Friday, October 11, 2019

Throwing Caution to the Wind

I wish I could go back and recap the last 4 months of life. 'Whirlwind' doesn't even start to describe what my world has been since Rob and I said "I do." Weddings and birthday parties and more weddings and more birthday parties and bachelorette parties galore! The summer of celebrations, I like to call it.

I knew this summer would be hard for Running/Triathlon Megan. I snuck in a few races here and there. I never stopped running. I swam and biked as time allowed. After my failed attempt at a BQ in April, I had hopes of going back to Duluth, MN in June to race Grandma's Marathon. {Or as I call it, Christmas Day for runners in June.} But life got hectic between April and June. I officially tied the knot and I attended 2 other weddings, consecutively after my very own (1 of them happened to be one of our groomsmen, whom Rob also stood up for). None of these events came with early bedtimes or hydrating beverages such as water or a variety of sports beverages. I truly C E L E B R A T E D everything and that will always come with a price. A headache in the morning? Maybe. A little less sleep? Always. A diet you aren't used to? 100%. I always put on my shoes on the next morning. But the quality of my running I was hoping for wasn't always there. So at the end of the day, I decided to forego Grandma's Marathon and put all my eggs into one basket. The Chicago Marathon.

The last time I ran The Chicago Marathon, circa 2011
You can spot me in the pink tank, running with Brian

Which leaves us here.

I got my butt back into gear. I've put the work in. But I continued to "celebrate" my way through the summer. I didn't nail every workout. I didn't have time sit in my boots every time I needed to. I slacked on my stretches when I needed it most. But, as of today, I'm actually feeling pretty good about this whole thing. I'm a firm believer in "You get out of something what you put in." And I know for a fact that my lead in into The Chicago Marathon hasn't been perfect 100% of the time. {Truth bomb, it never will be either.} But I can say with certainty that I didn't have the focus, energy, or time to commit to training that BQ needs this time around.

But here we are.

By no means do I think this will be an awful day. I'll run this marathon in the greatest city in the world and I'll have a smile on my face regardless of how fast or slow I finish. But, the last time I qualified for Boston, I had 19 seconds separate me from a qualification and the starting line in Hopkinton. And that was after laser precision focus all winter long. I was probably the strongest runner I've ever been at that point.

And since that race, the BQ standard has dropped by 5 minutes. {Currently 3:30 to qualify, approximately 3:27-3:25 to RUN Boston} Which means I need to shave off roughly 3-5 minutes if I actually want to RUN Boston 2021. And I have to be honest and real with myself. I'm not an athlete that has plenty of time to spare. I'm playing with seconds here. But stranger things have happened.

8 years ago. All of us still friends.
Every single one of these people attended our wedding (or stood IN it)

The weather is looking pretty damn good. It has me "giddy" if you will. Last week I ran after work and it was hotter and more humid than most of my workouts all summer long. So, I'm hoping I have some hidden fitness that will come show up on race day now that the weather is cooperating. My legs have done this distance 13 times before, so I'm hoping some muscle memory kicks in at some point. I've also been much better and proactive about taking care of myself. I've had 2 massage in the past 3 weeks and I'm currently sitting in my Normatec boots and I have a date with my STIM unit tomorrow night.

Chicago Marathon 2011: Boyfriend
Chicago Marathon 2019: Husband

So, if you find yourself interested in my racing endeavours, you can track me on the Chicago Marathon app on Sunday morning. I'll be in the first wave, coral D, meaning I should take off pretty close to 7:30am. Bib 14721. If you'll be on course, I'm planning on gluing myself to the 3:25 pace group towards the front of the group (because claustrophobia is a REAL THING in this race in tight packs). I'll need every ounce of positive energy, good vibes, extra prayers, and anything else you can send my way. But in all honesty, sometimes life is about throwing all caution to the wind and seeing where it takes you. And this kinda feels just like that.

I'll see ya on the other side. And not in 4 months, sometime next week. I promise.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Wedding 5.26.2019

A few days ago my mom asked me, "What day is the wedding blog going to be done?" I laughed and realized.. I hadn't even thought about it. But the more I sat on the idea, I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity for me to savor the day.

If you're interested in my non-racing life for a little bit, this one's for you. If not, I promise we'll be back to regularly scheduled programming after this.

Spoiler Alert: It was the most perfect day

Our day was more than just 1 day. It was an entire whirlwind weekend. We started the journey solo, arriving in 2 separate cars packed to the gil a few hours apart. We rushed around. Unpack this. Get this to wedding planner. Deliver this to florist. Soon it was 9pm on Thursday, May 23rd and we sat down together to enjoy dinner together. This was the last meal we'd have alone together before the nuptials.

Spotted Cows with Cheese Curds on the way

Family and some friends started to arrived on Friday. It was one of those days I didn't plan for. I went for a run after our morning massages, showered, and got dressed. When I left my room at 1:30pm to greet the first family member, I didn't realize I wouldn't be back to my room at all. I carried a Bride 'sippy cup' of wine around with me all night. In and out of the resort bars. Not one bartender stopped me. I filled it up at friends rooms along the way the entire night. We drank, laughed, danced, sang, and loved every minute of that spontaneous day and night.

Hode's at The Abbey 

Those Sloan boys ☘

Saturday involved a full round of golf for the boys while I greeted the girls as they started to arrive. A little morning run, a little lunch with the girls, and next thing you knew it was time practice marrying the love of my life.

Ready... set... where's Lindsey?

I spoke at the rehearsal dinner. I had thought about what I wanted to say, I even jotted down a few notes. There was a theme. There was a message. But as soon as I stood in front of all my closest family and friends, I melted. And fast. I had dreamed of this day for so long. Everyone I love the most, all in one room. It was here and the emotion overtook me faster than I imagined. I wear my heart on my sleeve, that's never been a secret. But that night, everyone saw a pretty deep side of Megan they probably didn't bargain for.


Sunday morning arrived and I barely slept a wink the night before. It could have been the nerves. It could have been all the "last minute texts" I was sending out to the groomsmen and family. Or, it could have been my beloved Matron of Honor snoring her ass off next to me. I dunno, that part is still up for debate. Regardless of any sort of snoring volume at midnight, 1am, or 3am, I'm certain the adrenaline in my veins kept me in a love struck haze between sleep and awake all night long. I was sitting upright scrolling my phone before 6am. I got up to make a cup of coffee and Kait turned and spotted me across the room. We both did a little silent dance so as not to wake Jacqui or the other maids in the massive suite.

The next part of this story shouldn't shock you. I took the girls on my last run as a Hode. At 7am the morning of my wedding. We laced up and hit the road. I've started most of my days as a Hode with a run. How could I start the last day any different?

There's Lindsey!
And Ian took Beth's place during the run portion of the day

The girls and I headed to the salon after a quick rinse to start the getting ready process. Rob had spent the night at Lake Lawn Lodge. He enjoyed a suite fit for a King (or a small army) and slept in before he met his brother for breakfast. The girls finished hair and makeup and picked up lunch as we headed back. I lost my phone between the salon and The Abbey. Room serviced decided not to come clean the room while we were gone. All those little things that you don't plan for, yea they happened. 

The rest of the story will be told mostly through pictures. I'll jump in and explain a few things here and there, but I'm going to try and let the pictures tell the story. Our photographer is truly one of the best. She deserves every penny plus some. She walked into a mess of women half naked, some applying makeup, some still eating lunch and she asked 0 questions. She adjusted her lens and off she went. You aren't going to see all 1,800 photos (yes, seriously) but I'll do my best to show you all the winners. If pictures don't interest you, this is your cue to move on.

Getting Ready: The Girls 

I made sure to have all of Rob's sisters and nieces come to the room while we were getting ready. We had ALL the females of all ages, coffee, champagne, and hair curlers in 1 room.

Seeing Rob's sister and Godmother for the first time
Karen's face in the background is also priceless

Petal Patrol..

...gettin' all glammed up with mom 

But first lemme take a selfie 

Mom finally arrived 💖

Easily 100% my favorite picture of my mom and I
Making sure Mia had the perfect fit

Spoiler Alert: I didn't wear running shoes down the aisle 

Dad decided to wait until this moment to see my dress for the first time

And so did Mark 👫

Getting Ready: The Boys

There's a difference between boys and girls...

That difference includes serious hard alcohol and hearty meat sandwiches on your wedding day

The room we had reserved for the boys to get ready had an air conditioner on the fritz.
Poor Smitty was just lookin' for some airflow...

I was told that Google was utilized many times to figure out how to fold those little devils..

Ring bearer Leo. Over it.

The room next door had air though ;) 

Who needs dress shoes?

17 going on 25

Jen saved the day with the boutineers..

All the men needed help

Best man & My man 

There may or may not have been blood involved when Rob shaved that morning...
There also may or may not have been makeup involved as a quick fix...

Ring Bearers off duty




Baby Boy + all 6 Sisters

1-10 + Poppi

The Sloan Boys

Those baby blues 😍

Because this was my favorite part 

Ceremony Favorites

Mr. & Mrs. Sloan

If you look closely..
...our dad's in the background 

Post Ceremony Portraits

Rob's Grandma Dolly

We are FAM-I-LY

My Grandma Angie

Sloan, Party of 36

Poppi, 1-10, Spouses

ALL of my siblings 👭👬👫👫👭👫
That A-frame 😍

This crew 💙

Mr. & Mrs. Sloan 💖

I could go on and on. The pictures never end, and I'm completely ok with that. You just got a small taste of what our day was. 

Thank you's are heading out in the mail shortly but I think it's important to mention how deeply appreciative Rob and I are for everyone that helped make this day what it was for us. Our love story to get to wedding day wasn't short and there are plenty of people that have helped us write it over the years. Not a day goes by we don't understand that. Without any of you, we wouldn't be us. 

Cheers 🍺 

The Sloan's