Monday, December 14, 2009

Run, Forrest, Run!

I ran my first half marathon yesterday.

There were lots of people there doing this for a good cause, leukemia and lymphoma, breast cancer, proceeds went to Scottish Right ( so I guess they got something out of me), but me? I was there for the free beer and bananas after I ran my 13.1 miles. And the free t shirt.
Because the 3 foot high stacks I already have that fall off the top shelf of my closet just aren't fun enough.
I was also there because my similarly clever friend Ashley couldn't run and I had been talking a big game about how I was running this half marathon but then missed registration.
So she sold me hers.
Please note this is ILLEGAL and I could be DISQUALIFIED from all other White Rock Half and Full marathons. Livin on the edge...
Conveniently, or perhaps very inconveniently, I was forced to go to the Fitness Expo at the Dallas Convention Center Saturday morning to pick up my race packet. "Fitness Expo" is code for claustophobia-induced heart attack. These suckers were trying to take me out the day before my big race!
After I battled the crowd to get my race packet, they made me walk around the entire expo to get my t shirt. And after paying $75 for this little event, no shirt was getting left behind (I got 2, and a medal, I'm satisfied...)
I feel the need to point out that there is no easy way to get to the other side of the expo. You can walk out the front and into a sie door on the other side, but the hallways are just as crowded. Fail. So I walked through it thinking "Maybe I will see something I like or get a freebie." Wrong! The only freebies I saw were some tables full of special athletic dog food. Really? Fido can't run this race, anyway! Where's MY shit? And then of course Nerd Face McGee was obsessed with the dog food and had to show his girlfriend [insert stigma that nerd face has a significant other, who is human]  and actually tossed her a bag, which she dropped, and then everyone scattered as if the dog food was nuclear waste, and a fat man stepped on my foot.
I have to run on that tomorrow, fat ass! Why are you even here? Are you doing the race on a segway?
Anyway, I got my shirt and left. Actually it could have been worse, despite my terrible and heart-wrenching experience, it was a short trip. In and out in 10 minutes.
that's what she said.
And a fat man may have not ACTUALLY stepped on my toe. But I was afraid he was going to the way he was teetering back and forth like a chainsawed Christmas tree. I was waiting for someone else to notice and yell TIMBERRRR.
Where is a lumberjack when you need one?

Race Day
I woke up at 6:45 Sunday. This is a good hour earlier than the time I wake up for work.
But the race started at 8 and I was walking from my apartment so I did what I had to do.
All of the streets were blocked off, so I got to enjoy some friendly morning conversation with various police officers along the way.
Amazing how they aren't as scary in the sober light of day.
I arrived!
With 20,000 other runners!
More claustophobia....
But at least I got to hear the national anthem and run through confetti.

Did I mention the bibs had names on them?
Well, I forgot.
It took me 4 or 5 miles to realize that I was 'Ashley.'
That was so nice of the random people to yell "Get em Ashley" as I ran by....
Santa should put them on the Nice list.

I also would like to highlight the obsession with fraternities and sororities that lives on through infinite decades.
I had on a long sleeved Zeta shirt because A) it was clean B) it had neon and i like neon...a lot.
My first encounter was with two ladies at the start line who went to Arkansas. We had some witty banter about bouffant 80s hair styles that were featured on the composite photos. They squealed, "That was us!" I squealed, "OMG! Soooo funny!"
I'm such a choch sometimes.
I bid them adieu at the start line.
In addition to "Get em Ashley" I also got the following cheers:
"Go Zeta!"
"ZETAS ARE HOT!" [pause...] "MY WIFE IS ONE!"
And finally, the little old man....
he did the signature 5 point crown hand sign over his head.
It's really a miracle I even saw it but it simultaneously creeped me out and made my day.

To make a long story short, I finished the race in under 2 hours which was the goal.
I realized walking had been a bad idea since I was now wet, and could see my breath, and had a half mile to go.
And today I am walking like I have/had something shoved up my butt.
Happy Monday!

May your walking be more awkward than mine....

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