Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Santa Barbara Marathon Race Report—the marathon that almost wasn’t (PART 1)

The Days Before the Race
The day after Long Beach, my friend Kelly told me that she wanted to pay for my entry into Santa Barbara so I could try again for a BQ time.  What an incredibly sweet gesture!  I told her that if I ran Santa Barbara, it would only be to run with her.  Although, at the time, I couldn’t imagine running a marathon in three weeks.  I was having a hard time walking up and down stairs and sitting on the toilet.  I was more sore than I remember being for any other marathon.

On Tuesday, I heard that the Boston Marathon sold out in eight hours.  It wouldn’t matter if I ran a sub-3:50 race in Santa Barbara, 2011 was full.  It was good, because it really took that internal pressure off.  I have a year to worry about running a fast marathon.  Later that week, I told Kelly that if she wanted to “sponsor” me for the marathon it would be as her pacer and coach.  There was nothing more that I wanted than to be there as she finished her first marathon.  I had been there throughout her running journey and it would be the best thing for my mental state to be there with her as she crossed the finish line.  We finally registered me the week of the race after I was sure that my body was fully recovered.  We were both very excited.

The logistics of the race were going to be an issue.  My son had a school talent show on Friday night before the race.  It started at 6 p.m.  I wouldn’t be able to leave for Santa Barbara until after 7:30 p.m.  Once I got on the road, even though it was long after rush hour, I had to fight LA traffic.  The drive was long and I didn’t reach the hotel room until 10:30.  Yikes…so much for getting much sleep. 

Kelly and Lori were in the hotel room getting ready for the morning and Odessa was already sleeping.  Lori was running her first half marathon.  I started to lay out my running stuff and started looking for the bib.  Me: “Where is the bib?” Kelly: “in the bag.” Me, dumping out the contents of the bag: “nope…two shirts*, a hat, a bunch of ads”  Kelly: “Are. You. SERIOUS???  We looked everywhere.  After Kelly mentally retraced her steps, she concluded that when she handed the volunteer her and my envelopes to get one of the shirts, she only received one back.

At this point, Kelly was freaking out.  To be honest, inside I was freaking out a little too.  But it wouldn’t do any good for both of us to freak out.  I said, don’t worry…we’ll be able to figure this out (but inside I was thinking, “omg,omg,omg…whatthehellarewegoingtodo?” ) “I’m sure this isn’t the first time something like this has happened” (but inside I was thinking about all the chaos of the pre-race morning that Danica described in her post-Long Beach blog post).  “I’m sure they can issue a new chip” (thinking, “but Kelly activated the original chip at the expo.”)  “If not, I’ll just run it without a bib and chip… I’m here for you.” (“I will run with Kelly no matter what, but, dang, that is a long way to run to not get a medal or an official time.  I’ll have four marathons and an asterisk.”)

We decided to try to get some sleep.  It was after eleven and we had to get up EARLY.  Well…sleep was an elusive thing.  I could not turn off my brain.  When I wasn’t thinking about the chip and bib (“what if they don’t let me on the bus.”) I was thinking about every random thing in my life (“will my husband get a second interview to a job he is up for?” “did my son get all his props from backstage at the talent show?”  “did I get my driver’s license off the scanner when I copied it for Kelly?”  I didn’t.)  I looked at my watch sometime around 12:30 or 1:00 and Kelly said, “Lisa, you’re killing me…I am SO sorry I lost the envelope!!”  I reached over (we were sharing a bed) and touched her arm and said, “don’t worry, it will all work out fine.”  By this time, I believed it.  I knew it would somehow work out and we would have a great story to tell.
To be continued…

*I have a bit of a gripe with the fact that we have two tech shirts.  When we registered at Active.com, it asked if we wanted a technical shirt for an additional $20.  Doesn’t this imply that the race shirt would be a cotton t-shirt??  Kelly, being a generous friend, purchased the additional shirt for me, since that what she did for herself.  We both ended up with two tech shirts.  They are different designs, but to be honest, the “free” race shirt is nicer than the $20 extra shirt.  What is that all about??  I think that smells a bit dishonest!


Aka Alice said...

OMG...I wouldn't have slept a wink either.

Can't wait for the rest of the story :-)

L.B. said...

Talk about unsettled! It's bad enough having the whole 26.2 thing to worry about, but this is an, um, interesting?, challenge to throw on top of everything else.

Kristin said...

Very exciting (though troubling)story so far, can't wait for the conclusion! If you want to come to Seattle for the marathon and pace me, I would sponsor your entry! (Seriously, I know you're not planning a trip to Seattle, but if you did, I would pay for your entry!)

Chic Runner said...

We had a few people who lost their bibs too and they personally contacted me and I had them taken care of :) Sorry you had to deal with this and that's a bummer about the tech tee :(

Can't wait to hear the rest!

Lindsay said...

LOL. your poor friend! it would have stunk to go through the race w/o a bib/chip. i still would've counted it as official though... (I am assuming you did get your/a bib) you were signed up (not bandit-ing) so it counts!

weird about the shirts... definitely a little deceitful.

EmLit said...

That is weird/dubious about the second tech shirt. Well, I'll remember never to select to pay more to get one! Also, what a troublesome situation to be in! I definitely know how you feel lying in bed trying to get to sleep while *everything* you could possibly worry about creeps in. I can't wait to hear about how everything was resolved.

Glenn Jones said...

Having a chip/bib is no guarantee. L.A. Marathon last year - my chip died during the race!

I'm sure things worked out. Looking forward to part 2.

Irene said...

Oh my gosh!

Terri said...

I like the internal and external commentary, this is pretty fun to read.

by the way, please stop by my blog for my post of today. You're one of the ones I want to thank, for reaching out to me and telling me about your own past experience with what I'm going through now.


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