(#31) The Emerald Bay Half Marathon (Tahoe Trifecta Day 1)

Friday, September 28th, 2012

assortment of vegan foods and my bib left in my hotel room by my friends Wendy and MartyI got into Tahoe around 3 in the morning, and waiting for me in my hotel room was an assortment of vegan snacks that Marty and Wendy had left for me! (And they’d picked up my bib for me as well. They are such lovely friends.)

That was so sweet of them, and extremely appreciated. (I was struggling like crazy with the whole vegan thing.) Did you know unfrosted pop-tarts are vegan? I didn’t. Yum.

I smiled at the kind gesture, then fell straight asleep. Morning came 2 hours later. I threw on some clothes, and headed down to the shuttle across the street.

My big strategy was to go as slowly as I could the first day. With three half marathons in a row this weekend, I wanted to wake up for day two feeling like I hadn’t even done one the day before.

I strolled along the course, checking out the gorgeous scenery, and listening to some great music in my headphones.

At the end of the first mile, there was a person there who said you’re at mile 1, let you know what your time was, and said something encouraging. (At least, that’s what happened by me since there was barely anybody back where I was. I’m sure with the big groups of runners he probably just yelled out “mile 1!” or the runners’ time at that mile as they whizzed by.)

I thought, “Human mile markers? That’s fun!” Alas, he was the only one. The rest of the mile markers were… well, they were mainly non-existent. I saw markers here and there for mile 5 or mile 10, but there were long stretches where you just kind of had to guess/feel it.

Part of the course was through a construction zone, which I thought was something. I don’t know if that something is that it was hilarious, or challenging, or dangerous, or what it was; but it was definitely something.

The runners could be on the sidewalk sometimes. Sometimes they couldn’t. We passed men with hard hats, and loud and fast tools. Cars had a little extra room to try to avoid runners sometimes. Sometimes they didn’t. There were cones and things that seemed to make lanes a little smaller.

Cars and construction workers had a fun time trying to avoid runners. Runners had a fun time trying to avoid cars, construction workers, and obstacles (such as gaping holes where sidewalks would be filled in later). As far as I know, everyone successfully made it through without injury!

There were these two blocks I walked through that had three wedding chapels! Three! If you stood at the center one, you were in viewing range of the other two. At least one was open 24 hours/day. There are that many people getting married in Tahoe to necessitate such demand? I had no idea.

Around mile 8, I stopped and talked for a while with the man handing out water. This was a pretty small race without a bunch of spectators and bands and things. I was quite happy to see another human, and I took a nice big break to say hi.

Not long after that, I stopped into a Staples to use the restroom, and I did a teeny-tiny little look around while I was in there. (I’m kind of obsessed with office supplies. I love them, and Staples very well may be my favorite store.)

Okay, but enough with all the shopping, break-times, and sauntering. You are in a half marathon here, Aurora.

I headed on out toward the finish.

I walked for a while, and thought, “Goodness gracious, this race is seeming a little on the long side.” I kept walking… Still not to the finish.

For once, I’m actually pretty certain I’m not lost. My friend who’d already finished, and the man at the water stop made sure I knew where to take my turns, since I was in the back (and apparently other people had gotten lost).

I finally made it to the finish in something like 5 hours, and I collected my medal.

Luckily, I was not the only one who thought the course felt long. Wendy and Marty mapped it. Sure enough, it was 14.91 miles. Yee haw.

Wendy, Marty, and I went out for some vegan lunch. (I’ll admit it was delicious.) Then we took a trip to the grocery store where they showed me all the vegan things I could eat. It was a very helpful field trip. (Did you know you can still have Oreos? I didn’t.)

We swing by the expo to pick up our t-shirts. Now it’s time to get sleep to prepare for another 13.1 tomorrow!

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