My friend Vicky’s summer in LA is over in less than a week! That made it all that much more special that I got to spend this morning with her. We’ve both gotten pretty busy over the past few weeks, and I’d forgotten how much fun we have when we’re together.
Having her run with me gave me extra motivation to get up and go to this race (for which I had not yet registered). I saw a lot of great shows this week, which is wonderful. But it also means that I didn’t get tons of sleep. (What’s new, right?) It would’ve been so easy to sleep in, but not when someone is counting on me to go run with her! People make a huge difference in life.
I usually love big, huge races. I like spectators, bands, making friends with strangers – all that jazz. Today’s race was super low-key. There were only about 50 people and it was along an open bike path in Long Beach. (The route was the same as my Fun in the Sun Half Marathon July 8th.)
Sometimes people associate “low-key” races with being poorly run, or really cheap (cheap in the sub-par quality sense, not the inexpensive sense). However, low-key here just means it’s not a big, speakers-blaring, bright, spectacle-filled 13.1-mile dance party. It’s more like a smaller 13.1-mile cocktail party – still a party, still allows you to spend time with great people, still has food and drink. It has everything you need. It’s very fun in its own, different way.
To me, having a running buddy in a race like this makes all the difference in the world. If you’re running alone in a huge race (such as a Rock ‘n’ Roll event, or a big city marathon), there’s enough going on to keep you entertained throughout. If you’re on a bike path in Long Beach, it is scenic, and it’s nice to have time alone with your thoughts every once in a while. But the 13 miles can start to feel a little long.
I couldn’t believe how quickly the day moved with Vicky! It didn’t even feel like a half marathon. It just felt like a lovely morning with a friend. I was amazed at how much we had to talk about, but I probably shouldn’t have been. We’re two pretty talkative girls who have strong opinions on a number of things. We agree on a lot, and we disagree on certain things that aren’t serious enough to actually get upset about (example: our favorite actors, and what kind of acting styles we prefer). But we’re passionate enough about those topics to let the debates rage on. That keeps the conversation flowing for miles.
By 7 miles in, we hadn’t even scratched the surface of all our conversation topics of the day – and we were already over halfway done! I could’ve easily made it a full marathon and gone another 13.1 miles with her. (They wouldn’t have been fast miles, but they would’ve been fun.)
Speaking of not being fast, Vicky was kind, and slowed her pace so that I could keep up. (She’s definitely way more of an athlete than I am.) (Just so we know that I’m not always the one that’s taking – When her foot starting bothering her a little once we got into double-digit miles, I slowed for her. So, you know, friendship, taking turns, all that good stuff.)
When we got to the finish, Mark and Michelle – the co-race directors – were there with our medals, and a super stocked table of snacks and drinks. Mark and Michelle have such wonderful attitudes that just radiate from them. They seem excited about runners, running, and life in general.
I never thought I’d be a person who likes “low-key” events. (And trust me, I don’t like all of them.) But, I do really like Rocket Racing Productions, and am so down to continue to do more races with them in the future.
This was a gorgeous day. The scenery was really pretty – especially this little section on a boardwalk where we looked out and saw this sparkling water. It was an excellent morning.
Sadly, I won’t get to see her again for a long time, but obviously with the internet and cell phones, we’ll still get to argue over which actors are funnier.
Even though this wasn’t saying goodbye, I couldn’t have thought of a better way to say so long for now, than to run this race with her.