Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Awesome Adventure In Albany

Joan & I at the School Visitation

Hey everyone, as you may know, I spent June 2nd -5th in Albany, NY, for the Freihofer’s Run for Women 5k.  Going to Albany was an incredible adventure and I had an amazing time there.  I had so many awesome experiences while there that I just had to tell you all about.  The hotel I stayed at was just down the street from the capitol building, which was really cool to look at on walks being it was an older style of building than what I would normally see in Charlotte.  Right across the street from the capital building was an office building park that they held the awards for the race on and some running events for the smaller children.  The park was really cool with a lot of abstract sculptures on it, one even looked like a turtle on stilts, and it was hilarious.  There was also a building in the park that kind of looked like a sideways egg, it was a very cool building to just look at, everyone loved it and it even was on our race t-shirts, which were bright green by the way and all of the words and pictures on it were pink, talk about a fabulous shirt.  I will defiantly wear it for as long as I can, it matches my bedroom so that adds a level of awesomeness to it J. On Friday, I went to Bethlehem Central Middle School, where I had the privilege of talking with some of the students alongside Joan Benoit Samuelson.  Oh my gosh was that special, I was nervous when I had to answer questions because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to focus since I was watching Joan the whole time wondering if it was a dream or not.  I had a blast though, Joan was so nice and is a fun person to hang out with.  I was able to get my picture with her and I think I’m going to print it out and hang it on my wall with all of my running posters so I can always remember that moment forever and ever. 
After that amazing honor I went back to the hotel to go to the press conference for the race.  It was super exciting being there with so many amazing professional female runners.  I sat at a table with some of the master’s women, Joan Samuelson, Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, Lisa Harvey, and Lori Kingsley.  They were all super nice and I enjoyed sitting next to them and chatting.  During the expo George, the director of the race, presented Victoria Michalek, the oldest runner of the race, and I our race numbers.  Our numbers each were our age so my number was 14, how cool is that!  That night for dinner my dad and I ate with Lori and got to know her better, she is a great, friendly person, who is a joy to be around. 

start line less than a minute before the start
The next morning at the race I was trying to decide where to do my warm-up, when Carmen told me of a cool place to run down the street.  As I headed down the street I saw Benita Willis going down as well.  So I was able to do my warm-up where amazing runners do theirs as well, that totally pumped me up.  At the end of the race down the final straight-away I was super tired and was having trouble kicking in.  Lori was right in front of me and saw that I was having trouble so she in courage me to kick in to the finish.  At the end of the race I was a little upset with how my race went, but Lori was right there to cheer me up.  For that I am very grateful, Lori will always be a great friend to me.  After the race my calf was a little tight and sore, so I got a massage therapist to work on my legs, it was awesome. I have never gotten a massage before, so it was really cool.  That afternoon I had lunch with Dulce Rodriguez and even though she didn’t speak a lot of English and I defiantly didn’t speak much, if any, Spanish, she was still great to sit with. She is incredibly nice and it was cool to sit next to a three time Olympian.
The whole time I was there the hotel had breakfast, lunch, and dinner for us.  I enjoyed it because they always had doughnuts and cookies, aw the joy of having the race’s major sponsor being a baking company (Freihofers).  The doughnuts were SOOOO amazing, I brought a box home with me. Yummy!.
 I had an amazing experience while at Albany and I want to thank everyone who was part of the race so much for an amazing time there, everyone was very nice and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.