Picking up from two days ago -
(or yesterday if you want – though I say skip it. (It wasn’t a pleasant post)) -
I get off the connecting bus, and get onto yet a third bus. My first two buses were empty, except for the drivers (and me). This bus was packed. I found three really nice people wearing bibs for the race. I figured if I stuck with them, I’d get there. (I did.)
As I talked to my new friends, I got my sunglasses out of my bag. Pop! One of the sides came (that goes on your ear) came off. (It was a roller-coaster ride of emotion that morning!)
We racers jumped off the bus downtown. (I know, it only took me ’til part 3 to start talking about being at the actual race…and I still have yet to talk about the race actually starting.)
I made my way over to the solutions table to pick up my bib and chip.
As always, they asked for my ID. All of the blood rushed out of my face. (In case you don’t remember from part 1, I’d lost my wallet at the airport!) I had nothing. My brain started listing some possible solutions.
“Maybe I can whip out my iPhone and show them my blog with a bunch of posts and pictures of me.” “Maybe I can go to the ‘my finisher’ section for any of the Rock ‘n’ Roll races I’ve done so far this year and show them all of my official finisher photos from their races.” It wouldn’t necessarily prove it was me, but if I was trying to pull one over on them, it would’ve been happening for a while now, and I would’ve put a lot of work into it.
Before I have to offer any ideas (beg for their grace and lenience), the person I’m talking to points me to a person, who points me to another person. I meet someone very official-looking in front of a computer. She asks me what street I live on and what my email address is. I answer correctly, so I am approved! Thanks goodness!
I throw on my bib and timing chip and make my way across the park (to where I just came from) to check my bag. At this point, the race is starting. Luckily, I’m in one of the last corrals, so I’m still cool.
Fun side note: I pass someone I went to high school with, who’s working a bunch of the Rock ‘n’ Roll races. (I had also seen him all dressed up in a toga at Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego.) It’s always lovely running into an old friend. We say a quick hello, squeeze in a quick hug, and I make my way back to the starting line (by the solutions desk I had just come from).
I ran a bit in the first mile. (I had a morning that merited running it out a little.) But, I knew that with a triple half marathon weekend coming up, the new altitude in Denver, and my lack of sleep; I should probably go pretty easy on myself. I walked a lot, and bounced around between some lovely groups of walkers.
In one of my walking groups, we got on the subject of Cory Booker. (I feel like he comes up sort of a lot lately. Maybe ‘cause he’s awesome.) Our group was talking about things that would make us run (as opposed to walk) if we saw them up ahead. Some people thought of their favorite foods. I said I’d run if I could meet Cory Booker, because you know, he’s Cory Booker.
Sometimes I ran anyway, ’cause running is quite enjoyable. And as it says in the Maroon 5 song, “it’s getting harder and harder to breathe.” The change in altitude wasn’t really that horrible. The struggle would come and go. If I started to push myself a little, I, of course, felt it more than when I was strolling along.
Every time I did push myself and felt the difference, I thought, “And you wanna run the Everest Marathon at some point? You better train, girl! Everyone encouraged drinking more water at high altitudes, so I did. It was quite helpful. I guess what I’m saying is as long as I drink about 80 gallons of water on Everest, I’ll be cool.
Speaking of water, they had awesome volunteers in Denver working all the water stops. And, they had some rocking spectators encouraging us all along the way, which is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.