Picking up from Part 2 –
I’m going uphill forever. My legs are all, “Uh, Aurora, didn’t we just do this at the Grand Canyon last week?” Immediately following up with, “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.
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 nor 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. 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.
We learn we’re off course and hear (from a phone call they make) that we’ll run back into it if we keep on going this way. Full speed ahead, I guess.
Before you know it, we’re almost at the finish line! We’d 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 (if anything) when you don’t feel you really did the half.
I walked past the turn that led to the finish line. As the police officer looked at me sideways, I explained I’d 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 with snowcones. Sweet Business. I haven’t seen a water stop in who knows how long. This is wonderful.
I stand around talking to the people for a nice long while. (I don’t want my time to be too fast, with the cut mileage and such.)
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’d 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. A bag? Hmm. 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 goodness that’s a lot of plastic!
After the race, 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.
Next up – The Kentucky Derby Half!