Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Adventures of a Dashtabulous Paddy's Day

I absolutely despise waking up at the crack of dawn, especially when I stayed up late the night before trying to get all my crap together because I procrastinated doing it all day. But a little light bulb went off in me when my alarm clock sounded on Saturday morning, it's called excitement. I didn't even hit the snooze button, which is a huge altercation from my normal 5-10 strikes per day. 
I just love our running friends so much. Everyone was a good sport with smiling faces and giddy feet, though the sun had yet to rise....even Patrick, who usually doesn't like to talk to people until he's been up for at least a couple of hours, seemed extra happy.....though it could have just been Monster between his legs. And by that, I'm referencing to the picture above, where there is literally a Monster Drink sitting between his legs. 
We were pumped and ready to go!
Excuse me Sir, did you know your shamrock is showing?
There were all kinds of crazy loons lurking, dressed in their festive costumes, but thankfully we were the only loons in tie-dye, which made it so much more easy to keep up with our clan. Unfortunately, our shirts' beautiful bright vibrance faded when I washed them before the race, but they were still shnazzy with personality, despite looking like we've all worn them for 10-20 years!
As the sun began to rise, we worked our way over to the starting line, weeving our way through the developing crowd.
Apparently the Dash Down Greenville race/parade was almost cancelled a few weeks ago, due to lack of funding, but our lovely local billionaire Mark Cuban, whom I'd gladly adopt as an uncle with open arms, decided he wouldn't stand for it. So he wrote a check, to save the 33rd anual tradition sending the message to: Keep Calm, and Run On. (I don't know if he actually said those exact words, but he did write the check for the event, and Run On was the official sponsor, so I thought it sounded good.) This isn't the first time Mr. Cuban has saved a Dallas parade with his checking account.
Thanks, Mark Cuban! You're the man!
The proceeds of Dash Down Greenville supported the North Texas Food Bank.

The race was officially sold out, with 8,000 people registered. We were actually towards the front, if you can believe that! 
I wanted to document the whole thing, so I carried my camera throughout the entire event. It was Patrick and I's first 5k to ever participate in! I was a little nervous, given both our condition's last week..........but at the very least I was determined to have good pictures!
Has anyone ever told you how extremely difficult it is to take quality pictures while running faster than one's normal comfortable turtle speed? Consider yourself warned. 
As the race started, people started darting around all over the place to get their happy position. We passed several runners, but mostly I was watching my back to make sure we were getting run over. As the crowd began to thin out, the sun started peaking over the trees, showcasing the pretty spring flowers, and we found our happy pace.
It's so crazy what some people can tolerate running in. I'm very picky about how things touch me during physical activity, but obviously this little leprechaun could care less. 
Jessica is always checking on the pack. She's everyone's biggest fan and most supportive cheerleader....I love this action shot of her and her man! 
I was so proud of Patrick. He hasn't ran 3 miles at one time in years, and did it after being sick with no complaints. 
As we rounded the last corner, the more elite runners that had already finished, cheered us on.
Can you tell which two people in this photo don't usually run?!?! The winner of the race finished in 15minutes flat. Dang. 
I finished 229th out of the 822 females in my age group (31:02 minutes).
Patrick finished 183th out of the 334 males in his age group (30:55 minutes).
Maybe if I would have spent less time taking pictures, and more time running, I could have beat my husband, no?
We finished the race with a straight shot view of the Krispy Kreme donut shop........our mouths were watering.
But we kept out heads screwed on straight, our hands glued to strange people's fake buns, and went to the stand serving free banana's instead. 
Ale may have gotten a little carried away with the freebee booths and turned into a mild miniature hoarder......
Then we found a open area for a little stretching.....

And a little balancing competition. (It helps when I stick my tongue out.)
The lovely church that we parked at let us use their Montessori to clean up. A few baby wipes and deodorant swipes later, we were ready to take on the parade festivities. 
I brought clear cups and green dye so we could have color appropriate beverages, but didn't realize I bought was gel instead of liquid until it was too late........so it looked like I had green worms swimming in the bottom of my cup. Fail. 
Some brainstorming later, we figured out a mixing method and was back in the game of things!!! For a little while.........
There were so many people crowded near the street, we gave up trying to see the parade, which can be a little dangerous when they are throwing out beads without warning. If I ever teach you anything from this blog let it be this.....
Parade lesson 101: Never. Ever. EVER. Turn your back on a parade. 
Patrick did, and got smacked with a set of beads, right in the side of the face. They whipped down and crashed into his cup, shattering the plastic and creating a green-beer-waterfall-party-foul all over the place. Good thing he was already wearing green, so it didn't stain his shirt!!! Winning!
The festivities must go on, and on they went. A group of people that Ale knows from CrossFit made over 1100 jello shots for consumption.
After a few hours of street dancing later, and Cowboy Chicken in our bellies, it was time a for little relaxing under the church tree. 
The weather was perfect for grass smooshing and people gazing. 
We only had about 200 different conversions, and every time we voiced our opinions, Bobby asked Ale what hers was......but she didn't answer....
She got a little too relaxed and actually fell asleep, on the concrete, so her white skirt wouldn't get grass stained...... 
And then she slept some more on the way home......
And then a little more once we got home........But we never left her out of a single subject.
Is this girl related to my brother???
After Ale broke the record for most-consecutive-hours-of-continuous-sleep-in-the-most-places-within-a-single-nap, we woke her up to celebrate Carrie's "29th" birthday. Her wonderful husband Ryan, who we are dubbing "Husband of the Month" was our DD. He campaigned for "Husband of the Year", but we thought that was stretching it a bit for a single night of selflessness. (It takes way more than that to win these girls over for an entire year, Ryan!!). 
He handled himself with great poise while dealing with our classic indecisiveness and lack of audience discretion. He even took this picture of us in front of a stranger's green sports car while pretending not to be embarrassed. 
And when we needed him to finish off the last shrimp at Ra because our eye's were bigger than our stomach's, he took one for the team, even though he was already full. 
What a man, what a man, what a mighty good man......
All in all, it was a super fun St. Patrick's day. The first one I've ever had the pleasure of celebrating, to be exact! If they are all like this one, maybe I should make a habit of it!

Mark Cuban, will you be my uncle???


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