“Where do you live?” “Petco Park” – The Rock ‘N Roll San Diego Marathon Race Report, Part 1

I ran my second marathon in San Diego on June 5, 2011, as a part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. Team in Training is an awesome organization that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by helping  runners and walkers train for marathons, half marathons, and triathlons around the country. I originally did my fundraising for the Seattle Marathon back in June 2010, but I broke my hip due to overtraining for all the other races I was running. I know what you’re thinking: “Danielle doesn’t push things to extremes! She NEVER makes irrational choices about her health and well being based on a stubborn desire to achieve absurd goals!” Exactly. So the outcome was unexpected by pretty much everyone.

I was on crutches for 6 months and couldn’t run for another 2 months after that. It turns out that broken hips are serious and stuff. I never really understood why old people sometimes die when they break their hips, but now I totally do. Anyway, I started training with Team in Training again in January. Our race was set for the first Sunday in June, and we flew out to San Diego absurdly early on Friday morning.

laura1-4We had a pretty aggressive day on Friday : we picked up our packets at the Expo, took the world’s longest trolley ride (or were they cable cars?) to the mall to get our super cheap P.F. Changs (our race bibs got us $10 off our bill each), and then headed to the Padres game. As participants in the race, we were given free baseball tickets to one of 3 games that weekend, which I thought was awesome! Another one of my ridiculous life goals is to go to a game in every baseball stadium, so this helped.

Side note: If any of you budding psychologists out there would like to analyze why all of my goals revolve around me traveling all over the place and going to “every” of something, please let me know.

Side note 2: I hate all these pictures.

p1000006-4p1000010-4As a lifelong baseball fan, I greatly value the unparalleled taste of stadium hotdogs. As a near lifelong resident of South Florida and an honorary Jew, I insist on the greatness of kosher meat. The combination of these two traits led Alex and I on an hour and a half long search for kosher hot dogs. Of course, we prevailed.

p1000017-4The next day, we headed out to Coronado Island. Tabitha, our fearless leader, got us onto the bus, where a nice lady sat down next to me after getting on at one of the stops. It was hard not to notice that she was wearing about 50 layers of clothing, all of which had holes in them. She was clearly homeless, but very friendly and gave us some great tips on where to go when we got to Coronado. It’s not often I think of myself as a worldly or particularly cultured person, but I know a homeless person when I see one. Apparently, Tabitha doesn’t. I guess there aren’t a lot of homeless people in Lugoff, because Tabitha very enthusiastically asked this lady where she lived in San Diego. The woman didn’t miss a beat and responded “Petco Park” – the baseball stadium where we had been the night before. We’re not in South Carolina anymore!

p1000041-4After returning from the beach without offending any more homeless people along the way, it was time to get ready to go to the Inspiration Dinner for Team in Training. Basically, all the runners from all the different chapters that are at the event get together and have a huge pasta party, hear a keynote speaker, and learn about how the money we raised makes a difference. The best part of the dinner was running through a tunnel of cheering volunteers and coaches to get there. I felt like I had done something really great.

p1000044-4After dinner, we went back to the hotel to iron our names onto our race jerseys so people could cheer for us the next day. Runners are so conceited, right? I helped Tabitha and Laura when we got up to their hotel room, and Laura had mentioned some pain in her upper hamstring (a nice way of saying her butt) that had been bothering her and making it hard for her to run. I mentioned that I had some pretty good luck with KT tape and she should try and put some on to see if it would help.

Had I thought at the time that that suggestion would eventually result in me personally taping Laura’s ass, I never would have said it, but that’s exactly what happened.

We youtubed a video of how to apply the tape for piriformis pain. It clearly wasn’t the type of thing that you could really apply to yourself without a lot of practice, so I somehow got nominated for the job. Let’s just say Laura and I shared a moment, because I literally applied no less than 10 strips of KT tape to her bare ass while Tabitha cried from laughing so hard.  The best part, though, was when we heard a knock on the door from a woman who was delivering good luck cards to all the TNT runners. Tabitha had tears streaming down her face when she answered the door and we were laughing so hard it sounded like we were dying, so the woman thought something was wrong. There was just no way to explain it. In case you need a visual of what went down, here’s the youtube video.

And with that mental image, we wrapped up the night and got ready to race the next morning!

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