Followed immediately by, “Whatever, girl. We trust you. We love working out. It’s nice of you not to take us to such a high altitude this time.” You’re welcome.
A couple of women catch up to me, and we walk together-ish. Sometimes I jog ahead, trying to keep a nice workout up, then I come back and walk some more.
Miles go by where we don’t see anyone – not a volunteer, not a police officer, nobody. We’re not even the last runners, mind you! It’s a ghost town out there, which is a bit crazy. What if someone had gotten hurt? And with all the dogs in that town, I’m pretty surprised I didn’t get eaten.
For a number of miles, we still see mile markers at least. Even though there are no other cues telling us we’re on course, those let us know we are. Then we get to this point where there are no signs or volunteers to tell us which way to turn. Which way do we go?!
Super responsible half marathoners know the course and don’t need to rely on volunteers, so I need to shoulder some blame here. I did have my phone with me. Conceivably I could’ve looked up a map. (Of course, I have the absolute worst sense of direction in the world. Ever. Of anyone. In the world. Ever. Even with a map, I’m not sure I would’ve turned the right way.)
I ask these women where to turn. They say left, seeming confident in their choice. Off we go.
A while later… it’s been a little too long since we’ve seen a mile marker.
The women say we’re off course. They find out from someone on the phone that we had made a wrong turn, and we’ll run back into the course if we keep on going this way. Full speed ahead, I guess.
Before you know it, we run back into the course – we’re almost at the finish line! We had inadvertently taken a mile (maybe even closer to two?!) off our route. Ugh. I hated merging back on the course feeling cheater-y.
All the “great job” sentiments from people mean way less when you don’t feel you really did the whole half.
I walked past the turn that led to the finish line. As the police officer looked at me sideways, I explained I had gotten lost and wanted to do a little more distance.
I walked forward and back a few blocks a couple of times. (I didn’t want to lost again, by golly.)
As I came back toward the finish, I saw a booth for Redlands Swim Team with snowcones. Sweet Business. I haven’t seen a water stop in who knows how long. This is wonderful. I get a cone of straight ice. (I had taken a look at the calories on that syrup.) I stand around and talk to the people there for a nice long while. I don’t want my time to be too terribly fast, since I’m pretty sure I did not do a complete course.
After a number of minutes, Johannah comes my way asking if I’m ever going to finish the race. I think about ditching the snowcone for the finish, but Jo says it’ll look cooler crossing the finish line with it in my hand. She’s right…
But there wasn’t a race photographer there to catch it! I finished in about 3:23 (with a 4:30 time limit) and they had already sent the photographer home.
Jeanette was sweet and took some pictures of me. After I crossed, the volunteers handed me a plastic bag that had my medal inside of it. Really? In a bag? A little anti-climactic, no?
Do medals always come in individual plastic bags first? That kind of seems super wasteful. Maybe it protects them, but man that’s a lot of plastic!
Jeanette, Jo, and I take a jaunt around the post-race festivities. Free massages. Woo hoo!
Jeanette gives me the celebrity treatment – driving me all the way back to Los Angeles!
I did two miles on the treadmill to make myself feel better. Luckily, I’m doing more than 52 half marathons, so let’s not even count this as an “official” half of mine.
Jeanette and Jo were awesome hosts. It was a fun weekend, but the race left a little to be desired. (Although, I’m sure I would feel different if I was faster… which I should be.)
Next up – The Kentucky Derby Half Marathon!