Picking up from yesterday –
I don’t see a single American around me anymore. Let’s all remember, I don’t speak Spanish. I’m holding all my luggage (and a coat). And I have no idea where to get my bib at his giant place in Mexico…
So, I’m running around from tent to tent, trying desperately to find someone who speaks English. But I can find no one.
Then I find the VIP tent. Well, okay, right?
I mean, if any tent is gonna have a) all the info b) people who speak some other probably popular-ish languages, it’s gotta be the tent for VIPs, right? (No.)
I get waved in by someone who turns out to be the wife of someone in our group. She has the same idea that this seems like a place that might have answers – or at least has a little bit of space, if nothing else.
Also, she probably wasn’t actually even waving me in, come to think of it, because her husband came in closely behind me. And we had a third American coming in at the same time as well.
So, we’re asking around and no one speaks English… until! Someone does. We explain the situation and he says he’s gonna figure it out for us. He calls in on his walkie. No one answers, so he goes on foot to check things out.
We finally take a tiny breather after all this running around with our luggage and we take turns in the port o’ potties. (Might as well use the bathroom while we (barely) have the time…
But English-speaking-dude never comes back!
The race is starting any minute, and we’re getting in a little bit of trouble for being in the VIP area without wristbands. So one of our runners runs over to yet another tent by the start line, while I send out a desperate email and Facebook message to the group asking if anyone knows where we go.
And my new runner friend gets an answer at the start line. We have to haul butt to a tent in center-field where they have our bibs. I get there before him and am told we have to sign a waiver at the table. I’m shown exactly where to sign. (I know it’s generally the same place, but we’re not thinking an in a hurry (and for all I know it’s in Spanish. I was paying no attention. They could’ve gotten me to sign my life away).) Anyway, I get a pen ready of him. As soon as he gets there, I point exactly where he has to sign. We sign and run.
I am carrying my bib and safety pins with me – didn’t even put it on, because we had no time. The race had already started!
Then, when I reach the start, there are barriers surrounding it – and not the barriers like at the US Rock ‘n’ Roll races where we can actually get through, but like these full barriers you can’t climb under. So, then I’m pushing through the crowd – saying excuse me, but I’m not 100% sure everyone can understand me because I’m just some dumb American being pushy. Then I leap up on top of the barrier and flip over. (I do not have an easy time with these at Spartan events. But dang. I go over this one like this is my job. I guess anything’s possible when adrenaline is flowing.)
Then I start jogging.
Now, I just have to outrun the shuttle. (Dum dum duuuuuuum [*scary chords*].)
So, I’m trying to outrun the shuttle, and let me tell you… it is not going well.
People keep asking me if I’m okay, and trying to encourage me to just get a little boost, but I just keep refusing and trying to hard to stay up with the time limit.
Ooooh, and then…
Somewhere around the section where we’re going into the highway, this guy on this scooter/motorcycle-y thing is trying to explain to me (again, in a language I lamely don’t speak) that I need to get on his scootery-motorcycle thing. But I really don’t want to. (Of course.)
I don’t really speak the language to argue. I don’t know where I am. They’re opening the road to traffic, and I see cars coming on. I’m gonna be lost and in trouble if I stay out here like this.
I don’t know how to say much to him, but the only thing I do know how to say is “poquito!” I just keep saying “poquito, poquito” while holding my fingers very close together – like “you’ll only take me a liiiittle little bit, right?”
He says poquito, and I try to just look at it as a new adventure. I’ve never ridden one of these two-wheeled vehicles, so I hop on and hold on and go on forward, holding onto him.
I feel the wind whipping through my hair and if you’re gonna do something as awfully lame as get on a shuttle, I suppose this is the way to do it.
He drives me forward about 3 kilometers, and then I join in with everybody else again.
AS the race gets closer to the end, it’s starting to feel painful – like the end is never going to come.
It doesn’t help that there are so many turns and turns and turns (and turns!). Every time you think you’re going toward the finish line? You’re not, friend!
The one part that was super the coolest though was that the course had you run right between the band’s stage at the finish festival the giant screaming crowd. So, you got to feel like a huge celebrity for a minute.
So, finally I “finished,” and of course I put that in quotes because I had to ride for part of the race and I’ve never done that before.
And I know the Aurora we all know (and maybe hopefully love), you’d think would grab that medal and throw it. (And then she’d go retrieve it and give it to charity, but certainly not keep it.)
However, I don’t know if I’m just getting soft or too apathetic or what, but I was kinda like, “Weeeeeeeeeeell… If you look at my phone tracking, I did the 3 kilometers in all the running around (with my bags!) before the race. Like, it was part of a whole day event that didn’t run the way we were told and this was me improvising the best I could.
Of course, fitter people were able to do it better/faster… They weren’t stuck on any vehicles (even if they were super cool ones).
So, this probably shouldn’t count as a half marathon when I couldn’t my lifetime half marathons… But I am kinda like, “Eh, come on. You did the best you could in a situation you didn’t know you’d be in…” And now I’m just rambling in a circle.
The most important thing is how I’m gonna count it for Project882. And I’m counting 10 miles. Instead of just taking off 3 kilometers, I’m taking off 3.1 miles to be on the safe side, but I’m gonna count the 10 I did because this is a lot of miles, y’all. And I gotta count what my feet are doing on the ground! Even if counting the whole race is iffy, those 10 miles were real and so hard and they’re going in the total.
After the race, I had a hotel room, though ultimately, I’m not 100% sure why when you really thought about what time I was getting there vs. what time I had to leave.
I got up to my room I think around 11:30pm. My flight was around 5am the next morning.
When I peeled my poor socks off, my feet were bleeding from who even knows what – shoes, blisters, whatever.
Even planning for the day, it was still super hard. But I showered, changed, ate some vegetarian tacos in the restaurant with some of the people who’d done the race, and then I went to the airport.
And I sat on the ground as I waited to check into my flight, ’cause at this point I could barely move. Once I landed, I went straight to work and somehow hobbled through the day.
Another some miles down! And onward we go!