Saturday, December 11, 2010


Today today today.  So I guess I can finally admit that I never really got over my nervousness and was still terrified when the gun went off this morning.  I slept well last night but I only slept in about 2 hour increments.  Every 5 seconds I woke up, finally at 5:15 I finally just turned on the TV and gave up.  My dad called about 5:45 to make sure I was up and wish me good luck.  I had plenty of time to wander around the house and get mentally ready as well as lube up like Jiffy Lube.  I had Body Glide and Monkey Butt on every inch of my skin that I could get it on.

On the way to Huntsville, I passed some of my running buddies on the road.  We stopped about half way there to use the bathroom....again.  We were all first timers so the nerves in all of us were high.  Well we finally got there and a different one of my running buddies had stayed the night so we had room to chill in before the race.  And another potty, still no port-a-John. 

This was in the room before we started to race.  There was lots of discussion over clothing and what to wear and what to take off.  And look at the cute little pacer.  Beth, Me, Erin, Erin's Daughter Jane, and Brandi.

This is a good picture of most of the gang.  We were missing a few at this point.  Erin, the one in the light pink is the lady that I trained with the most.  She and I ran 300+ miles in preparation.  Brandi, thanks so much for the pictures, heaven knows I didn't take enough.  And Beth, she is the one who talked me into running this race.

We headed out to the Start line (heart rate 200bpm) and got ready to race.  This is when I remembered to start taking pictures.

The six ladies.  We have trained for this together...not so much six of us running together, but partnered up and gotten the runs done.  Everyone had a different schedule and it was nice to have 6 people to keep up with.  There was a constant dialogue between some or all of us the majority of training.

Oh so ready now.  Notice the people in front of us are already running.  But we just had to have a picture.

Beth and I in a self portrait while running.

The race started!!!!  I was expecting to run this entire thing by myself because I am the slowest of the group.  I knew Helen and Melissa would run together, Erin was with her daughter and the 4:30 pace group and I just assumed Brandi and Beth would stay together.  Much to my delight Beth actually ran with me.  I told her to go on and run her pace, but she ran with me. 

It was so nice to have someone to talk to, especially since I have trained for this with someone else and always had someone to talk to, and you cant wear headphones.  Well, it was an absolute life saver to have her.  The first 13-14 miles were fine.  Walk breaks when I needed them but she was good to start back to a run and keep me from losing time.

Well about mile 16 I could really tell I was starting to hurt.  I think she was too a little bit.  She has been sick for the last month.  Well about mile 17 she decided it was time to bow out.  Just not right today.  And right on cue 2 of my sister and my niece were right there ready to give support.  Beth actually stopped at mile 18 and I was all alone. 

I had been looking forward to mile 17 for miles and when it finally came I was happy (single digits to go) and then I realized, it might be single digits but there was still 9 miles to go....oh oh oh!  This was also about the time that my calves started to cramp.  I knew I would be in a mess if I couldn't get it to stop.  I was pounding water and Gu to try to ease up the pain with no luck.  About mile 19 I was really struggling, and every time I thought I just want to walk the rest I would hear some familiar voices.  My girls were yelling and cheering about half a mile before I would get to them.  

About mile 20 I saw them, and I almost cried.  At this point everything hurt, really really bad and it really wasn't almost over.  My chin started to quiver and everything I started to say I just knew I would break into tears.  I must say, I was able to pull it together without shedding a tear but my body was physically exhausted and mentally trying to stay strong but I was beginning to struggle. 

A local blog reader actually made me a sign and put it on the road towards the end of my run.  I knew it was for me and it put a huge smile on my face.  Thanks sooooooo much!

The best stop to see them was mile 23.  From this point on they would not let me walk.  My pace was really slow but it was still on track to finish before 6 hours but it would be close.  Maggie kept yelling, "Don't stop running."  I cussed her in my mind several times but without that in my ear I don't know that I would have been able to keep walking.  Liz had a drink or a bite to eat and encouraging words, she also started taking all my stuff so I could concentrate (phone and watch because it started to drizzle and I didn't want it to get damaged), Emma would run along on the sidewalk for a few feet to help me get back on my pace and Dad said "You can do it!"  They all played such an important role.  And Dad knowing my competitive nature kept telling me to catch that guy in front of me.  Every time I would catch one he would pick another one.  I was picking them off, very very slowly.

Mile 25.  1.2 miles to go.  At this point in the run there was not many places for people to see so my fam went to the finish line.  I also got a little bit tickled at this point.  I passed 3 police officers over about .5 mile and every one of them said, "A mile and a half to go!"  Really, all of you cannot be that far away.   I had to ask the guy in front of me for the time, about 30,028 times because for the first time the entire race I didn't know my exact pace.  He so kindly told me every single time.  The Greatest Flag Ever, 1 Mile To Go.  I had 24 minutes to go one mile.  At that exact point I knew I would finish in my time frame and amazingly it lifted 30 pounds off my shoulders.  I was able to pick up the pace just a little bit.  Then oh then, I could see the finish line.  About .2 left in the race a friend came up and started to talk to me.  I may have been a little bit mean but I told her to get off the course.  I was not fixing to be disqualified with .2 to go for having a bandit. 

This point I could start hearing my family again.  My niece again ran halfway up the sidewalk and was yelling the time and telling me I was going to make it and then started saying, "You can be under 5:50 if you go."

I could see it and magically everything stopped hurting for the last 2 minutes.  The tears tried to come again but I would be dammed if I cried at this point.  And there it was.  Finish Line.  My crew was all there yelling.  I could hear my usual running buddy across the street yelling for me, I DID IT!  

Under 6 hours, so it counted.  I wanted to kiss the mat but just couldn't because 1,000 people had run over it at that point.  As soon as I crossed I put my hands on my knees and bent over, right there at the finish mat....just FYI....don't do that.  Everyone started asking if I was going to be sick and if I needed help.  I was kinda hyperventilating a little bit, just could not catch my breath and the calves completely cramped up.  I was fine, just so relieved and happy, it was over.  They put a blanket over my shoulders and medal around my neck and a hat on my head.  The hat is a good idea because no ones hair looks good after 26 miles...I don't care who you are.

Once it was over I was in a mad dash to get inside and get my 26.2 sticker.  I actually sent my sister with money to run in and get it in case I was this close to the finish.  I could not buy the sticker before hand because it is way bad Ju Ju and I was not about to do that to myself.   They kept stalling me and making me take pictures and all I could think is....I'm not gonna get my sticker.  They did it on purpose, they already got me one, weeks ago, but they wouldn't tell me because they knew I would not approve.

As soon as I got inside I found a chair.  I needed to sit, really badly, and get off my feet.  That could have been the worse decision of the day.  Once I sat down my legs decided they didn't want to play anymore!  My running partner came in to talk to me and bless her, she knew that rule about sitting down...60 marathons will teach you that.  She sat down right in front of me and we got to talk.  It was so nice!  We shared a few hugs, took a few more pictures, hobbled around to get food and then back to sit, that's all I wanted to do.

I knew she didn't get her Boston Qualifying time and I felt horrible for her but she was really really positive about it and said there would be more Marathons. 

So tonight I can proudly say, I am in the 1% of Americans that have run a full Marathon and it feels just as good as it sounds.  Thanks guys for all your was amazing to know that you were all out there routing for me, praying for me, and for those of you that hoped I failed...ha I didn't (you were motivating too)

I don't have all of our finishing times but all the first timers did finish.  Helen, I think learned a little lesson today.  Never ever ever say to me, "Ill do it if you will."  But I am so proud of these women.

Now, I am excusing myself to bed.  I know its not even 8 o'clock yet, but I am kinda ready to call it a night. 


Anonymous said...

SO SO SO PROUD of you! We knew you could do it! Love you!

Brandi said...

So proud of you (and me)! I wouldn't buy a sticker beforehand either and wish I would have gotten one today! Oh and mile 20 was really hard for me, too. Chris was there and I was do tired I almost lost it when I saw him. We did it, and that is all that matters!

Elizabeth said...

you are soooo strong! it is amazing to be able to get through something so tough, and those last mmiles sure are! i was certainly praying for you after i left and was so thankful when erin told me you had made it to the end well before it was over!

Diet Chic ~ Jury said...

omg.. you did so great! and the post almost made me cry, but if you didn´t after 26.2 MILES I won´t either. ;( I can´t wait to be able to do this one. you´re so amazing. BE PROUD.

Amy Hammons said...

I am so proud of you and this post did make me cry! You are so blessed to have the support of your family! They are great...thanks for letting us take this journey with you!

Brigitte said...

You are a rockstar! I am super proud of you and completely inspired by your marathon! Hats off to you and your amazing accomplishment!

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