Yesterday, I left off talking about that hill around mile 6. I was sweating profusely. I cannot get across to you how hot it felt out there. Go take a walk on the sun, then come back and read this; you’ll pretty much understand.
My pace started to slow down. 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! I was stoked. Unbelievably stoked. Bananas are kind of my “official race food.” I’ve never seen bananas on a course before. I happily grabbed my half of a banana, 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.)
Even banana-less, I kept on pushing myself. I wanted to know that I went as fast as I could to meet David, my extra-special motivation, at the finish.
I saw some great spectators at the race. There was a man dressed as the Flash, and one dressed as Elvis. There were multiple fun, rowdy groups of girls.
Being that it was St. Patrick’s day, I passed a lot of people out drinking. A group of people had a sign saying, You keep running, I’ll keep drinking” (as they drank from a humongous bottle). There was a house with St. Patrick’s day decorations (green balloons and streamers) all around. A big group sat out on the front stairs and cheered us on. (Of course some people decided to give out beer around Mile 8.)
People had put up signs such as “Worst parade ever,” and “Where are you going?” all down a street on one of the emptier, residential parts of the course. I really appreciated that.
I also saw some great shirts. One woman’s shirt said, “Dear God, please let there be somebody behind me to read this.” A man’s shirt said, “‘Dead Last’ is better than ‘Did Not Finish.’” One of the best ones said, “There is no finish line.”
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.
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.
At 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 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. I think(/hope) he did in fact make it to the finish. He wasn’t quitting anytime soon. That’s for sure.
I wanted to go so fast in that last mile. Leading into it, In mile 12, I had just 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 iPod. I acted my butt off, getting into the songs, making a bunch of facial expressions. I 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.