They Do Not Lie
The Big Sur Half Marathon was the most gorgeous race course I have ever run.
By a long shot.
It was well-run, organized, and breathtakingly scenic. From downtown Monterey, under the bridge, through Cannery Row, along the edges of Pacific Grove and out to Pebble Beach and back, we ran on closed roads, primarily along the coast with crashing waves and varied musical performances galore (drum circles, bagpipes, jazz, a grand piano version of "chariots of fire", rock, taiko drummers, and more).
The day started at a cool 42F and we finished to a pleasant mid-50s and it was a gorgeous clear blue. It was cold at the start and E2 and I hugged our coffee cups while walking to our start corral, but after a mile or so of fast feet slapping in unison, we found ourselves pleasantly warm -- enjoying the crisp air and watching the steamy exhales of our fellow runners.
At multiple points along the course, when I wasn't wondering what the hell kind of hare E2 got up her butt with the initial pacing she selected, I turned a corner with a spare thought to view the scenery and think really? really? is this where I get to run today?
It's enough to make me consider the full Big Sur International Marathon, despite its horrific hilly reputation.
And I say this despite the fact that I'm in the worst running shape I've been in for several years.
Today is a perfect example of why I'm a fan of signing up for races. Because, if you are like me, the fact that you paid that entrance fee means you'll find a way to finish no matter what else is going on in your life (unless, of course, you can't, but that's understandable).
If you are lucky, that silly monetary commitment to the event will keep you working out and committed to long runs on the weekends (albeit not enough if you are me this time around) so you may be lucky enough to enjoy a gorgeous day, with beautiful California scenery, running with one of your best friends for 13.1 painful too fast (oh *shit* we aren't in good enough shape for this pace) miles, to be met at the finish line by your soul-mate, and followed up by a leisurely dip in the hot tub and entirely too much authentic Mexican food.
Today was one of those days when I couldn't help but feel that my very existence was a big celebration of life.