This post is mainly for my family's memories or for people looking to make a similar trip with kids.
This was our 23rd state to run in and the kids' 11th state to visit while we run. It's crazy to think that they've been a part of nearly half of this journey with us! Rick and I like to talk about how different marathoning will look for us in 10-15 years when the kids are older and able to stay alone at the hotel while we run-- to even stay at home while we take weekend trips to run! I know we will miss this stage of our journey a lot then. My son remarked today that he can't wait for our next trip. We work hard to make sure these trips are not just about the race. These are our family's vacations too.
This was the first trip where Rick's parents watched the kids, and we were thankful they were able to drive up to meet us!
This was my 29th marathon and my 40th marathon or ultra distance event! I really feel like my experience in these distances helped make my race a good one--even when other factors were against me. Rick and I have learned how to "get it done" when it comes to the marathon. We do the race and barely skip a beat for the rest of the day's activities!
Friday, March 1, 2013--Driving to Arkansas
I have decided that a 5 1/2 hour drive is PERFECT for our family right now! Our kids (5 1/2 and 6 1/2) were able to do their schoolwork, eat a snack, watch a couple of movies, and play a rousing game of Backseat Bingo, and then we were there! Oh, we also stopped in Memphis about halfway into our trip to visit the Children's Museum of Memphis. We always try to visit at least one children's museum on our trips. We use a reciprocal membership card, so these visits are free for us! The kids burn a ton of energy and are much happier after these stops.
We were happy to get to our hotel in Arkansas around bedtime (we had left Madison around lunchtime and had a 2 hour stop in Memphis). Seeing a new state's sign is always big excitement for us!
Saturday, March 2, 2013--Expo and Children's Museum
I had tried to closely follow the taper schedule for me this time around. So I had not run or exercised in 2 days! Today my plan called for 2 miles. I did them very easy on a run near our hotel in a little residential neighborhood. It was snowing a little, and I called these songs to mind: Gungor's "Beautiful Things" and Jason Gray's "Nothing is Wasted." Rick and I have been facing a huge struggle with our kids' schooling (too much to get into here), and these songs and the run just spoke to me in an amazing way. I really felt close to God and ready for Him to be with me tomorrow on the run.
We were staying only a few miles from the expo, start, and finish line. We drove over to the convention center for the expo around 10:00 on Saturday. The expo was just the right size and easy to navigate. They had cute photo ops all around with the Western theme. I even got a free massage while there (you only had to tip at the end).
Then it was on to lunch and the Museum of Discovery. We ate at a pizza place and then walked over to the children's museum. It was a cold, windy day, but the walking kept us from getting too cold. This museum was really great with tons of interactive displays that both kids loved. I kept going from kid to kid to play with each for a little bit (with 4 adults between us we could do this!). My son loved the Grossology exhibit, and my daughter loved a cool running exhibit!
This exhibit let you run a short distance on a mat and then it showed a short clip (3-5 seconds or so) of you running (just your shadow), your stride length, your speed, and your energy level (from 1-5). My daughter's always said "5" for her energy level! I am on one of the pictures below (the competitive side of me took over and I was trying to see how high my MPH could go!).
Then it was on to the hotel for a quick rest time and then on to dinner. We opted for kid-friendly and convenient and chose Jason's Deli. Rick and I got a chicken pasta dish each. Then we set out our marathon stuff and went to sleep!
Ready to go!