Okay. Here it is. The Big Deal. The Event. The MAIN Event. The REST OF THE STORY!
Most of you know this. If you don't know it, then you are a random person who came across this site and is doing the vaoyeur thing.
Life is good.
I am happy.
Now... the rest of the story.
It happened at the Reach the Beach race that I wrote about earlier.
IT's a 208 mile race across 24 hours. There are 12 people to a team. If someone drops out, you must stay in order. We each run 3 legs in rotation starting at Bretton Woods ski resort at the foot of Mt Washington to Hampton Beach - all through New Hampshire.
I was in Van 1 with Joe, Joan, Parker, I had the fourth leg (Cher’s old leg), Mike, and Kenny. Friday dawned to a beautiful day and the drive up with uneventful. Of course, Parker pointed out the rockslide that was The Old Man in the Mountain or whatever it was called (No… I didn’t know the name until recently. I still may not know it.)
This year, the race sold out the full complement of 200 slots. We started 20 minutes earlier than last year with Joe leading the charge, quite literally, up the mountain and back down, only to find that he had ripped the skin off of both of his heals. But let me say that for all of his efforts, he was the first one down in around 22 minutes. And they advertise this as the hardest 5k you will ever run. I was not only worried for Joe (who kept insisting that he had to run his next two legs with me arguing that he was doing no such thing), but for me because I knew that I would end up running Parker’s leg, which was strategically given to Parker because of the length and difficulty. After much anguish, I stopped complaining because I knew I had to suck it up and I didn’t want Joe to feel worse than he already did. So, I just settled down and contemplated my fate.
My first leg was 5.4 miles. Not bad. Nothing to report other than I was passed by everyone that Parker had passed. Then I handed off to Mike who proceeded to pass everyone who had passed me.
My second leg was run through the night. There was a lot of traffic on the roads this year because of there were so many teams but I was happy that there were stars and a full moon to run to. There were also other non-race-related sundry cars on the road and they were the ones I worried about. But a quick flick of my flashlight and they saw me and slowed down. I think this leg was around 5.6 miles. Hilly. Challenging. Not too bad but not too good and I wished I had trained this year.
My third leg was Parker’s. The hardest 8.9 miles I’ve ever run. Seriously. I can’t even begin to describe it. I ran the tangents as much as possible. I was doing well through 5.5 – running sub 10’s. At 6.1 I hit the biggest wall I’ve ever felt in my life. I have never felt anything like that. NEVER EVER! I ended up walking for about 8 minutes and all I could think of was Mike waiting for me at the finish. I managed to start slogging a little and by the time I hit the straightaway to the exchange point, I had gained momentum and was feeling better. Too bad it was only for another half mile. I did pass one person about 10 feet from the finish but she was way worse off than I was. I passed off to Mike and again, he proceeded to pass the 7 people who passed me. Yes. I counted the number of times I was roadkill. :o)
After Van 1 handed off to Van 2, we went and got burgers and beer at the Dam View restaurant. Later we found out that Van 2 saw out Van parked nearby so they knew were kicking back and eating. I knew we should have hidden the van! UGH! But that was the best burger and beer I’ve had in a while!
Afterwards, we headed to the Beach where we would settle in and wait for Joan and Geof to run into the finish. I was contemplating not running in with everyone because my legs felt as if they had been hit with baseball bats. But Joe kept insisting. Then he said that he would not be running in and that he would meet me at the finish line. I thought that was wise since I was worried about his heels.
Around the bend come Joan and Geof. We all jump in behind them and start to run. Of course they maintained their quick pace despite my attempts to slow them down by yelling SLOW DOWN, SLOW DOWN!!! So I just take off and keep up and pray that my legs don’t fall off.
I crossed the finish and there was Joe, waiting. He grabbed my hand and pulled me off to the side. He started talking and I didn’t know what he was saying. Something about how one year ago he told me he loved me… and all I could think was, “DAMN! It’s our anniversary and I FORGOT!!!” But he kept talking. I kept thinking that he was being sweet but then I wondered why because it was a RACE! LOL!
Then he raised a small blue box, opened it, and asked me if I would marry him.
All I could say was OMG OMG OMG! And he finally said, YOU DIDN”T ANSWER MY QUESTION! So I said, YES YES YES!! I cried I was so happy.
Then he told me the story behind the story!
Turns out that he had been planning this for 6 months. SIX MONTHS!!! ACK! And he had gotten some of the relayers involved – they had specific jobs. John Barney was going to get “hurt” and drop out so that Joe would have to run the last leg. Dave Anderson cut the CD with the proposal that was supposed to be playing as he cross the finish line. Mike was supposed to make sure that I paid attention when the CD started and make sure that I went through the finish line (I often threaten not to do something and those of you who know me that my mind is my own and you have to physically make me do something if I don’t feel inclined. Mike is bigger than me so Joe though he could get me to run across the finish even if I didn’t want to). The race director was involved from the beginning. The finish line people were expecting the CD and they were all set up.
What really happened: Joe couldn’t run after the second leg. Joan ended up running to the finish. As always, I threatened not to run through the finish with the team because I felt like I had been hit with baseball bats after running Parker’s leg!!! And the CD didn’t play – something went wrong with the CD playing system! ACK!! Joe was scrambling and redoing the details while I slept through the night in the front bench of the van – oblivious to the ensuing panic and subsequent reworking of the details across two vans, the start, and the finish line! ACK ACK ACK! I think I would have called off the whole thing! LOL! The race director was ready to give Joe the microphone. That wasn’t gonna happen!
So, in the end, he delivered the whole speech personally and he did a magnificent job. I didn’t think anything about it because he is typically sweet and sensitive (not sure if he wants the guys to the know that! LOLOL!) So what he was telling me was not atypical of what he might say in the first place. So I didn’t have a clue. Nothing was really out of the ordinary and in the end I was totally blown away.
The ring? For those who asked what it was, it’s a black Tahitian pearl with diamonds on either side set in platinum. It’s so beautiful! Very different. Of course we have to be different! LOL! He will get it engraved when it’s re-sized (it’s just a tad bit big) and he’s not telling me what it’s going to say. :o|
And the date? We have gotten a lot of suggestions, most of which are, of course, geared to your ability to make it! LOLOL!!!
We have talked about everything from the Crude Run in March (since that is when we became fast friends), to the Boston Marathon weekend (since this is what really brought us together but it’s highly unlikely given the venue), RTB Relay (having more people put together the teams and they have to run to the finish to get to the wedding - on the beach), The Dead World Conference in Boston if it's here but most likely NOT because it’s been done before by the Watanabes, Disney where very early on before we got together we talked about going and making it my target race. It will be INFORMAL! No church wedding, just a JP, or a minister, etc. We talked about a Clam Bake or a Pig Roast. We talked about making it personal by involving friends like using a minister that is somehow related to someone we know, having our friend Abby's brother Rogan cater (he's a chef at Mistrals in Boston which is an uber terrific restaurant and very swanky), having MJ’s cousin Lou do the flowers (just one simple bouquet that I can throw – probably with a running theme LOL! We are even talking about eloping with a big blow out party when we get back. Maybe even taking some of you with us to a remote island! LOL!
So, that’s it.
I have nothing else to say about this other than I am the happiest person in the world right now.
And that is the rest of the story….