10.10.2012

surprise! now dominate that 26.2.

ever since my sister lele started talking about running the chicago marathon, i knew i would be there.

she did fly all the way from chicago for my marathon last year and ran the last 100 meters with me in her toms, so i knew it was my time to return the favor. 

we talked about her race and i would casually mention a "oh, i wish i could be there" or "i'll be cheering for you from denver" nonchalantly and tried to stay as aloof as possible.
and it worked. 

she bought it hook, line, and sinker. 
{and maybe considered not speaking to me because she didn't think i was coming, but that's neither here nor there.}

but...
before i could surprise her in chicago, i had to take some time to visit one of my favorite families in rockford {and pretty much the world for that matter} - the tripodis. 

nothing says welcome home like a good swedish connection breakfast at johnny pamcakes.

we caught up on life over some of the best swedish pancakes in the world and lots of coffee, with little gino providing constant entertainment.
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{such an adorable family!}
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{i would like you to notice gino's evident excitement about his swedish pancakes in the picture below.}
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after i was sufficiently stuffed, it was time to head into the big city and get the surprise underway. 

my dad tried to record the moment but somehow only managed to get footage of the floor, so lele's reenactment of her surprise face will have to suffice.

she said she got teary, so i would say that's a success.
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we spent the afternoon with our amazing host becky, trying to keep lele sane and calm and reminding her that she was going to dominate that marathon.

and marathon domination obviously begins with pad thai, so it was off to a local noodle shop for dinner.
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{aren't my parents the cutest?}
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{lele's marathon running partner and good friend eryka joined us with her husband for the evening.}
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lele had her priorities right the night before the race...
-lay everything out and take a picture of it all
-streeeeeeeetch {even if it's only for 2 seconds while i'm taking your picture}
and 
-watch an inspirational marathon documentary on netflicks to get yourself really pumped up
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sunday morning was race day, and i knew i wanted to see lele at least once during the race and once at the finish line. 
i stumbled upon mile 8 and camped out for a while, screaming and cheering for total strangers...
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until lele and eryka appeared.
i was a total nut. 
screaming, cheering, and even joining the race in my cowboy boots.

i needed more face to face cheer time, so i decided it was completely rational to join on in.
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after they ran out of sight, i used my handy spectator guide to try to make it to mile 12.
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unfortunately, i was too late, but i did get to take in some sights in the city as i made my way to the finish line.
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my parents took the train in for the day, so after a lot of "where are you?"
"well, i see a bridge" and other such nondescript communication, we finally found each other! 
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my friend nikki hitched a ride with them, so we got to hang out for the afternoon! 
sweet reunions all around.
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no spectator is complete without an encouraging sign to cheer on their favorite runner.
if this doesn't spell y.o.u.a.r.e.a.w.e.s.o.m.e. i don't know what will.
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i had to include a little sweetness in there too:) 
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after throwing a few elbows, we finally made it to the stands to watch all the runners at the final stretch.
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after a lot of looking, a lot of screaming, a lot of cheering, and a few teary moments...
we spotted the lady of the hour! 
a marathoner! 
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i can't even describe how proud i was of her at this moment.
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after the race, we reconnected with our favorite girl wrapped in foil.
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and it was time to EAT! 
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before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye to nikki and our parents:( 

the rest of the afternoon included a veeeeery slow walk back to becky's apartment, some pure relaxation, wine and pizza for dinner, and then, just like that...
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she was out.
dreaming of weekends that will no longer include hours and hours spent running.
oh, how sweet that will be.
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i feel so blessed that i was able to be a small part of such a huge accomplishment.

i am so proud of you lele.

and coming from personal experience, if you decide to take a year off from running,
there will be no judgement from this girl.

you are amazing.

5 comments:

  1. you are a sweet, sweet seester!

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  2. so so great! congrulations to your sis. Chicago marathon looks like a great choice for a run! (looks bit cold though...brrr...gloves...already!)

    looks like a fun fun weekend!

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  3. Ahhh many fond memories in Chi-Town with you. Not once but TWICE. We ruled. Congrats to LELE!!! Whadda WOMAN xoxoxo

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  4. Fun! I love Chicago! Also, it's really sweet that you surprised your sister. I love it.

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  5. this makes me want to run a marathon in chicago! we did a 10 miler in chicago along the river a few years ago and i loved it. I may try train for a half again once i get the a-pkay from my midwife to run again. by then i will have taken almost a year off so we will see how it goes

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