Friday, July 09, 2010

Our Fourth: Finish lines and Fireworks

Last year on the Fourth of July I was pretty bummed. I had just sprained my ankle which pretty much ruined all my plans. This year we were better prepared.

There's nothing I like better than getting up at the crack of dawn on a holiday. So I signed Thatmom and myself up to run a race. Actually, my original plan was brilliant. I thought we'd get up early, head out to Coronado Island, run a race, and spend the rest of the day on the island, enjoying the parade and watching the fireworks. Brilliant might be slightly overstating this idea however, because we soon realized there were some serious flaws to my plan.

First there was the sweat factor. Where would we shower after the race? And spending the entire day in our race clothing didn't sound especially appealing. And then Thatboy pointed out that he did not want to sit in bridge traffic after the fireworks which was sure to be a nightmare. And so we revamped the plans.

The new plans still included the race though, and I'm really glad it did. The course was beautiful, beginning in Tidelands Park. I'll be doing another race here in a couple of weeks, so this was a good preview.

The Coronado race is primarily a 15K, but because Thatmom isn't quite up to that distance yet, we did the accompanying 5k.

Most people dressed in the spirit of the day - in shades of red, white, and blue. But of course, some people took it a little farther.

Both the 15k and the 5k were very well attended - Thatboy took a picture of the racers just to show what a throng we were. I like this picture because it gives you an idea of how great the course is. You run from Tidelands park, along the water. Thatmom was so impressed with the course and its beauty. She kept saying there was so much to distract you, you didn't even realize how much you were running.

And yet the distraction wasn't enough to keep Thatmom's knee from bothering her. I still need to work on her warming up a little better than she does. So we didn't beat her last record she set during the irongirl, but, as is always my goal when running with Thatmom - she finished! AND she didn't walk once. Although as she pointed out "I couldn't walk even if I wanted to - you'd never let me."

As soon as we finished, Thatmom headed straight for the fruit table - loaded with oranges and bananas. "You can just leave me here for the rest of the day." She told us.

But Thatboy and I knew better. We knew if we left her there with the oranges, at some point in time we'd get a phone call from the police asking if this crazy woman belonged to us. So instead, we indulged in Thatmom's favorite Pannikin breakfast. "Every race should end at Pannikin," she informed me as we ran. "They should just have the finish line right there."

After breakfast we came home, showered, and Thatmom took a nap while Thatboy and I packed some coolers and got ready for the beach.

We did a repeat of last year and went to the same beach, and went back to The Cheese Shop to pick up sandwiches, chips, and candy for dinner. The difference between last year and this year? Oh...about 20 degrees. It was FREEZING on the beach. The sun never came out. If you've ever lived in coastal Southern California you may be familiar with the phrase "It'll burn off." We continued to repeat this phrase about once an hour as we huddled together for warmth. Around 3pm, it went from being a phrase of hope, to a phrase which would have us all cackling in laughter.

Thatboy was a little disappointed he didn't get to show off his groovy new t-shirt since it was definitely sweatshirt weather. We had spent the day before in Little Italy, showing Thatmom around. There was an art store she used to love there, and as she and Thatboy browsed the store, Thatdog and I waited patiently outside, where I noticed they had set up a tye dye station. Knowing Thatboy's INTENSE LOVE OF TYE DYE I texted him that he might want to step outside. His eyes lit up like a kid in a candy store. The amount of tye-dye my husband owns is a little ridiculous. All are barely hanging together since he's had them since high school. So to say he was excited by the prospect of a new shirt was a bit of an understatement. He had so much fun making his shirt, and then couldn't show it off. So I'll let him share it with y'all.

We sat shivering on the beach for hours until finally it was dark enough for the fireworks. Like last year, we got to see several shows.

Thatmom and I could give or take fireworks, but they make Thatboy so very happy. And honestly, Fourth of July is one of his favorite holidays because he gets everyone to go to the beach with him, he gets surfing, and he gets fireworks. And it's very rare he gets to do so much he loves in one sitting. Happy Belated Fourth of July!