I missed the LA Marathon. Okay that’s not true, I was into the LA Marathon for over a hundred bucks, bought a plane ticket from NC but things got…shaky. Somehow I got recruited to work in Washington D.C. for the entire month of March. Well, that and between Jan 27th and March 19th (Marathon day) I think I’d completed about 18 official running miles. TOTAL.
So there I was inhaling food eating at Art Smith’s Art and Soul restaurant at The Liaison hotel on Capital Hill lamenting my lost training and lost bling collecting opportunity when a thought struck me. A year ago the thought of a marathon was ludicrous. A year ago I had no idea who Art Smith was because my sister had not yet dragged me into the Top Chef universe. Here I was eating Southern food at Oprah’s chef’s restaurant disappointed that I missed the LA Marathon. Not only did I miss LA I missed the 25th Anniversary medal and THAT was a double bummer.
So I will never have one of these:
(I know it’s not the clearest picture, sorry) But I’m still disappointed that I don’t have one.
Then I saw one of these:
Hello shiny! 2009 was the 34th year which makes 2010 the 35th year. That’s an anniversary I can get behind.
What you don’t see is the hundreds of uniformed Marines lining the course and offering support. A solider even hands you your medal.
Oprah ran it in 1994 and finished in 4:29:15.
I figure I have serious doubts about my ability to finish a marathon but this way I can keep chanting to myself Oprah finished this… Oprah finished this… Oprah finished this.
Now don’t get me wrong I admire Oprah. But girlfriend isn’t exactly a hardcore runner.
So bring on the soldiers! miles! I’ll post my race training calendar soon.
There are so many ways to gain my respect:
1) Cure something. (I mean really is that a no-brainer or what)
2) Invent or develop something that makes my life easier.
3) Offer me chocolate or coffee for any reason whatsoever.
For a long time I thought those were my top 3. Now I have a new one:
Live* and run in the South.
Now, before my Southern readers (ahem, HZ) get all hot and bothered allow me to explain.
*please note that some of you proud Southerners would argue that North Carolina is not actually The South and if you feel that is the case then you have no reason to be offended by this post now do you? Hah!
Without further ado allow me to detail the reasons I prefer California
- The weather- That’s right, I don’t like your seasons.
First there is rain. Now I’m from Southern California and rain tends to make us panic but okay, I can deal with it.
Then there is snow. Now, I liked the snow because it’s fluffy and pretty and I always felt ripped off that we never got snow days when I was growing up.
I’m cool with the snow even when it forces me to join an East Coast gym for treadmill access.
(See, I’m even posting a second picture, more proof that I love the snow)
But the season I loathe with the fire of a thousand suns?
Pollen Season. This is a picture of the Target parking lot after an hour of the strongest rain I have ever experienced in my life. Torrential rain. And you can see all the yellow pollen on the ground.
Three days before this I was driving down to Columbia, SC from Charlotte, NC and my best friend pointed to a gigantic yellow cloud up ahead. She said
“Hey do you know what that is?”
I immediately started thinking about that X-files in the woods with the creepy bugs that came out at night and ate people. It was a pollen cloud.
2. Sidewalks and jogging trails-
Sidewalks: There AREN’T any. Apparently part of the charm in my part of N.C. is NOT having sidewalks.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the few jogging “trails” went through a dense wooded areas which are beautiful but also incredibly creepy. I’m a female exercising alone, I refuse to go anywhere I don’t have clear visibility around me for at least 25 feet, preferably 50 feet. Not to mention forest = POLLEN.
3. Race Calendar-
If I want to participate in a race I check local race sites and find something 100 miles away or less. There are at least 30 great half marathons within a 2 hour radius. I have a full race schedule and have yet to have to stay the night in a hotel. This means running is much cheaper for me. This is not just limited to the South but those of you who not only have to contend with race registration fees AND hotel costs on top of that have my respect.
4. Time Limits-
My first race took forever. Heck, I know women who have given birth in less time then it took me to walk those 13.1 miles and every step of the way I wasn’t sure I could make it. Having crossed that first finishline, however, I was inspired to actually go from walking to occasional jogging and from occasional jogging to running intervals. I actually consider myself a runner now. Why do so many East Coast races have 3 hour time limits? WHY? I don’t care what anyone says, 3 hours is NOT “walker friendly!”
5. Southern Hospitality-
Yes, this is a BAD thing. I already have issues with my Mama trying to show me love by feeding me. Then I left the state and spent 4 months fighting off other people’s Mamas all trying to feed me things I love. Mostly fried things (who told my dirty secret?) I should not be consuming.
It is no accident that the first five letters of this restaurant’s name is CRACK.
I have officially returned home and boy do I love pollen free oxygen! I love dry weather! Too bad I’ve lost all patience with the ridiculous traffic jams and have to force down road rage every time I get in the car between the hours of 7am and 9pm. But hey, you win some, you lose some, right?