Monday, March 11, 2013

Everyday I'm Shufflin'...(a long semi-rant)

Saturday was my 31st birthday. I decided long ago (never to walk in anyone's shadow) to do a 5k to celebrate this wonderful occasion. So I picked The Shamrock Shuffle. It turned out to be a HUGE race, with over 5,000 participants.

MFN and I before the race. It was COLD.
This race was so poorly organized, but I didn't really realize how bad it was until later that night. Random things would happen throughout the experience that I would kind of question, but because of the excitement of being there, I just kind of let them go. But now, after the adrenaline is gone, I'm really kind of bummed about a lot of things. 

1) The "festival" area where the before and after block parties were held was A MESS. Everything was tightly packed in a small space, when they had tons of room that they could have spread out into. They were giving away free food both before and after the race, but it was stuff that I would NEVER consider eating at 8 am - Cool Ranch Dorito Tacos from Taco Bell, Chips and Guacamole from Qdoba, Frozen Yogurt from Menchie's Frozen Yogurt (it was like 30 degrees outside!). Re-donk. 

2) The starting line for the races was a short walk away from the festival area, but (this is hard to explain, so I'm going to try my best) the only way to get to the starting line was from one direction. But the direction we were all coming from headed straight for the front of the pack, the front of the starting line. So people didn't realize that they had to keep walking and go to the back of the pack if they were walkers/with strollers/with dogs, etc. They just walked up to the mass of people and stopped, not realizing that they were in the front of the line. The start and first half mile of that race was a complete clusterf***. 

3) My second biggest pet peeve of the whole thing - they had no mile or km markers along the whole race! Who "professionally organizes" a 5k and doesn't put up mile markers?! Natalie and I aren't cool enough to have runner's Garmins or anything like that, so we had to go off of our estimated time. It's a really good thing that I thought to look at my phone as we were crossing the starting line, or we would have had absolutely NO idea about our approximate location on the course. 

4) The finish line signage was backwards! We were moving along and I saw a big thing of signage up ahead of us, but it was facing the other direction, so I thought there was no way we were headed for the finish line. Usually, the word "FINISH" is facing you, and that's how you know. Not with this ass backwards race. The "FINISH" signage was facing the freaking spectators! WTF, dude?

5) They were completely unprepared for the waves of finishers at the line. Nobody was manning the water stations, so people were piling up trying to get water out of big plastic cases. There was nobody directing people to/where to turn in their timing chips. As a result, Natalie and I didn't even realize we still had ours until we were eating breakfast at IHOP later! Now we have to waste time and a stamp to mail them in. 

The backwards finish line. High on thinking we had completed our goal. But did we?
6) And my biggest pet peeve about this stupid race? The organizers posted on their FB page later that evening that the 5k course was actually shorted. Remember back up at number four when I said I thought there was no way we were actually headed for the finish line at that point? I knew something was wrong. I knew the numbers didn't add up. I thought we had to keep going around and head into the finish corral from the front, because it just didn't feel right. And our race time seemed really freaking good for two girls who hadn't trained much at all and who walked the vast majority of the course. Well, la ti da, no wonder our times were so good - instead of doing 3.1 miles, we only did 2.8. They shorted the course by three tenths of a fracking mile! Instead of a birthday 5k, I did a birthday 4.5k. I was robbed. 

And you know, I try to stay positive. At least I got out of bed. At least I paid the $30 entry fee. At least we did it even though it was butt ass cold. At least. But at the same time, there's something about that distance. Something about officially going 3.1 miles, that I feel like we didn't really accomplish our goal. Even though we thought we were doing it at the time, we didn't. It's a bummer. 

But we did have fun. Natalie worked really hard to distract me through the parts where I wanted to die. We gossiped about girls' jiggly butts in their too-tight running pants and tried to figure out which ones were wearing underwear and which ones weren't. At one point, we started singing songs to keep our brains occupied. We would sing until we forgot the words, and then pick up another song. I'm sure the people around us hated us, but I really don't care. We traded sweaty gloves back and forth when our hands got too cold or hot. We plotted our outfits for next year, if we decide we're crazy enough to do this again.

We did have fun, and that's what birthdays are supposed to be about. Not-really-a-5k-5ks and all. 


jennxaz said...

bummer! but at least you got out there and did it!

Connie O said...

Sorry the race was so disorganized, but congratulations on getting out there and doing it! That's a great way to celebrate your birthday. Keep trying different race events--the good ones are so much fun.

Mon said...

Still...congrats on finishing and Happy Birthday!! My 31st is in September and I'm hoping to be in decent enough shape by then that a 5K won't scare me :)

katy said...

what a bummer! But HAPPY BIRTHDAY! and you are looking fantastic buy the way!

Cheri said...

You and your friend sound like so much fun, you make me laugh. :-) Sometimes the things going wrong are what make the best memories in the long run.

And Happy Birthday!! What a cool way to celebrate it - I'm impressed!

Anonymous said...

Your post made me laugh when you said 'at least i got out of bed' haha!! good on you for doing it. I have a 5k race coming up in july, best go do some exercise aaagghh!!