Picking up from yesterday –
While we’re talking about music on my iPod keeping me awake, alert, and moving – I’d like to say (as if it’s not a known fact) that music from the ’90s is incredible. Seriously. Incredible. If the last time you listened to Nsync was anytime before this morning, it’s time to pop them in your CD player.
Barenaked Ladies, Celine Dion, Eminem, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, LFO – hit me with that ’90s music, ’cause it is awesome! Awesome.
Heck, hit me with that ’80s music – Paula Abdul, Whitney Houston, New Kids on the Block, Wham!, Prince, Madonna, Janet Jackson, John Mellencamp, Stevie Wonder.
Obviously, the musician whom I love the most spans the ’80s and ’90s (and other decades) – Michael Jackson. Sometimes when I really listen to his songs, they make me physically ill because they are so good. Bruce Swedien (his engineer), Quincy Jones (producer) and obviously Michael himself were such geniuses, that you put all three of them together and you get something so good that it’s gross.
But enough about music. That’s not what we came here to talk about. (Although seriously, almost everything that came out in probably about 2005 and before rocked my socks. You have got to go put on some old records!)
Because I had used my map app to get to Santa Ynez, and I knew I’d need it to get home, I conserved my battery by foregoing use of my running app. I figured I’d sort of keep an eye on the time, watch out for the SAG wagon, and just keep moving forward.
I started with a slow pace, and I continued with one throughout the race. Every time I thought I could maybe see the SAG wagon in the distance behind me, I started hightailing it. Whenever I thought there were fewer people behind me than I wanted, I’d jog for a while. But mostly, I just walked.
There was one pretty large hill, and a few smaller ones to compliment it. The weather was nice. It was cool and misty.
There were lots of animals around – horses and such. At one point, I heard, “Watch out for the snake!” My head whipped around. “What?” “Oh, there’s a snake back here. You stepped right past it.” For the rest of that mile, my eyes kept scanning the ground for snakes. I never saw any.
As I came to the relay point (5 something miles in), I thought about how awesome it would be to have someone taking over for me. Nope. I’ve got over 7 miles left.
There were extremely few spectators, but there was one man with a cowbell at one of our turns. He was possibly the most excited man I’ve ever seen enthusiasm course. His enthusiasm was welcomed.
As I went on, two people right behind me had friends getting lunch at an outdoor café. As the runners passed by, the friends gave them bacon! I was jealous. Although, at the first stop, we all had gotten Nutter Butters. Considering I had rejected breakfast in favor of as much sleep as possible, I was very excited about a Nutter Butter.
Closer to the end (mile 11 or so?), I saw a kid with a free lemonade stand. Barely anyone was taking lemonade, and the tip jar looked pretty empty. (Not many people carry money during a race, and many don’t have time for lemonade.) He looked pretty dejected, which made me sad.
I thanked him for being there, but he seemed to be pretty much over it.
Around Mile Marker 12, I met a 60-year-old man who talked to me all the way into the finish. He had truly lovely stories about his mother. (It was Mother’s Day weekend, and she had recently passed away (at 97 years old).) It sounded like he needed this half marathon, so I’m glad he had it. I was happy to have a companion for the last mile.
I finished very slowly, just as I knew I would – 3:43:16
When we came into the finish, they were out of medals. The volunteers were so apologetic though. I didn’t care that much, since it should be coming in the mail. (They offered to let people wait. They said they were coming with medals in about 30 minutes.)
I couldn’t stay awake for 30 more minutes. I walked around the corner, plopped down in the car, and slept for about 4 hours. That night, I somehow made it all the way back to LAX, returning Alamo the car in one piece.