(#8) Rock ‘n’ Roll USA – Part 3

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 than that, I was just doing my best not to 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 1.1 mile was my slowest by far. But I made it! And lo and behold, 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, it’s possible that I might not die.

A text came. It was from David! He was there!

Aurora De Lucia and David Petrick hugging at the finish of the Rock n Roll Half Marathon 2012

I made my way out of the finish chute, and happened to see someone I had 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. Just unbelievably smart. He speaks Mandarin, and well, 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.)

David Petrick's promise to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with Aurora

This is the promise he made me on the back of a receipt at dinner. We had talked about it on the phone, but now it’s in writing.

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 balled my eyes out. I didn’t really, but I did inside. So, I sent him off with some scene-making fake crying.

I am lucky to know him. What more could a girl want at the finish of her half marathon than to have David stranding there? Great friend. Great race. Great city.

Next week: North Carolina.

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Comments: 4

  1. Annette Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 5:55 am Reply

    Congrats on another great race!! I’m so proud of you!!!

    • Aurora De Lucia Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 2:19 am Reply

      Thanks so much, Annette! I hope we get to be in the same race again sometime! :-D

  2. Becky Beckers Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 10:59 am Reply

    What a precious man and friend David is. I am positive that your feelings are absolutely mutual. Great job in that heat – you are definitely a WINNER in my books!

    • Aurora De Lucia Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 2:18 am Reply

      Aw, thank you! And yes, he is so precious.

      He hasn’t stopped being my friend yet in the last many years, and he did promise to go on a trip to Africa with me, so even if he doesn’t think I’m as great as I think he is (which let’s get real, I’m not as great a person as he is), he must enjoy me at least a little bit. :-D

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