I wrote for a fitness blog over a year ago for the company I design for as a part of generating SEO content for a fitness site we were promoting. And in return for blogging for them they paid for me to run the LA Marathon. After a few month of blogging I found myself with a small taste of writers block. The solution for me was to write about the first marathon I ever did. It was very cathartic and motivating to me in my difficult times of training for the LA Marathon last year. As well as, receiving a good response from my (few) readers, thanks mom! So, I decided to re-post a few of my good ones starting with my recollection first marathon ever, the San Diego Rock N Roll 2009. Here is my first post in that series. Many more to follow, stay posted & enjoy!
It was Saturday May 30th 2009. The day before the San Diego Rock N Roll marathon. The first marathon of my life. Possibly the last one. I felt ready. Like a bull before they release it into the ring to fight the matador. I had been following my Hal Higdon Novice Training Schedule to a tee and had been tapering the last three weeks to this point. My last run was a two miler three days ago. I felt like an addict that needed a fix, knowing full well that the next one would take me close to overdosing. But I didn't care. I was hungry and desperate. I needed a run.
My roommate and best friend Amber was driving down with me from our Santa Monica apartment to the hotel in San Diego. She's done one marathon and many-a-races before and kindly offered to run the last 10 miles of the marathon with me then drive my assumingly-tired-butt home afterward. What a lifesaver! No wonder she is my best friend.
I carefully packed my outfit and gear for the race, making sure to go through every moment in my head, as to not forget a single thing. I have read horror stories about how people would travel to an out-of-town race, only to get there and realize the morning of that they forgot everything from their GU to sports bra to even worse, their shorts. I thought it best not to repeat these mistakes.
We headed out around noon to meet my mom and step dad at the Town & Country Resort. As we drove down the 405 South, I found myself still going through my morning routine for the following morning. I was sure I had left something home that I needed. About an hour into our drive it hit me: socks. I forgot my socks. Should I turn around and go back home and get them? No, that's silly, I can't. The Expo where I have to get my race bib would be closed before we got there if I turned around to go home. With a little concern in my voice, I called my mom. She had done 8 marathons before, surely she would know what to do. When she answered she reassured me that they would have plenty of socks at the Convention Expo and not to worry.
We then headed out the the Expo at the San Diego Convention Center to pick up my race bib, time chip and socks, of course. It was the last hour of the last day of the three day expo and it was still packed. It was like a candy store for runners. Displays of the brightest and best shoes, new clothes, accessories, the latest nutritional bar and more. But socks! I needed socks! Where can I get some socks! We passed the New Balance tent, and they had socks though none my size. Eeeeeekkkkkk! Panic! Why had I forgot my socks and what if I don't find any here? What will I do? I certainly can't run the marathon without them. What if we spend the whole night tonight looking for a pair of socks for me and then I can't eat my pasta dinner and then I have no fuel to run tomorrow on. All this training, only to be brought down by a pair of socks. We turned down a new aisle and another clothing stand appeared. They had a rack of socks, but it was slim pickens. All I needed was one. One Pair of Socks. FOUND IT!!! I snatched them up, just in case their was a vulture near by that wanted to sabotage my first marathon. They were $12!!! T-W-E-L-V-E Dollars....or one pair of socks! Socks! I didn't care. I needed them, and they were fancy socks, hugged certain spots of your foot, while I let other parts breath and kept other parts warmer and some cooler. But I really didn't care. I just wanted to pay for these $12 pair of socks and call them mine. So that's what I did. Well, that's what my mom did ;)
We continued to wander around, a little more relaxed, now that I had gotten all the necessary items out of the way. We bought a few fun things along the ways, nothing big. We headed back to the hotel and to the yummy carb-loaded dinner I had been waiting 3 months to devour. Hey, I earned it.
My other best friend Cameron, who lives in San Diego, joined us for dinner as well. As we sat there we began to discuss the plan-of-action for the marathon. Who would drive where and when and how. It's not as easy to get around a city when there are major roads and even freeways closed. After much deliberation, it was concluded that Amber should stay with Cameron and she will drive her over to the 16 mile marker to run the last ten with me. Otherwise, if she stayed at the hotel with me, it would be near impossible to get her there as we were on the opposite side of the road closures. It's hard to imagine it being this complicated, but it is. Believe me. What a lifesaver! No wonder she is my best friend too.
And as I sat their with my three best friends in the world: Amber, Cameron and my mom, as well as my step dad, Howard, he's pretty great too and a marathoner as well! I thought I must be the luckiest person in the world to have the people that matter the most to me, all sitting at this table with me. They were here just for me. To support me in this silly, crazy and unnecessary adventure. How wonderful.
Almost as wonderful, was the lobster and cheese raviolis that I sat in front of me, though not for very long. After the food was gone my two best friends headed back to Cameron's apartment, while my mom, Howard and I retired to the hotel room to get some much needed. I laid everything out in order that it was going to get put on in the morning. It was then that I realized just how deep my obsessive compulsive behavior ran. But I knew at 3 in the morning that I was not going to want to think about anything. Just get up and go. I thought I might have a hard time sleeping. To my surprise, I did not. In what seemed like seconds, the alarm was going off. It was 3:00 AM....already. It was already Sunday, the last day of May...
...to be continued...