(#8) Rock ‘n’ Roll USA – Part 2 (The Heat – The Hot, Hot Heat)

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Aurora with hands up coming into the Rock 'n' Roll USA finishYesterday, I left off talking about that hill around mile 6. I was sweating profusely.

I cannot get across to you how hot it felt. Go take a walk on the sun, then come back and read this; you’ll pretty much understand.

My pace started to slow. I was dragging up that hill. As I was going up, I couldn’t help but think about how much incredible work is ahead of me until I tackle Mt. Kilimanjaro!

As the race wore on, I came to a spot where they were giving out bananas (the first time I’d seen that on a course)! I was stoked.

I happily peeled back that banana peel, and as I brought it to my mouth, plop! It slipped out of my hands, onto the ground! So depressing. I was too far past the banana people to warrant going back.

I realized why bananas may not be a course favorite – there were banana peels everywhere! I almost slipped on one – I’m sure missing out on one hilarious pratfall. I realized how slippery that area was, and successfully maneuvered through it. (Thank you, tap-dancing through high school for some mighty fine coordination.)

I saw some great spectators at this race – people dresses as the Flash, and Elvis… and many groups dressed as their fun, rowdy selves.

Aurora running (mid-stride) at Rock 'n' Roll USA 2012Being that it was St. Patrick’s day, I passed a lot of people out drinking. One group had a sign saying, “You keep running, I’ll keep drinking” (as they drank from a humongous bottle). Some people even gave out beer around Mile 8.)

People had put up “Worst parade ever,” and other silly signs, down one of the emptier parts of the course. I really appreciated that.

A woman held a sign that said, “Free pugs at the finish.” Of course, that a little bit made me want to run the other way, being that I’m terrified of dogs and all.

I also saw some great shirts saying things such as, “Please let there be somebody behind me to read this,” and “‘Dead Last’ is better than ‘Did Not Finish.'” One of the best ones said, “There is no finish line.”

The course was super cool. We got to go by the Washington Monument, and run toward the Capitol Building. We ran by the beautiful riverfront. It was very Washington-DC-y.

Back to the heat, the hot, hot, heat, we all kept pushing through. I know I kept slowing down. Luckily, I don’t feel alone. Many runners said they went up to 15 minutes slower than they had hoped, just trying to deal with the heat.

Aurora posing with arms outstretched at Rock 'n' Roll USA 2012At one water stop, I poured water down the back of my shirt. I only did it once. I didn’t want to be too wasteful. (Also I’m super vain, of course, and wanted to come into the finish looking all cool and breezy – not all wet). I have learned, though! Forget vanity! By Mile 13, we were all dying.

I saw somebody’s legs in front of me giving out. Someone’s body was basically shutting down before my very eyes. He held onto that fence thing (fence, I guess is actually maybe the word I’m looking for) that surrounds most of the final mile.

Backing up to mile 12 – I kept telling myself, “If you don’t feel as though you can go fast, act as though you can, and you will.” I had some sweet songs come on my iPhone.

I acted my butt off, making a bunch of facial expressions out there, and was able to pull out some nice jogging. Once mile 12 was over, it was really getting to the point where my legs were saying, “You best slow down, girlfriend, because I am not going to cooperate with you if you don’t.”

I can’t wait to pick up with Mile 13 tomorrow.

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