The time I ran a race in another state and won a shiny trophy

My plane touched down last night around 7 and it was the first time I could ever remember landing at sunset.

I traveled on four planes and each ride I sat next to very pleasant people. Seriously, you never know who you’ll meet on a plane. On my first plane ride, I sat next to this phenomenal woman who, quite honestly, I don’t know how she gets up in the morning after all the heartbreak she’s endured in the past two years. But she still had a smile on her face and told beautiful stories. And, it turns out she only lives a few miles from me.

Seriously, small world.

Second flight was a man who is an avid golfer and also lived within twenty minutes of me. He and I shared stories of some of the local celebrities we’ve met and what we think of them. He also had four kids aged five and under, so we seriously had plenty to chat about.

The woman I sat next to on the way home on my first flight told me about her two grandchildren and when she told me she was from Columbus, OH, I immediately thought of Katie Ett and my brain just kind of froze there. She was reading the inserts that come in prescription meds and was outlining the important information with a highlighter. She apparently was starting two new meds and was concerned about them, but I knew the medications well and explained them in english for her.

On my final fight, I sat next to a woman who currently lives in West Virginia, but I placed her accent to the mid west. When I asked her about it, she told me she hales from North Dakota but just recently bought a condo in Minneapolis for retirement.

Hey-o! We then discussed the finer points of lefse, using the phrase “Uff-dah,”the badge of honor having tried Lutefisk and not dying and age old joke my grandpa always told, “1000 Swedes ran through the woods, chased by one Norwegian.”

Norsk for life!

Then the lady at the window seat woke up and apologized for eavesdropping, but told us that her daughter just moved to Minneapolis and she’s from Alabama and has no idea what to expect when she visits, so we gave her the low down.

We also told her to avoid the Lutefisk. (This video cracks me up. At 1:30, that face says it all.)

Anyhow, I went to visit Jessica in her hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. She just had her second baby and I had promised her the moment she told me that she had to have a c-section, that I’d come visit to help her out.

After having all my kids, the one thing I remember that found me the most comfort was A.) someone else cooking and B.) someone else cleaning.

So that’s what I set out to do.

I cooked and cleaned and when I asked Jess what she’d really like to have happen around the house, she mentioned the painting of her living room again. I remember over a year ago, she picked out the colors she wanted, yet time and life happened and it just never got off the ground.

But see, I’m Cassie and this is what I do. I don’t need caffeine, and lord help anyone around me should I consume it, but I got an idea in my head, and we all know what happens next.

So we set off for Lowes and four gallons of paint later, we were ready to go. The day before, while Jess was napping, I took it upon me to take down the god awful wallpaper border in the front hallway that she’s complained about as long as I’ve known her. (With her permission, of course.) 30 minutes later, it was down and an hour after that Jess woke up refreshed and happy to see the watercolor country side border was in shreds in the trashcan.

We primed, we painted and by Saturday afternoon it was all finished.

Saturday morning I ran a race. I was super excited to run a race in another state, not to mention, it’s LOUISIANA! So, a race in October should mean that I’d have pleasant temps instead of the usual 40 or 50 degree, whipping wind weather we have here. But of course, Cassie’s in town! So why not have cloudy skies, whipping wind, and a brisk 50 degree start time? Sure!

Because of the weather, Mark (Jess’s husband) and Sarah (her adorable 2 year old) had to sit in the car and wait for me. First of all, that’s amazing. Because, I felt bad someone had to sit in a car while I ran a race, let alone with a two year old. But he did it, and, again, since Cassie’s in town, the battery died. (Last time I visited, the battery died, too. I guess I’m just too much energy.)

When I finished the race, Mark texted me that the battery had in fact died and his sister was going to come pick us up. I stood around the finish for a bit waiting for my time to be posted, but of course, it hadn’t been, and I didn’t want to make them wait any longer.

We headed back to the house after stopping and picking up the most amazing donuts ever and after I showered, we drove back to pick up the car and give it a jump. And since we were there, why not check out my race results, eh?

Guys, I won.


No, not the whole race. But my age division! I was 15th female overall, though, which is fun.

By the time I got back, though, they had already packed up the awards for the 5k and were only giving out the 10k ones. Whatever, I didn’t care about a trophy, just more that I won!

But Jess insisted. She told every person who we saw for the remainder of the trip that I had won my age group and now, sitting here a thousand miles away, I’m smiling because that, guys, is a good friend. One who brags about her friend and is proud. Genuinely proud.

And I’m proud, too.

Jess was getting a cold, so she took another nap and I packed up Sarah and we went to pick up my trophy.

She loved that trophy.

photo 3 (1)

I called her my trophy keeper.

Mark told me I should hold it up when I get off the plane and say to Matt, “Your trophy wife has returned.”

He wins.

When we got back from getting the trophy, Sarah and I let Jess and Mark have some quiet time and we went for a walk around her neighborhood. It’s a beautiful neighborhood. It reminds me a lot of living in Minnesota. Flat, organized, sidewalks. Living in Western PA, it’s rare to have a flat enough land where you can actually walk around without breaking a huge sweat. The houses are all organized and well manicured. Sarah pointed out everything she saw until she suddenly didn’t and I noticed she had fallen asleep.

Sarah and I bonded. We got to watch Tangled early Sunday morning so everyone else could sleep, we got into mischief, I gave her good night hugs and because I missed checking on my own kids before going to bed, I’d pop into her room after she’d fallen asleep and peek at her.

photo 2 (2)

So basically I got to leave my kids, take care of other kids, snuggle babies, do all the things I’d do at home, except NOT at home, eat awesome lunches and some kick ass frozen yogurt, and hang out with my best friend while drinking wine.

photo 1 (2)

Matt told me that next vacation I should actually vacation. I looked at him and said, “Matt. I didn’t have to deal with my kid’s whining. I didn’t have to change diapers. I wanted to. I got to see my best friend’s face light UP when she saw the paint go on her walls. I got to see her look refreshed after a nap. I don’t think I yelled even once, (and I yell at my kids a lot.) I got to eat lunch from awesome local places and I got to feel useful to someone other than my family. That, to me, is a vacation.”

I’m so glad I went.


About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on October 21, 2013, in Cassie. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Wow, you have accomplished a LOT in your vacation! Fancy a vacation in Germany some day? 😉
    Congrats to Jessica and Mark!

  2. I can not begin to express how thankful I am that you came and were a force to be reckoned with! We are lovingly referring to you as robot Cassie. 😉 and don’t worry, I’m continuing your cleaning force today.

    Also, I love how much you love my kids and how taken by you Sarah is!

    • I love that kid. And of course Norah, but she’s still a baby and could care less who holds her as long as they’re warm. But Sarah is such a sweet soul and I’m so glad I’m a part of her life. We need to video chat soon so she doesn’t forget me.

  3. I love this! Also, congrats on placing first!!

  4. Geez, just reading about all of this makes ME exhausted.

    So now we know where you get your energy… by draining it from nearby power sources. I bet your running that race caused a rolling blackout and a slew of dead cars.

    Be careful about allowing Jess and Mark too much quite time… or you’ll be heading back to town in nine more months!

    “Trophy wife.” I am busily banging my head against the desk now because I didn’t think of that first. (Well played, Mark.)

    Next time I have surgery, I’m calling YOU! I need my windows washed, carpets cleaned, upholstery shampooed, and books rearranged. I’ll be sure Baltimore has some kind of race that weekend… maybe the Methadone 5K? The STD Half-Marathon?

    Lastly, how come I never get to sit next to anyone as interesting as you?

    • Oh, there is too much to like about this comment.

      You know I’d help you out! Sadly, all those things sound fun. Though, I worry about rearranging your books because, while I know you keep a detailed log somewhere about how I should order it all, I’m afraid I’d screw it up and cause you to have an OCD meltdown.

      The one woman on the plane said I reminded her of her daughter, to which I said, “Must be one hell of a woman.”

  5. Everyone needs a Cassie in their life! Too bad we can’t clone you! I’m so glad you shared your story and congratulations on winning the race for your division. I’m still scratching my head over painting the LR AND running a race all in the same weekend. Simply amazing!

  6. Dude, WHAT? You went to visit Jessica and I’m just now finding out?! I feel like I’ve been so absent from the Internet. I’m assuming there are 400 Facebook pictures of you two together that I’ve missed. But hey, congratulations on the win! It’s crazy to think that you beat that women by 3 seconds. THREE SECONDS. I’ll bet she’s so mad at herself for stopping to tie her shoes or get a drink of water or whatever lame three-second time-wasting thing she did.

    • I remember passing that chick. I thought, “SHE MIGHT BE IN MY AGE GROUP. GO FASTER.”

      And yah, not a lot of photos were taken. Don’t think Jess and I once got out of PJ’s.

  7. Dear internet friend soon to become IRL friend,

    Stop making me cry today.

    Thank you,


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