I didn't write much about it on the off-chance my husband would decide this was the week he wanted to read a bunch of stuff on the blog, but I ended up planning a surprise party for him for this past weekend. One month and one day before his birthday. I would have rather done it closer to the big day, but the next weekend he's off work, my folks will be visiting, and the next weekend he's off, we'll be in Nepal! We spent some more time trip planning this past weekend, I think it's going to work out to wake up in Agra and see the Taj Mahal on his birthday, which will be awesome.
Anyway, back to the party. I think it went off well, as of 5 minutes before "surprise" I don't think he had any idea. Unfortunately as we were driving from the distraction (a movie) to the party (at our house), one of the party invitees who wasn't able to come called my husband on his cell.
First thing, he said "Hey, sorry I wasn't able to make it to your house."
Who does that???
My husband was sufficiently confused, and the guy apparently asked him where he was. So my husband said "home" and I said, "well, almost home, we're still 2 miles away." So the guy kind of flubbed it and just said oh, call me when you get home.
We together concluded that maybe it was basically a misdial, and he thought he was talking to someone else, but suspicions were aroused. Especially since I'd been baking two kinds of cookies the night before, and I'd been preparing appetizer dips, setting out platters, etc. all day that day. AND I'd been insisting that he help me clean the house -- all in the name of book club that I told him I was hosting on Sunday night.
I thought he'd see right through that cover story, I mean, I just hosted book club in February, so why would I host again in September, but apparently he doesn't really keep track.
So we got home and I was trying to keep his mind off the weird phone call and to hurry him along. I asked him to go to the kitchen (second floor) and put a few cookies in a ziplock bag to take to dinner to give to my coworker. As he was walking in the house and starting upstairs, he called his coworker back and he was saying, "hey man, I'm home now, what's up" -- he turned the corner and everyone yelled "Surprise!"
He stood there in total shock for what seemed like a very long time. It was so funny. And then he broke out in a massive sweat. Massive. Looked like he'd just come back from a very fast run.
The party itself was great. My best friend had done an AMAZING job setting it all up, everyone was drinking, the appetizers were being eaten, and everyone seemed to be happy. I was a bit bummed that a few people who I had expected to come weren't there (one's wife had to work, one's kid was sick, the one who called us in the car had gotten stuck at work late, of course after they'd all been included in the head count). The caterers also did a great job. We used Nathan Burke, the Super Fly Pizza Guy. He brings a mobile wood-fired pizza oven and cooks and serves a variety of pizzas (he also did a couple appetizers, an awesome salad, and dessert pizzas). It ended up being a late night and I drank way too much. I'd also barely eaten all day -- my lunch was some broccoli and a few beets, and then popcorn at the movie. Just too nervous and busy. And my bestie and I had picked two awesome cocktails (which she made AND served all night), one Campari tequila tangerine drink, and one raspberry limoncello prosecco one (as with everything involving my husband, there's kind of an Italian theme). When I talked to her yesterday, she said she thought I'd be okay until it was toward the end of the night, most guests were gone, and I grabbed a huge water glass and poured a monster drink for myself (the raspberry limoncello) one. She said her husband told her right then that I had just made a bad decision. He was right!
So Saturday was a rotten day. I probably got sick about 5 times. Finally by dinner time, I felt mostly better, but I was worried that I had definitely set myself up for a disasterous 22 mile final long run on Sunday, but I figured it was worth it to have had such a great party. He said it was one of the best nights of his life. While it certainly would have been one of the best nights regardless of whether I drank or not, I enjoyed myself. And I'm definitely a happy drunk -- hugging friends, telling them how much I love and appreciate them, and how glad I was that they're in my life.
But Sunday held the big VENTIDUE. I've done marathons early in the fall "marathon season" (which obviously meant a lot more before Boston started filling up) for about a decade now. And I know for certain that for the last 7 years, I've always had a similar training plan which includes at least 1 run of 20 miles, and one of about 22 miles. And I also have never done the 22 miler anywhere other than Dallas. When my training schedule and race are locked in, I do what it takes to make sure I run the 22 with my friends. A few times due to a wedding or travel plans, I've had to tinker a bit, doing the 22 either 2 or 3 weeks out from race day, but always in Dallas, and always sometime between late August and mid-October. Usually right around this time of the year (since many of the fall races I've done are ones that are right at the start of the season, like St. George, Chicago, Twin Cities, etc.).
I don't even need to go back and look at my data. I can say with 100% certainty I've never done a 22 miler in better weather than I did yesterday. We had a cold front come in on Friday. And while I didn't get to enjoy it on Saturday as I lay on the bathroom floor most of the day, it was blessedly still here on Sunday. I looked at the weather before I headed out -- 64 degrees!!!! 78% humidity, which kind of blew, but 64 is 64! Wow! What a difference 10-20 degrees makes.
My stomach was shaky the entire time. When I stopped for water and when I ate my gu, I was pretty certain that if I bent over and gave a little cough, I could have easily upchucked again, but you know, I just didn't do that! Staying upright, I managed to hold it all in. I won't say my pace was pretty, but it was pretty close to the pace for last week's 20. If it had been warmer or sunny, I don't think I would have managed, but it was misty and cool, and I did it. Busted out the 22. And if you'd wanted me to go 4 more miles, I definitely could have. A huge confidence booster for sure.
I skipped Chinese class in favor of doing some final post-party clean-up (my dear husband had done almost all of it while I lay on the couch moaning on Saturday, but I still had to return pitchers and tables to my friend's house, put away the platters, etc.) and cooking a delicous and nutritious dinner and getting ready for the week. I'd figured it was going to be a stretch to sit through hours of Chinese class after having run 22, but I probably could have managed. I intended to go to yoga, but somehow that just didn't happen. Oh well, I should be able to fit it in more this week as my official taper will start after Thursday's run.