Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Marathons, Montreal, and Marriage

The past 2 weeks, since returning to Pittsburgh after my most recent trip to Haiti have been kind of a blur. A blur in which I haven't spent much time at home or sleeping, but have been having a lot of fun.


So we'll start with Montreal. Back in January I made the resolve to make running in cool places a focus for 2013, and signed up for the Montreal Marathon. Because I had never been there, because it was a fall race, because I love Poutine and everything French and so how could I not love this city?

In a power of persuasion I didn't know I was capable of, I somehow convinced the owners of Franktuary to sign up with me. None of them had completed a half or full marathon before. Somehow, despite them running a restaurant, and my failing at any real training program due to working at said restaurant and traveling back and forth to Haiti once a month, we decided it was still a good idea to go and try, and run this race and see what happens. The majority of us, myself included, having decided that the half was enough of a challenge, planned to stop at the 21 k mark.

It was cold and rainy and we started the race on the bridge, which felt like being at home, and was miserable. Our coral finally got to cross the start line, and I took off, quickly losing my friends in the crowd, determined to get myself warm and to end this race as soon as possible.  It took a couple of miles, but then I hit my stride, and a fast one (for me) at that, which carried me all the way through till mile 11 when I had to walk a couple of blocks due to a charlie-horse, and then ran the rest of the way home.  I did not complete the full marathon as planned, but I did manage a PR on the half, shaving a full 7 minutes of my best half marathon time, and making a sub-2 hour marathon seem less like a distant dream and more like a real possibility if I put some focus on it.

Everyone finished the race - Tim finished the full - and that night we all hobbled out to a great restaurant where we ate our weight in moules et frites, and toasted to running farther and faster than we ever had.

Starting line bridge, new PR, Prosecco.

Montreal was a great town, and I was reminded of how much I love exploring a new city. Megan and I did some thrifting at some great vintage stores on Saint-Laurent boulevard, we ate poutine every day, and ordered pastries in french fresh from the boulangerie in the morning.  


Last weekend, one of my closest friends and former poly-house roommates got married, which is one of the most grown-up sentences I've ever typed on this blog.  Kurt is one of the most genuine, kind, and fun people I have the privilege to know and to celebrate the fact that he's chosen to spend his life with a woman who is as kind and genuine and fun was a joy.

Everything was beautiful, the bride was gorgeous, the food was delicious, and we all camped out after the reception. Then, woke the next morning to waffles and mimosas in the barn, which quite frankly is my dream come true.  We also had a roommate reunion, and it's so good to see and spend time with that group - my first chosen family - and see us grow up and into ourselves and hear about the adventures everyone is on. Also, I had the best dates ever. Chris and Alyssa, let's just go to all the weddings together.

The mother-son butterfly kisses dance and the best wedding dates ever.

The highlight though, was that 6 years ago, while living together, we made the bet that the first in the group to get married would have to dance to butterfly kisses at their wedding for the mother/son or father/daughter dance. I didn't really expect that I'd be the first married out of this group, but can I just tell you what a relief it is to know it's not me? IT'S A HUGE RELIEF! Kurt - a true gentleman - lived up to the bet, and it was the best mother/son dance I've ever seen.

It's been a couple weeks of feeling pretty lucky to know some pretty cool people.

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