My run buddies and I (We call ourselves “The Stampeding Turtles”) decided to try a coastal race this past summer, thinking it would be great to get out of the hot Phoenix temperatures and enjoy the temperate climate of Orange County, California.
We saw the OC half marathon was doing a 10th anniversary so figured that it would be well organized and the map SAYS it is mostly flat with a slight uphill on mile 7 (WHY is it always mile 7-9?!?), so we four bought our bibs online, booked the hotels and anxiously awaited Cinco De Mayo weekend.
The expo was a huge mess. Trying to get out of the parking area took forever, as they only had one entrance and one exit to the OC fair grounds. We stayed optimistic though as the area was beautiful, the temperature was perfection and we were just stoked to be out of AZ for the weekend.
Race morning was hectic as always, but we got to the start line with over an hour to spare. Knowing how the GI tracts like to make themselves known due to nerves, we searched out the port-a-potty lines. To say there weren’t enough J-Johns would be an understatement. When the gun went off three of us were still in line, and this was with full knowledge that the toilet paper had run out long ago.
As I said, we are “turtle-fast”, so by the time we made it to the water stations they were out of water and Gatorade, and they only had fuel set up at one station for the half marathon. We thought that was ridiculous, and because of the water lack, the traffic snarl getting into and out of the fair grounds we will never run the OC Half again. I did write several negative reviews and issued complaints via the survey, which landed me on their marketing list- but I digress.
Despite of the negatives we still had a blast and I was able to PR (by 14 whole minutes!). There was one absolute moment of HILARITY when (Sorry guys- block your ears, girl problems) my nipples hurt SO bad that I pulled my Chapstick out of my bra (hey, it holds a lot of stuff! Don’t judge me!) and applied it. Well, apparently the guy behind me and my friend Vicky got a load of my slightly exposed bosom, and promptly tripped over his own feet and fell. Oddly enough, we had just taken a “runfie” a few minutes before, and he is our photobomber in the background. Think this was around the 5 mile marker. But I could be wrong. I get run-induced amnesia. Sort of like labor-amnesia, but with running long distances.
As I said I suffer from Run-nesia, so right after the race, my friend’s 16 year old much-faster-on-way-less-training asks to use my Chapstick. Which I of course let her use, then as she is applying it I remember just what said Chapstick had done that day. WOOOPS. To her credit she did not gag or barf. Stern stuff that Julia. The rest of us came perilously close to peeing our pants (Again. Don’t judge. Runner’s issues!).
Another funny thing- My friend, Mary left her RunKeeper run app on post race- and it took over an hour to get the ONE mile out of the parking lot to the freeway. We literally could have gotten out and ran several miles faster than the traffic!