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Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Marathon

Sunday aka Marathon Day
3:30 a.m. The alarm goes off.  I laid out my clothes, shoes, and nutrition the night before so I dressed in a hurry, applied sunscreen, and was out the door.

4:00 a.m.  Met my team in the lobby of a the hotel.

4:45 a.m.  Still trying to figure out why I had to be in the hotel lobby at 4:00 a.m., when we are just now getting on the bus.

5:05 a.m.  Get off the bus.  Realize I left my breakfast (a peanut butter and honey sandwhich on the bus).  Walk to the corrals/start.  Trying to figure out why the bus couldn't drop us a little closer.  Eat a waffle.  Drink some water.  Wait in line for the port-o-potty.

6:00 a.m.  Line up in the corral.  Moooooo.   Realize I need to go to the bathroom again.  Line up for the port-o-potty again.   Note to self:  you are in corral 30, which means you are at the back of the race pack.  Do not use any port-o-potties along the route.    Back to the corral.

7:00 a.m.  Start running.   Feel great.  

8:00 a.m.  Five miles done.  Still feel great.

9:00 a.m.  9+ miles done.   Still feel pretty good. 

9:45 a.m. Still feel pretty good, but decide to slow pace and take some more nutrition.

10:15 a.m.  Feel nausous.  Tear up.  Plan to stop at next medical tent.  Get, there, tell them what's happening.  They ask a bunch of questions about blood sugar and tell me to sit down.  Ask if I want to get on the shuttle they are calling for the girl sitting next to me.  She's shaking. 

10:30 a.m. Throw-up.   Feel better and worse.  I'm somewhere around mile 17.   I am starting to feel cold, so I need to make a decision as to what to do.    Rinse out my mouth and start walking.   Have a sudden flash that I am going to have to do another marathon being I am not going to be able to run the whole thing.  After this point, all times are estimates.  

11:00 a.m.  Finally get around to asking a team in training coach what I should do.   She advised that if I am okay walking, I should take in as much water as I can, and a few sips of gatorade.   But, I don't need to take any more nutrition.  I decide I will definitely walk the rest of the course. 

12:00 p.m.  Still walking.   My pace is good.  If I keep this pace I can still finish in under six hours.

12:30 p.m.  Still walking.   Realize I hate walking.

1:00 p.m.  Still walking. Still hate walking.  Random twenty something starts riding his bicycle next to me telling me I can do it.  I threaten to knock him off his bike and ride the rest of the way to the finish line.  He doesn't believe me.   I would have, but I didn't know if I could pedal.   A woman who is walking the marathon walks with me the next two miles.   She is walking at a 13.75 minute mile pace.   If you have never walked that pace, - it is fast.  I keep up with her for two miles.

1:30 p.m.  Still walking.  Alone now.  This blows.  I am in the final stretch.  At least that's what all the damned coaches, spectators, water stop workers and cheerleaders keep telling me.  Who the hell decided to have cheerleaders come out and cheer marathoners on?   Hated cheerleaders in highschool, still hate them.  Shut the ef up. 

1:45 p.m.  Still walking.  Realize that unless the magic fairies pick me up and carry me to the finish line, I will not make my goal time of finishing in six hours.    The magic fairies, however, appear to be evil.   Oh, wait, that's just more cheerleaders.  I tear up again. 

2:15 p.m.  See Corey and Emily, my Team in Training Coaches.  Do start to cry.  Emily walks me almost to the finish line.   See Justin and Oliver, stop, chat, give kisses, time doesn't matter anymore. 

2:23 p.m.  Finish.  Vow never to do a marathon again.  Ever.  Run or walk this effer is done.  Somehow manage to make it home, it involved a pedi-cab, goldfish crackers and a trolley.  That's all I remember.   Took a bath.  It was hot.  Ef ice baths.  Showered, put on pajamas, slept. 

7:00 p.m.  Wake-up.  Hurt like hell.   Watch Mad Men.   Apparently don't hurt as badly as Lane.  Go to dinner. 

10:00 p.m.  Go to bed. 

Monday aka The Day After
9:00 a.m.  Wake-Up.  Still alarmingly sore.  Still vow never to do another marathon, - ever.   But, ready to reflect on the experience.  

I had an awesome experience.   That's right, despite all of the explitives, my expeirience going from zero to 26.2 was amazing.   What started out as a way to honor my Dad, while doing something I never thought I could do, put my mental and physical strengths to the test.   Along the way, I was thrown constant curve balls, from work, from Oliver, and from my own immune system.   But, I met amazing people, shared stories, learned what the human spirit could accomplish (both my own and others) and raised over $3300 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma foundation (note:  not all donations are yet reflected in my totals on the fundraising page, -- feel free to continue to donate). 

I would be remiss if I didn't give Team in Training an endorsement.   The enthusiasm of the campaign manager, Lauren, the coaches, Emily & Corey, and the mentors, especially Andrea, Kerry, and Christine, provided me with strength to train from week to week.   When I thought that I couldn't do it, there was always someone next to me to tell me that I could.   The other participants were equally inspiring.   Everyone brought their own stories to the training.  Many, like me, had personally been affected by the disease.  Unlike me, many had lost family members, and were running in memory of, instead of in honor of their loved ones.   There were also amazing honored teammates who were running because they themselves were survivors or living with leukemia or lymphoma.  While in San Diego, a marthon sponsored by TNT, people lined the streets to cheer the participants on.   Coaches were everywhere, -- when I needed advice they were there.  When I needed encouragement they were there.  And, when I just needed to make it to the finish line they were there.   The support was amazing.   If you are stupid enough to want to run a marathon, I would without hesitation recommend TNT.   You too now have a personal connection to the foundation.  

On a more personal level, I again, started this to honor my Dad.   As some of you may have noticed, his wasn't the only name on my t-shirt.   I also added my cousin-in-law, Melissa.   She herself survived childhood leukemia and became an inspiration to me along this journey.   I also found out that Justin's great grandmother had died of leukemia and that a close friend of his sister has a Dad that is currently undergoing treatment.  I should also mention my dear friend, Suzanne, who did the same marathon six years ago, in honor of her mother, both of whom continue to inspire me.

I feel very fortunate that my Dad is still hitting the slopes and living life to its fullest and getting to spend time with his grandson (who will also be hitting the slopes next winter).   The type of leukemia he has tends to come back.  It is my sincere hope, that through this fundraising mission, that if it does, there will be new treatments and that one of them will cure it forever. 

Finally, on a purely individual level, I learned what I can do.  I finished an effing marathon.

A Pictoral Account of the Day 

This is what Oliver was doing while I was up at 3:30 a.m.

This is what Luci was doing while I was up at 3:30 a.m.

This is me at 3:30 a.m.   Don't I look excited?

How about now?  A special thanks to Justin for taking these pictures at 3:30 a.m.  He was wise enough not to be photographed at 3:30 a.m.

Note how far I actually am from the starting line.

Running.  This is almost to the end.....

The reward.

I'll take it over a medal any day.

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome blog!! Thank you for sharing!!