(#49) Walnut Creek Half Marathon – Part 2 (The Race)

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Picking up from yesterday

So, I did the race even thought I was sick.

I was very lucky that I found a great place to stay on CouchSurfing.org. I stayed with Anton, an extremely nice, fun man.

He had a spare bedroom with a really comfy bed. I went to bed pretty super early. I got around nine hours of desperately needed sleep. So amazing.

Anton was only about two blocks from the starting line – which was even better.

I always forget that other cities have weather, but luckily this time someone on Facebook reminded me that it would be cold in the morning. (Thank goodness for random good Samaritans on the internet.)

I brought my gloves that I had gotten in Seattle, and I put on my sweatshirt (the only one I own). I made my way to the start line.

I came extra prepared today since I was under the weather. I brought a water bottle and some energy chews so I could be sure to stay hydrated and have an extra dose of energy if need be.

The aid at this half marathon was great, though. They had orange slices at nearly every station. Every person I saw in Walnut Creek from the first person I saw at the expo to each spectator I saw on the course seemed really lovely and enthusiastic about the race.

I did what I always do when I’m sick and something needs to get done – I just act ’til it’s over. (When something doesn’t need to get done, I play the part of a whiny child in bed.)

Especially any time I went uphill, I turned on a lovely dramatic song on my iPhone. I charged up those inclines with the power of Jennifer Holiday pushing me. I actually passed people on hills. I knew I’d probably slow down on them, and I did not want to slow my walking pace, so I just went all musical theater on them. Ba-bam!

I even hammed it up for a couple of cameras on the course. The adrenaline was flowing. Plus, it is ingrained in me – see a camera, do something. I’ve known that lesson ever since I was a baby and my parents put a camera on me and said, “Now show me happy.” “Now show me sad” – and I’d do huge facial expressions and sounds. (I’ve been playing to the back of the house ever since I could understand words.)

Side note: My parents are not performers (well, that can be debated if you’ve seen the way my dad acts like we’re about to die in any distance race ;)), and they were not trying to raise one. I was just a very perform-y (and I imagine super-fun, of course) child.

There was great signage on this race. There wasn’t any chance of getting lost – until one point around mile 12. There wasn’t a sign to turn, but if you happened to look to your left, you could see the 12th mile marker a bit down the (paved) trail.

You’d think the girl who always gets lost wouldn’t notice it, but I did! I get a gold star for that, I think. Not only did I save myself from extra mileage, I saved the four people around me. (What, what?)

In the final mile, I talked to a fun group of three women. Mainly we talked about Cory Booker, ’cause really, what else do you talk about with new strangers, right?

I was very happy to see that finish line. I ran through the little muddy area, and collected my medal!

Side note about this race’s swag: they’ve had the best drop bag yet. It’s made of good material, has a plastic tag holder for your number. I could totally see reusing it (and did at Santa to the Sea earlier today).

Then I got my Northern California Series medal (and a t-shirt to boot since I did the SoCal series as well!)

(Perhaps the NoCal Half people have something to do with this race? They seemed more intertwined here. In SoCal, no one knew where to get your special medal at the end. I went and grabbed mine out of a box where no one was checking names. Here, there was a whole booth, and volunteers, and a system in place. Also, at the expo, the NoCal medals were prominently displayed. Edited to add: They are run by the same people! Ba-bam. I could tell.)

Now it’s back to SoCal for Santa to the Sea in Oxnard!

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