I really should play my weather & botched race odds in Vegas. Or as Tony Soprano would say, “Now I got to go unfuck what you just fucked.” Oh I’ll sing that Mr. Soprano! Celeste thought it would be great fun to run a New Years themed 5K at night in downtown LA. Nah, it didn’t matter that the gun went off way past my bed. Nope, never occurred to me that while I felt it would not be wise to run a Sunday am run around the area that well, it’d be perfectly fine to run it in the dark. La La La and Ba Ba Ba- I am just the support sheep. This race was all CC. Too bad she brought her lucky charm Drea- disaster was sure to strike.
After a rather good Saturday morning workout, I sat on my tennis ball and drove CC and I down to LA. We checked into the Checkers and nabbed our race bags while immediately tossing the hideous tech-not T in the bin. We plopped ourselves upon white crisp washed and folded by SOMEBODY ELSE sheets and flipped on the television. Celeste passed me a jar of candy corn and I faded into a sugary zone of a brain washed buzz.
It’s 3pm. Do you know where your Mommy is?
She’s watching day time TV eating triangular wax and loving it! The corn kept me going through Tommy Boy, Dinner With Schmucks, and Entertainment Tonight. I brushed my teeth, brushed my hair hoping it would brush my brain, and put on the running clothes. Time to run support.
The course had two out and back point turns and I planned to wait at those marks and cheer CC on to a great race. We strapped on our blinking glowing bling and found the starting line easy enough. Too bad we won’t be saying the same thing about the finish line. Celeste warmed up and arrived at the starting line on time. We waited another twenty minutes for the race to start. A masked mime danced the funky chicken to entertain us during this delay.
The National Anthem was sung sans vocal vibrations and dramatic pitch and BOOM the runners were off. I followed Celeste’s start and watched her head toward the first point turn around. She took off fast and hard, but also looked and sounded smooth. I got very excited that this might be a very good day for her. She headed back toward me clocking a quick first mile- 6:16. I followed her for a bit to watch her head to the second point turn around. The streets were very dark and the runners ahead of her were scarce. We passed two men and found ourselves almost completely alone running through the dark warehouse streets of downtown LA. I think I’ve seen this movie. At this point I really didn’t feel comfortable leaving Celeste so I ran along side her reminding her that the 5K Hell that she was entering, oh you know, the flesh eating demon feeling…yeah yeah the burning your skin alive feeling….the death would be too forgiving feeling….was the one she expected, wanted, and craved. Her breathing increased, but she would relax it and powered on clocking a 6:17 second mile.
Every step of the final mile in a 5K is poetic agony. If your innards are not being boiled to blanched bits, baby you are not trying. This is the Go Time of Show Time. Celeste turned over her legs, she kept her stride smooth, but her body began to slow down. She was in third place and only needed to fight through this final mile to nail a well bled PR. From viewing the course map, I knew at this point past her last point turn that it was a straight shot to the finish line. The streets were still completely black. There was a lack of mile markers and course markings making me feel that Gretel’s bread crumbs had gone to the birds. In other words, where the fuck are we! Our straight shot led us to a line of white road barricades guarded by three of LAPD. I was pretty sure we were supposed to run through that blockage, but what the Hell do I know about LA streets!? So I asked the cops.
Isn’t the finish line over there? You know through that wall you built.
No, you go back that way. She pointed us right and back into on coming runners.
Where? Are you sure? I ask as CC sputters the pain of rising 5K puke. We turn under their direction and head down a road to no finish line. When you are trying your hardest, every moment at the end of a 5K is excruciating. Now Celeste was being asked to go beyond that 3.1 into the black hole of complete tortuous Hell. We knew it was wrong. The leaders emerged out of the dark toward us barking, “They fucked the 5K!”
We stopped. A sure PR left as visible as the finish line. Grumble. Selfishly, I was so glad I had not raced this because with all my luck and Karma I’d probably have had one of those three bangle my wrists in LA silver. It’s not called going Postal, it’s called going 5K. I was really mad for CC. We made every other word the F word and jogged back through the barricades and toward the mythical finish line. The announcer was still jolly cracking jokes over the MC. A few runners staggered back bitching, but crossed the line anyway. There was no way we were crossing the line and we jumped the course prior to the finish.
Oh! Cheaters! A race volunteer accused us of banditing the over priced blackness.
Fuck you! Said the pig tailed gal in purple with cute glowing things stuck in her head. It’s just so much more concise than explaining that we were not bandits as was clearly visible by our race numbers pinned to our chests.
You can’t say Fuck you to a volunteer!
Ah the streets didn’t seem that dangerous anymore. I mean I didn’t even tell the pervert who asked me if I needed to pee pee where he could go. We just ran back to the Checkers, superman changed into jeans and sweaters and tucked into a bistro offering up hot steamed mussels and french fries.
Excuse me ladies, the kitchen is about to close. Would you like anything else?
AHMUYGAWD! I just closed down a restaurant and it isn’t because they ONLY serve LUNCH! A PR did happen tonight!