(#37) Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Half Marathon – Part 2 (Oh Yeah, We’re Still Talking About My Dad)

October 22, 2012

Yesterday, I left off in mile 12.

There was this couple who’d been walking right around my dad and I since one of the early miles. Sometimes they were in front of us, sometimes we were in front of them.

My dad is ultra-competitive. (I know I am too about certain things. He is my dad, after all.) We had been ahead of this couple for the last few miles. As soon as they caught up, I was ready to zip off to the finish. My dad was over it. I was shocked. (You may be underestimating how super-competitive he is.)

But he just explained it away. “We’re not sure exactly what time they started. Who knows if we’d be truly beating them or not. Who knows if they’re truly beating us or not.”

Yes, those thoughts were pretty true thoughts. But when you’ve been sort of racing someone for 8 or 9 miles, you’re racing them – no matter what time you each precisely started.

We let them pass us, and we walked to the end. We jogged out part of the very, very end once we could see the finish line.

I will give my dad credit that he didn’t sit immediately after the finish line.

However, he was walking like a zombie though the little post-runner area. He just kept asking me if we could turn around. I kept explaining, “We’re fenced in. You have to walk to the end of this area. Just get your food and things.”

“But the car’s that way.” “I know, Daddy. But if you just turn around, all you’re going to do is make it back to the finish line. And we just came from there.” “But the car’s that way.” “Yes, Daddy, I know…”

We did make it to the end of the line of food and medals and things. And right as we were about to get out of the fenced area, he said, “I’m just gonna sit here for a minute.” I told him I was going on a quest for free massages.

I met up with my mom and we went over to the building with free massages. Eventually, as we waited, my dad called. He’d made it about 30 feet right outside of the runner area toward one of the tents. We told him to walk an additional 50 feet and he could get a free massage. “Nah, I’m good.”

I hope you can feel and understand while reading this exactly how hilarious these conversations were with him, ’cause I’m seriously trying to coax him like a child. (Super nice, soft voice: Really, if you can come 50 feet, you can have a free massage! Don’t you think that’ll make you feel all better?” Daddy in his super stubborn voice: “I don’t wanna!” “I can come walk with you if you want. We’re really just about 50 feet away from you. You can do 50 feet.” “I don’t wanna!!!”)

Well, okay then. We just let him continue to wait. I got my free massage. (Yay!) And eventually, we walked (some of us hobbled) back out to the car.

For anyone wondering, we did get our sub-3:30 time with a time of 3:26:29! One of the awesome things about this half marathon was that I had an email before I even got to the car thanking me for running and giving me my actual time in the email. (It didn’t give me a link to go check it out or anything, just right there – “Dear Aurora…” straight in the text of the email. A+ job on that, Cbus marathon. (This is the first distance race I’ve done that’s done that for me.)

I looked at my dad after we’d made it past the finish line and said, “We did it!” He didn’t seem to care too much about anything other than sitting.

For the record, I think it’s great to push yourself. I think it is great to feel that at the end you’ve given everything you’ve got. The thing that makes my dad so hilarious is not that he awesomely pushes himself – it’s that he is incredibly dramatic about it.

He’s always acting like the race is the easiest thing or like we are actually going to fall over dead. There is no in-between (which is not that surprising I suppose, since I am his daughter).

Also for the record, I truly think it’s hilarious. I make fun of him out of love. He cracks me up all race long! And I love that.

I’ll talk tomorrow about the awesome time we had throughout the race – the course, the people, ambiance – all that great stuff.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?