Saturday, March 21, 2015

On the Streets I Ran (or My Second Adventure Running the Los Angeles Marathon)

My Los Angeles Marathon Medals 2014 and 2015

 The Cat
Around 3:00 AM the Saturday before the Los Angeles Marathon,  I was awakened by the sound of my cat barfing. No, I did NOT want to get up to clean because it would wake me up. But I also did not want to accidentally walk in slime when I stumbled out of bed in the morning. So I grumbled and cleaned it up. Then tried to get back to sleep.

It did not work.

In fact, the cat had been sick since Friday afternoon. So, it was clear to me that she needed a visit to the vet. 

Since I was staying two nights in a hotel for the marathon, it increased a little stress. I had to drive the cat to Costa Mesa, in Orange County, and then drive straight  to LA to pick up my bib and marathon packet. Unfortunately, the added responsibility led to poor packing. That's my excuse anyway.

I took the cat to Newport Harbor Animal Hospital, where they ran tests and took x-rays of the cat's stomach. They decided to keep her over night as I would not be able to pick her up in the evening and Roland was at a water polo tournament with my son, Oliver.

The Hotel
After getting my racing packet,  I made my way to the Omni Hotel to meet up with Stephanie since she was there to cheer me on and to hang out with me.

When I came to the registration counter to check in, the clerk could not find my name in the hotel registration. Palms began to sweat a little.

"Mam, we don't have you registered. Is there any way you registered under a different name? How did you register?" Palms began to sweat a bit more.

I replied, "I booked the hotel on the LA Marathon website months ago."

"Well, you aren't listed."

We tried checking under various lists, names, etc. When there was nothing, I remembered that last year, all the hotels were booked solid. Visions of sidling up next to a homeless person sleeping on the sidewalk on skid row and getting very little to no sleep haunted my anxious mind. I considered the possibility of driving all the way back to Orange County (30+ miles south) and having to wake up at 2 AM in order to be ready and to be able to park in the very crowded Dodger Stadium. 

In any event, the hope of the chance of getting much needed sleep before the marathon, was dwindling.

I started crying. Not weeping loudly, but the stress really got to me. Luckily Stephanie arrived and the supervisor assured me that they would find a room for us for two nights. Mind you, amid all of this a drunk guy had passed out by the elevator and paramedics were called. Just not what I had envisioned for myself the night before the marathon.

The Running Bra
After we checked in many deep breaths, we got cleaned up, took an Uber cab to LA Live and had a delicious Mexican meal. 

Upon our return to the hotel, I decided to lay all my clothes out so that I was ready in the morning. 
It was then that I discovered that I had forgotten my running bra. If you are a woman you understand the importance and you also understand that using your everyday bra just isn't going to be good enough. I considered driving to Orange County to get it. I considered asking Roland to drive from the OC to deliver it. I panicked, I paced. I stressed yet again.

It was 9 PM. That means nothing was open-except Target. 

This was when Stephanie sprang into action. She left the hotel room. "I'll be right back," she said.

5 minutes later she returned and said,." We are going to Target. I've arranged for the courtesy car to take us to the nearest Target."

Done. I might add that Stephanie also arranged for my oatmeal breakfast to be delivered extra early so I could eat before setting off for Dodger Stadium.

26.2 Miles
I slept as soundly as anyone could who has been training for 30 weeks, and who was only just able to decrease their stress level from a 10 to a 5 within the span of 5 hours. 

When I put my contact lenses in, I realized that they were extremely cloudy. I tried cleaning them as best I could but it was useless. I had forgotten to pack extra lenses and my glasses. So I knew I'd just have to deal with the foggy lenses for the duration of the marathon.

So I ran. And I ran. And I ran. I listened to my favorite radio show, Breakfast with the Smiths for two hours. In exactly 6 hours I was at the finish line reaping the rewards of having worked so hard for something. Roland was there. Stephanie was there. I had a medal and probably one of the best feelings of accomplishment. Ever.

The Contact Lenses
The next morning I rose early to leave downtown LA in order to take Oliver to school as it was Monday, but I had the day off to recover. When I put my foggy lenses into my eyes, one of them had torn making it utterly useless to me.

My only option was to drive with one contact lens. 

It was still dark and for part of the time I had to drive with one eye closed. Turning from the 101 freeway to the 5 freeway, I realized it was a mistake. I was tempted to get off the freeway in Boyle Heights because I was convinced I was going to die on the freeway in a fiery ball of metal. But once I was on the 5, I was driving straight so I drove in the far right lane behind slow trucks and cars for 30 miles. I never appreciated the slow cars so much. 

I parked the car and ran upstairs to the front door. 

"Hi Mom! Congratulations!"

And I won.

No comments:

Post a Comment