Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hosting Donuts

This past weekend, my gym paired up with the run club from Twin Cities Running Company (TCRC) and did the annual season end celebration run - AKA, the Donut Run. 

So, you can pretty much guess what I was doing at 8 am Saturday morning.


How the Donut Run works: an organizer asks everyone in the run club(s) who live within reasonable running distance of the community center to host a "donut stop".  People volunteer.  The organizer then figures out how many "stops" would work along a reasonable running route, a route is announced, and everyone meets at the community center on a designated morning.

Bing-bang-boom, you've got a fun run.

The tough part about this run, though, is that every year you're subject to "stop" volunteers.  And, you have outliers like me who want to host and live sort of within running distance of the community center ... if you want to run 10+ miles, or don't mind taking a "shuttle" back to the start point.

Yeah, its a little tricky to set up this kind of run, but not impossible.

Anyway!  How did it all work out?

Well, this year we ended up with the following map, which was essentially a lollipop course. 

As you can see with the blue stars, there was one "stop" at the top of the sick (before you run the loop), and one "stop" at the top of the loop.  Basically, it shook out to be a 5 mile run with donut stops at roughly mile 1, 2.5 and 4.  Not too shabby!

If you have an eagle eye for the above, you can also see that this route is nowhere near where I live.  As such, you might be wondering, why was I out shopping for this?

Well, back when this run was first being discussed about a month or two earlier, I had offered to either host at my house, or show up at a park along the route - one ideally with picnic tables.  And, upon hearing that I wanted to host, my friend from the Bacon Chase race offered to help me.  I was stoked. 

Knowing the potential this opportunity provided (music, donuts... booze?!), I couldn't wait to host.

Unfortunately, though, once the route was announced, we realized we weren't exactly in a park.  Which meant we had to tone it down.  A lot.

Oh well, no worries.  We still had this:


Yes, that's right.  Full sized donuts, donut holes, chocolate covered mini donuts, mini cinnamon rolls, mini lemon poppy seed scones, cookies, tiny water bottles and "shots" of hot coffee, hot chocolate, or ... well just call that last thing "something else".

Since the run was set for 8:00 am, we expected to see our first few runners around 8:10 or 8:15, and of course - they were right on time.  (What would you expect from a run club that included the pacer I mentioned at the bottom of my Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon report?)  But they didn't hang around too long for the first stop, since they still had another 4 miles to go. 

That meant that by 8:20 or so, my partner and I were stuck freezing our asses off in a random parking lot with a tray of donuts in front of us.

Akward.  ;-)

No worries, we just passed the time by chatting ... and perhaps "sampling" some of the offerings at our own table.

Eventually, around 8:45 or so, the group made the loop back to us for the second go around.  This time, they had "warmed up" and were a little more ready to eat.  Case in point: one runner even braved a full sized donut!!

And of course, now that we were more jolly, we spent some time taking pictures.


Eventually the runners took off again.  But, I have to say, I was a tad disappointed.  As you can see in the photo above, our donut tray was still VERY full.  SHAME RUNNERS! (Just kidding).
On the flip side, our "something else" bottle was pretty much empty.  So, good job on that, folks.
And that was about it.
As we watched the runners scamper off, my friend and I packed up what was left of our "stop", said our goodbyes, and both headed for home.  Not even 9 am, and we had already had a full morning!!

Before I go, I should say how appropriate it is that I was able to be with my run club both this past weekend at the Donut Run, and the other weekend at the Skeleton Run. 

Why?  Because those two events basically sandwiched the window of when I would have given birth. (Based on when I got pregnant, I should have been due some time around Halloween or early November. Me with a Halloween baby. The costumes!!  Can you imagine a better match made in heaven?)  

Although I try not to make this a miscarriage blog, I want mention that I finally passed that major milestone. And it feels like a huge weight has lifted off my chest. 

I am also extremely glad I could do something FOR the run club this past weekend and host this donut station. 

Why?  Because even though I tired to live a normal life in May/June/July while I dealt with my loss (and tried to make sure my body had physically healed), I was actually surfing the edge of what could have been a massive depression spiral.   And the entire time, people in my run club were carrying me through with beer miles and half marathon relays and bacon chases ... most of them not even realizing the sanity they were embuing on me just by letting me feel normal. 
That sanity was my life line when others in my social network who knew about my loss were bitching about leaking windows or how I wasn't contributing enough to their personal lives.  And even more so my life line as the medical bills started rolling in and I thought I would lose it.  (Fun fact: if you get an ultrasound and find out you are going to miscarry, it no longer falls under pre-natal 100% coverage and you have to pay for it and all other resulting medical treatments out of pocket.  The ultrasound alone will set you back $600+.)
So it seemed only fitting that at the Donut Run, I got to pay back that social support in my own wacky way. Even if it was only with refined carbs, fat, caffeine, sugar and booze. 

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