Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rock n' Roll Marathon

Chris has been training for months for his first official marathon.  You may remember back in May that he ran in an unofficial marathon but he still wanted to run an official marathon.  Plus he did proper training for this marathon.  He chose the Rock n' Roll marathon because every couple of miles they have cheerleaders or a band playing to help keep you motivated. We all made signs to help cheer Chris on and hopefully cheer on the rest of the runners.
The runners really seemed to like this one.
I had someone stop me and ask to take a picture of this one.
Our biggest comment from runners was they wanted to know if the Chuck Norris sign was true.
I did have to stop and take a picture of the sunrise coming up in front of the arch.
Our plan was after we saw him cross the start line we would meet him at around the 11 mile marker.  Chris had told us where we needed to be at and after we cheered him on and several of the other runners we headed that way.  The only bad thing is when you aren't familiar with a city and all of the streets are closed for the race, it becomes very frustrating trying to get there!  We eventually did find where we were supposed to meet him but after we received a text saying that he was at the 13 mile marker we realized that we were in the wrong spot.  I guess the half marathoners and the full marathoners split at the 10 mile mark and you couldn't see that on the race map.  I'm sad that we didn't get to cheer Chris on but all of the runners who saw our signs LOVED them.
Once we realized that we had missed Chris we decided to head back to our hotel and walk to the finish line to meet him.  Our hotel was located right next to the NFL football stadium and they were having a football game that day.  All of the streets leading up to our hotel where closed and we had to pay to park 6 blocks away to make it back to our hotel.  I bet we ended up walking 4 miles that day!
Chris crossed the finish line in 4 hours and 59 minutes.  His goal was to be finished in less than 5 hours and he just made it!  I'm so proud of how hard he's been working towards his goals.  He's already training for the Little Rock marathon in February and he has several more races planned for next year.  I told him that he needs to start picking races in cities that we've never been before so we can plan a vacation around it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Meet me in Saint Louis

Last month we took a long weekend trip and drove to Saint Louis so Chris could run in the St. Louis Rock n Roll marathon.  Since Chris and his parents had never been before we thought we'd make it into a mini vacation.  We drove up Friday morning and hit the outlet mall right outside of Saint Louis. After spending the afternoon shopping we headed to our hotel and then went to the convention center so Chris could get checked in for the race.  When we got finished with the running expo we got some dinner and then did a little bit more shopping.  We finished the night at Schafly's brewery with drinks with Chris's coworkers.  I'm not a beer fan at all but I will say that the Pumpkin Ale was to die for!!
Saturday we woke up early and drove to Grant's Farm.  It is owned by Anheuser-Busch and that's where some of the Budweiser Clydesdales are stabled.  We were hoping that we'd be able to book one of the Clydesdale tours but they were all sold out.  We did get to go into the stables and see the horses and pet them.  We also took the tram around the grounds and got to sample some free beer.  When we finished with Grant's farm we drove to the Budweiser brewery to take one of the free tours of the facility.  Since we didn't pay for one of the more extensive tours, the tour that we took was really basic. After the tour we ate at restaurant across the street that used to be an old police station.
The young Clydesdale is the size of a regular horse!  
This kangaroo kept trying to get a leaf off the tree.
You were able to eat in several of the jail cells and they were using this one for a wedding reception.
We wrapped up the afternoon with another trip to the running expo and then headed to dinner at Charlie Gitto's so everyone running the race could carb load.  I will say that if you plan on eating at Charlie Gitto's make sure and make a reservation a week before.  We had to eat at 4:45 and the owner was really rude about it.  Other than that the food and service was amazing.  Our drinks were never below full at all times.  We wrapped up the evening with a visit to a local chocolate bar.

Sunday was the race and I'm going to skip that part of the day because I'll do another blog entry about that later.  After the race we went to City Museum and I wish that we would have had more time to explore it before they closed.  We did get to go down the 10 story slide and I crawled around in some of the caves.  At one point I thought I was going to get stuck and they would have to call the fire department to get me out!! But thankfully I was able to squeeze my way out! We ended the night with eating some traditional Saint Louis style pizza and of course we had Ted Drewes frozen custard for dessert.
One of the various slides at City Museum.
Monday we woke up early and checked out of our hotel and headed over to the arch.  We wanted to get there early so we'd be one of first groups up in the arch.  If you're going to be in St. Louis it's totally worth going up in the arch.  The views are gorgeous especially during fall.
If you're claustaophobic then you might not want to go up in the little pod that takes you to the top!
View from the top of the arch.

After we finished our tour of the arch we headed back to our car which was parked in the Hyatt hotel parking garage.  I was walking over a metal storm grate when the next thing I know I'm laying sprawled out on the ground!  My foot was the perfect size to fit through one of the grates.  I felt so bad because Chris had to drive home because my ankle was all busted up. It's been 3 weeks and I my ankle is still healing up.