This past weekend we picked up the kids from school early, loaded up the station wagon and drove the 4+ hours down to Cincinnati for Mark’s 1st marathon. To say it was a great weekend would be an understatement. You might think that only runners can write race reports, but spouses who spend hours planning and organizing the logistics of an out-of-town race also have a story to tell…
Such a great traveler (thank god for travel DVD players)
My parents also drove down for the weekend which was not only a nice thing to do (coming to cheer for their son-in-law) but also turned out to be an invaluable asset. The extra hands to help wrangle the kids was a godsend for me as I stressed about getting around on race day. I can’t thank them enough for giving up their weekend and helping out.
On Saturday they took MAD while Mark, M and I headed to the expo. It’s a bit overwhelming being a first timer, but M had a great time checking out the booths and getting freebies. As a runner Mark got a nice backpack and a tech shirt. After we left the expo we decided to check out a bit of the course. It ran right past our hotel at about mile 6.5 which was smack dab in the middle of a major uphill climb. In fact I was worried at the steepness and length of the hills. Mark did a good deal of hill training but the terrain in Cleveland can’t compare to that of Cincinnati. In fact, miles 3 to 9 were all uphill. He wasn’t worried, though. On our drive I tried to scope out where I would cheer and we saw some really beautiful neighborhoods.
Bib secured, pigs ready to fly
We grabbed lunch at nearby Mt. Adams Bar and Grill, which was a very cute and accommodating place with good food. (Once we found parking. Mt Adams is a darling area, but parking is really hard to find). Afterwords Mark and MAD took a nap while my mom, M and I checked out the beautiful Eden Park which was across the street from our hotel. We soaked up the sunshine and warmth while we could – the Sunday forecast had a 90% chance of rain. As it was my first time in Cincinnati-proper I was really impressed with the parks, houses and architecture. Cinci has much more to offer then I had thought.
My mom doesn’t usually have a spout of water coming out of her head
For dinner we headed over to Kentucky for dinner at Pompilio’s. I had researched pasta places extensively and had called the restaurant earlier in the week. While they wouldn’t take reservations they insisted it would only be a 30-45 min wait at 6 PM, even with the Reds game and the marathon. We got there and saw crowds waiting outside. I made my way through the (smokey – I forgot not every state has the same wonderful smoking ban that OH does) bar and the hostess told me it would be a 3 hour wait! Thank goodness for smartphones because we were looking for a new place immediately. We ended up at Martino’s On Vine near the UC campus. It was a great place; not crowded, fantastic service and good prices. My cousin, Carrie, who lives in Blue Ash and my Aunt (from Columbus) came down to join us and it was great to catch up with them. Mark got his big plate of spaghetti and meatballs and was a happy camper.
My parents, wonderful people that they are, offered to take M to the hotel pool then have her sleep in their room on the pull-out couch so Mark would get good sleep. We eagerly accepted since the night before no one really got any sleep with all 4 of us in a single hotel room. I was able to keep MAD pretty quiet all night so Mark was able to get a pretty solid 6 1/2 hours of sleep before is alarm went off at 4:30 on Sunday morning.
Race day is a whole other story…