - the day went as planned. Better than planned. I had not given much thought to the finish line, but I found myself annoucing people as they crossed. I spent the entire day annoucing finishers. I got just about everyone. I had met almost all of them at packet pickup. We had 155 participants and I met probably 100 of them on Friday and Saturday. At one point, I realized that my time in the stores on my birthday and Saturday was 100% worth it. I had a story to tell about many of the finishers. It felt very personal to me. Like I was watching 155 of my friends run this race.

Everyone was so happy. It was nuts. I expected SOMEONE to be really upset about something. Didn't happen. I got all positive feedback. People loved the event. We had cupcakes for the finishers, those were a HUGE hit. Tshirts were great - so many people wore them for the run. I loved that. Medals, another hit. One of our friends, Heather, ran the event. Her three kids and mom handed out finishers medals and it was the cutest thing ever. They were troopers.

It was a good day. One of my best days. I was really proud of all the work we had done, I was proud of all our participants, volunteers, vendors. It was rewarding to see it all come together. I loved it. I thought I'd be a big ball of stress and I wasn't. It was like a triathlon for me - train and prepare, mentally play it out. Then the day of, I am always crazy with nerves. The gun goes off and I am calm as can be. That's what happened here.

The last finishers came across at 4 hours - 12:30. We were cleaned up by about 2. Ate lunch, headed home and completely crashed.

I am still recovering. There is still work to be done, post race reports, emails, results, recaps. We're just about to switch gears to our next event - a 5k/10k on April 18th. Compared to what we just did, this will be a piece of cake. I can't wait.

Here are some pictures of the day....
Didn't Trevor build a great start/finish line?!

start of event:

winner - Jonathan Sipling - 1 hour and 16 minutes...that's fast

To see the posts I put on our maxmuscle blog - go here http://www.maxmusclevancouver.blogspot.com/

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