(#4) Palm Springs Half Marathon – Part 2 (Not Quite Last & Free Burritos!)

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Aurora running across the finish line of the Palm Springs half marathon 2012Continuing from yesterday, I was slowing down in mile 8.

Since I knew I was only going to be walking this one, I didn’t start the day with the usual “I’m doing a half marathon today” mindset. I didn’t even remember to eat a banana!

Around mile 8, my energy was starting to fall off, as my discomfort level in my ankle was rising.

Miles 9 -12 took me over 20 minutes each. I took little breaks when I needed them – stopping to stretch a couple of times, and taking a quick seat on a curb for a few minutes.

There was a police officer who rode around on a motorcycle, checking on everybody. There were a few times when I’d happen to be crossing a street at the same time that he’d stop to update other police officers and/or volunteers on how many people were still on the course.

As time went on, that number started to dwindle (without anyone passing me). I asked what was going on and if anyone had gotten injured. He said everyone was fine. People were quitting – quitting!

This was upsetting to me. This race didn’t have a time limit. If someone isn’t injured and they came to finish, what possibly makes them quit?

We all have our own lives, our own pasts, our own needs and reasons for doing anything. Sight unseen, and without hearing the full story, I can’t judge anyone’s reasons to quit. (Truly, I should never be judging anyone in the first place. I think the world would be better (and I would be better) if we all were a little less judgmental.) But, enough on that tangent so I can continue getting my judging on. ;)

Moving on; as I came upon the final mile, I realized there was only one person behind me. And I could see her! I wasn’t sure when exactly she’d crossed the start line, so I wanted to finish full minutes in front of her, just to make sure I wasn’t coming in last. I started speeding it along, even kind of half jogging in the last half a mile or so.

She ended up crossing the finish line about twelve minutes after me. So yet again, I narrowly escaped being last. (Although as we all know, “the last place finisher is just the slowest winner.”)

I took a peek at the results being posted and saw I wasn’t on there. Somehow my chip hadn’t recorded my finish time.

It ended up being no big deal at all. Judging by a photo and my chip start time, the timing company gave me the finish time of 3:55:51. We might not have gotten it down exactly to the second, but I’d say it’s pretty accurate.

My main goal was to finish in under 4 hours, which I definitely did. So, as far as I’m concerned, mission accomplished.

long line of cyclists at Chipotle, waiting for free burritos after the race

Chipotle was packed when we all got free burritos *dance music*

After the race, I went back to Sven’s house. I cannot believe I didn’t mention this in the Tour de Palm Springs posts, but bicyclists got FREE BURRITOS at CHIPOTLE! That’s right. Free. With Guacamole. I saved mine to eat after the half marathon. (Yum!) I got back and ripped it open.

Sven came in and said, “How was it? Tell me everything.”

It was so nice to have another human being there who wanted to hear about the race. It’s probably silly to think that’s cool, but I don’t always have someone waiting for me at home, so I thought that was really fun!

He asked if I came by his house during the race. I said I didn’t think so. He told me there were cones outside earlier and runners coming by all day. We looked at my MapMyWalk app. Sure enough I had gone right by his house!

Of course it was surprising that I didn’t recognize the neighborhood, with my incredible sense of direction and all. (That’s extremely sarcastic because I have the worst sense of direction. I’m surprised I can make it to the finish line of anything without getting lost.)

The cab driver who took me back to the Greyhound station ended up being the same one I’d had on the way to Sven’s house! He was happy to hear I was still alive after going and staying with a complete stranger.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?