(#28) Marathon Madness Half Marathon

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

This was my 3rd race with Rocket Racing Productions. It was lovely (as were my first two with them).

Mark and Michelle, the race directors, have incredible attitudes. They are truly be excited about promoting fitness (of all levels). They don’t seem to care if people are out there sprinting or walking – as long as people are out there moving.

The usual Rocket Racing course recently got moved from Long Beach to Santa Monica. The new path by Santa Monica Pier was a fun change of scenery.

During my 13.1 walk, I saw a display of super adorable father/son bonding time. This dad was teaching his son (with some insanely cool name that I’d never heard before, Chumbleberg, or something awesome like that) how to ride a bike. Little Chumble would ride a bit, then stop and look up at that dad. Chumbly would be doing so great. For whatever reason, he’d get scared that the greatness was about to end, so he’d stop. The dad – let’s call him Prigglehouden, ’cause you know, why not? – he was super patient and all smiles the whole time.

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the adorable loveliness, part of the run was terrifying. For the first 3 miles, there was an almost uncountable number of dogs roaming free! Tons of people took their dogs out without leashes – without leashes!

Of course there are signs all over the place about not having dogs in certain areas, and making sure dogs stay on leashes in areas where they are allowed. Are the people of Santa Monica heeding these signs? No, they are not.

As you can tell by the fact that I’m writing this, I did somehow live. Barely, obviously, but somehow I did successfully escape Santa Monica unscathed.

I never realized that if you walk down about 3 miles from Santa Monica pier – which has rides, and tourists, and things; you hit this sort of dingy area where dogs are out to get you, and random people are yelling things to the world around them.┬áHuh.

There was this storefront with a sign for beach botox between California Toe Rings – custom fit since 1995, and medical marijuana place. I thought, “Yeah, this little storefront in this rickety, icky area is exactly where people should come to get the poison in their face. When I’m dealing with changes to my face, I always think I should have needles poked in it, on a whim, at the beach.” (That doesn’t have to do with the race really. I saw it in my pictures and felt like sharing.)

Someone had put up a sign offering advice for $1, but small talk was free. I thought that was sort of a fun idea. I’d like to put a sign out on the beach offering free small talk, and see how many/what type of people come over to visit.

When I made it to Michelle’s aid station, I stopped and talked with her for a while about the vegetarian challenge I’m on, and what I think it will be like to be vegan for a week.

I talked about one of my frustrations in figuring out the best food philosophies, is that there is so much conflicting information out there. Turns out, Michelle has a degree in nutrition.

Even she agreed that there are tons of conflicting viewpoints out there – that all have various studies and proof to back them up. (Granted, some are sponsored by certain companies, and some are less scientific than others.)

I’m glad I’m not alone in thinking that food is confusing. Of course, she’s way less confused than I am. She does have a degree in nutrition, after all. (“Confused” probably isn’t even the right word for her. (I, on the other hand, am definitely at least slightly confused.))

I got lost a little at the end. I overshot the finish. After walking for a while more than I should’ve been; I finally thought, “I really feel as though I should’ve seen the finish by now.” I got out my GPS. Sure enough, I’d overshot it. I headed back, found the finish, and got my medal – with a time of 4:28:03.

And there was cheese pizza waiting at the finish. Sweet business!

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