I suspect that I threw my back out last Monday. I have been waddling around ever since then, so I skipped all of the mid-week runs last week and spent all of my free time lying on a heating pad. Sitting for any length of time is painful, let alone running 4 miles!
Saturday was our 8 mile group run. I was really concerned about whether or not I'd be able to finish the full 8 miles, but I surprised myself. I probably should have played it safe and skipped Saturday's long run, but I was terrified of falling behind in my training. Despite the back ache, I still managed to complete the full 8 miles. Julie and I took it slow and stopped often for walk breaks. Before I knew it, the 8 miles were over, and we were enjoying homemade hot cocoa with our teammates!
Earlier in our training, Julie and I ordered a case of 30 lbs of green and silver Mardi Gras beaded necklaces off of the internet. Saturday night was our first night (of many to come) selling these "Sparty Beads" to MSU fans outside sporting events. Rather than selling our beads for a fixed price, we have been giving out beads in return for a donation.
We expected the students to be our biggest customers, so we began by standing outside the entrance to the student section. Of the hundreds of students lined up, only two wanted beads and donated! Sadly, either undergraduate students don't carry cash or they were totally unwilling to donate to charity, since the two students who donated emptied their pockets of pennies into our jar. Silly kids!
We quickly switched doors to target families and children. That proved to be a smart move as parents generously donated for beads for their kids and men diplomatically bought beads for their ladies. We were initially a little unsure about what to yell and how to get people's attention, but the longer we were there the sillier we got. By the end of the night, we were able to work the crowds and get everyone's attention. In retrospect, the delirium was probably the early stages of hypothermia setting in.
We were a little concerned about getting in trouble for standing outside the Breslin Center soliciting donations. We had anticipated being either chased off the property by a screaming employee or arrested. Seth was on stand-by, prepared to bail us out of jail if the need arose. At one point, we were concerned about a sting operation when we noticed a police badge in a donator's wallet. It luckily wasn't a "bust," and we were able to fundraise without incident.
Although the temperature was in the single digits, we were up to our usual shenanigans and had a blast! We made a sizable dent in our bulk bead order and raised well over $100 to support blood cancer research and patient support! Hopefully future games will go even better now that we know what to do!