Continuing from yesterday…When I started mile 13, I was about 3 hours and 3 minutes in.
I thought it would be nice to finish strong, but more importantly, it’d be nice to not literally melt into the road beneath me.
Even though I finally got to travel downhill, I still had a rough time. My body was over it. All I wanted to do was jump into the biggest pool of ice that’s ever existed. (Obviously, I was going to push forward, even if I had to do it slowly.)
And slowly I did. I finished in just under 3 hours and 23 minutes (3:22:53). That last mile and a tenth took oh such a long time. But I made it! And what were they passing out at the finish? Towels that had been soaked in ice water! Thank you, Competitor Group! I draped that sucker over my shoulders and felt like just maybe, I might not die.
A text came. It was from David! He was there!
I made my way out of the finish chute, and happened to see someone I’d been smushed against in the Metro that morning. I said hello and asked about her race. Right when I said that I needed to go find my friend, someone behind me said, “Aurora?” I turned around and standing there in the flesh was David himself.
I threw my arms around him! He hugged me right back. A real honest-to-goodness hug. Not a “half-pat, you’re sweaty, don’t get too close to me” hug, but a “you’re my friend, and I’m so proud of you and happy to hug you right-now” hug.
And I had that dripping wet towel on me! So embarrassing, right? He might not have known that that was ice water and that I wasn’t quite that sweaty. He real-hugged me in spite of all that water all over me, having no idea what kind of water it was! He is amazing, is he not?
He is… I can’t… Man, how do I explain? David is brilliant. He speaks Mandarin, and well, does a bunch of other smart people stuff, but isn’t that a good enough example?
He’s crazy talented.
He is incredibly sweet.
David, in all of his wonderfulness, fought through traffic, and crowds, and re-routed buses, and craziness, and found me at a humongous running event! (Amazing, or amazing? ‘Cause I’m gonna go with amazing.)
He even took care of me(!) – carrying some of my things and filling up my water bottle.
We walked to get burgers at the delicious Good Stuff Eatery. He kindly walked there slowly with me, knowing how tired I was. See, he’s patient too. I have yet to find a flaw of his.
We got burgers – he had a mushroom one since he is yet another friend of mine who doesn’t eat meat.
He was amazing at keeping the conversation going while I’m pretty sure I was suffering from a partially melted brain.
After lunch, alas, he had to go do a bunch of boring grown-up stuff. I walked him to the Metro station and bawled my eyes out. I didn’t really, but I did inside. And I sent him off with some scene-making fake crying.
I am lucky to know him. What more could I want at the finish of her half marathon than to have David stranding there? Great friend. Great race. Great city.
Next week: North Carolina.