Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Commoner's Birthday Present

For the second week in a row I was off to a city to stay in a hotel and go to an expo and run a super long race.

I'm pretty sure that the fantastic perfection of The Chicago Marathon has ruined every single race to follow.  That's too bad but also awesome.  I now have to put Chicago in a little pocket of perfection and lock it away until next time.

But I was going to give this race a chance because I spent a lot of money on it and because everyone thought it was so great.  People talk about this race all of the time. You enter a lottery to get in and when people don't get in they are distraught. 
I love expos.  I've talked about that.  So much fun to wander around and by fun runner things.  Plus I had not bought my 26.2 sticker for my car yet.  I had business to do besides picking up my number.

I got my number. That was easy.  They gave me a blue tag congratulating me for my many nike plus running miles.  I earned shoe laces but the line was too long so I skipped it.  Once we left the number line-all we saw were lines EVERYWHERE-lines and lines of women.   Lines of them. 

And lines were really long to take your picture in front of mediocre racing signs like these.

And worst of all -there was nothing to really buy.  So we left and went to Niketown or whatever they named it this time. I go to this store ALL THE TIME.  I scope out products that I will later buy at the outlet.  

 But-there were just millions of women every where.  You couldn't walk and you couldn't pick anything up without someone snatching it from you.  I'm like really ladies?  I just finished the Chicago Marathon LAST WEEK-this stuff is over priced!  I bought one little tshirt.  that was it.  Seriously items here were 10 dollars more than the same ones that said Chicago last week.

I'll give them this....they got my name on the NIKE wall so it's all good.

This race started at zero dark thirty.  Really we were running in the dark.  I hated everything about it.  No one even looked to see if I was in the right corall and we stood around while the announcer said the same thing over and over.

"Welcome to 30000 women and a few good men"  Geesh get a new script.  I'm not impressed and there are NO Kenyans to race against.  Oh well, maybe I can win.

I wasn't sure how I would feel given that I raced the marathon last week but I didn't have to worry about being last since about 75% of the women in this race didn't run.  They walked, they strolled, they stopped for pictures at every mile marker and the top of every hill.  

Running was hard because the race had a 2 mile up hill and the road was crowded with strolling women.  I kept thinking-I have a lot of friends who actually run and want to be here and do you know how long it takes to walk 13 miles?  ALL DAY.  

But no matter what I will run in San Francisco every time I can.  I love love love San Francisco and I love running it.  There were no fans or cheering sections like Chicago just some sleepy residents.  I didn't care.

I caught up with the 11:30 pacer and given that I was afraid of breaking something from over use I was happy to follow him and the other 4 runners he was with.  

The aid stations were really under manned and on random sides of the street and often out of aid.  At mile 10 they gave us chocolate bars -which I love but not while running.  How do you eat chocolate and run?  I spit it out.  Then again most people walk this race so that makes chocolate eating easier.

By mile 11 I felt really good and unleashed the hounds and ran really fast.  I felt great. Running 13 miles is easy when you have been training for 26. freaking 2.

 Then we got to the bottle neck finish.

So poorly organized.  It was cold-it was freezing-it was over crowded-GIVE THE HEATING BLANKETS FIRST PEOPLE!  And people were still taking selfies. Finally the guy in the tux gave us the little blue box but I was cold and I had to find Rob and there was no cell service and I was cold.

Later that day -when I got home-I opened the little blue box (my first little blue box I realized) and I saw the necklace.

And I said to everyone who asked