Friday, September 30, 2011

Energy Bars and a Countdown Calendar (for my friends)

Remember how my Wednesday night involved secret running projects? It turns out, every night this week involved secret running projects. These were for two of my favorite runners. They are intended to provide inspiration and fuel for their upcoming races.

Pumpkin NRG Bars for Hadz!

Hadley is running her second half marathon on Sunday. And the girl, like me, is currently obsessed with pumpkin. So I made her some Pumpkin Energy bars from Cycle and Style. I doubled the recipe and used two pans so they were spread pretty thin and I worried they would be a little dry. But she loves them and they have a ton of protein! So I hope they will be a tasty way for her to fuel up before the big day.

On that big day, she will run 13.1 miles from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, to the National Harbor. And she will dominate. She'll be wearing a pink shirt that reads Big Bad Hads, in case you want to go out and cheer her on. I can’t wait to cheer for her and to hear all about it!! Run, Hadley, Run!

Marathon Countdown Calendar for Nikki!

Remember Nikki? Of course you do, I talk about her all the time and she's running a marathon in two weeks, on her birthday. On our 13 mile run together two weeks ago, she told me that she used to make calendars that counted down to her birthday when she was little. She wanted to make one counting down to the marathon, and her birthday this year. I pictured an advent calendar with a little goodie or card each day. On Monday, I thought of it and asked her whether she had made one. She hadn't and I know she's super busy, especially with training, so it occurred to me to make one for her. I made it my week-long craft project and stayed up too late every night cutting out paper, googling motivational running quotes, and drawing bubble letters.

It ended up being a lot of fun and it was well worth the time spent when I saw the excitement on her face when I gave it to her tonight. She knew I had a surprise for her but had no idea this was it. What's inside the envelopes will remain a mystery to the world and to Nikki, who will find out each day. All that I'll tell you is that they're filled with lots of inspiration, even more cheesiness, and some calories. Maybe some other goodies too.

Each day's envelope has it's own motivational word on it. They all came from ESPN and Runner's World magazines. Some of the words correspond with the day or the things inside of the envelope. Like the day before the marathon is "Conquer". The day of is "GO". And the after-race is "Smile. Eat. Have fun. Drink." I geek out about this stuff.

After she went home, Nikki sent me this picture. I'm very impressed that she has already hung the thing. And am so happy that she's very excited about it.

I am obviously so excited to run Baltimore. But sometimes I've felt like maybe it would have been better to not be running on Nikki's race day and to just dedicate that morning to cheer her on. I still intend to support her as much as I can and to celebrate her all day long (except when she goes home to sleep) but I wanted to help pump her up in the fourteen days leading up to the race. And those fourteen days begin tomorrow. Run, Nikki, Run!

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