Sometimes I like to light a candle as I am getting ready in the morning, I find it relaxing and it masks the kitty litter odor. This morning however, I was blow drying my hair a little too close to the candle. You know how sometimes you could be blow drying your hair and it smells a little like burning? (no? maybe it's just my dryer). So I smelled that, but it was stronger than usual and I thought, "oh great, I'm going to have to get a new blow dryer soon." Then I realized that the smell was too strong, and that lead to realizing I was too close to the candle. I moved the candle and ran my fingers through my hair, little black flecks fell like snow to the ground....oops. The good news - I can't really see on my head where the damage was done, but when I turn to the right I sure do smell it.
In other news - I have completed my third (and hopefully final) half marathon. I almost didn't make it to the race at all. I had woken up several times the night before because Mr. Cat was being a brat and kept trying to get out of my room (my roommates are allergic so he has to stay in my room). I woke up at 7:12 and had to be downtown at 7:44 for my wave to begin. I don't know how I did it, I grabbed my clothes, my running belt and bib, filled up my water bottle and ran out the door. I knew from previous years that parking would be difficult. I turned on Marshall Street and went to the first parking lot I saw. $5 (which is actually better than the place I parked the first year). I didn't think I had cash, but I figured I could go to an ATM afterwards and get some before leaving. Wrong. They wanted the cash then. So I opened my wallet, not sure what I would find and thinking, "I'm going to miss this race!" Inside my wallet - $4 I didn't know I had. I gave them to the man and asked, "are quarters ok for the rest?" and he nodded. So I unzipped the change part and there was....$.75. So close! I gave him the quarters one by one as I dug them out. Then I started looking through the car for the remaining 25 cents. If the wallet could magically produce $4.75 that I didn't think I had, then certainly Diego could produce a quarter, or two dimes and nickel, or 25 pennies. The parking lot guy took a chance on an unknown kid* and told me the $4.75 would be good enough. I parked, grabbed my stuff and pinned my bib while I ran towards where I thought the start line was. I could see people already running so I knew I was heading in the right direction. I found the line, but there was a barrier set up and I couldn't join the runners just yet, I had to keep walking until I found an opening, then I slipped in. Not sure what wave I joined, just knowing I joined the right group of runners. Then they announced my wave, I assumed it was the one just before the one I was standing in, but it turned out to be my wave. Talk about cutting it close!
This turkey (to the left) most likely beat me...but I did pass him at least once
When I run I feel like the first mile is always the worst. Something about thinking how far you have to go and the fact that you STILL haven't even gotten a mile in. But it didn't feel like that this time. I found a trio of girls who were running and talking and I figured if I could keep pace with talking/running girls then I was in pretty good shape. They were running about a ten minute mile too win/win. But something happened to them around mile 3 (I think they got distracted by the water station) and I spent the rest of the race looking for someone to creepily run behind.
I had a first on this run. I used the port-a-potty. I can't really say it's because I really needed it, though I had mentally convinced myself that I did, I think I was mostly in it for the break (there was a line). I hate port-a-potties. Hate is a strong word, mostly, I fear them. I remember once when I was in Utah at a park and they had port-a-potties, I really had to use it because I was too afraid. The worst part, I knew my fear was ridiculous. I took several deep breaths, pep talked myself, jogged in place like an athlete trying to psych myself up. I think I finally used it, but I got out of there as quickly as possible.
It wasn't so bad this time, though I never want to do that again.
I will admit - I walked a lot more this marathon, BUT I never got the broken toes feeling that I've gotten the last two years (and during my minimal training this year). At the end they gave us a fleece blanket and a medal, but it was a nightmare getting to the food tent. I think races should be like airports, if you aren't running you can be beyond a certain point. I think people meeting friends and loved ones should have to wait beyond the food tent, because those of us who just made our bodies do something it now hates us for, would like to get a slice of Papa John's before our legs give out. And that's just hard to do with all those extra people in the way.
The worst was having to walk the mile back to the car. A mile seems so small in comparisson but I was done, my body was done, and the walk back was all up hill. I got home, sat in the shower for a long time, and dealt with stomach cramps the rest of the night (I think I was dehydrated - no longer sweating by mile 10 might have been the give away). I'm serious this time - NO MORE!