To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon

Halloween brings up visions of demons, the devil, Hell, zombies, blood, guts and gore. (Okay, so I like disturbing, scary Halloween things.) For me this race was the epitome of Halloween! Let's back up.

Friday night I drove north for packet pick-up and grabbed a baked potato for dinner to ease my unhappy tummy. Not a great pre-race dinner. Will I ever learn? Got to bed rather early, hoping for 5 hours of sleep. Woke up, showered, put on my costume and was on the way to pick up Cilley Girl for our drive back down the freeway to meet up with Kim at her house. From there we all got ready, bibs on, hair done, tails in place. Once Jules and Donna arrived, off to the races we went! Biker Boy was our chauffeur, which is good since my pre-race nerves were doing a number on me and I would have been too antsy behind the wheel. We parked, got in line for the bus to the start, it arrives and we are on our way. 

The weather wasn't bad. Misty, but not cold. Potty line. Attempt at eating a bagel. Group photos. Eating a banana. Forgetting to hydrate. Typical activity for me. I ran into my friend Rocky and asked him if he was going to win. "Maybe!" he said optimistically. I predicted first place for him, and if not - no lower than top 3. He went on to get 2nd place, missing first by only 20 seconds! 

When the gun went off I was feeling amazing! My legs were just gliding across the ground. I had to pass so  many walkers in that first mile. This made me think that a lot of these people were maybe first timers doing this for fun and don't yet understand that walkers need to line up in the back? Just a working theory. I was going strong with the Galloway intervals and thought it was going to be a really fun race! Up until the 5K mark I was still feeling good. Then something happened. I don't know what. My mind started to go. My leg started to hurt. I had to pull over and stretch.

Sadly this happened too many times. The road had no flat surface. The only happy place I found was in the gravel on the side. Unfortunately my Meniere's had been messing with me, so I was getting dizzy. When I get dizzy I drift right. During this race, if I drift right I would end up in the ditch. I kept pushing through, and was genuinely touched when fellow runners offered assistance or asked if I was going to be okay. We really are a great community of people!  

I started slowing down. I was walking longer than I was supposed to. At the mile 5 water stop I was stopped. Trying to swallow some Clif gel and water. I was so happy to see Jules coming up the road. I waited for her and then began walking with her for a while. I told her to go on without  me and that I'd probably catch up. Sure enough we would leap frog the rest of the race. This really saved me. I refused to let her get too far away because I just felt safer knowing there was someone close to me that understands how I get dizzy. And she knew I was physically hurting. I was just so grateful for her that day!
At mile 6 my IT Band just had enough. It gave me the big F-You and my race was over. I didn't quit. I never quit. But walking became the dominant mode of transportation. At one point on the only downhill I hauled ass and was sub-9! But other than that it was slow going. At the 15K mark I had my big mental breakdown. The crying started. I realized I had to sacrifice my finish time in this race and walk to hopefully save my leg for Vegas and Disney. I can't risk another injury right now!!

Once at the end I kicked into gear. Not high gear. But just gear. I passed a woman in the final stretch and crossed with a small smile, I hope. Once I had the cameras behind me I was done. I just broke out into full blown crying. I leaned on a garbage can since we know I am very comfortable with them after races! I wasn't sick. I was just emotionally spent and felt defeated.  Kim came rushing over and got me water and helped me get myself together. Two minutes later Jules came up behind me. We did it! We may have complained a lot, but dammit we finished that dreadful course in one piece!  (**Mostly FLAT?? Pshaw, right.)

After the race we showered at Kim's and I was in pure Heaven watching Titanic on her couch with S, her Titanic obsessed husband. After that we had a caravan over to the Brew Fest for beer (Diet Pepsi for me) and food (tons of cheese pizza for me!). It was a great way to finish up a race day with friends... talking, quoting Titanic, watching football, planning future races ... the norm!  But it wasn't over! That night it was Cilley Girl's birthday party and we had the yummiest tots! You won't believe this, but we talked about running. And future runs. And past runs. And beer. And sports!

Do runners have one track minds?

Okay, so this race is done. I'm moving on from it. I loved running as the Cheshire Cat and got many compliments. I enjoyed talking to the horses (I saw one leaping in the air and one wiggling on its back like my dog!), cows, dogs and goats along the course. I was sad at all of the road kill and squished unidentifiable beings along the road. I had to jump to miss stepping on an already dead "water dog". The smell of pine trees and general forest scent was lovely! I don't see myself doing this one again. Been there, done that, I like my IT band to be happy.
Onward and upward. Next stop?? Las Vegas Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. Running the Strip at night? Yes, Please!!!
"Borrowed" from Kim - it HAD to be shared!


  1. I don't know how you ran in those glasses. You are awesome. Crazy, but awesome.

  2. i second what Rose said- i would have had to take out the lenses- kudos!

    As far as the outcome of your race- in my imperfect opinion if the race is a theme and you dress up, the final time is irrelevant because the purpose of the race was to have fun!

  3. I think part of the problem with the course was the angle of the roads. Even when it was "flat" the road was tippy, right?

    You looked great. I'm so glad you came down to run it. Luckily, the happy Titanic memories will always go on.

  4. Aw. Sorry about your ITB... Sounds like it was a rougher course than advertised.

    I love the glasses!! So many great races coming up for you :)

  5. While not your ideal race, you did what you need to do to finish. :) Love the costume and I can't wait to see what you pull out for Vegas.

  6. Stupid bally Meniere's (I have really bad tinitus and get vertigo but not classified as Meniere's). Whilst miserable and frustrating you did the right thing for the race. Big hugs & congratulations xx

  7. Oh man. Sounds like a rough day. But you finished!! And l love the costume!

  8. Congrats on keeping it together and pushing through to the finish. Well done! Vegas sounds like a blast.

  9. You got bling for it!!!:)

  10. I'm sorry it wasn't the race you hoped for but good job getting it finished! :)


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