Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wedding Weekend and Running

These last few months have been pretty good to me. I went to two bachelor parties and two weddings and found time to run and train at all of them. My friend's bachelor party in January was in New Orleans. Having been there a few years ago with Laura, I was familiar with how to find places to run. I stayed on the boardwalk by the Mississippi River for a shorter run and ran down the trolley tracks and around a park for my longer runs. His wedding was in DC, but I was able to train with a friend the Saturday morning before to get in a good long run with tempo and a ten miler the morning of the wedding.

Two good looking guys at Keith's wedding

For my bachelor party, we went to Brooklyn (Brookland to Brooklyn bachelor party). We arrived Friday around dinner and went to a famous pizza place under the bridge. In the morning, I raced a "10K" in Prospect Park. It was pouring and cold and the race was two laps around Prospect Park; however, one loop is about three and a third miles, so the race came in at 6.7. I came in second overall and got a neat photo. For warm up, I ran around the park once and for cool down I ran around the park again. But, the awards ceremony was half an hour away and I was so cold that the only way to stay warm was to do one more lap; five laps = 17 miles and one shivering Kenny!

The race had fifty people, but third place didn't stay for the presentation.

Cheers at Brooklyn Brewery!

After the race, I headed back to the suite in the Box House, showered, and we headed out to a beer garden in Williamsburg. We ate lunch (I had the gypsy toast which was very good), drank beer, headed to the Brooklyn Brewery, drank beer, went back to the suite to rest, and went out to dinner (Shalom Japan), and drinks (Barcade and others). I remember staying out until about 5AM - up almost 24 hours - a good time was had by all!

My wedding weekend started Thursday afternoon when my folks arrived. That morning, I ran an easy eight with Sammy along the Hobart Long Loop touching the edge of the Zoo and Rock Creek Park. We picked them up at DCA, went back to my house, and rested for the afternoon. Laura got her nails done and my folks got some pizza from & Pizza. For dinner, we met Laura's folks at Gordon Biersch, had a lovely dinner, and then went to bed. Friday morning, my folks and her folks went on a White House tour that I booked for them through Rep. Kennedy's office. It was pouring and a bit rainy, but I had to do my long run since I wouldn't have time Saturday or Sunday. I got in a three mile warm up from the White House to the Mall and up the Capital Crescent Trail then started with the bulk of the workout:

16 @ MP tempo (6:50-55) 7:54/19/26/08/08/13/23/10/18/19/6:57/49/50/39/45/46/42/37/30/7:10/11. The CCT was uphill and windy on the way out so the first seven were slow, but the final miles were downhill and faster. I finished with a two mile cool down.  After the run, I met my folks and her folks at the hotel where they drove us home.  After lunch and a shower, we drove back to the hotel to drop off the hospitality bags (which caused me more of a headache than it was worth), before heading to meet the Luries, our cousins, at a pizza and beer place near Foggy Bottom.  That night, we went back to the hotel for happy hour (free drinks on the hotel) and met with some more relatives.  There was a dude there doing some artwork that my dad deduced was there for the free drinks and the hook of hitting on the single ladies.  He had some kids himself, but Dad nailed it - this was his game.  We ate some Taylor Gourmet for dinner in the bridal suite with our folks and then called it a night.

Saturday morning, Sammy and I ran an easy six on the MBT trail.  Laura gets nervous when I go with Sammy off leash, but I find running with her unleashed is better for us since she doesn't pull and tug or stop, yanking me back.  When she goes, she goes.  If I need to pick something up that she did, then I do.  After, I readied for the aufruf and luncheon at our shul, Ohev Shalom.  I practice the haftarah portion, Shabbat Hagadol, with my friend Mark Levine.  It took many months of learning the trope and then practicing with the Hebrew, but I nailed it!  The rabbi said some meaningful words about how hard I practiced and our being members at the shul.  We gave aliyah honors to her dad, my dad, her brother, my brother, and her uncle Joel.  Cousin Larry got to do geliliah, and I think Scott and Yehuda did an honor as well.  My sister and her family arrived in time for Molly and Drew to see the Torah service and I was able to give the kids candy.  Molly came over to sit with me after awhile.  At the luncheon, it was a zoo downstairs, but fun.

Back at my house, it was a zoo also.  We had to move my folks to the hotel for check in, and I was going there as well.  The three kids were all making noise and I was happy to leave my home and check in to the hotel.  Once at the hotel, I was able to rest before the rehearsal.  It went rather well at the shul and then we headed over to Carmine's for dinner.  There, my dad gave his speech (the ingredients in a pot that makes a good marriage) which was well received.  Lindsay Pfeffer gave a nice maid of honor speech.  Dinner flowed well and people enjoyed the food.  Laura's dad commented after what a great rehearsal dinner it was.  After, we hung out in the lobby of the hotel for a bit before Laura and I headed up to our suite.

In the morning, I woke up early and went for a nice, head-clearing run on the Mall and out and back on the Capital Crescent Trail.  The weather was great and to be outside and have a little time for myself to process was needed.  When I returned, I joined Dad and Auntie and Auntie Maryann and later Auntie Sheila for breakfast, eggs florentine.  Back in the room, I bathed in the jacuzzi - would have been nice if the jets had worked.  Then I joined Adam Golove in the lobby where we hung out  until his room was ready then got lunch at Clyde's with the guys (Keith, Matt, David, and Mark).  Matt was generous in picking up the tab.  I remember that I was so full from breakfast that all I had was a plate of hummus.  We got back to the room to have the photographer take "getting ready" pictures.  It was there that we realized Mark wore the wrong color suit!  He insisted I told him blue, but he forgets that we went into his closet to pick out the navy blue suit he was to wear.  David eventually brought him the right suit, but all the pictures are of him in the wrong colored suit.  It didn't turn out to be a big deal.

On queue and on time, we walked over and took photos at Portrait Gallery before starting the tish at the shul.  From there, I gave my speech on this week's parsha and all the guys took turns debating how great my insights work.  The rest of the night was a blur: signing marriage documents, bedeken, wedding, dancing!  We got some great photos, managed to talk to every guest, and had a very meaningful ceremony.  I had trouble breaking the glass since it slipped out of the bag and I crushed it on the rug.  David was in pain and left after the ceremony to change shoes and missed the introductions.  I got choked up at our first dance (Everlong) and the dance with my mom (Rainbow Connection).

Our wedding ceremony!

It really was a great day!  I'm so glad I have running to help me appreciate these moments and take in a little bit of time to process what a great weekend it was!

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