This past weekend (and a few days into the week) Kate and I went on a mini-vacation. Kate has been training 15 weeks for the Ventura Marathon and we decided to make a little trip out of it and go to Santa Barbara after her race. We drove up the coast from San Diego to Ventura and then to Santa Barbara and stayed there until Tuesday. (I was originally planning to run the marathon with her but I hurt my foot after a long run in the first few weeks of training. I decided to not get discouraged and have my own marathon instead. However, my training consisted of watching endless amounts of TV and my couch and no exercise of any sort and instead of rewarding myself upon completion with a medal I was rewarded upon completion of a new TV series with candy).
**This post details the Ventura portion of our trip as, upon writing it all out, I realized it could be an e-book in itself and I should probably break it up into two separate posts. I will detail Santa Barbara later on this week or next. So enjoy reading. Or don’t. I really won’t know the difference.
But anyways, we drove up Saturday and we were excited and I made a road trip playlist and we got coffee and gas and left relatively early and were on the road! Just driving up the coast with nothing but the road ahead of us. Nothing but the road and a bazillion cars. Traffic. We weren’t even out of San Diego and we were already in traffic. Traffic was in fact a mother fucker. THE WHOLE WAY. I lived in LA for 3 years. I drive in traffic everyday to and from work. I should be used to it. Right? Wrong. I immediately get some sort of tourette’s syndrome in traffic that is characterized by uncontrollable bouts of cursing and twitching. I want to kill everyone and hit my head against the steering wheel repeatedly. I used to smoke and would chain smoke in traffic but now nothing. This particular situation (traffic) wasn’t a trigger and didn’t illicit me wanting or craving a beer right that second because, well, drinking and driving isn’t politically correct or legal or whatever the rules are. However, after being in a car for 5 1/2 hours, what is the first thing I wanted to do (besides pee)? Have an ice cold beer. But lo and behold fellow drunks or friends or sober readers or people who randomly found my blog through typing in the keyword “my girlfriend is taller than me” wtf?? — I did not have a beer.
Anyways, instead of killing myself or other drivers or having a beer we went to the Ventura Pier to pick up Kate’s race bib and get free running stuff and all that jazz. I then decided I wanted to run too. (I couldn’t just have this race be all about her, obviously, I am far too selfish for that. I wanted to run too. And hey, why not? I’ve run a half marathon before).
Let me elaborate: I am not a runner. I don’t claim to be. I actually have always hated running (one of the reasons I played softball and tennis over soccer and cross country). I run simply because it’s free therapy, it’s good exercise and it doesn’t cost a penny to do. When I met Kate over a year ago I was training for a half marathon (my first and only). She’s really into running and has a blog chronicling her running and marathons (socalrunnergal) and speaks runner jargon that I have to Google. I also run because any run over 5 miles warrants drinking a beer afterwards. A beer has always been my light at the end of the why-the-fuck-am-I-doing-this tunnel.
Saturday night we walked around downtown Ventura which was super cute and quaint and decided we would get sushi as our pre-race meal. Carbs and fish what could be better? We settled on this little sushi place on the main strip and sat outside to people watch. Sushi and Sapporo? Nope. Sushi and a Diet Coke. We ordered our rolls and we ate. And ate. Upon finishing I realized we were one of three people in the restaurant. I am a big fan of the internet and reading reviews and I realized then that I had not read anything on this restaurant before deciding on it. (Note to self: do not read reviews of restaurant AFTER eating). It had 1/5 stars on yelp. Kate then stated how one of her rolls wasn’t great and tasted bad. Our minds quickly went from satisfaction in our bellies being full of delicious food to food poisoning. We would definitely be throwing up in the next few hours. We mentally had to convince ourselves that the food was not bad and that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (not alcohol) would be a way to counter the bad food and allow us to be poison free. It worked. Two scoops of ice cream and I was golden. (This is another addiction I have acquired. Ice cream and frozen yogurt after a meal. Any meal. Even breakfast. And sometimes substitute it as a meal. Hi my name is Brittany and I am an Ice-Cream-aholic. I can already picture the dreary dim lit Ice-Cream-aholic’s Anonymous room I will find myself in soon).
But anyways (have I mentioned it is really hard to concentrate and stay on task with ADD?) Sunday we both get up at 5:00 am (and being the amazing girlfriend I am I went to Starbucks and got us both coffee) and we were both nervous about our races. Kate would start at 6:20 and I would start at 7:00. She was off and we said our goodbyes and good lucks. Shortly after she left I walked over to the Ventura pier and lined up with all the other half-marathoners at the start line. I quickly realized, fuck. (If fuck is a realization). But fuck, I haven’t run more than 6 miles in two months. In fact, the last time I attempted to run a long run I got injured and could barely walk on my foot. But luckily after the injury I had an ice cold … fuck. Why am I doing this? And we are off…
I cruise through with sub-nine minute miles (runner jargon I learned which means less than nine-minutes per mile) for seven straight miles. I was happy, feeling a runners high even, and like I could run a mother fucking marathon. Psssh. Kate trained 15 weeks. I trained less than 15 minutes. Who needs to train for this? I got this. And then mile 10 happened. It was a tiny race so there was no crowd support and the course was painfully boring and I am painfully ADD and I had no shiny objects to look at or to distract me. Everything started hurting. I will not walk. I will not walk. I WILL NOT WALK. So I start walking. Bad idea. My legs didn’t want to move. I literally fought with myself and the last two miles (of 13.1) between a crawl, hobble, walk and jog.
Well I finished and no wheel chair was necessary to cart me across the finish (although one would have been nice). I was on pace to run under 2 hours but my legs had other plans and I ended up crossing at 2:06. I waited for Kate to be done with her marathon and I cheered her on (and tried to jump up and down when she was passing me but failed) and was so proud of her. It was hot. And boring. And everyone had an awful race and she claims she did too but she ran 8 something minute miles and that’s just crazy.
We jumped in the ocean, ate animal crackers, watermelon, fruit, bagels, red vines and everything else in sight.
We met up with her friend who had run the marathon as well. She was drinking a Saint Archer blonde. Crisp. Cold. Light. Her husband offered us both a beer and I painfully declined. Her friend told us that the only thing she craves after running is a beer. Really??!! I just ran 13.1 miles. I am hot. I am tired. I am parched. I am weak. And coincidentally that is the same thing I crave after every run and especially one I did not train for and which kicked my ass and I’m currently being offered a beer? And not just a boring light beer but a good beer? Is this a sick joke? I am for sure being punked.
But I was not. And I did not have one. I instead opted for crack. Otherwise known as Diet Dr. Pepper.
stay sober my friends.