Monday, May 14, 2012

Harper's Ferry Half-Marathon Weekend, Day One

Our little family unit spent this past weekend in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia where DJ Research ran the Harper's Ferry Half-Marathon.  So much to cover that I'm going to make this a three-post series.  Yup, this is a fancy-schmancy blog!

Even though I didn't run this weekend, I thought the race was awesome, awesome, awesome.  In fact, the whole weekend was awesome, awesome, awesome.  DJ Research and I both agreed that the weekend felt like a much-needed vacation.

We departed for Harper's Ferry right after work on Friday, and got caught in the usual Friday rush-hour traffic.  It wasn't too bad--we've definitely been stuck in worse--but it did add about 45 minutes to our drive.  I thought Nugget was just a little whiny; DJ Research thought Nugget was VERY whiny, probably because the DJ is not versed in toddler car-ride etiquette due to the fact that his commute is toddler-free.  Regardless, we arrived in Harper's Ferry in just under two hours, and made our way to River Riders for packet pick-up.

As we would discover, the race was really low key (frankly, this is one of the reasons why I loved the race).  The packet consisted of race bib and a white technical Harper's Ferry Half-Marathon shirt.  We've run races before where we've received a bag full of goodies and even a race hoodie, so by comparison the HFHM packet is a little lite.  But this race isn't about the swag, its about the race.  And I thought it was pretty awesome that the race shirt was a tech shirt.

At this point it was pushing 7:00pm, and we were all pretty hungry.  Nugget was sick of his car seat.  So we opted to have dinner at a nearby mexican restaurant.  Turns out Nugget isn't a big fan of mexican food (I hope he changes his mind because its one of my favorite cuisines!).  He is, however, a huge fan of sugar packets, dumping salt on the table, and dunking his hand in tall cups of ice water.  Luckily, I had packed pasta his lunchbox, so he ate that for dinner while DJ Research had a fajita and I had my chicken chimichanga.  Heaven.

One of the perks of not racing:
you can eat whatever you want!

We then checked in to our swanky motel.  I thought I was smart in booking a room with two double beds so that we could use one bed to stage our stuff/DJ Research's race gear and one bed to sleep in (obviously).  Nugget would be in his pack'n'play right alongside our bed.  At least that was the plan.  DJ Research and I unpacked and started getting ready for bed while Nugget did laps around the room, pushing the luggage rack and wearing my visor.  It was pushing 9:30 at this point, waaaaay past his bedtime.  You would think the kid would be tired.  Nope.

Nugget on lap 5(?) around the motel room.

Finally, lights out and Nugget is asleep by 10:30pm.

At 1:30am, he woke up screaming.

Although we were able to calm him down enough to stop screaming, he was very nervous and uncomfortable in the unfamiliar environment of the motel room.  He kept pointing at the door and saying, "I'm done! I'm done!" indicating that he wanted to go home.  I tried to console him myself so that DJ Research could get some sleep for his race, but it became clear that Nugget wanted the both of us, thrusting himself into the arms of the other at his whim.  Eventually the offer of cuddling on our bed with some of his favorite books enticed him to relax and allowed us to finally sit down (Nugget insisted that we pace the room while holding him).  Around 3:30 Nugget finally drifted off to sleep...smack in the middle of our double bed.  For the next two-and-a-half hours, DJ Research and I teetered on the edge of our respective sides of the bed...and on the brink of dreamland.  

Despite the rough night, the DJ said he felt surprisingly energetic the next morning.  I felt pretty good myself.  Nugget awoke just as I was about to pick him up, so we whisked him into the car and headed back to River Riders, where the race would start and finish.  Once there, Nugget and I enjoyed breakfast in the car, and I performed the first of many backseat diaper changes.  We then joined DJ Research near the starting line, where he was warming up for his race.

Next post: Race Recap, a Spectator's Perspective

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