Work has picked up, I am now engaged, and we just bought a house... so there's quite a bit of catching up to do! If you're not into the super mushy cute stuff, skip down after all the photos to read about running; otherwise, here's the proposal story!
More important than anything related to running....Ryan and I got ENGAGED!!! December 23, 2011 is the best day of my life thus far. In true Ryan and Jacqui fashion, running played a big role in the proposal.
I was working in Minnesota December 19-22. On my last day there, Ryan emailed me
and pasted the "Race Director's" email to him below (he created a fake email address to send messages to and told me the guy was the race director)
Ryan and I both got free entry since Ryan won the race that this guy put on before.
Now, you probably know how competitive we both are.... any time a registrant list is open to the public, we both look at it to see what are chances are of doing well. So, Ryan created a FAKE website (looks real, doesn't it?!) with REAL names of runners that I could beat...
He even made sure his name (and John Atchison, his best friend, was on there too).
After I agreed to doing the race, Ryan was all ready to put his plan into action. We drove to the University of Illinois down in Champaign (where we both went to school) for packet pickup at Body'n'Sole. Ryan had me go in to get our packets because he had to "take a work call."
When I went in, the guy at the counter only gave me my packet. I was a little upset since I wanted BOTH of us to win the $750 and we only had 45minutes til the start! So, I stormed out of there to tell Ryan to get in the store and make this guy give him a race packet. As soon as I got to the door, Ryan waved at me in his PowerBar car and sped off! Thankfully, I had my cell phone so was getting it out to call him. Next thing I know, John was in my face with his cell phone asking me what I had in my race bag and if I needed a ride! I took out my bib...
to find this note on the back....
After a pit stop at the Track (John did this so Ryan had enough time to get everything else done), we went to Firehaus. My senior year, I had "retired" from collegiate running as I just couldn't stop getting stress fractures. I decided to train for the Chicago Marathon (this is in 2007, the one that it was SUPER hot at). My training was going well until mid July when my Achilles started "creaking"-- any time I stood on my tip toes it felt like it was creaking. So, the weekend before classes started up again, I went out with one of my friends to Firehaus, a bar in Champaign. Ryan was there with some of the other track people and we started talking about the marathon. I told him about my Achilles and how I was bummed that I might not be able to run the marathon. He told me he'd give me some bike workouts so that my endurance could still stay up. This conversation basically brought us to where we are today, so the Chicago Marathon has a HUGE significance in our lives.
This clue led me to the Cookie Jar (well, Insomnia because it was Winter Break so Cookie Jar was closed).... the picture below is the "Long Run Completed" cookie that Ryan and I rewarded ourselves with after an 18miler in 20mph winds and light snow in the cornfields of Champaign while training for the 2008 St Louis Marathon.
So, we went awkwardly into Insomnia (the guy at the register had NO idea what I was talking about until John talked to him too!) and got my next clue.
Annnnnd this would be Joe's. When we went out that night Ryan and I just danced the night away.....and for those of you who don't know me, I very much dislike dancing. I'm just not coordinated, so to dance with Ryan really showed how crazy I was (and still am) about him.
Ryan recapping the Joe's situation. We also made a list of things that we wanted to do before graduating U of I.... the Eternal Flame was one of the things that was on the list as we had just started dating, but I could already see myself being with him forever.
Eternal Flame. There was construction and it was dark, so the picture wasn't that great of quality.
The next clue I had a hard time with. After realizing where it was, it made perfect sense... I just don't remember things being so cheap back then;)
This place would be Ko Fusion, or K. O. Fusion as Ryan would call it.
He even had rice taped to a sushi bowl with the clues pretending to be pieces of sushi.
Ryan and I worked together at Mettler Athletic. After I "retired" from collegiate running, I knew I needed to get a job since I would have some free time and want some money! Working at a fitness center only seemed to make sense. I got Ryan a job there as well... I guess we are both a little dorky!
This clue also had a large red bag full of black ballet flats, black leggings, a brown going-out type shirt, a necklace ("bling" as Ryan says) and some eye makeup. There was also hair gel....but Mettler was closed, despite telling Ryan that they would be open. So, taxi-driver John took me to Dunkin Donuts and I just changed in there. Remember, I was in my racing clothes as I really thought we were going to a race!
Ryan had me head to Radio Maria, the place of our first official date. On our first date, he had the waiter bring me out a gorgeous red rose after pouring our waters. So, for the proposal he had wanted to hang up a sign with 1,452 red roses (fake) spelling out "Marry Me?" However, the restaurant said NO because it would "ruin the ambiance." A romantic restaurant, having someone propose at a romantic restaurant....how is that ruining the ambiance?? Oh and the 1,452 (same as my bib number) stood for how many days we had been dating.
Walking up to Ryan at the restaurant, my eyes were flooded with tears. I had been calming myself down to not cry throughout the whole scavenger hunt of clues but just LOST it when I saw him in his perfect white shirt and dress pants. I couldn't believe that my dreams were coming true and Ryan was asking me to marry him.
There is a video on YouTube, but they keep taking it down because Ryan put music to it and apparently that's a violation of some sorts. Anyway, I of course said YES YES YES! and we have set a date.
October 13, 2012
We set this date for two reasons: (1) as you just read, the Chicago Marathon is very significant in our dating. The second Sunday of the month is usually when the marathon is; however, it is also always the day before Columbus Day. SO, this year October 1st is on a Monday, and the second Monday of the month (the 8th this year) is always Columbus Day, so the marathon is October 7th. This works out perfectly for any of our friends/family running it. (2) Ryan (December) and I (May) are both born on the 13th.
Being the anal planner that I am, we have the big things (besides my dress) done. We are actually even having our food tasting this Saturday, so you know I'm doing a long run then!!!
We also found out that the house next door to Ryan's brother Jerry was listed recently as a foreclosure. Since I'm traveling Tuesday-Friday and Jerry works like crazy (he owns his own business), Ryan and his sister-in-law seem to be solo a lot, so it'll be nice that they can hang out when Jerry and I are gone working. And it will be even nicer when the four of us are all home! We put our offer in, after a LOT of investigating and talking with the Realtor, and found out that we didn't get it on Wednesday, January 18th. Then Ryan got a call on Friday, January 20th saying that the couple who bid higher than us didn't sign the paperwork within the 48hour time frame so the house was ours if we could sign and submit the paperwork in time. We of course did and now have a house to call ours! The house is a 3-bedroom, 2-bath with a finished basement, HUGE backyard and a shed in Oakwood Hills, which is basically a part of Cary, IL.
RUNNING PORTION OF THE BLOG AGAIN:
As if the excitement of getting engaged and purchasing a home isn't enough, I found out this week that I was accepted as a part of the POWERBAR TEAM ELITE!!! After not making it two years ago, this was a HUGE deal to me, especially since I religiously use the product anyway since Ryan is a Nutrition Tech Rep for the company!
Coach Cari Setzler and I have been communicating on my key races this year. My only real goals are to qualify for Duathlon Worlds and run a 2:45 marathon. They are definitely huge goals, but I think that if I do all of the right things to achieve them, it is possible.
The races that I have on my schedule so far include PowerMan Alabama on March 25th which will be the qualifier for Duathlon Worlds and the Race That's Good for Life 5k on April 1st as they have a Mother-Daughter division that I want to win with my mom:)
Since my job title is a little different now, I am making it a priority to update my blog weekly like all of my running friends. Feel free to hold me accountable as I love reading all of my friends (and competitors alike) blogs! Off to go workout now.....