I feel bad for Blair. This week is a fun one for me, with congratulations and accolades flowing in for my Boston qualifying time (that's not the part I feel bad about - keep 'em coming). But few people realize the behind-the-scenes dedication of family and friends that make such a run possible. These people receive no kudos, even though they should.
I'll start with my family. Blair and I stayed in the city Saturday night so we'd be able to just wake up and head out to the race. My family decided to take the Metra in, as Chicago traffic and parking would be impossible with the race going on. Good plan - except the only train into the city Sunday morning was a 4:45 AM one. Therefore, my mom, dad, sister, and cousin all got up at 3:30 AM, drove to the train station at 4:30, caught the 4:45 for the hour and a half ride to the city, then caught a cab to our hotel to arrive at 6:30 AM.
It was about 28 degrees at that point and yet they all cheerfully walked the 12 minutes with me to my starting corral. After dropping me off, they quickly went back to the hotel to warm up, but then placed themselves throughout the day at miles 2, 13, 17, 21, and 26. All in 38 degree weather and all that standing and waiting just to maybe catch a 7-second glimpse of me as I ran past. That's love, people.
Blair, as always, was a hero. I had made my pasta dinner for Saturday night at my sister's but carried it with me to the hotel to eat. I remembered to pack knifes, forks, and napkins... just no plates. Or salad dressing. I said I'd make do but when we checked into our room, Blair said he was going for a quick look around the hotel. He came back 20 minutes later with plastic Santa Claus plates from a dollar store and my Annie's Original Goddess dressing, which he had to walk for blocks and blocks to find a store that sold it.
Then on race morning, I was fretting about finding my way to the corral. How long would it take? Would we get lost? I didn't want to leave to early and have to stand out in the cold for an hour, but didn't want to miss the 7:15 cut off time to be in the corral.
Blair to the rescue. He left the hotel room at 6 AM and walked to the corral so that I would know exactly where it was and how long it took to get there. Anything to calm my nerves and make sure I had a good race.
Tomorrow is our 15th wedding anniversary. I can't believe my good fortune to have found someone as kind, caring, generous, and giving as Blair... AND he's willing to put up with me! What are the odds?
So happy early anniversary to my love, my sweetie. I have carefully washed and put away the Santa plates, as they now hold special meaning for me. And again, much love and thank you to Mom, Dad, Nicole, and Mark for risking frozen feet and hands to cheer me on. I love all of you!
One more thing: My brother-in-law was at home with his two kids and watched part of the race on TV. They announcers kept talking about world-famous runner Deena Kastor. Deena this, Deena that...
He told them they were referring to Aunt Dena. =)