(#11) Hollywood Half Marathon – Part 4 (Didn’t Set Myself Up Well… But At Least I Was Surprised By Lovely Friends At The Finish!)

April 10, 2012

Aurora kissing her friend Amber on the cheek in front of the Universal Studios Hollywood ballPicking up from yesterday, I never did see a SAG wagon. Anytime I looked behind me, I still saw plenty of people and no wagon. At the turnaround, I had seen people over a mile behind me.

I heard that the SAG wagon at this race was a limo. I’m not sure that’s true, but I guess if you’re ever gonna get picked up in one, that’s the way to do it.

I had a talk with a good friend and fellow runner the other day about how so many different things play into a run – what you ate, how you slept, which shoes you’re wearing, your attitude, and on and on. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way.

I slept in my own bed 25 minutes away, so I should’ve had the best sleep of my life. I ended up waking up in the middle of the night, and got maybe 5 hours of sleep.

I ate a little too much before a race. I was up for so long, I kept snacking as I caught up on Grey’s Anatomy, which was unnecessary – the snacking part, not the Grey’s part. Not to mention, as we all know, I wore shoes to a race a bit before they were ready.

Basically, due to my own personal failings I didn’t set myself up for the best race I could’ve had. I think I’ve typed that before here on the blog, in Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans. That race happened to fall the weekend after my previous PR, just as this race fell the weekend after my current PR, so maybe that has something to do with it as well.

Aurora De Lucia posing with her medal at the Hollywood Half Marathon 2012Based on the way I was feeling in the morning, I knew I’d be pushing the time limit on this race, so I kept an eye on my running app at every mile. The first 5k was fine. I got markedly slower while “killing the hill” (or, I guess “lightly causing mild discomfort to the hill”).

I stayed ahead of time limit pace until mile 10-ish when I had slowed down enough to be right at the edge. I was pretty shocked that the SAG wagon was nowhere in sight. I think the race directors were super lenient on the time limit. A number of people finished after me, with some coming in at around 4 hours.

In mile 11 (going uphill), I see Joe (Ragnar runner #7 I’d met that morning), running back toward me. He did my last mile and half-ish with me. He had finished long before me, and was nice enough to stick around and do the end of the race with me!

(He seems to be a really great guy. His girlfriend is overseas serving in the military. He does tons of running events for her, videotaping them, then sending her videos. What a sweetheart, right? It was great to have him around to keep the conversation going for the rest of the race.)

The end of the race was downhill. Sweet business. Joe and I took off for a jog through the finish. There was a little red carpet leading to the finish line, which was pretty cool.

Almost right after I cross the finish, I get a phone call from Fareed! (My lovely friend from Washington DC, who happened to be visiting Los Angeles.)
“Aurora! Congrats on your half marathon!”
“Thank you! I just finished.”
“We’re here.”

Aurora posing with her friends Fareer and Amber after the finish of the Hollywood Half Marathon 2012Turns out he and Amber (my unbelievably stunningly gorgeous, sweetheart, lovely friend, who my entire group of friends is basically completely in love with, because how could we not be?) are there at Universal Studios.

I (obviously) freak out! I cannot believe that my friends put forth the effort to fight LA traffic (with closed roads and all!) to get to a super popular destination, just to be there at my finish.

Joe and I make the trek up from the finish line to the theme park. As I’m waiting to get on the stairs to the overpass, I see my friends down below waving. (Yay!)

Joe and I part ways. I run into Fareed and Amber’s arms, and we went to a lovely brunch together.

I couldn’t imagine a better way to end that race. I absolutely adore them both! What an incredibly lovely surprise.

As you can tell, this race had some growing pains being the first year and all (and I had some bad decision making). But I have no real complaints. I think the race director tried really hard to make a great race. I’m sure the one in 2013 will be even better. And I had an extremely fun day. For what else could I ask?

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