Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

You Can’t Go Home Again – But If You Do, Run a Half Marathon…

So, they say you can never go home again.  It’s always proven true to me.  Home is really where my Zliten is.  And my bed.  And right now, that is really and truly Austin.  I suppose it’s that I have lived in a handful of places for just about the same amount of time (besides growing up in Chicago), but we both expected to feel much more pull and attachment to San Diego.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved being able to see the beach.  And the nummy Cali-style tacos.  And the beautiful weather.  And getting to hit up some of our old haunts.  It’s just really weird to me now that in So Cal, people just don’t smile, say hi, say bless you when you sneeze, hold doors open, let you over when you signal when driving, and are just generally obnoxious.  I remember being that and thinking that it was weird not to, but southern hospitality has rubbed off on me and there’s no going back.  I had fun with the hippies in Ocean Beach, and if I came back, it would totally be to live there and be a (ridiculously rich) beach bum.  I’ve even picked out the condo.  However, I don’t think that in real life, I’d want to move back.  I just don’t feel like it’s a fit anymore (or maybe ever was…).

Anyhoo, high points of the trip:

-We took a prop plane from LA to San Diego.  It was a tiny 20 seater and really loud, but sort of fun.

-Taco shop food. Fried, shredded beef taco + enchilada combo = love.

-Getting to see Zliten’s parents.  It’s been since Thanksgiving.

-I read two books in 4 days.  One more to go in my sci fi series!

-The awesome weather.  It was 80 and they were calling it hot and muggy.  Pffft.  Puh-leaze.

-We stayed at the W hotel downtown.  It was super fancy.  There were some nice touches like pitchers of water in the lobby with different flavored fruit, an acura that would take you around (though we walked everywhere for the most part, or it was wayyyyy out there – OB), a nice cabana area, different rugs in the elevator depending on what time of day it was, and custom ordered pillows (feathers, synthetic, etc).  However, there was some bad/weird – the shower had a half wall that wouldn’t close with a hole in it.  It was supposed to be edgy and artsy, I get it, but there was no way around just spraying water ALL OVER THE BATHROOM while showering. Also, they had a TIIIIIINY pool to which they were serving drinks in glass glasses.  And there was a dude in it who drank way too much and didn’t get out of the pool for 3 hours.  So we decided it was hazardous and did NOT go in at all.

-I came back with a sweet orange floppy hat from the swap meet I scored for 5$.  I expect to obnoxiously sport it all around town as I did in SD.  Or maybe just in my back yard.  Either way…. ORANGE FLOPPY HAT!

-On the way back we landed exactly 9 minutes before our connecting flight took off.  They had to hold the plane for us.  It was sort of exciting!

….and oh yeah, I ran a half marathon.  +2 miles after.

It really felt kinda like that except for the reminder I even have today about downhill running, which I THOUGHT was my BFF, maybe she’s a little more of a bitch than I thought.  Because my quads sort of lost that arguement.  Toilet sore to quote Charlotte.  Squatting sucks even today.

So I didn’t have much hope for the race since we got crappy sleep all vacation and walked at least 5 miles per day, but I figured maybe I had a sub-2:15 in me.  We got up at 3:30 after having to call security on the room next to us who were partying just a little too loud (I felt like an old fogey doing it – but I mean it was LOUD.  I couldn’t just hear noise, I could hear what songs they were playing and what they were saying.  And it was after midnight), and did normal pre-race things.  We got to the shuttles, and immediately got loaded on (which was AWESOME), and they took us backwards through the course, pretty much.  Climbing, climbing, climbing, and we got off the bus to two amazing sights – rows and rows of porta pottys (they planned well), and a beautiful sunrise with an amazing view of the ocean and city.  The monument we were at is never open to the public that early so it was a rare opportunity!

I had intended to run 2 miles easy to warm up to get my mileage up to 15 for the day, but I didn’t see anywhere to run, so I supposed I needed to tack them on at the end.  We went to the bathroom like five times and walked around and tried to stay loose.  As it got to be time, we folded in with the crowd and got going.  Zliten’s goal was to take it super easy on doctor’s orders, so I left him for my own pace.  My goal was 10:30s to start, and then see how I felt.  Mile 1 went well, and I split that exactly and was feeling good so I sped up.  Until about mile 5, I just kept picking up speed, rolling mostly downhill with some uphill stretches, through this adorable neighborhood with tons of people out with their hoses squirting runners.  It was awesome!

At 4.5 I decided to take down my first gel.  It didn’t set well without water, so I held onto it until the next one.  WHICH. NEVER. CAME.  Either I missed the next water stop or it didn’t exist.  I started to fade and curse a bit and get grumpy.  I was feeling really, really dehydrated.  Around mile 8 we finally got another station which I walked through, chugged one water, and took my gel with another cup.  I picked up a little bit but the damage had been done, I needed that gel earlier and more water and some sports drink which was noticeably absent.  I kept running but my pace was definitely not what it was – more like high 10s and 11s.

Then, the mile 9 water stop was just fucking missing.  I had intended on doing another gel but I couldn’t do it without water.  I wanted to wait until the aid station to walk but at about 9.5 I just couldn’t hang.  I was  I made the call to wuss out on the race, and just enjoy the views at a slow pace.  I walked a lot of the rest of the course –  when I got to the next aid station I even had to stand in line and it was “get a cup” “shuffle, wait” “have it filled with a HOSE”.  I didn’t care.  I got three of them.  I chugged them so fast my stomach hurt.  Another aid station came up quickly and I did the same thing.  I tried running again for a bit but then we hit the hill of stupidness, so I just walked it.

Finally, after I was mostly up the hill, I think the water finally kicked in and some people had squirt bottles around mile 12 and that finally jolted me out of headcase town and I started running.  Fast!  Mostly 9s and 10s.  I felt pretty great and got my second wind!  I finished up the race, did a lap around the parking lot, and then ran back to get Zliten and ran him in, and then took another lap… on the way back to the car I did a combo of running and walking and ended at the truck at 15 miles and feeling great!  Even with a TON of walking I ended the race with about an 11:15 min/mile pace (2:32) and the 15 miles with 12:15 pace.  My legs have never felt so awesome at the end of a race!

However, the downhill miles really screwed my quads.  The front of my legs are rarely sore when running and my quads and shins even are still sore today.

Then, we partied in Ocean Beach, hit the water for just a little bit, and had a few drinks at our old favorite bar Nunu’s.  I crashed HARD that night.

After Monday off and today really easy (15 minute swim), it’s back to the grindstone.  5 mile run and weights tomorrow morning, 10 mile run and 15 miles on the trainer Thursday, 3 mile run and weights Friday, and a 50 mile outdoor ride + 1 mile run Saturday.  I also would like some more swimming, so maybe Saturday afternoon or Sunday.

With all that, there’s work stuff going on and getting ready for the Olympic Tri in 2 weeks and getting ready for vacation #2 and unpacking for vacation #1.  So it’s time for me to stop yapping and start sleeping.  Thanks for indulging the rambly and potentially incoherent recap, but that’s all I have for ya.  Alarm in 8 hours… G’nite all!




Reviews of Things


  1. Miz

    oh QUIX.
    I adored everything about this post.

  2. you really amaze me, you know that?!!! I want to be like you when I grow up and have really awesome legs at the end of a race!

    and I know what you mean about missing certain things – the pleasantness and the politeness. I’m from New Mexico originally and while not everything is perfect I’m SO reminded of what I miss when I go back. Being here in the Netherlands can be hard sometimes when people can be really (to me) so rude or inconsiderate.

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