“How much Champagne did we drink last night?”
My sister in law and I were pulling up to the start line of a race we had decided to run the night before. It was a sparkling wine fueled plan that we had brilliantly laid out around 10PM, as we topped ourselves off with fermented grape beverages that make you do silly things like sign up for races that you haven't trained for.
Why not drink copious amounts of alcohol and then go run a race the next morning? Um, don’t answer that. And before you say, “It’s just a 5k," watch some videos of people properly racing 5ks. It’s a tough distance to run well. There’s no room for error. Or hangovers.
To be fair, it wasn’t completely the fault of the Champagne. The plan was hatched in part because of a certain obsession I was having with a little game called RunChatHunt. I had yet to find a race start/finish line to complete the scavenger hunt. So, the Champagne flowed and the Ohana Holiday 5k beckoned.
We had a beer afterward, to seal the plan if you will. And I managed to post this little missive in my running group's Facebook chat:
Soooooo...my sister in law, and I decided about 45 minutes ago that we're racing the Ohana 5k tomorrow. We decided this after a few beverages. We are racing to win. Having one more for the road. Here's my 3D Clythie because I don't yet know what I'm wearing to race so I can't post a Flat Clythie.
A few hours of sleep later, regretting perhaps most of our decisions from the night before, we arrived at the race start and groggily approached packet pick up. We saw two lines:
1. Registration - with a Toy
2. Registration - without a Toy
“We’re we supposed to bring a toy?” We casually approached the table marked, Registration - Without a Toy.
“Hi, I registered last night…”
The lady loudly asked me, “DO YOU HAVE A TOY?”
I horrifyingly whispered, “Um, no, sorry, no.”
She confirmed to everyone in the general area, “NO TOY.
SHE DOES NOT HAVE A TOY.”
I slinked over to my sister in law. "I think we were supposed to bring a toy."
Smile and pretend that we weren't just humiliated for forgetting to bring a toy for a needy child.
This was to be my sister in law’s second race ever. She had previously run the Temecula Half Marathon a couple of years before, but she hadn’t raced since.
“What’s the race plan for a 5k?” she asked. “Run like hell,” I said as if I know anything about racing 5ks.
“Ok, maybe I’ll do that. For my Half I kind of eased into it, you know, paced myself to be sure I had enough left for the end…” Claudine was thinking out loud. “RACE TO WIN!” I shouted, immediately regretting it – the loud noise hurt my foggy brain.
The race began and we were off. The course ran along a paved path beside Mission Bay, an out and back with a sharp turn around. As I made my way there, I saw Claudine racing back toward me. I shouted to her “RUN RUN RUN! RACE TO WIN!” And immediately regretted it – the loud noise hurt my foggy brain.
A bit later I came across the finish line, and hugged Claudine, happy to have sweated out nearly all the Champagne.
As it turned out, Claudine won her age group, and was the 8th woman, 21st overall. I didn’t come in anywhere near last and I beat a bunch of guys and most important of all I got my finish line picture for RunChatHunt.
Things felt a bit backward
It was time to pop the Champagne and celebrate.