Monday, September 1, 2008

It Has Been Awhile…

It has been a while since I’ve blogged. Some of you know I’ve been dealing with some personal stuff that I just don’t feel like putting up on the Internet. A lot of it seems to be either dying down or at a stand still, so I I’m feeling a little like talking – or typing as it was.

Some of you may be wondering if I ran the half marathon in Parkersburg…and I did!

My friend Lauren and I trekked to WV for the big race. I was excited to celebrate my 30th in this way. Very different from past birthdays of over indulging in alcohol and waking up the next day wishing I didn’t have to go to work.

Maybe this is growing up? Who knows?

Parkersburg has some pretty parts of town, but it is depressing to see parts of it. I would like to see a census count of evangelical churches and strip clubs in the town. It seemed that no matter where you turned you saw a church and 9 times out of 10 – there was a strip joint across the street.

Lauren and I got there on Friday (8.15.08). The race was on Saturday. We didn’t want to eat dinner at the hotel that night so we sent out to dinner and found a local Italian joint that could have been in Salem, Ohio (near where I grew up.). The owner had photos up on the wall of famous people who had visited the restaurant – my favorite was of course of Boom Boom Mancini.

Unfortunately…the food was pretty buttery and didn’t sit to well with us, so we both had some problems in the morning. Ugh. You can tell from our photos!

The race course was very scenic and the crowd was awesome. It seemed like the whole town came out for the race. And I’m pretty sure there were some late night bets (the race has same day registration) that got some Parkersburg citizens to gear up for the race last minute judging from their running attire.

Parkersburg sits on the confluence Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers – which makes the vista pretty unique. The course initially takes you through the Julianne St. Historical District with the stately old homes and then down toward the river bottom to the decaying industrial flats. Once you get out of the town proper you spend most of your time running through rolling hills. Everyone seems to come out to cheer on this race in the area – it is great.

Folks were dressed up in costumes, local cheer leaders were out, as well as bands. There were more race volunteers than at other larger races I’ve been at and we had – 17 water stops!

The race is a kick off to the weekend festivities in Parkersburg – it is their homecoming weekend. After the race concludes a large parade snakes through the town – some folks we talked to boosted that it was the largest parade in WV. It seemed as if every pageant winner in the state was there to wave on her loyal subjects from Miss WV down to Little Miss Christmas.

There was also the largest contingent of Shriners I’ve ever seen – IN MY LIFE.

The rest of the weekend Lauren and I relaxed at the hotel, lamented at the fact that the hotel lied on their website about having a hot tub, sauna and Olympic pool and checked out the town. (The hotel had free passes to the local YMCA that had these amenities – but wasn’t on site.)

We also got a massage from a local masseuse who commuted from Bellsville Ohio to Parkersburg for work. A pretty depressing scenario that the only place an Ohioan can find work is an hour and a half away in WV.

And while we were still high off the adrenaline from the half marathon…Lauren and I crazily talked about running half at the Columbus Marathon – which is 3 weeks before the election. Yes, we both need to have our heads examined! And yes, we both registered for the race on Friday!

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