Eastcoast Trip, Day 4 – Marathon Monday

Posted by Rebecca

There was no sleep to be had the night before the race.  You would think I was the one running, with all the anxiety I was feeling, but it was all in behalf of my brother.  Weather advisories had been put out over the weekend.  It was forecast to be a record-breaking 90 degrees that day.  The race organizers requested that anyone who was not a qualifier, and was running for a charity to defer to next year.  They also strongly suggested anyone who had not been training in the heat to defer.  Liam was a qualifier, but had been training in the Arctic.

When Liam left Svalbard, just a few days before, it was -20.  His training had been in below freezing temps, while carrying a rifle.  If you remember, Svalbard is located between Norway and the North Pole, and all residents are required to carry a rifle in case of an encounter with Mr. Polar Bear.  So Liam’s training had not been as diligent as he would have liked because, as he said, “I really hate running with a rifle.” 

Therefore, I was a bit of a nervous wreck anticipating the day.  I was envisioning a mid-race collapse at worst, or a case of heat exhaustion at best.

We attempted to follow the race – starting at the 10km point, taking the train to the half-way mark, then again to mile 23, where my friend, Cara lives.  However, we didn’t think to check the train schedule in advance, and the only train that came out to the 10km stop was a commuter train, which only ran sporadically during the day.

We set up camp along the race course.  First we saw the disabled racers fly by in their racing wheelchairs, showing unbelievable athletic determination and strength.  Truly inspirational!  Next, the elite women ran by, made up mostly of elegant and graceful African runners, who made the race seem effortless.  After that, the elite men – again mostly African, and barely breaking a sweat.  Then the rest of the runners.  Some clearly already struggling in the heat, others smiling and engaging the crowd, yelling for cheers and support.  One odd man ran by shirtless and barefoot.  And then along came Liam – smiling, happy, keeping a good pace.  We all fumbled for our cameras.  Uncle Vern got a picture of the trees, John managed to get a picture of the ground, and I couldn’t even get my camera turned on in time.  But we yelled and cheered, and he knew we were there!

Because of the train schedule, we had to ride it all the way to the finish line, missing the other stops along the way.  I had signed up for text tracking, so we would know when he crossed the 10km, half, 30km, and finish line.  His time was outstanding, especially considering the conditions.  Many residents along the way brought out hoses to spray the runners and cool them down.  Misting tents had also been set up throughout the course.  Every effort was made to keep the racers safe.  Even so, of the 27,000 runners, around 5,000 deferred to next year, and over 2,100 sought medical attention, with about 100 taken to hospital.

Liam came in 1,027th, which put him in the top 4% of racers.  My anxiety had been for nothing.  I’m so proud of him.  His final time was 3 hours, 9 minutes, which is just 21 minutes longer than my half-marathon time.  He clearly got the runner genes in the family.  He wants me to do a marathon with him some day.  He makes it look easy, but I know it’s not.  It would likely be the greatest physical challenge of my life.  But it would be a fun thing to do together. 

Maybe.  We’ll see.

Rebecca Knabe


Eastcoast Trip, Day 3

Posted by Rebecca

Day 3 started with a GPS foible courtesy of yours truly.  It took an hour and a half to travel the usual 30 minutes to the city.  I missed the turn on to the freeway, so we wound our way through the lovely towns of rural Massachusetts, and took the longest route possible to get from point A to point B.  But it was a treat to see the state.  I can reasonably say I’ve ‘done’ Massachusetts, which is nice since it was my birthplace and home for the first 2 years of my life.

We finally made it to our brunch destination – a fantastic French brasserie.  Liam ate everything he could manage, carb loading for tomorrow’s big race.

Next challenge – parking in downtown Boston.  We had rented a large Ford Excursion, and clearance was tricky.  But we found an open lot and set out for some sight-seeing.  A couple of Liam’s friends from the University of British Columbia were also in town for the marathon, so we met up with them to survey some of the historical sights found on the Freedom Trail, a walking tour which winds its way through downtown Boston.  We made a stop at Faneuil Hall to take in some touristy entertainment in the form of a great street performer, and to find more food for the runners.

Mid-afternoon I took the T to the airport to pick up my friend, John, who was flying down from Jamestown, NY to spend the rest of the trip with my family and I.  We found each other in the airport T station, managed to find my aunt and uncle again who were relaxing at a nearby Starbucks, found the car to drop off John’s luggage, and were also able to find Liam, Winston and Carl, shortly before making our way to the pre-marathon dinner.

Dinner was carb-heavy and featured the Samuel Adam’s 26.2 special brew, made every year at this time, named for the number of miles in a marathon.  Boxes and boxes of spaghetti were available for the taking at the conclusion of the meal, and although everyone in our group was flying home, they ignored my mockery and loaded up their arms with pasta.  My family just can’t say no to a freebie.  And while I’m usually of the same mindset, I didn’t want to make my luggage any heavier than it already was for a couple of $1.49 boxes of spaghetti.

To bed early, at an attempt for everyone (really just Liam) to be refreshed for the race.  Tomorrow – Marathon Monday!

Rebecca Knabe

Eastcoast Trip, Day 2

Posted by Rebecca

The previous evening we found our hotel, but not before a bit of a detour.  Liam had entered the address on the GPS, but selected Boston instead of Marlborough as the city.  So at midnight, we found ourselves in a dark, deserted residential neighborhood. 

“Turn left,” the GPS commanded, instructing us down a dead-end street. 

“Turn right,” then led us down a back alley. 

“Destination on right.”  Liam called dibs on the tarp, and I call dibs on the old dumpy trailer.  But Uncle Vern wasn’t convinced this backyard was the Holiday Inn.  Subsequently, Liam was fired from GPS duty.  Auntie Doreen looked at the device like it was some ancient cuneiform or Egyptian hieroglyphics, and it was decided that she probably wasn’t up for the task.  So I was crowned the official GPS captain.  A job that was challenging (surrounded by a car full of silly, watchful critics ready to pounce) yet rewarding (when I actually found the location and was the hero of the moment).

Saturday morning began with breakfast at a local diner.  The staff was excited to hear that Liam would be running in the marathon, and promised to watch for him on Marathon Monday.  Next we hit up a barber shop so Liam could ditch his locks before the race.

After that, Starbucks.  Liam complained the whole way, declaring that he was against Starbucks and all it stood for (although we were unable to get any further explanation of what exactly it was that he claims it stands for).  However he had to admit my green tea was, “quite nice.”  I’m glad I went with the venti, because I was forced to share.

Next, we made our way to the Seaport World Trade Center in the city, and the sight of the Marathon Expo.  Liam picked up his number, 3402, and other race goodies, then went for a short run.  Uncle Vern and I strolled around the area to take some pictures.

We finished the day with an amazing fresh seafood dinner, arguments over who ordered the best meal, and lots of laughs.

Rebecca Knabe

Eastcoast Trip, Day 1

Posted by Rebecca

I’ve decided to give you a daily rundown of my trip out east.  I know it has nothing to do with the blog, but who doesn’t like looking at pictures?  And I’ll try to keep it as interesting as possible, so bear with me.  🙂

I arrived in Boston Thursday, April 12 at 10pm.  The flights sucked – lots of turbulence, but once again I managed to cheat death by air disaster.  Whew!  My Auntie Doreen met me at the airport (she had arrived 2 hours earlier from Edmonton, Canada), and my friend, Cara, picked us up and took us to her home for the night.

The next morning I went for a run to take full advantage of my time at sea level.  But I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures along the way.  I ran down Beacon Street, from Brookline, through Back Bay, all the way downtown, to where Beacon Street begins.  Blossoms and tulips everywhere!

Boston is an amazing city that combines new and old architecture.  It’s the most European city that I have seen in North America, and definitely one of the most historical.

Later my aunt and I ventured out, strolling down Beacon and Newburgh, into the Public Gardens and Boston Common. 

That evening we met Cara for dinner and then headed back out to the airport to pick up my Uncle Vern, who had flown in from Wheatley, Ontario, and my brother who came from Svalbard, Norway, where he is going to school for several months.  Svalbard is this crazy island situated between Norway and the North Pole, and it’s residents are required to carry a rifle whenever they leave the township, because of the threat of polar bears.  Yikes!

I think Liam and I look a lot alike, don’t you?  He’s 15 years younger than me, but we have so much fun together, and I really feel connected to him.  (Except for his weird desire to live in the Arctic!)  Anyway, that was Day 1 in a nutshell.  We had a great time, and it was so nice to see some of my family again. 

Rebecca Knabe

Welcome Home, Me

Posted by Rebecca

I just got home from my east coast trip.  It was a bit of a whirlwind, even though I was gone for 10 days.  Those were 10 very full days.  I’ll tell  you all about it soon, and share some pictures.

I arrived home to 93 degrees, inside my trailer.  It was in the mid-80’s outside.  I must get my swamp cooler running this weekend!  I ripped the plastic off of the windows and opened a few up, while leaving the curtains closed, so for now it is bearable.  Good thing my dog is a hot-African-desert breed.  She’s taking it all in stride.

Oh, and yesterday was my 2 year Trailerversary.  Happy Trailerversary to me!  I’ve learned a lot, and it’s going great.  🙂

Rebecca Knabe

  Thank you, Southwest, for getting me home safely.  😀

Time To Hit the Road!

Posted by:  Tanille

Yep, we are headed out too.  No, not in this contraption, but wouldn’t that be fun!?    It’s that time of year to dust off our “trailer away from trailer” and get out of town!  See ya!

To see more pictures and read about the Toyota Roadtrip Mobile go to http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/a-home-on-wheels-the-toyota-ro-75559

– Tanille Leal

So Long Stinktown – East Coast Bound

Posted by Rebecca

I’m heading east for a bit.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s productive to bash your home and I really do love Reno – the sunshine, hot summers, the desert landscape, proximity to Lake Tahoe, my amazing friends and happy life – but I also love getting out-of-town.

Part of my plan for simplifying was the opportunity to travel more and work less.  I’m not there yet, but it’s still a goal.  And slowly but surely my finances are getting in order.

In the meantime, I go where I can and when I can.  And this week it’s Boston and upstate New York.

I’ll be visiting friends and family, and meeting up with my brother, an uncle and my aunt (two of my mom’s siblings).  We are coming together to watch my baby brother wear himself out in the Boston Marathon.  He has actually only ever run one other marathon, but his time was so good he qualified for Boston.

I’m excited!  I leave tomorrow.  I haven’t seen my brother since September 2010, my Uncle Vern since March 2010, and my Aunt Doreen since May 2007.  After the marathon we are driving to Wallkill, NY to visit my Uncle Harlin and Aunt Norma, who I last saw 2 years ago.  Then I’ll finish my trip visiting friends in Jamestown, NY before flying home from Buffalo.

I’m nearly ready to go….  Mostly packed, house mostly clean, dog/trailer sitter lined up, flights and reservations in order….

I hate flying.  It seems illogical that something so heavy should defy the laws of gravity through little more than vacuums, mathematical equations, and hopeful thinking.  But c’est la vie, it’s nothing a bit of booze and a good book won’t remedy.

I won’t be blogging while I’m gone, but I’ll take lots of pictures to fill you in when I get back. 

Until then, so long Stinktown!  😉

Rebecca Knabe