Picking up from yesterday –
So, the energy was incredible. I was ready to do this race, by golly! I went out a little faster than I intended, and had to tell myself to pull back.
(Those of you who regularly read the blog know I’m a very slow half marathoner. I didn’t do a single one under 3 hours last year – and I did a few over 4 (a couple even over 5 hours – granted, one was on crutches and one was in a weekend with 4 races).)
I went in thinking I’d aim for around 3:30 in this race. I haven’t built up a ton of speed. I’m just kind of getting back into the groove after taking a bit of time to decompress from the 52 in 52.
Well, at the first mile marker, I think I was going faster than the 2:50 pacer. Pull it back, Aurora!
I slowed it down and jogged along, letting the 2:50 group pass me.
Somewhere in the first few miles, there was an open lane of traffic – stopped traffic – beside us. I bet those people were not happy. But what was hilarious about it was around the time I saw those cars, I got a call from my high school theater teacher (aka totally my bff, and one of the most amazing women on the face of the planet)!
I didn’t answer ’cause I was still working fairly hard and didn’t want to have a conversation with her while huffing and puffing away in a loud place. But when I listed to her message, she told me she was on her way to Dayton for a baby shower, and got stuck in horrible race traffic – when she saw me jogging past!
I thought that was hilarious and awesome.
Speaking of high school, later in the race, one of my friends from high school was cheering on the sidelines. She exclaimed, “Aurora?!” as she was already basically mid-hugging me. She walked with me for a bit before she had to turn around and keep on cheering for others.
There were some fun signs at this race – “You can’t quit… You’re not the pope!” “Smile, you are having fun.” (I love that someone decided they needed to remind the runners of that in declarative sentence form.) We had a “May the 4th be with you.” (And who doesn’t love things Star Wars themed?) Two girls even came out in comfy looking chairs with a sign for a shortcut (which of course no one took (I assume) but was still funny.
I also love that the staff at a White Castle came out and cheered us on – with a white castle mascot and everything! (Now, if only they had free sliders on the table instead of free water… but you can’t have everything.)
And very close to the end (with finish line in sight), there was someone who had a sign that said, “You’re actually almost there.” (I think at the beginning I also saw a sign that said something like, “You’re not even close to being there.) I so appreciate signs making fun of people’s tendency to constantly say “you’re almost there” when you are so not even close to being there.
My dad came and met me in the last while, walking along the side of the race route for a bit. He ran into two people from work in the 10 minutes that I spent with him. (My dad kind of seems Ohio famous. He pretty much knows everyone in Columbus as far as I can tell.)
I ran it out to the finish. They announced my name, making me sound special since I was “all the way from Los Angeles, California.” I did make it in under my 3:30 expected time (not much under – around 3:28). Then, I had a delicious brunch with my dad, and that was the end of the morning.
But in the afternoon, we were guests in the Ohio Health (sponsor of the half marathon) suite at the Columbus Crew game. (How did I get that honor? Mainly through twitter (one of the greatest things ever – I’d love if you’d follow me there if you don’t already.)
I will talk about the soccer game tomorrow.