Ok, Short and Feisty, you’ve got this.
No, you didn’t do any training,
No, you’re probably not as hydrated as you should be, and
NO, it was not a good idea to skip out on using a port-a-potty because you “think they’re the grossest invention of this Modern Era”.
But now you’re at the starting line and they’re singing the National Anthem and you’re feeling really patriotic and YOU’VE GOT THIS.
Last minute stretch, but not too much. There are a host of new studies that tell you NOT to stretch before exercise, so maybe just loosen up the nerves with a couple of bounces and a quick twist of the torso.
Ok, fireworks are now going off to signal the start of the race, but you’re in one of the corrals waaay in the back with the slower runners, so you’ve got a while to wait.
Just shuffle your feet for a while and don’t think about how freezing it is before dawn in Southern California.
Take a minute to adjust your playlist on your iPhone–yes, the course officially discourages using headphones, but some people don’t feel like the rhythmic slapping of their shoes on the pavement (or the painful sound of your thighs rubbing together) is all that motivating.
Ok, you’re corral is walking closer to the starting line. This definitely isn’t a race to get your “PR” set, because there are so many people, your best bet is a slight jog for the first mile or so, but you wouldn’t have sprinted that anyway.
Check your watch to track your official start time–it’s now been about twenty minutes since the “Elite Runners” and Kenyans!! in the first corral started.
Ok, light and easy, slow and steady, feel the bounce in your toes.
Hey, this feels pretty good. I’m breathing easily through Disney’s California Adventure and LOOK there’s Chewbacca posing for photos. Don’t stop, though, because those photo lines take FOREVER to get through and you WILL be swept from the course if you don’t maintain a 16 minute mile.
Ok, Mile 1 and you clock in at 9 minutes?! You go girl! That’s really good for you since you run slower than molasses going uphill in the winter. Just keep going.
Mile 2–Hmm, starting to get a cramp in your side. Make sure you’re hydrating at the water/PowerAid stops. Everyone is wearing such creative costumes! How does that person run with an elaborate Boba Fett helmet on their head?
Mile 3– Those cramps are still there, but you know it’s not because you’re dehydrated. You have to go #2 and port-a-potty is your only option. Stop sneering and pull off to the side!
Mile 4–Oh, so you’re too good for the port-a-john? You’re loss, friend. Relief will be temporary until the end of the race.
Mile 5–Is it over yet?! Why did I decide to do this again? The sharp sting in your lungs overshadows the cramp in your stomach.
Mile 6–You feel like you’ve been running for an eternity, but you’re not even halfway there. Dear God, when does the running stop?
Mile 7–Oh, hooray! A Clif Shot energy gel to make your blood sugar level even out…oh, my-LANTA this junk tastes those disgusting gel candies your friends and you would scarf down in the mid-90’s. Throw it away and get some water! YOU WILL NEVER GET THAT TASTE OUT OF YOUR MOUTH.
Mile 8–More than halfway there. You can do this. Oh wait, your digestive system isn’t cooperating again? Don’t whine to me about it, I told you to pull over at Mile 3.
Mile 9–Why do your legs feel like lead? Yes, they may be “the size of big tree trunks” (Love Actually), but they shouldn’t feel like solid wood. This is unnatural, conquering long distances was the reasons cars were created, we aren’t doing this again.
Mile 11–2.1 miles more to go. The end is nigh. That Golden Bathroom in the Sky is almost in sight. Your legs couldn’t stop running even if you wanted them to. Thank goodness you remembered the “body glide” to rub in between your thighs and on your arms to keep chafing away. You can’t forget what happened the last time we did this and you didn’t moisturize–that wasn’t pretty.
Mile 12–Why does it feel like you’re running backwards. And how did that person wearing a full body card-board Death Star just pass you?
Mile 13–the longest .1 miles of your life. But finish strong and step it up! You’ve run/walked this far, you can run the rest!
Mile 13.1–SWEET VICTORY. But no sweet relief, yet.
Collect your medal, sprint (read: crawl) through the photo line, grab a snack pack, and get to the nearest bathroom (which isn’t for another .1 miles near the parking garage). Are you moving at all? Because, at this point, you can’t feel your legs.
Spend the next 5-8 minutes enjoying the most gratifying bathroom experience you’ve had in your entire life. Most importantly, you can finally sit down.
While you slump back to the car, pull out your iPhone and Google more races. You’re feeling unstoppable.
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