Drive through the Smokey mountains was absolutely gorgeous, and it didn't seem too long before we hit North Carolina. We had to make a pit stop for gas, bathroom, and snacks (I was massively craving chocolate milk). Despite the fact that I live in Nashville, I guess you're not considered the 'real south' until you have this in your gas station
I was informed by the lady in black that they are actually not very good... good to know. Within the hour we arrive at Mike's folk's place- 'Ds house'. After some chit chat and unpacking we go and pick up Mike's bro so they can show us how to get downtown and head to the expo.
|Get your boiled peanuts!!|
Downtown is a surprisingly short drive- we find a parking garage and they direct us where to go and leave the car with us for the evening. Thunder road expo is held in Charlotte's convention center- which is both spacious and nice. Theme of the whole race is 'race cars' since Charlotte is home to the Nascar Hall of Fame.
|Entrance to the expo.|
Race packet pick up was actually a breeze and the rest of the time was spent looking at different vendors. B and I got these great running headbands by EmbRACE bands that were guaranteed to stay in place (something that all other brands I tried up until this point failed to do) Bands were either $10 a piece or 3 for $25. I got 3 and opted for all sequined ones- white sequined for race day, then pink and blue for future races / training runs. I will say that after one race staying in put, I am now hooked on these :)
|This bad boy actually stayed in place as promised :)|
Packs a lot of torque for a little guy
this fact into me.
|Elevation profile?!? looks more like an EKG|
I was already planning on trying to go out slower this race for 3 reasons- learn my pace better, colder weather, and lots of hills- looks like more reason to stick to the game plan. Finally finish up at expo and had to get our photo with the token race car before heading out.
Showing off car sans bikini
Decide to 'explore' downtown Charlotte, but there wasn't a lot to do. There were a surprising amount of amazing statues and sculptures that were unique, and of course a gigantic over-sized Christmas tree!
|I look tiny in comparison!|
We stop into a bar for a quick drink, something I NEVER do a day before a race, and end up staying for our dinner. B and I aways carb load 2 days before, so as long as I make sure something I eat is a carb pre meal, I don't really scrutinize too much about what I eat. We get our food and find out the guy we're sitting next to is doing the full marathon tomorrow. He (Bob) is also on a similar quest as us- to run in each state, however he is doing marathons and we're doing 1/2s. So far has 17 under his belt, and his goal is to just finish each state by the time he's 50... didn't think to ask how old he was currently. We swap stories about races and realize we'll be seeing him again in March for the Little Rock full and half- small world. I absolutely love running into people who have passion for some goal they set for themselves- especially when it comes to athletics!
Leave the bar a little after 7pm and make our way back to Ds house. Watch some tv with mama and papa D then head up to lay everything out for race day in the morning!