We're here and it's fu**ing cold!
We had a smooth trip up, got everything done, resolved whatever the issue was with not letting my husband check-in online, etc., and made it safely to South Minneapolis where we're staying with my cousin and her boyfriend for the first 2 nights.
When we got to the house, she was at work and he had some stuff to do and asked what we wanted to do. We said we'd like to go for a walk, so he sent us on a course that he figured would be about 3 miles. We walked to Lake Harriet and went along the marathon course, then up one side of Lake Calhoun (and there was a crappy hill in between the two that I'll have to run). Then down through the part of uptown back to their house. It was way more walking than I wanted, but at least I was wearing good shoes and it was Thursday and not Friday. Not a big deal. We stopped for groceries and coffee and to sit and look at the lake, but all told, it was 2 hours and 54 mins before we got back to the house. Crazy!
Our overwhelming observation of MSP: wow, it's a great city for runners and bikers, which is so surprising b/c the weather is so bad here for a couple months. There are paths around the lakes. Or should I say pathS. One path for bikes and other wheeled devices (rollerblades), and one for pedestrians. And then when we were walking in the city, the strangest thing happened. We were crossing a street where a car was attempting to turn onto or cross the street we were walking on and had started to pull into the intersection. So this happens all the time. In Dallas, you just walk a little out of your way behind the car. And if they can make their turn, then you don't go all the way behind it. Here, the car would be waiting to go, see us coming, and BACK UP. If it happened once, I'd think wow, what a courteous driver. But when it happens repeatedly, you start to think, that's just what people do here. Drivers are nice and extra-accomodating to pedestrians. It was crazy awesome.
Ate an awesome dinner that my cousin made and then friends of theirs came over and we stayed up very late talking. And kind of "discussing." Somehow the sex-based pay gap came up, and wow, we talked about that a lot. I'm very opinionated about sex/gender/culture issues and I was going on and on about society tracking womyn into lower-paying positions, etc. But no one was really arguing and it just ended up being a fun night of talking. The people who were over are ultra folks. She actually holds the women's course record on a race -- either 50 or 100 miles, can't remember which. But he was just coming off a 100-miler about 3 weeks ago. And they jokingly said they'd pace me for my goal pace, since there's no official pace group. I think I'm fairly committed now to the idea of going with the 5 min fast pace group, and just hoping to hang through 20, and then allowing myself to slow if necessary.
So we slept in a bit this morning and then I went for my final tune-up run. It was lovely but I now have a shopping list for the expo today -- better gloves and an ear/head band. My ears were so cold after just 20 or so minutes, and my hands are even freezing now in the house! The run was pretty good. Hubby and I walked about 13 minutes to the lake and then south until we found a good place to get on the lake path. Then I ran out 7 mins and felt very achy, u-turned and ran all the way back to the house and felt good.
Plan for today: Lunch, expo. Maybe meeting people for dinner, and maybe going to the Mall of America if it's not too far away.
Getting very excited, and starting to feel less nervous. If I don't qualify, I don't qualify. There will be other marathons. But I've definitely trained well and I need to push myself to try hard.