oh, i was so bummed. i mean, yeah, my sparkle skirt and run disney shoes were super cute, but man...those ears were what made my costume. so so so so so bummed. so much so that i even dreamed about it that night. ugh.
it didn't take long for kelley and me to get ready the next morning, and by 6:00 we were getting off of the freeway and heading towards the entrance to qualcomm stadium, home of the san diego chargers.
parking was really easy, and we joined the crowd and found our way to where team superhero was gathering for a group picture.
kelley and i managed to get a "before" shot.
before we knew it, it was time to head towards the start line to get this party started. there were tons and tons of awesome costumes, but i was just so nervous about it all that i didn't take a lot of pictures.
the first couple of miles wound around and through the stadium parking lot.
i loved these girls' costumes - dorothy, the tin man and glinda. so cute.
i found my friend ken, race director extraordinaire, at the first water stop. he was hard at work but still managed to flash me a grin and a hello as i scampered by.
another fun costume idea - forrest gump and his beloved jenn-ay.
2 down, 11.1 to go. yikes.
i found myself basically shadowing this group, who was running intervals. i mean, don't get me wrong - i run intervals too. my particular favorite is 30 seconds run, 30 seconds walk. but these guys...as their timer would wind down, they'd shout out a countdown. every couple of minutes, it was "5...4...3...2...1...WE'RE WALKING!" and then "5...4...3...2...1...WE'RE RUNNING!" oof.
my pal super goofy, the barefoot runner, found me a couple of times - always with a smile and some words of encouragement. he's such a good guy.
i wasn't even anywhere near halfway done when the flashing lights of a motorcycle cop could be seen heading towards us, with the first-place runner right behind him. he had to have been FLYING.
meanwhile, i continued to trudge through the (surprisingly) hilly course. i'd been told it was a fairly flat one, but yeah...no. plus, it was hot and humid, so packaged together with my lack of training and i was not a happy camper. like, i'd much rather have been heading here to do some shopping.
i don't even remember where this timing mat was.
there's something else that was hitting me and adding to my misery. i was feeling so icky that i couldn't even run my 30-second intervals and instead resorted to power-walking. but see that porta-potty off in the distance? yup, i ended up utilizing that bad boy. i now know the true meaning of "runner's trots." it's pretty shitty. heh.
but i felt so much better when i finally emerged from that little box of hell. so great, in fact, that i was able to start running again. i was happy to start seeing the mile markers at a slightly faster pace than before.
doesn't mean i didn't want to hang a right and run right in here for the anniversary sale. i didn't, but it sure sounded good.
i don't remember at which point these were taken, but it has to have been after the porta-potty because SMILING.
my beloved motorola wireless headphones finally went kaput on me completely. luckily, the hub had just picked up a new set of bluetooth earbuds for his bike runs and our monthly 5Ks, and was more than happy to lend them to me for the run. except that as i sweated profusely almost from the very beginning, the earbuds would slip right out and i'd have to jam them back in there. i was futzing around with those damn things the whole time, although it beat not having any music at all.
pretty soon, the sun finally burned off the cloud cover and made an appearance. damn. not really what i needed at that point.
you can't really tell from this picture, but hey, another gnarly hill! and then i had to giggle out loud because my pandora app decided that it was the perfect time to pull out miley's "the climb." i may or may not have sung along to amuse myself even further.
not too long after that, the stadium finally came back into view. but this was a total mind fuck, you guys. because there were a solid two miles left before the end.
still, though, that meant the finish was within reach. i could tell from the big gaps between me and other runners that i was getting my very first "back of the pack" experience. i wasn't last, but i sure wasn't breaking any personal records here. i'd been telling myself for weeks "all you need to do is finish. forget the time." but only-child syndrome rears its ugly head at times like these, and i was supremely annoyed with myself for not having trained properly.
the biggest mind fuck of all? right here - when you can see the end, hear the cheers and the pounding music at the finish line dance party - but then find yourself routed around the side and back behind the crowds to finish off the rest of the course.
we wound around the far end of the parking lot and towards the back side of the stadium, where the 12-mile marker was located.
then we ran alongside the stadium, back up to the very front end of the parking lot, and all the way around until finally, finally...the finish line.
my face in this picture, captured by the official race photographers, kind of tells you everything you need to know.
although when i spied kelley waiting and cheering me on like crazy, i perked up instantly.
hello, giant medal that's as big as my head! now i remember why i put myself through this bullshit! and although i was totally prepared for the absolute worst time known to man, i suppose that it wasn't as terrible as i'd predicted. i came in right under 3 hours...2:59:31. overall, i was #817 out of 990 runners. whatevs, i finished. i'm calling that a win.
here's the "after" shot of me and kelley. i was impressed with how nice the 5K medal was.
post-run treat, plus the plethora of snacks at the finish line.
oh mah gah, all that time in the sun and all the crazy gear i was wearing = siiiiiiick tan lines. like, check it out: i'm still wearing my armpocket! and a tank top!
also on my way home, there was this:
oh yes, i sure did. i'd say i earned it, wouldn't you?