I’m on the road in California right now, heading to Kansas tomorrow to run the Garmin Oz Marathon on Saturday. As per usual, I’m undertrained and planning on taking the race as slow and easy as the 15 minute per mile pace time limit allows (about a 6:30 total time limit). But this time I’m also coming off more than a week of travel to California, where I went to a reunion and then enjoyed the sunshine and the free Cable Car Museum in San Francisco. Needless to say, I did not get much sleep during the reunion, did not do any running, and have eaten a lot of “I’m-on-vacation-so-it-doesn’t-count” food (cheese-stuffed burritos and paninis on campus! steak tacos and steak-steak two nights in a row! two different kinds of peanut butter chocolate caramel fudge from Pier 39!), so I’m not feeling like a runner, let alone a marathoner right now. But maybe an elaborate costume will help?
Because I’m a crazy person, I decided at the last minute to change my costume from the Tin Man to the Wicked Witch. Why? Because although I had visions of wearing shiny silver lame while running in the search of a heart, I realized that I would probably pass out from the heat before making it 26 miles dressed like a baked potato. So, I thought maybe I’d just wear grey, but without the shine I don’t think it would read very well.
My sister mentioned going as the witch, and I realized that’s who I should have been going as all along. Why? Because even without Wicked the book/musical, she’s the best character. All she wanted was her dead sister’s shoes. Dorothy, besides being super twee and annoying, literally murdered the witch’s sister and then stole her shoes with the help of Glinda, who, after first taunting the witch, callously remarked that the witch must only want the shoes because “their magic must be very powerful.” Yes, that must be why I want my grandmother’s hand-crocheted afghan – for its powerful magic. Jeeze, Glinda, you are a monster.
Now, just because the Wicked Witch of the West is the best character doesn’t mean I necessarily want her on the medal or shirt. But, since she is the theme this year, I might as well embrace it and go ugly. Not sure if or how I’ll do the green face makeup yet, especially since the forecast is calling for highs in the mid to upper 70s that day and I expect to sweat my usual buckets, but I’m hoping the witch hat fits over my running hat with all the Gu’s tucked inside and gives me extra shade to boot.
Since this will be my 23rd marathon, I wasn’t particularly nervous about the distance until I watched this (8-minute long!) fly-over of the course. Never has 26.2 miles felt so far before… (And here’s a map of the course with the new start/finish at the Embassy Suites Hotel.)
At least I’ll have a full day before the race to explore Olathe and/or Kansas City (so hot right now, just profiled in the WSJ), so I might check out the trampoline place or watch a movie at the fancy IMAX dine-in theater, or just do my favorite activity of wandering the aisles of Target. I was interested in touring the Shatto Milk Company but it’s north of Kansas City and over an hour drive from Olathe, so I’ll probably skip the cows this time.
Finally, I’ll pull back the curtain, as it were, on a little blog drama, and probably thereby break all the etiquette rules of blogging, but since I have no ads and make no money on this blog (yet… ever?), being very open/honest is one of the few perks. Back in January I had a brief correspondence going with the Manager of Sports and Events of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce. He saw my post about the Garmin medal unveiling and he liked it (despite it being negative? Or did he not notice?), and said they were interested in comping my admission to the race in exchange for a blog post. I was very excited, told him my annual site traffic, and asked for details. He first gave me a list of topic ideas for content, then said they’d want to review anything before I posted it (both my “expectations” post and my race recap itself), and then said my eligibility for a free entry depended on that post’s traffic. I was not thrilled with any sort of content managing or pre-approval of my posts (especially for a small reward like a single free entry), and before it got too complicated I told him again my average post’s traffic (spoiler alert, it’s not that high). After telling him my stats I never heard back from him (not even to say “thanks but no thanks”). So, no filter, baby! I can pan this race as much as I want! Well, I would have done that anyway, but now I can really nit-pick anything wrong with it. (I am, of course, joking – I will be as biased or as unbiased as I am on this or any race. Freedom of the uncompensated press!)
Do you go to your reunions? Do you let yourself slack off on vacation or do you try to stick to your schedule? Who’s your favorite character from the Wizard of Oz? Did you notice my various Wizard of Oz-themed puns? Share in the comments!