Monday, March 18, 2013

Georgia Half Marathon: Getting there

Saturday morning I planned on getting to the race expo early, before the St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Atlanta. Getting my husband out of bed that early and getting us packed was another matter, though. We pulled into the GWCC parking garage after 11, and headed in to the Expo.

Since we were instructed to park in the Red Garage, and the expo was waay on the other side of the expo center, there was a bit of walking and several escalators and elevators to get there. Also, even with the coupon, parking was $8, just for the expo!

Once in the expo, there was a huge Publix display set up right in front, with a ton of samples and things to try. We went straight through and to packet pickup in the back of the expo space. There was no one in line when we were there, so I picked up my bag and t shirt and hit the rest of the expo.

There were the usual race expo booths with shoes, gels, and everything else. Some things that stood out: the Disney booth! We got to gander at the cool Disney medals (including the Princess one that looked just like ours ;) ), and I decided I want to the Disney Land half next year! There was also marathontours, a company that does travel tours to some really great races, such as Paris, Tokyo, and China, for marathons. The Publix "booth" was also great, plus we got a ton of samples and 2 jars of Biscoff spread!  Apparently it goes on everything. They also had "bam bam" sticks for everyone cheering, and cowbells. Everything fit in the great swag bag, which Kevin has already started claiming for his own use:

I also stopped and tried to take a picture with one of the standup displays there, but Kevin wasn't in a standing still mood. There was nowhere to take pictures after the race, so at least I have this one:

After the expo, which was a little over an hour, we headed out of Atlanta and up to the Suwanee America Craft Beer Festival. Kevin likes beer, and so does his friend who was meeting us there, so that was the one thing that kept him happy for the weekend while I focused on the race. It was sunny, so I ended up with some burn lines, and my foot started throbbing, but it was overall a good time.

Back to Atlanta, and we checked in to the Sheraton downtown. I chose this one because it was reasonably priced, and still close to the race start. I booked a club-level room, partly so Kevin would have somewhere to go for free internet, and partly because they were offering an extra 1000 SPG points. I still love how the Sheraton lobby always smell, but I was in a pretty bad mood after being outside all day and walking everywhere. It didn't help that we self-parked, so we ended up dragging our bags across the parking garage, through the side lobby to the main lobby, then back to the side lobby, up the elevator, and waaay down the hall to the very last room. Perfect. The room was pretty tight, but good enough for a night.

After grabbing some water and snacks in the club lounge, we picked up some friends and headed to the Ruth's Chris in Buckhead. It was Buckhead Restaurant Week, and I let Kevin pick dinner. I got stuffed chicken, which was ridiculously salty, but the bread pudding dessert was awesome.

That night back at the hotel, I changed the wrapping on my toe, took a vicodin, and fell asleep. Around midnight, I woke up and my toe was. killing. me. All the circulation flooding through my toe felt like pins and needles plus a hammer while ripping the nail off and bruising. I was up for about an hour, convinced that I would never be able to run in the morning. After the medicine finally kicked in, though, I fell asleep, and waited to see how I feel in the morning.

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