Well we can cross two states off the list for places we've visited....Indiana and Kentucky! We really liked Louisville....Jonathan is ready to move there!! And Madelynn thought "Bentucky" was cool....she really didn't want to leave to come home! We pulled out around 6am Thursday morning. The kids switched off between us and my parents, which definitely helped keep them occupied, and us keep our sanity! Our hotel was in Indiana, just about 10 minutes from Louisville, and we made it there around 6pm, I think? Maybe a little later, I just know it was a long day, but the kids did really well!! Madelynn thought it was super cool staying in a hotel....and she got to sleep in bed with me. She's NEVER slept in bed with either of us, and I must say, I enjoyed our cuddle/pillow talk time before she fell asleep each night. The only drawback...at bedtime tonight she of course wanted to sleep with Mommy.....something I don't allow because I really don't want it to become habit. (Don't judge....kids in bed isn't for everyone!!)
Friday we headed to the race expo so I could pick up my race packet. While standing in line waiting for the doors to open, I was interviewed by Fox News about why I was running. While I had no desire to be on camera, it was an opportunity to share why I was running. After the Expo, we had the opportunity to watch a few minutes of a National Wheelchair Rugby game. While Brenden didn't like all the whistles blowing, he kept saying it was cool that they were playing sports in a wheelchair. Friday evening I got to meet a very dear friend, Colleen....she was the first person I ever talked to after Brenden was born, and over the past 4 years has been a great source of information and comfort.
I was nowhere near as nervous as I was for my past few races come race day. I joined 18,000 other runners at the starting line at 7:15 Saturday morning......and it only took 17 minutes to cross the start line!! The course was great! Very easy, no hills! Mile 8 brought us to Churchill Downs, where we got to run through the infield. It was pretty awesome, I just wish we were in there longer!! I really wanted to get through the race without losing time using the bathroom, but made the mistake of drinking before the race....I'm kicking myself for it now, but I've learned my lesson. I lost almost 30 minutes waiting in line for a bathroom. Two different times I stopped, but the lines were ridiculously long, so I continued on after waiting a few minutes, but got to the point where I HAD to go or I wouldn't survive the rest of the race, and that time I stood in line just over 20 minutes. BIG mistake....when I got back on track my knee/leg were killing me, which only got worse. This is the same problem I've had before, so I think I've decided I better get it checked out.
I finally got to see the Jonathan, the kids, and my parents around mile 12. I took a few minutes to stop and talk to them, which I think the kids enjoyed. Brenden told me I was doing awesome, which was just what I needed for the last mile. I later learned that another runner had stopped to talk to Brenden and thanked him for coming to cheer them on....he then told her she was doing awesome, which she said made her day, almost bringing her to tears. He always finds a way to make people smile :)
After the finish, I made my way to the SBA's booth while I waited for everyone to find me. Our team had 4 runners and one wheelchair racer, and everyone finished. Our team raised over $10,000, and some still have donations coming in. One of Brenden's best buddies was in the hospital, so his parents were unable to run, but they were our team's two biggest fundraisers and are planning to run another race soon!
I am so thankful to EVERYONE who helped me reach my goal. All the donations, all the support for my fundraisers, all the goodies for our trip.....Thank you!! And a big thanks to my parents for making the trip....though I'm pretty sure they need a vacation to recover! Brenden can be exhausting....he N.E.V.E.R. stops. I think he said "Hey, Grandma," at least a thousand times a day. They helped keep the kids entertained on the car ride, during the race, and just in general.
I've started to really enjoy running and training for a race keeps me motivated. I'm not sure what my next goal will be, maybe a full later in the year, maybe just another half with a time goal. Only 46 more states to run a race in!! For now, I just need a break from fundraising! With the NYC Marathon and Walk-n-Roll not that far behind me, and then everything for this race, I just need some time to be less busy and spend time doing stuff with the kids....especially since Brenden gets out of school in like 2 weeks!!!