At O’hare Airport…
A friend put together a rooftop Cubs event for a bunch of people. I don’t follow baseball, but love to get out and do things so Tim and I packed up and headed out Saturday to Chi-town. We were a bit late on the road because I set my alarm for 6:15 PM… oops… but we made it 10 minutes late and joined our friends for the festivities at the 3639 Wrigley Rooftop.
I’ve been to a few Cubs games before, but this is clearly the way to go! It costs a bit more money but you have open bar with beer and wine. Food is also included. Clean bathrooms. Seats inside with TVs or outside watching the real action. No mess of a crowd to leaving AND you get a Dum-Dum sucker when you exit. Awesome!
After the game we headed over to the Cubby Bear but didn’t stay long. I’m not a fan of that place anyway. Someone wanted to go to Cody’s. I wasn’t in the mood for walking and a cab option is boring… so we flagged down some guys on rickshaws and rode our way over. Well they peddle, we rode. I think our’s beat Chris and Mindy but to remain friends, we’ll just call it a tie. We hit a few more bars in the area before finally landing at one with the Purdue game on.
My mighty Boilers couldn’t come through. We played hard but ended up short. It’s likely to be a rough year with new coaches and players. Everything but the last 5 minutes of this game had Purdue looking really good. A good test will be in 2 weeks against the Golden Domers on our turf! You know I’ll be there!
This is a long post. Lots to show and tell.
My friends and I had been looking forward to this weekend for a LONG time. I heard about a White Party in Chicago last year. A DJ from Chicago, Corey Hartmann, puts it on. Basically, you get dressed up in white attire and spend 3 hours drinking and dancing on a boat on Lake Michigan acting like you are hot shit. I rounded up 5 girls from Indy that wanted to go, 1 from Texas, and Tim. He had some other friends that were interested in going, but none panned out, so he was welcome to hang with us.
We left Indy at 9 am so we could have some free time before the main event. The weather got better the farther north we went. It was clear skies by the time we reached Chicago. Trying to get some culture and not let this weekend just be a booze fest, my car load of people headed over to the Sears Tower, I mean Willis Tower, to take in some views of the city. It was a 2 hour process to actually get to the top of building but well worth it, in my opinion. There were some random facts on the walls while we waited… The Bop to the Top record = 13 minutes! No plans on testing that record! Once at the top, the visibility was excellent! I hadn’t been up there since I was a little kid and they had just put some 4 feet deep, 7 feet long glass boxes on the side of the building that you can stand in. I had to go check this out. I’ve stood on the glass window a top the Palms at the Ghost bar, but this was going to be so much better. Not sure everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did, but they let me have my fun! We know Audrey didn’t like that part!
We headed back to the hotel for pre game sodas and to get ready. My co-worker happened to be staying at the Conrad just across the street, so he stopped by too. He also notified us that our hotel appeared to be on fire. WTF?! There were no alarms or anything! Looks like it was the building right next to ours, but still odd that we weren’t evacuated or notified. We all got dolled up and hopped on the trolley to Navy Pier to start our adventure.
As you got farther down the pier, teams of people dressed in white kept popping up everywhere.
We met up with my friend Alisha and her group of girls. We got checked in and headed to the bar for a drink. I kept forgetting it was open bar and kept getting my credit card out like it was going to get the bartender’s attention. I’m an idiot. The ship was 4 stories tall and pretty spacious even with 400 people on board. We met up with some more Indy folks, Meg and Jerry on the ship. We cruised around the lake and also got to watch fireworks from the Venetion festival. It was awesome!
The boat docked back around 11 pm and then we boarded a bunch of school buses to hit the Enclave…where I met Frodo Baggins. This kid was about boob height and didn’t look a day over 16. Oh well. I turned him into my dance partner for the evening. Whatever. We all made it home sans strangers by 3 am.
The morning was spent sharing stories and pictures from the night. My best friend even used my Mino to get undercover footage of me dancing… by myself… on the boat. Such a good friend that girl. The one I wished I had video of… Tim swimming on the hotel floor after knocking over the cooler at 3 am. One thing we need video of… how did I get a stamp from the Crobar (which is not even remotely close to Enclave) on my hand that none of my friends had? It is our own Hangover movie moment. Before we left town, we made a stop at another bar called Bull and Bear. Tim was super dooper excited to go here. They have taps at the table and charge you by the ounce. Tim wanted to stick his head under it, but we managed to convince him not too. After a few brews, it was a long day and time to head back to Indy. But since we love Tim so much, we made a special trip to his Grandparent’s house in Merriville.
Thanks to my babysitters, Frotto, Red Fanny Pack guy! I had a blast and hope everyone else did too. Let’s do it again next year!
View all photos from this event.
A whole week since my last post?! Just busy I guess. Volleyball, movies, golf, kickball. Friday rolls around… I have only spent one weekend in Indy since summer started, so no reason to stay in town and make it two! I headed to Jasper, Indiana with my girlfriend K for a family friendly weekend. We rolled out of town after work to make the 2.5 hour drive. I was playing my usual sign alphabet game and what-does-that-cloud-look-like contest to pass the time when something caught my eye. A camel. Yes, a camel. K says it was an elk farm and assured me they tend to have a humped back. “No. I saw 2 humps.”, I said as I Pictionary-ed it with my finger. K is stuck on it being an elk. I have back up with Jessi agreeing that just because K is from Jasper, doesn’t make her an expert. (Jessi is aware of my mystery interstate animal sightings as we both saw a “penguin” on a trip to Chicago, but that’s another story.)
We got into town around dinner and hit the Mill House for some grub. We stopped by one of her old classmates and then we hooked up with Audrey and Kyle who also happened to be in town. We had some drinks at Headquarters, one of the two bars the town has. I’m not a big gambler, but I spied some scratch off tickets behind the counter. I had $2 bucks on me, so I got 2. K’s was a loser, but mine was a winner!
These 2 tickets led to an hour of fun and a series of purchases involving 19 total scratch offs!!
I was up $15 at one point, but in the end had $4 to spend or save. Would I either double my initial investment and stop or spend it on more tickets??? NO DEAL was the vote. Spent that $4 and we lost. Saturday, we headed over to Patoka Lake to meet up with the family.
The weather wasn’t the greatest, so we hung out a bit, then headed over with K’s mom and cousin to see the Marengo Cave. I have never done anything like this before and it was awesome! I will say it had this weird “is this fake?” Disney vibe because it’s seems so unreal that 2 kids 100+ years ago just stumbled upon this. We were 200 feet below ground at some points. During the tour, there were spots that you could touch the top and at others, you could drive 5 semis side-by-side down the corridors. I tried to take some video too, but it really doesn’t do it justice. I recommend doing this if you ever have a hour to spare while down south.
We finished up with some souvenirs from the shop and headed back to the lake. More people had showed up at this point, so I think we had about 30 people. I played a game of Scrabble (and was victorious) and some Euchre (not victorious). We finished with some smores by the fire and headed off to bed. It was a great time. Thanks to K for letting me be an honorary Fischer for the weekend!
After the race, we went back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the awards “ceremony”. My brother took a tumble at one point during the race so he brought a bit of the mountain back with him. When it was my turn to shower, it looked a kid’s sandbox in the tub! We headed over to a gymnasium near the start line for the ceremony. The emcee of the night was the original inventor of all these Leadville races. This guy was funny, but I think he’s fried quite a few brain cells in his day. Watch the video and you’ll understand. Top 3 in each age group got a mining pan with a plaque in it. Brandon and I didn’t come close. But we did get our finishers mug and happily accepted them! This video has some extra footage of the top 5 in case you want to see what killer mountain man runners look like.
After the ceremony, I was ready to live it up in Leadville! I’ve always just passed through town from a hike or skiing, so I was anxious to see what, if any, nightlife there was. And, there wasn’t much. We stopped in one bar that had “Cash only” sign. Crap, I was going to buy my bro a beer but couldn’t. Brandon was ready to call it a night, so I tagged along with some fellow runners at the bar. We bar hopped, played shuffle board with some locals and listened to live music. It was great relaxing end to a hard day. The family packed up today and we are headed back to Longmont. Well, it’s been fun Leadville. Next time I see you, hopefully I’ll be passing through on my way to more leisurely Colorado sport involving snow!
The time has come. 15.5 miles up and down a Colorado monster. From 10,000ft to 13,000 and back. We woke up at 6:30 am for our 8 o’clock start time. Our hotel was a few blocks from the start, so we all got dressed and headed over. This race has just a few hundred runners in it, but they come in all ages, shapes and backgrounds. It’s quite interesting to observe other human beings that think they should attempt this type of thing. Here’s me and my brother at the start, plus my stretching coach helping me with my pre-race routine.
The gun went off and we were on our way. The heavy-halfers and the full marathoners all start out the same, then branch off about a mile up the course. Brandon ran with me the first mile, then I was off on my own. I huffed and puffed my way up. It was mostly walking with running when your body felt like it could. My GPS was freaking out a bit during my walking spells, so luckily I had written some aid station mileage on my arm so I knew where I was at. I took some time to video here and there only to notice that as I was getting my video in and out of my pocket, I turned my watch off. Shit. It happened around the 1:30 mark, so now I had nothing to tell me where I was at in my goal to reaching the top in 2 hours. The goal was at the top of this hill, just above the “i” in the snow. You can also see the dirt switchbacks we had to traverse to get to the top.
Here’s a shot looking another direction.
The big traverse is called Mosquito Pass. On my way up, the elite marathoners started passing me. I got to see Anton Krupicka pass me on his way up and down. I said good job, but after the race he admitted he probably looked a bit disgruntled. I agreed with him. This race is brutal for anyone. I made my way to the top in 2:14. Took some video and left little time to rest as I was ready to start back down. The descent is the most fun for me. Gravity just wants to throw you down, so you have to use control and precise footing. I was able to run into Brandon on my way down and his way up. We stopped for a few breaths and were on separate ways. Once I got down the Pass, all I could feel was happiness and was singing to my tunes and smiling at everyone. People probably thought I was nuts. These marathoner’s still had a long way to go and here comes some chick bouncing down like a school girl. A lot of people smiled back once they saw how good of a time I was having, and I reminded them that they would be smiling once they start down too. As I passed by aid station B, I got to see Kim and the kids. Kim snapped this picture of me headed down. I was acting like I could fly. I felt like it was possible with the momentum of the hill behind me and the view in front me. I was having F U N!
With just a few miles left, everyone is pretty spread out but I got to meet 3 interesting fellows on the way down. One was from Mexico. He didn’t speak any English but told me if I ever wanted to visit his country, he’d give me his phone number. He found me at the end of the race and asked to have his picture taken with me. I’m not a rock star runner, but I’ll take the “celebrity”. The other guy I met was named Jim Heil. He and I had been taking turns leading each other and at his final pass past me, he introduced himself. He was 68 and on his 4th set of legs! I assume he had some hip replacements in the past. He did say I had the nicest legs on the course, so I’ll let it slide that he kicked my ass by a few minutes. Another marathoner ended up passing me before our big turn out of the mining area. There are pink flags marking the course, but he wasn’t paying attention. He started heading straight down a street when he needed to go right. So I started yelling “right…Right…RIGHT!” Finally he caught on, waved, and headed into town. His name was Nick Clark and ended up finishing 4th in the marathon race. At the end, he admitted he was a bit out of it and said thanks for the help.
I cruised into the finish at 3:57:06. I was pleased! Not too shabby for a Flatlander. I finished 115th out of 164 and was 15th in my F30-39 age group. The winner ran it in 2:16:11! I made my goal of 4 hours, but my most important goal was to have fun. And I did. More fun than I can describe! I probably could have pushed myself harder at points and cut some time off, but I’d wanted to take in every second of this race and squeeze as much fun out of it as I could. Here’s me with my finishing time on the wall.
Since Brandon had twice as far to go, I hung around the finish to take in the scene and people. I was surrounded by some really talented runners. I introduced myself to the Leadville Marathon winner, Dennis Flanagan and snagged a shot with him! Met and got pics with runners #1 & #2 of the day, sweet!
As I waited for Brandon, a quick storm rolled in and added some coolness to the otherwise hot sunny day. It sprinkled for 30 minutes on us, but you could hear the thunder rolling in on the mountains.
Brandon made it down the stretch and crossed the line at 5:55:36.
In my opinion, a job well done by the Fuller Crew. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. Not even the tiniest elephant in the world! Sounding like a 5th grader, I think it’s so cool that my brother and I have both got to compete in a race together in our home states. I will say, my state’s are easier, his are more fun! Thanks for the invite Brandon! I wouldn’t of wanted to share this with anyone else! Thanks to Kim, Sydney, and Reagan for giving up their weekends to be with us in Leadville! I sure enjoyed it and hope you all did too!
Check out my video…I inadvertently had the camera on in my shorts pocket, so my battery died towards the end. Didn’t get my finish on video. Lessoned learned for the next race.
We drove over to Leadville today to get settle before the big race. This town sits at just above 10,000ft and looks like a tiny little historic burg. It’s very peaceful up against the giant mountains.
We walked around a bit the headed over to get our packets. It was in the little sports shop on the main drive. Brandon goes in first and I follow. As I pass by Kim, she says quietly, “Tony’s here.” OMG! This is the Forest Gump of Colorado. I have followed a little about this dude since my brother brought him to my attention. The dude runs and runs. I think Tony is my brother’s idol. So we are standing in line with Tony right in front of us. My brother starts up a conversation. Tony gets his stuff and is ready to head out. Ummm… we all know I’m not that shy and just happen to have my camera, so I politely asked for a picture.
He was really nice, shook my hand, asked my name, and was on his way. The best comment… my brother asked him what time he wanted to run. His answer, “Break the course record.” Jesus. Can’t you jusy say win?! Pretty cool that the dude can say that though. After our celebrity encounter, we headed over to Turquoise Lake for some water fun. The girls were too excited and stripped down to get in their suits. I’m old and it was quite cold to me, but the view was beautiful.
We grabbed some dinner and are ready to chill at the hotel and rest up for the real reason we are here… To not be the Last Ass Over The Pass!
I flew here, so thought I’d give Sydney an airplane ride!
And the current baby Reagan… but not for long. #3 is due soon!