Last Thursday, after a quick trip to the grocery store so I didn’t leave my kids to starve, I headed out on a road trip to Albany. I had been planning this road trip for quite some time. I was kind of excited as the date drew closer because I not only was going to meet authors and mother runners Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell, I was also finally going to get to meet some of the members of my Ragnar Relay team.
Anyhow, getting out of the Binghamton area heading east is a disaster at the moment. From all I can tell, it will remain this way for the entire 2013 Construction Season (which in upstate NY is that part of the year that is not winter). I plotted that I could avoid construction delays – since I was already running behind – by going up and over the hill past the airport to get to I-88. Once again I thanked a former NYS Legislature for allowing pork and whatever else was necessary to make an interstate highway that parallels NYS Route 7. I managed to avoid all those little towns on a day when it was 92F as I drove past a high school sign and turned onto the interstate.
The goal had been to hit Wolf Road in Albany at approximately 5 pm to have a meeting with my Ragnar teammates prior to my Mother Runner at Fleet Feet just down the road from Professor Java’s. I managed to walk into Professor Java’s at 5:30. Between the traffic at home trying to avoid the construction mess and the “city” traffic on Wolf Road in Albany, the drive took longer than I had thought it would.
I managed to order an iced mocha roka (I think that is what I drank) and a brownie. I know I was doing Jess’s 7 days, no junk challenge but the brownie looked amazing. I might have ordered two if they had not been about 4 inches square. Top that with the fact that they warmed the brownie up and I was in heaven. My thought process was that the caffeine in the coffee and in the brownie would help keep me awake on the drive home about four hours hence.
It was great meeting Jen, Loretta, Nikki, Meredith, Stephanie and – crap, I knew this would happen – I can’t remember the last person who was there. We talked a bit about details of the relay and the things we wanted to do between now and then. We are getting together at least twice more over the summer – once to make team shirts at a place in Troy and once for a cookout. I am hoping I can make one or both.
Just realized how long this is going to be but I don’t want to put off talking about the “house” party another day so be forewarned. You are probably looking at only half the post so far.
After a quick trip to a WalMart that my daughter swore had in stock a new cell phone she wanted bought, I arrived at Fleet Feet around 7:40 pm. The party was set to start at 7:30 pm and the place was hoping. Upon checking in, I was given a name tag and a raffle ticket for some giveaways later in the evening. Then, I could look around at Fleet Feet (a treat for me as my area has only JUST gotten an actual running store) and/or get into the throngs waiting to see and meet the original Mother Runners.
After looking around for a while, I got in the general circle around Dimity. I had my copies of Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother with me and was not leaving Albany without both of the authors signing them. Strangely – or maybe not as I tend to be on Twitter a lot – as I was talking with Dimity and she was signing my book, Sarah came over. She had recognized me from across the room. It was great talking briefly with the two of them.
I then went off to find Darlene. I follow Darlene on DailyMile and was sure the woman I had seen walk by was her but I needed to stalk – I mean find – her and ask. Yes, the person was indeed Darlene and we chatted for a good ten minutes. She is just coming back from an injury. We had some discussions about streaks as I am currently participating in the Runners’ World summer streak. It is always fantastic to meet online people in real life. This night was full of that!
Eventually, Sarah and Dimity gathered us all – the event had 200 tickets available and when I logged in to make sure I had registered 7 were left – and they began reading from Train Like a Mother. I used the marathon training plan while training for Blue Ridge this past April.
In between reading different parts from Train Like a Mother, the raffle tickets were drawn. Items from all of the Another Mother Runner web site were raffled off. Both Sarah and Dimity said they came with extra giveaways as this was their largest party ever. Items were raffled off from Knucklelights, Saucony, Nuun, Hyland’s, 110%, SofSole, Skinfare, NuttZo, Smith Optics, Ultimate Direction and Garmin. And no worries if you didn’t win, everyone went home with a goodie bag! I am pretty sure the goodie bag and love for some great new products will be a separate post.
So more talking with Mother Runners and waiting in a line for Sarah to sign my books because I somehow missed that in our earlier discussion, which centered around Central NY weather and what she had to wear to her college reunion over the upcoming weekend.
Loved getting to meet both Dimity and Sarah. Was great meeting my Ragnar teammates. Enjoyed meeting all the other mothers. Special shout out to Elisabeth who came from Syracuse (just slightly further than my drive). She and I were talking towards the end of the night. She is running her first half marathon this weekend in Lake Placid, NY with Team in Training. May the weather cooperate and may she and all her TNT teammates have fast feet. Also a huge thank you to the staff at Fleet Feet Albany as this was a fantastic night.