Sunday, October 21, 2007

I did it!

And survived! It wasn't pretty but I finished! My official time was 5:19:51.

Where do I start??.....I guess I can start by saying that I totally underestimated how painful and difficult this would be. I started the day thinking that it would be a repeat of my 20 miler only a little more difficult the last 6 miles...the last couple miles of the 20 miler were hard but certainly doable and I felt great when I finished. But I'm slowly learning that each run is a new experience and if the planets aren't aligned just so....it can inexplicably make a run....not so good. I tried to do and eat everything the same...and the weather couldn't have been more perfect....so....naturally....I thought it would be a perfect and blissful experience. Well, let me tell you.....

The first 13 miles I felt incredible....my legs were loose...my mind was inspired and fresh....the weather was perfect...I was enjoying it, taking it all in, and kicking butt (relatively speaking). My official time at the half was 2:23:17....which was right on track for finishing in under 5 hours. Kelly who has had injuries plaguing her training wasn't going to run it at all but decided at the last minute to try. Her and I ran the 1st 13 miles together. It was awesome...and for someone who's training has been continuously interrupted because of injuries ...she was doing an incredible job. Dan and the boys were waiting for me to cheer me on with the signs they made at about the 9th mile when I came back over through the tunnel and then again at about 13.5... gave me a big hug and I was on top of the world.....it was about that time that I lost Kelly.....and from that point on I started falling apart.

I'm going to completely digress here for a moment to tell you about my boys' signs.....since the beginning of this my boys keep asking "so are you gonna win mom?" and I have to over and over again explain to them that NO I was not now or EVER going to win a marathon but it was only about the journey and FINISHING the 26.2 miles....that's a difficult concept for 2 competitive boys....so Saturday night at the TNT sponsored spaghetti dinner they pulled all the kids from the room and brought them to a room next door to help them make signs to support their loved ones....I laughed when I saw my kids signs.....all the other kids brought out signs that said "you can do it!" and "we're proud of you"......MY boys, however, wrote "FINISH MOM!"...LOL!

At the same spaghetti dinner my friend Traci was recognized and given a plaque by the TNT powers that be for recruiting 4 friends to do this along with her.....how cool is that??!!

So, back to my unraveling.......At around the 14th mile my lower back and hips started really aching. So, in the past I've found that when something is sore during a run it really helps me to stop and stretch it....so I stopped to stretch....and I could never get back in the groove from that point on...my back, hips, and lower abdomen were really hurting by the 16th mile when I got to the entrance to Belle Isle....Diane and her husband were at the entrance to the bridge over waiting for me with orange slices, bless their heart, and she ran a short distance with me to help remotivate me and then went back to meet me when I returned back over the bridge at mile 20. The whole 3 or 4 miles on Belle Isle were rough....I ran a little and walked a lot....but I was in a lot of pain. When I met up with Diane she told me she'd run the rest of it with me....the whole last 6.2 miles to the finish....I have serious doubts that I would have finished this without her support...... I'm so blessed to have her in my life! I was in a really bad place at that point....I'm glad I didn't bring my cell phone because I really think I would have used it to call for a ride back to the finish. I tried to run as much of it as I could for the next 2 miles but by the 22nd mile I just couldn't do it. I walked the next 3 miles straight and Diane was wonderful about it. God bless her for putting up with my sour butt for that long. I did nothing but complain about how miserable I felt for 3 miles straight...probably longer....I could hear myself continuously complaining but just couldn't stop....I was disappointed in my time and frustrated with how much pain I was in and she just listened and encouraged the entire time. At one point I was feeling like such a negative sour puss and everyone around me with there shouts of encouragement and praise were getting on my every last nerve that I leaned over and asked her to tell the guy next to her to shut the f-ck up! Instead of calling me out on my bitchiness she told me that I earned the right to hate everyone at that point...LOL! God bless her!

But then the end was near and Dan and the boys were waiting for me at the 25th mile and started running with me! It was awesome having them running along side me for that last mile....it kept me going. At the start of that last mile I got a shooting nerve pain through my lower back and actually yelled out and doubled over in pain but it went away quickly....I started running again and realized that I felt NO PAIN...and sprinted (well, I felt like I was sprinting anyway, the truth is I was probably only running a 12 min mile...lol) the rest of the way to the finish.

And when you cross the finish line you then have the impossible task of walking the 1 mile back to the hotel...I wanted to cry!

So I've been sitting here trying to analyze all this to figure out what went wrong and I just don't know. Originally I thought I went out too fast but after looking at my times and comparing that to my times from the 20 miler...I just don't think that's it. My Average time for the first 1/2 was 10.9 min/mile. Which is about right for me....maybe a little fast but not fast enough to do me in..... Then I wonder if all my stopping to stretch may have actually been hurting me instead of helping...everyone keeps saying just keep moving don't stop....so maybe that was it. I didn't take Motrin before I started which probably would have helped prevent the pain from getting so bad. Or......maybe......the planets weren't aligned just so. Who knows.

So, in the moment I was frustrated and mad that after all this hard work I wasn't going to be able to run it all....or finish it in under 5 hours......I was in so much pain that I was seriously thinking "never again"....."I'll switch to the 1/2 marathon in the future".....but now after some time to come to my senses I have realized that the joy of this experience has been through the journey of getting here. My friends and I raised over $10,000 for a great cause. Back when my dad had Leukemia....Leukemia was a death sentence....now through the research that is made possible by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society stem cell transplants have changed that death sentence to one of hope....It really doesn't matter whether I do the 1/2 or full....I've found a sport I love and will continue doing for a long time. It's a lot like child birth.....you tend to forget the traumatic experience once it's over. And now it's over....and every square inch of my body hurts.... So I plan to take the next 2 or 3 weeks off from running to let my body heal...my right heel and left ankle need some time to TRULY heal....so I'll take that time off and then get back on the wagon.

things I plan to do different next time....

1) I'm adding strength training to my running training!

2) I'm going to add core strength to my running training!

3) I'm going to take Motrin before running!
4) NO STOPPING TO STRETCH!!!

Somewhere on Belle Isle someone....a complete stranger who was reading my shirt, came and patted me on the back to tell me my dad would be proud....that just did me in! I was already an emotional basket case and that just threw me over the edge.

Traci and I before the race started ......waiting to start the 1 mile walk to the start line....as if the 26.2 miles weren't enough!

This is the coral and the start line when we first started....we were packed in like sardines! Pictures are horrible but I was moving and it was still dark.



Crossing the Ambassador Bridge into Canada....the sunrise view was beautiful....I took a picture of the sunrise but it didn't turn out.


Me and Kelly at about the 5th mile. Notice that we're still smiling....those smiles disappear in about 10 more miles....


Running in Canada Miles 4 - 9...it was somewhere in here that Kelly and I were running behind a guy that had a sign on the back of his shirt that said...."I signed up for a marathon and got a girlfriend"....we thought that was cute.



The tunnel back to Detroit....the blur of the picture is how I was feeling through here...it was SO hot in there!


My saint of a friend Diane walking with me during those last few miles!



Me during the last few miles....that smile is pasted on....in fact, if you look closely you may see the glue seeping from the edges of my lips....



Me with my 3 boys at the finish.....I'm feel'n a little guilty that we didn't bring Jordyn.....

I'm editing this post to add the following picture....Traci and Kristina's picture was in today's paper...the Free Press had a whole section on the marathon.....all the names and times were listed. I was able to find and save the picture on line. Here it is.....Awesome job guys!!!!


PS.....they're the 2 on the right in the purple shirts.

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