Yesterday, I left off seeing a photographer as I was mid-dance.
I looked at the pictures when they came out. I narrowly escaped being caught in an awkward dance-walk.
Sometimes I kind of forget that I’m not alone during these half marathons.
Obviously I do know that I’m not alone. I do my best to be courteous to other runners. I stay in the correct lanes. I only do things as silly as dancing, when I’m way in the back of the pack and no one’s close to me. But it never really dawns on me that there are other human beings around who aren’t so absorbed in their own world that they may notice the crazy, dancing girl.
So be it, though, right? There almost certainly could never be enough dancing in the world. As long as I’m not in their way, It doesn’t really matter if a stranger thinks I’m weird or crazy. In fact, that’s probably pretty par for the course as far as what strangers usually think of me on any given day. (Yes, I dance-walk in Hollywood all the time.) Sometimes (most times) you just gotta dance! It’s part of life, I think.
Except when you see the photographer. Race photographers have magical powers – they bring speed to the people around them. Every time I notice a photographer, I try to look as though I have an awesome stride. Then I melt back down into walking the moment I pass them. Sometimes in this race, it’d be a total fake out. There’d be a photographer hiding fifty feet past the one you just tried to impress. Golly, if they keep up this pattern, I’m actually going to have to run this half marathon!
One time I was on my phone, checking my email or something. (I did say yesterday that I was only there to saunter this one, after all.) I looked up and got a bit flustered when I saw a photographer. “Agh! I’m supposed to be pretending I know how to run whenever I see a photog!” Then I noticed he was checking his phone as well. Oh, 2012.
Catapulting back to the beginning of the story for a second, I always think the difference at these big races, between the feeling at the start and 8 seconds after the start, is so funny. At the start, there’s party music, stages, emcees on the mic, and tons of spectators. 8 seconds later, you’re far enough in front of the speakers that the music has all but faded away. The roar of the spectators has quieted to a murmur, and the emcees are busy entertaining the corral behind you.
It’s the biggest 8 second party with thousands of guests. (Sometimes there’s confetti and/or fireworks!). Then pretty much immediately cut off. Sort of. I mean, 13.1 miles is a party in itself. But the change is so sudden. I just find it funny, is all.
Let’s jump even further back in time to the packet pick-up.
(I know I’m doing an exceptional job with my linear, chronological storytelling today. Please don’t blame me too much. Between the marathon the weekend before and the superhuman stress I endured during my improv class, I’m surprised I’ve retained the ability to speak the English language, let alone try to piece together a story.)
I didn’t get to go to the expo on Friday. I was sort of bummed because I love expos, but obviously I could not miss my final improv class. Way too much was riding on it.
I knew that I’d be able to pick up my bib the morning of; I’d seen and heard of plenty of people do it before (even though they say you can’t). I’d heard rumors that it would cost $40, or might be a hard process with arguments. But no. It was just like the expo, only it seemed even smoother.
(Even though this is common knowledge in the running world, I hope I’m not spoiling some secret by putting it on this blog. I would never want to ruin the awesome, day-of packet pick-up for anyone in the future. However, I really don’t think it is a true secret at all, which is why I don’t feel bad writing about it. We all do know that it’s possible to get your bib the morning of at the Solutions tent, right?)
I’ll pick up here (or somewhere) tomorrow. Ish.