i usually sleep like crap the night before a big race, but for some reason my body relaxed enough to let me get enough rest. instead of waking up every hour, i slept all the way till about half an hour before my alarm was scheduled to go off. yay!
the plan worked like a charm, and we joined a fairly large group of runners as we boarded the train somewhere around 5am. the hollywood & highland stop was the first one after universal city, so it wasn't a very long ride.
there were lots and lots of other crazies out there milling about, warming up, taking photos and socializing. unlike past years, we were there early enough for me to join in for the legacy group photo, plus the one for team superhero.
i managed a couple of selfies with my superhero events buddies, too.
right after interview took this:
the official race photographer came by and took these.
by then, it was time to head to our corrals. interview and i wished each other luck and then parted ways. funny how different the view was that morning compared to just a week before.
when my corral finally moved up to the start line, i caught a glimpse of my friend mark, doing his thing up in the announcer's booth.
here goes nothing!
i didn't take a tremendous amount of photos during the race. i felt like i'd trained sufficiently, having worked my way up to a 10-mile training run the week before like i usually do. and it wasn't like i wasn't familiar with the course - it was the same as last year's. but this year, i wasn't distracted by my duties as a course angel. actually, this time i had a different distraction, and not a pleasant one. i'll spare you the gory details, but let's just say that i had...tummy issues. it made my running intervals extra painful. and i didn't particularly want to make a pitstop at any of the porta potties because EW. instead, i tried to occupy my mind with all sorts of random thoughts and sights like the famous capitol records building:
not too long after that, the 10K course split off from the half.
and at the end of one of the turnarounds, we hit the halfway mark where a timing mat had been placed.
i hadn't had time to stop and pick up packets of my preferred fueling gel, so i was happy to see the clif station somewhere after mile 6.
when i hit the 9-mile marker, i realized that the course must have varied at least a little. that's where my course angel post had been last year, but this wasn't the same area i remember hanging out at, cheering folks on.
two more miles!
i could smell the deliciousness of roscoe's way before i actually reached it. damn, i could've taken down a number 9 special like nobody's business at that point.
as i headed back towards the finish line at hollywood & vine, i passed up the venue for that night's afterparty.
these were snapped by the photographer, and thanks to the generosity of the race directors, every participant got to download all of their official race pictures for free. so awesome.
after what seemed like freaking forever, i finally reached this:
i always want to do something cute at the finish, but instead i'm lucky to crack a smile as i finally cross that timing mat.
obligatory medal shots.
post-race grub was being served up by cheerful volunteers, although i could have kicked the one kid i overheard whining about "OMG, i'm so tired..." fucker, i just ran 13.1 miles and your ass has been kicking it over here handing out bagels and choco pies. get the fuck outta here.
because interview had been waiting for a really long time, i just wanted to meet up and hop onto the train so that we could head home. i didn't want to take up any more of his time, and although he said he was more than happy to hang out and watch the runners coming in, i felt bad that he'd been stuck hanging out for as long as he did. and our timing was perfect, because right as we reached the bottom of the stairs at the station, a train was pulling up. we slid right in and snagged a spot near the door, hanging onto the handrails for the ride.
this is where it got a little hairy. i don't know if it was the motion of the train, my mostly empty stomach, or those aforementioned tummy issues i still had, but somewhere along the line i started to feel dizzy and queasy. not a good feeling, lemme tell ya. i remember my inner monologue going something like "where would you puke? this train is packed. you don't have a bag or anything. don't puke don't puke don't puke don't puke." and there was also a bit of "holy shit, don't pass out. don't let go of the handrail. don't pass out don't pass out don't pass out." i kind of sank into a squat for a second in the hopes of letting my head clear a bit, but then those tummy issues reminded me that nope, that's not a good position to hang out in. oh man, it was miserable. I was miserable. i mumbled something like "dude, i don't feel right" to interview, who instantly looked concerned and tried to find a spot for me to sit down. it was only two stops on the line before our final destination, but that was seriously THE longest ride ever.
"do you want to sit for a minute?" he asked as we finally pulled into the universal station. thankfully, as the doors opened there was a bench a mere 5 steps away. and despite my disdain at touching anything at any of the train stations the week before with the girl scouts, i didn't even hesitate for a second to collapse onto that bench. in fact, i went right past sitting down to full-on sprawling out on that thing. as soon as the world stopped spinning a bit, i slowly got myself back up to a sitting position and tried to pull myself together. poor interview, man. he was such a good sport and so helpful, i was so grateful to have him there. and to think, i almost made this trek all by myself. damn, i would have been well and truly fucked.
there were two or three flights of stairs between us and ground level, where the car was parked. and i was so woozy that i had to stop in between each one, sitting my weak ass on the floor for a few minutes. again, i just didn't give a crap about how gross and dingy that floor must have been. i was just happy to have somewhere to sit and catch my breath. good gracious, i was so pathetic.
interview went up to do a little research to see if there was a restroom i could make use of, and we were both really surprised to find that there was none. instead, we finally made our way to the car and headed off to find a gas station, a starbucks, anything that would have a public restroom. we ended up at a carl's jr., where of course there was a line to use the single-stall potty. it was nasty and dirty and tagged up with graffiti, but when you've gotta go, you just...go. amirite?
after thanking my carpool partner profusely for taking such good care of me that morning, i happily steered the pri-YES towards home. by then, the hunger had kicked back in and i made a couple of necessary stops before finally pulling in at the house of wan.
breakfast of champions right here, yo.
also, these are my new obsession. handed out at the finish line, they're branded as a "cookie-cracker." they're a little salty, a little bit sweet, thin, crunchy and super delicious.
and much later, the bean assisted me in taking this fun shot with all my hollywood half bling.
for 2016 - the 5th anniversary - we're going to have a brand new design for the medal and a brand new course. registration is already open, and i'm going to make sure i do it much earlier this time around so i can have my fun legacy bib with my name printed on it.
next up...tinkerbell. i'm signed up for the pixie dust challenge, which means i'm running the 10K on saturday and then the half the next morning. holy crap. this also means that the long runs are continuing...not even a week after finishing this half, i've already logged a 7-miler.
thank goodness my running mojo is back! i've missed it.