It’s cool to be an American. We get caught up complaining about all of our #firstworldproblems but really we’re lucky to be Team USA! Running water, flushing toilets, and Starbucks on every corner (except Imperial, I’m looking at you, get with the times), it's pretty great! But also there’s democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and security! These thoughts dominated my run. Our military protects us and the Blue Angels are an awesome display of how great and talented our Navy is and I'm proud to support them.
I was a single parent from Wednesday to Saturday night because Blake left town for a work thing and Blythe was sick vomiting out BOTH ends so at the end of each night, working out was the last thing on my mind. I just wanted to shower. And drink hot chocolate. And watch TV.
Honest question, how do single moms do this?
In a particularly low moment, I texted Blake that I'd kill him if he died driving through the storm. No response. Good, he's being safe (I see your read receipt Blake!).
Thank God for help though! My mom took both girls Friday night so I could race Saturday morning. I still heard phantom cries through the night but honestly, it was pretty stinkin' nice being alone!
Morning of the race I’m out the door with zero time to spare holding my headphones, heart rate monitor, a homemade Superhero Muffin, Honey Stinger waffle and burnt coffee (Blake, come home! I neeeeed my coffee sensei back!). Something was missing. It's always something, but what this time? On the drive to Scumbeam I'm singing theme music from Ninjago and it hits me. MY WATER! Ugh, I'm 10 minutes from home and don't have my water bottle. I'm a camel while running, I literally take a sip of water every quarter mile. I instantly feel dehydrated and consider going back, but we were signed up as Team Four Moms and a Dad and I had all the forms. Bummer.
At registration we add more to the team so now we’re Four Moms and a Dad Plus Another Dad and Two Babies. Thanks group pricing! After we’re signed in and bibbed up I spot the breakfast station. The Morale, Wellfare, and Wellness group think of everything! There’s muffins and coffee, fruit and hot chocolate! I couldn’t help myself, I love free stuff so I ate some more.
I start a half-mile warm up and get hot fast. Anything else going to go wrong?? I'm wearing my new favorite camo leggings from Fabletics but chose to pair it with long sleeves because the forecast said we’d be running in 40ish degree weather and that number sounded cold. Note to self, 40 degrees is not cold when you’re working out. At this point I'm starting to feel pessimistic.
I put my headphones in and walk to the starting line where I see Jenna. She asks about my Goodr sunglasses and we’re yelling in a crowd of quiet people. Plus they all have their heads down. We didn’t notice until nearly the end of the “bless-this-country-keep-these-bikers-and-runners-safe” prayer and we’re so embarrassed! Amen. So we start talking extra loud about church because the people around us need to know we're Christians too!
After a beautiful display of the color guard and a recording of the Star Spangled Banner, I get up next to Donnie and Aldo and we’re off! Ten minutes in and the Blue Angels are overhead “making the letter J” and leaving a trail of “snow dust” as Crosley would say. I got my phone out and started recording like an idiot millennial and my pace was shot. I was running about an 8’15” pace and my mouth felt like cotton, I’m hot and starting to cramp too.
I see Aldo just ahead of me and try to catch up, but then decide to film the Blue Angels again instead. I couldn't think about running hard when these planes were so awesome! When I look up from my phone he’s increased his distance by two Seeley houses.
There's a drought in my body when I get to the first aid station. I chug the water, then push on to the obstacle course that is Haskell Road.
Haskell Road and CALTRANS haven't spoken to each other in years and I wonder what’s less dangerous: (1) running on the “pavement” where even the strip of paint couldn’t hold together or (2) pound the uneven ditchbank, lined with gofer holes and speeding zanjeros. I chose the pavement and kept my eyes peeled to the ground, missing all the action above me. My mind shifted to the mamas pushing strollers and the little tykes new to riding bikes. Really hope there weren't any victims to shaken baby syndrome.
As a celebration I’d made it through HasKilled Road with my ankles still intact, there’s a water station (CHUG IT!) and a band of cheerleaders pointing me to the right. Had it been seven years since I last drank water??
Almost at the Navy base entrance I see the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Shout out to God’s production team because the timing and angle was perfect. I see the base’s model Blue Angel and one very real Blue Angel flying directly at me, BUT NO! it’s not one Angel! Suddenly five Angels starburst out in every direction from the one, spewing snow dust behind them and I’m in total awe!
Entering the base, I thank some soldiers and try picking up my pace but at this point it is what it is. A joy run. I sprint the last 50 yards for whatever reason and chug some Gatorade. 8’16” average pace, eh.
I get an awesome event shirt and the coolest Imperial Valley medal, eat more free snacks and hot chocolate and run through the foam party chasing little Timmy before heading home.
Feeling energized and extra patriotic, I chose to stop at Starbucks on my way home, because that seemed like the American thing to do.