The Pasadena Half Marathon was my very first half marathon and they say you NEVER forget your first. It started with a fun evening with my good friend Amir and his family celebrating a Persian New Year event at his grandfather’s house. All I can tell you is that I redefined the meaning of carb loading. I must have sat at that table and ate three plates of food, none of it particularly healthy but all of it VERY tasty. I ate enough food to run 100 miles even though I was only running 13.1.
As it got closer to 9:00 p.m., the party started to wind down and being that it was the night before the race we decided to turn in and try to get some sleep. This is the tail end of my bachelor days and I had decided to crash on my buddies couch, always a good choice. My friends Amir and Ranjit had decided to join me on this adventure but were going to crash the race party and walk the 5K.
The Morning Blues
There is NOTHING like waking up at 4:30 a.m. in the morning, feeling like you ate an elephant and hearing the rain pounding down on the roof to demotivate you from running. I remember that feeling like it was yesterday, I really didn’t want to go. This was the first time in a very long time that I had to give myself a little motivational speech. I walked into the kitchen, looked Amir in the eyes and said lets go. Lets just do it. I think his response was a surprised, “really?, okay”. I wasn’t giving in so we were off.
Once we got to the race we had no idea of where to go, parked the car and started walking, following the crowds. About the time we got to the start line, I had said goodbye to Amir and Ranjit for now, the next wave of moisture moved through. There I was out in the open and the rain started to come down in sheets. I tried to hide next to a little palm tree near the start line. At this point all I could do was laugh. This was going to be fun …. or horrible, not sure which but what the hell. After about ten minutes the rain died down. Now, we just need to wait for that starting gun, lets get this sucker started!
I honestly don’t remember the first nine (9) miles. The were a complete blur but I do remember mile 9. Why you ask? Because the rain came back. It started to POUR again. And at this point, only 4 miles from the finish line, what the heck. Smile and enjoy. By the time I finished the race I was drenched and must have weighed 10 pounds heavier. My goal? Finish under two hours. The time? 1:57:58. Hell yes, mission accomplished. Only 49 states left. I’ll have this challenge finished in no time!