Ok, we'll start with Long Beach Half Marathon 2007. Here I am, running my little tiny legs off, determined to beat my best record:
About 2 miles after this picture was taken, my phone, which was strapped to my leg, started ringing. It was work. I was getting called in for some sort of vodka shortage related emergency at the bar and was going to have to leave the race early. I did what any person would do. I jumped the median and cut out about 9 miles of the run so that I still could cross the finish line and get my medal. These races cost around $100 a pop so I at least wanted to leave with a shiny finishers medal. What I didn't think about when doing this was that I was only about an hour into a race that would take a normal runner so much longer. So when I looked around it dawned on me that I was running the finish with world renowned runners from Kenya. Kenyan runners, with professional running gear, sponsors in every direction taking pictures, crowds cheering, and then here comes Krista with her long sleeve t-shirt tied around her waste and her iPod nano strapped to her arm. Yes. It happened.
4 days later I got a package in the mail from the Marathon people with a gold medal inside and a nice letter telling me I had come in first place in my division.
Yes, of course I called, explained, and gave it back.
Moving right along to the Orange County Half Marathon 2008. Here I am, starving to death, because it was the very first half marathon that Orange County had put on, and they didn't provide us with bananas and coffee at the start. Every other half marathon I had ever ran gave us coffee and bananas.
So I was freezing because it had been pouring rain the first mile and a half, I was about to faint from lack of coffee and bananas, and I was having a hard time getting in my "zone." I did what any person would do. I saw a Del Taco around the corner so I stopped in for a potty break and a breakfast burrito. I mean honestly, if you can't have a Del Taco breakfast burrito during a marathon run, then when can you have one? I got a few dirty looks trying to run down parts of PCH squirting mild sauce on my hash browns but who really cares? I, for one, certainly did not.
Ok, City Of Angels Half Marathon 2008:
I "ran" this one with my oh-so-patient Mom. I honestly don't think I have ever whined so much in my entire life. Maybe when I was 6 years old, trying to run the Boulder-Boulder 10K with her and it just wasn't going to happen so she had to carry me the entire way. But this particular time I bummed out my knee in the first 2 miles and basically cried about it the rest of the way through. Except, true to my Leo characteristic, when I saw a Brightroom camera man and smiled for a picture...
Last year's Huntington Beach Half Marathon was a nightmare. I think it had a little to do with the fact that it was my first big run since I had the baby. I was trying to prove to myself that I still had it. Which, turns out, I absolutely did not. I went so hard, so fast, that by mile 9 I had a small tear in my right knee. In mile 11, my left knee went as well. I ended up in the first aid tent humiliated because I forgot to shave my legs for like a week. I had hot paramedics all up under my pant leg while I sat there panting, smelling like a dirty armpit, and growing more hair than Teen Wolf with each passing second.
If that wasn't bad enough, I had a couple of local friends come down and cheer me on which felt awesome. But while I was trying to multitask my walking and talking about my injury, I failed to see the camera man directly ahead of me and came about a foot away from bowling him over. He was not amused as much as my friends were.
Then here is another Run Surf City. 2008 I think. It's the only half marathon I have ever completed without anything happening out of the ordinary. Really look at me here. I'm so excited that I escaped any drama and crossed the finish line in one piece, that I'm practically hovering above the ground:
This year I thought I was just so cool. I made a conscious effort to shave my legs this time (just in case) and I made my little homemade t-shirt that was going to make me the voice of this half marathon.
I thought people were going to see this shirt and automatically be compelled to hoist me up on their shoulders and carry me to victory over the line while they chanted "Krista! Krista! Krista!"
But instead, I blew my knee out and stepped in a pile of dog shit within 60 seconds of each other. Also, as if that wasn't enough, I came in right after the guy who ran the whole thing with a watermelon on his head. Don't believe me? Here's the video. I slowed it down for you. I'm in the pink running in after him. He's the one in the bright yellow shirt with the watermelon on his head.
Ok, yes part of me may be doing it for the Facebook pictures. Also, part of me thinks that if the people from The Biggest Loser can do it I certainly can too, but mostly I do it for fun. I pour every ounce of blood, sweat and beer I have into these things. 30,000 runners right along side you, live bands playing every mile and a half, great cheerleaders along the side of the road with funny signs that say things like "You are NOT almost there!" and "Worst Parade Ever!" You really test your mental strength and see how far you can push yourself in these things. The feeling you get when you cross the finish line after running over 2 straight hours with thousands of people clapping for you and letting you know that they get it is so indescribable.
If ever there was something to add to your bucket list, running one of these assholes should be it.