Saturday, January 26, 2013

From Fat to Finish Line!

Catch up!

Read about our day in Miami, my first leg, leg 2 and leg 3.

Angela is working on the documentary and sent me a clip from my last leg. If anyone is interested in how hot that leg was, here is a very short clip to illustrate just a percentage of how hot it actually was.


We just arrived at the finish line and congregated there with our significant others where we got to meet Kerry Sanders from the Today Show.

We hung around the finish area for a little bit, there was a little confusion as to who was getting interviewed by the Today Show, so I don't think anyone really knew what to do for a short time. So we mostly just hung around and drank beer. I was a little scared to drink because: a.) I did not want to get totally hammered before van 2 got there, and b.) I had no idea how my stomach would react. Mark drank beer and I took a few sips off of his until I finally decided it was safe and claimed it as my own. ;)

For some reason I really like this picture, maybe it's because I look like a huge dork . ;)

There was still some confusion as to what was going on... I went to ask someone, and when I turned around everyone was gone! I had no idea where they went, but I figured that the couples must have decided to branch off and do their own thing until it was time to meet up with van 2, so I wandered off with Mark and Charlie to drink more beer and to let the guys snack. (Charlie is Linda's husband who rode down to Key West with Mark. By the way, for complete strangers, these two got along great and I was oh-so-relieved  to hear this upon arriving in Key West! I think Linda was, too! :P) I was still worried about my stomach, so I ate a bite of Mark's hot dog and called it good for the time being, although I will say I started catching a buzz around this time. ;) One and a half beers is a lot when you have absolutely no water left in your body!

We met up at the finish line with the rest of the group and all of van 2 except for John, who was close to running it in! We all visited with each other and chatted and got ready to do our grand finale together; of course we had to cross the finish line together!! We started moving closer to where John would be coming in, so we could meet up with him behind the finish line. We soon saw an orange cape. An orange cape that represented victory and AWESOME! We joined hands and ran up to John and then pivoted and started running towards the finish line together. 

I like this picture because I look much thinner from behind . :P Most of the other shots were hard to see anyway. ;) 
 When we got across the finish line, it was emotional for everyone, we all hugged and congratulated each other. To be honest though, I felt pretty awkward. I've spent so much of my life trying to stay in the background, I didn't know what to do with myself when I was (along with the rest of the team) supposed to be the center of attention! I kept wanting to back away from the group and "get out of the way", not to mention I was still rather dazed from the whole experience. The story of my life: keep your mouth shut and stay out of the way! I couldn't miss out on all the hugging and such, though, so I got over my shyness and got in there for some loving. 
I love this picture of our group hug, this is a moment I'd like to remember forever.
I have to say, Jerry got some great shots of the finish line, I stole most of my finish line pics from Katie. ;) She gave us permission though, don't judge!!!!
Our mini award ceremony, Rik gave each of us our medals, another emotional moment.
LOVE this pic of John giving Rik his medal.
Then we got our final pictures taken in front of the finish line.
I like this one because we are all cheering and I look like I'm about to go into war.

Here we are all together, team From Fat to Finish Line, and we've made it to the finish line.
We all milled about for a few minutes when the Today Show notified us that they wanted to take Rik, Katie, Ada and Carly to get some more shots for the clip they were going to air on the show. This turned into a little emotional mess because the members that were chosen did not want to leave the rest of us since we were all a team and in this thing together. I felt bad for them, because it wasn't a nice position to be in and you could tell they felt terrible, but we assured them it was completely okay and to go do their thing. I, personally, don't do well with emotional upheaval under already intense circumstances, so I had to take a few steps back from the situation. All I wanted was for our teammates to go do their thing and come back and party with us! After some persuasion, our teammates went on to do their shoot and make us all look good for the piece they did on the Today Show the following Thursday, and the rest of us were left to fend for ourselves. And what else to do at this point except..... ? Drink beer, of course!!!!  I got to chat with fellow members on the team during this time and also with Jerry some. I have to say, Jerry is a pretty cool dude. We were all walking to the beach together when after telling Mark that I needed to find beer because I had a long couple of days under my belt, Jerry handed me his, just like that! I have to say he has good taste in beer, too! And I also need to say here that Katie is not lying when she talks about Jerry being hilarious, he had me rolling in fits of laughter just moments into my first conversation with him. When the beach had almost cleared out, we headed back to the van that remained and started cleaning it out.We took the opportunity to take a couple more pics. ;)
Claiming our van magnets.
Shortly after, the rest of our team rejoined us and we finished cleaning out the vans and started making plans for the rest of the evening. Some of the group were going to a bar kinda place and some were going for sushi. We decided to try to get with the sushi group at first, when Mark realized he left our camera in Linda and Charlie's room, so we headed there first to pick that up. By the time we got to the car and started heading in the direction of sushi, we got on the phone with the group and found out there was only 10 minutes left to order food. We didn't have time for that and by this time I was ravished after having not eaten anything of substance in quite over 24 hours. I did not care if my stomach revolted, I needed FOOD!! So then I remembered that Katie and John were going somewhere else and I thought I would check and see if Katie had eaten yet and if there was food at the place she was at. I told her that we would check in to our room and shower and then see about maybe joining them. Well this part of the night was a bit of a blur, but let me put a disclaimer in here: I was hyper emotional, had been drinking, was exhausted, dehydrated and feeling kinda shitty. So we are driving to the motel, when apparently I snapped at Mark about something, I don't even remember doing this, but Mark says it happened *eye roll*. Naturally, he snapped back at me and then I promptly burst into tears. And then of course Mark tried to calm me down, but I proceeded to cry harder like my pet hamster died or something (I do remember this part) and started incoherently blubbering about being tired and hungry and about how sick I'd been the past two days and about why couldn't he just give me a break. It was rather pitiful and around this time I decided I was in no condition to be around others so I told Mark to just get me to the hotel so I could shower. After I showered, (the BEST damn shower I have ever had!) Mark apologized (even though it was very likely my fault), comforted me and we set out to find some food to take back to the room. Surprisingly, Key West has very little options for places to eat at 10:00 at night! We did, however, find a sub sandwich drive-thru place that had really awesome turkey subs, one of which I devoured in probably all of 5 seconds as soon as we got back to the room. The time between brushing my teeth and my head hitting the pillow is all so blurry, I just very vaguely remember the feeling of a pillow underneath my head before I was suddenly opening my eyes to a text message from Rik, announcing the time and place for team brunch that very morning. 

However, that my friends, is a post for another day. Good night!


  1. I know i probably got snippy with Charlie when we got to the finish line to wait for John and he was upset with me that I didn't find him right away. I guess I was just caught up in everything and didn't think to do it. So, what should have been a really sweet moment was kind of crappy because I wasn't very thoughtful. I mean, the guy did a LOT for me to be down there, the least I could have done was called him! I'll never be able to take that back. :(

    1. I think you're too hard on yourself, Linda! The fact that you care about him so much is evident and I'm sure he knows!

  2. I will never get get sick of remembering that awesome moment crossing the finish line!

  3. Awwww, poor John has no magnet. Did he ever get it off of Van 1?

  4. Great post, Lealah! Thanks for thinking I'm cool. You're cooler though. You are so easy to talk to and you're a joy to be around...y'all:-)

    1. Haha, well thank you, Jerry! I can't wait to hang out with "y'all" again! :P