People are sitting in the bleachers cheering. A nervous excitement fills the floor. The start line is located in a school’s gymnasium. We are told, “just run laps around the outside of the basketball court”. That’s weird. Um, okay. I’m running. By the third lap, I’m getting pretty bored. I pass my former house mate who is walking the half marathon. I don’t remember much except she’s wearing brand new old style Reebok high tops. I don’t stop to ask about them. I’m focused, on a mission.
A couple laps later, I notice the group has begun to thin out. I am thinking, yeah, this IS weird. I decide to lose a few seconds of my race time and stop to ask the race official what is going on. I look to the center of the court and the race official is doing cheer steps with some boyband guy in center court. Dear god, Paula Abdul is a race official?
I go with it.
“Excuse me, I don’t understand. How am I supposed to know how far I’ve run, and how far I have to go? How many laps make a mile?” I say waving my hands, confused and starting to get a bit worried.
“You see this square here? The diagonal is ten meters,” she says happily, swooshing her pom-poms and jumping across the diagonal. She’s got the Reeboks too.
What? Are you kidding me? I’m supposed to bust out the Pythagorean theorem to try to figure the length of the sides of the square, and then estimate how many squares across the outer square is? Then convert meters to miles? a^2 + b^2 = c^2. Wait, what are you supposed to do to solve it if you only know c? This is ridiculous!
I check my watch. 18 minutes have gone by. I look up and no one is left running around the basketball court. No one except for me. Um, yeah right. I’m not THAT slow. Even Paula Radcliffe couldn’t finish a half marathon in 18 minutes.
The sun streams through the bleachers and onto the court. A man in a brown 1980s suit walks in from the outside.
“Hey, are you the head race official? Good. What is going on here? I don’t understand.”
“You were only supposed to run the first lap in here, and then leave for the course outside. She,” he says pointing to Laker girl Paula, “should have directed you outside.”
“What?!!! No one directed me anywhere. She’s too busy dancing with Justin out there. And there are no markings. Nothing!”
“I’m sorry, there’s really nothing I can do,” he stammers, starting to get a little flushed in the face.
“Nothing you can do?!” I am usually a non-violent person. But, somehow I’ve got my purse in my hand and I start whacking him with it on the sides of his arms. Hard. “Do you know how hard I’ve trained for this run?! People have sponsored me. They are expecting me to do it! My dad’s here to see me!” I am near tears. And then things begin to fade…
Man, it was a rough night. I don’t feel very well rested. Which didn’t help with today’s run through the Thanet wind tunnel
Distance: 5.2 miles
Pace: 10:09 min/mile
Distance: 5.2 miles
Pace: 9:26 min/mile