New Year’s Race 2014 – Part 3 (From Dodger Stadium to the Finish)

January 7, 2014

Lying in the parking lot after being 44 seconds off. (This will have to do until the pro photos come out.)
Lying in the parking lot after being 44 seconds off. (This will have to do until the pro photos come out.)

Picking up from yesterday –

At the mile 9 mile marker, according to the running app I was using, I was at 2 hours and 2 minutes. I almost shed a tear because I was seeing how possible 3 hours was.

The tough uphills were finished and I was just going to do my best to jog out most of the rest of the race.

I was fading a bit. So, I did do a mix of speed-walking/jogging in a couple of those miles. But I just kept trying to push.

I will say that I can absolutely see my improvement. I was definitely able to push more and feel less fatigued than in previous halfs – which is especially awesome because of the challenging nature of this course!

Nonetheless, it was getting somewhat hard…

I get to mile marker 12. All I have to do is keep a pace of slightly under a 14-minute mile for this last 1.1, and I am golden!

I’m running along. I keep telling myself, “Whatever you do, do not walk a single step in this last 1.1. It is only one and one-tenth of a mile. You can easily do that without walking. Do not walk one single step here, Aurora.

And I don’t! I jog the whole way. As I’m getting closer to the finish, I check my running app. I see I only have 4 minutes left to make my goal. So I put on the incredibly inspiring “The World’s Greatest” by R. Kelly. That song is my jam!

Yeah, R. Kelly! I am a mountain! I am a tall tree! I am the world’s greatest. Sing it to me!

That song is 3 minutes and 41 seconds long. I knew if I finished before that song ended, I had to be golden.

One of the amazing things about doing a race right in my neighborhood is that I actually knew where I was. I barely ever have any sense of direction or how close things are. But once we turned on 11th and started hitting Grand and Olive and all of that, I knew where Flower was! So I could actually sort of gauge how things were going.

I hit mile marker 13 with 2 minutes to spare! I only need to do .1 miles in 2 minutes?! This is mine!

I turn the corner on Flower going toward 12th. I see the finish line! R. Kelly isn’t even to that repeat-y part of the song toward the end. I’m still in the verses. This is mine.

I am really tired at this point. I want to walk just a couple of steps, but I have promised myself that I will not! So I don’t. I just put my eyes up to the finish line. And I tell myself to just keep looking right at that point. It’s gonna get closer and closer and once you go underneath it, you can walk if you want.

At this point, not far at all from the finish, my phone flies out of my pocket!

And this is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.

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