Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Revisiting Kindness and Karma Week: Part Two (the Love)

So, we've talked about the food of Kindness and Karma week. Now, let's talk about the love...aka spreading the love and kindness to the people around me. This came in several different forms.

First, I made a couple of phone calls to my parents who I hadn't talked to in a while, due to my crazy work schedule/social life and due to other reasons (that would take too long to explain here). That went well and brought a little sliver of happiness to my parents, I think.

Next I made a little something special for Antoine. Nothing too extravagant, just a little homemade card to remind him just why I'm so crazy about him! I think he appreciated it!

The next little bit of kindness involved Antoine and I venturing downtown to cheer on a couple of extra special runners in the Flying Pig, Cincinnati's annual marathon. For months my sis and our friend Helene have been training there butts off (literally) for the Half-Pig (or half marathon). They've participated in other runs/races together, but never a it was a pretty big deal for them. My bro-in-law Christian, on the other hand, is a semi-seasoned pro when it comes to lengthy races and he's no newbie to the Flying Pig. On Sunday, while the ladies were running the half-marathon, Christian was yet again joining the long list of full-marathon runners...and I had to give him props for that, it's a mighty feat to say the least!

For those of you who've never attended the Flying Pig (or any marathon for that matter) here's some little known facts (or little known to me at least) about marathons...

1.) It starts at the butt-crack of dawn. No, wait...before the butt-crack of dawn! We're talking 6:30am...the sun isn't even up yet!
a.) So in order to find parking downtown and find a place to stand (in this case, out of the rain) you need to get there super before 6am! WTF?
b.) They actually expect the runners to RUN that early in the morning!! Can you imagine!? I can barely walk at's really more like a shuffle anytime before 8am (and this is coming from someone who has to be at work by 7:30am five days of the week)!

2.) There's a lot of A LOT! So if you're thinking it'll be a piece of cake to spot your friend/family're wrong! You are so very wrong!! Even if the person you're trying to spot is a very tall, very thin man (we're talking a 6'6" tall bean pole) it won't be easy! Why? Because half of those runners appear to be extremely tall and thin.
a.) It might not be the craziest thing in the world to request that your runner wear some sort of crazy costume! (Hear that Christian!? Next suit!)
b.) When you request that your runner wear a crazy costume...prepare yourself for a slap in the face and/or hysterical laughing.

3.) Don't under estimate a runner's focus! If you're lucky enough to spot your runner...they might not spot you! Even if you're screaming their name and waving your hands around wildly, as if you were on fire! It's a strenuous task running 13+ or 26+ miles...a person needs to focus on so many things: pace, energy, cramps, pain, other runners, breathing, hydration, falling, that crazy person wearing a Tigger costume running past them, etc. Really, the last thing on their mind should be the spectators.

4.) If you've spent all your life watching movies where the underdog/hero wins the race/game/sporting event and everytime you find yourself teary-eyed...a real marathon is no exception! There's something touching about a friend or loved one giving it all they've got and crossing that finish line...or hell, even hitting mile marker 1! [Stop judging me! Oh, come on! Stop laughing at me!]

So, back to this past Sunday. It wasn't the nicest day for runners or spectators. The morning began with thunder and lightning and rain progressed throughout the day. As wet and miserable as Antoine and I got I kept thinking of all those poor runners! We were just standing in the rain, but they had to run it!! I can't even imagine! Still, as soggy as it was it was still a pretty fun day. We made our way downtown, found parking, found a couple of choice spots to watch the marathon, had breakfast at It's Just Crepes, and got to congratulate/celebrate our extra special runner friends/family members! It was good times! I'm so glad we ventured downtown to spread the love! Here's some pics I took from the event and our adventures that Sunday...

Antoine holding Christian's sign at mile marker 1. We made a sign for each of our runner friends, one side said something general like, "Go! Christian! Run!", and the other side said something silly. For Michelle and Helene we made a sign that said "If you ladies finish this race I will buy both of you a milkshake!". Since Christian despises Phil Collins his sign said "Christian! Run like Phil Collins is chasing you!" (complete with two creepy pictures of Phil Collins).

See what I'm saying about the crowd!! We didn't even spot Christian at mile marker 1!

This is my sis (on the left in the green jacket) and our friend Helene (on the right in the white shirt and hat) at mile marker 5ish. This was taken just after they read our milkshake sign! These ladies really like milkshakes...and that's the understatement of the century!!

On our way to It's Just Crepes Antoine and I spotted this Shepard Fairey mural! How freaking awesome is this!?! I love it!!

I think it's so fantastic to be able to see this kind of thing while you're just walking around downtown! We really need more street art like this in Cincinnati!

I'm definitely becoming a big fan of Fairey's! Plus, all his black, white, and red stuff makes me think of Rob Jones, who does all the White Stripes' posters (and who Antoine and I adore and whose posters hang throughout our house!)


Jessica {The Novice Chef} said...

Good for you! And looks like you have been super busy!

Christian said...

Fairey has an exhibit at the CAC. Let me know if you want to go sometime because I'd love to see it.

Thanks a million for coming out and braving the conditions. I'm disappointed that I looked right through you guys, but it was cool seeing you at the end and getting a good laugh from that horrible poster.

Do you have more pictures?

wonderousclusterf#@k said...

Christian: I'd love to go to the Fairey exhibit! Antoine and I were talking about going. It's up until August! We'll have to get our schedules together and find a time to go!

Awe, you're welcome! We had a good time rooting you guys on!

No, sorry, that's all I took! Between holding an umbrella and holding posters, holding a camera and taking pictures was a bit tricky! Damn rain! And those runners just run too darn fast to get a decent picture! Gosh, slow it down next time!