(#16) Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon – Part 1 (Sleepy Girl)

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

For me, sleep is quite possibly the most important ingredient in having a fun, successful race. Sleep is quite important in day to day life, really.

Sometimes it’s fun to be running around on very little sleep – maybe as a writer, or other fun contributing job during tech week of a musical. “I feel great! I’m being creative. I’m busy. Watch me go!”

In other non-tech week times, I think, “Why am I an idiot? I could be sleeping on any schedule I want, yet I’m depriving myself for some reason.”

This was the idiot kind of sleep deprived.

Around midnight, I made my way to LAX and rented a car. I would’ve never thought about renting a car before my adventure to Lake Havasu, but now I view it as an available travel option. I rented from Alamo this time, taking advantage of my sweet Mensa discount.

I am still flabbergasted by the process of renting a car. I handed the agent my license and a credit card, and he said, “Go pick out whatever car you want from rows 3 or 4.” How do you just let me take a car? For all you know, I could be a girl who jumped on a bus to New York the day after her high school graduation party, only driving a handful of times in the last few years. But okay, I’ll just head out to rows 3 and 4.

There were friendly Alamo guys outside who asked what I was looking for, and I said anything small that has good gas mileage. They pointed, saying, “That one.” And I jumped in an Altima.

I didn’t even have to put keys in the ignition! There was a button that made it start. Then the people at Alamo just let me leave. With a car. I mean, this whole idea of renting cars is really crazy, isn’t it?

Somehow I actually made it all the way to Santa Ynez, California. Amazing, right?

I ended up getting a spot right by the finish line. It was a point to point course, so I’d need to get on a shuttle to the start, but I wouldn’t have to do that for another hour or so. I reclined my seat and had a much needed nap. But I wanted so much more than those 45 minutes! I would’ve loved to just sleep for hours, but I had a race to do.

I jumped on the shuttle bus (dozing a little on the way to the start), and got my bib and timing chip once I was at the start.

One good thing about 52 half marathons in 52 weeks is that it forces me to go out there and do my 13 miles. If I could’ve, I would’ve loved to have slept in. I like to think that without this challenge, I would’ve still gone for a run/walk, just later in the day. But this challenge really gave me no choice.

This course had a pretty small field of runners, with only 3,000 were running. Many people probably thought of this course as peaceful and scenic, but I was just kind of bored.

I’m sure a large part of my boredom was from being so tired. Sometimes relaxing, calm, quiet, and scenic is good. I’m sure there are many times I would appreciate it. But today, I wanted another Indiana – a course that never left me without entertainment and tons of walkers around me.

I was basically a walking zombie, clinging to my iPhone for dear life. Yeah, Jordan Knight, sing it to me! Keep me awake!

Do I actually stay awake for the remainder of this half marathon? Find out tomorrow.

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