Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Did you win?

“Did you win?” asked Landon after the marathon. For those of you who don’t know, Landon is 3 and one of my biggest supporters.

So now that it’s all said and done what do I think? Well, from mile 22 through mile 25.5 I thought this is the dumbest thing I have ever done in my life. But my mom says it’s just like having a baby- you forget the pain. AND a little part of me really wants to try it again…

Before I forget- here are a few minor details about the race as a whole:
1. The Denver police were AMAZING! They did a great job of controlling traffic and were so encouraging… every time we passed they would say looking strong or way to go… love it.
2. The Rock n Roll portion of the race was not so rock n roll. If the bands weren’t on breaks.. they were playing like slow jamz.
3. The cheerleaders along the way were the best! There were Denver Metro high school cheerleaders along the course and they were so enthusiastic and it really helped.
4. Also the text messaging alerts that told my friends and family where I was along with the fact that friends could watch the finish line online was really cool.
And now…

Here’s a rundown of the day:
4:30 I get up and get ready. Everyone knows I am quite a planner so I had everything laid out and ready to go. We take pictures like it’s the first day of Kindergarten, Kristal arrives to drive my parents around town.
5:30 I hear my mom open up the champagne in the back seat. I get jealous. No mimosa for me.
5:55 Kristal reads me a list of funny quotes from Modern Family to make me laugh.
From 6- 7:21 it’s basically waiting for the port a potty, finding our corral and standing… and by 7:21 we finally cross the starting line.

Things are going great- we are laughing- running a good pace- feeling strong—singing Fresh Prince of Bel Air. .. and then we get to City Park.

Right in front of me I notice my office mate, Linda. Linda is probably the greatest inspiration for me when it comes to running and in so many ways she is my Colorado Mom. She is running the half… So I run next to her for a bit and say, “I’ll text you when I finish” and she says, “I signed up for the automatic texts so I’ll know when you finish.” Me= waterworks. I was so touched. So I run ahead and Kara asks, “Are you crying?” and I said “Um, no.” Liar.

So City park isn’t too bad. I see friends, we see some pretty great signs, most people are in great moods, lots of cheering… then we hit Cheeseman and I see my friends and family… super exciting… and still feeling good and strong about mile 11 and then we have to separate. Vivian and Nathalie have to go one way for the Half Marathoners and Nicole, Kara, and I go the other way. In my mind I thought- they only have two miles to go… and I have 15. Ouch.

Once we turn that corner it suddenly became silent. The street opened up and rather than seeing hundreds of people line the streets we saw just a few. Granted- the people who were out were amazing- handing out everything from water to donuts, to Twizzlers to beer. Denver people know what’s up. Also one house kept playing Don’t Stop Believing…

We also totally pick up our pace at that point… probably because there was really no one else around and we didn’t have any crazy hills to contend with…. But Cry #2 came right around mile 13 when I overheard some dude say “We’re running a marathon!” and I was like HOLY Toledo! This is real. AND really far from being over…

So I’m having fun and feeling great until we stop at the port a potties at mile 15 and I get a look at myself in the mirror and think uh oh… I don’t look so hot… and by that I looked super hot. Red face… frazzled… and my fuel belt was starting to hurt me… I trained with it so I felt like I should run with it. Note: Not doing that again.

Miles 15-20 were in Washington Park… and as a general rule I don’t LOVE running there. I love the park- but all the loops make me crazy. And this was even worse because now there were even more loops… At this point Nicole’s dad joined us and ran along for a bit and that was cry #3.

Side note- the first thing in the morning Jill sent me a text that says, “You’ve got this” and that is what I told myself the entire time… “you’ve got this, you’ve got this, you’ve got this.”

At mile 19 I saw Joan from work and that made me feel better and then I handed off my belt to Nicole’s parents- assuming at that point I would now be able to run like the wind. Wrong.

Around mile 20 I had to walk for the first time… it wasn’t necessarily that I hit the “wall” but I was having a hard time breathing. So for the rest of the race I ran/walked until about mile 25. I was never in any pain physically I was just SO tired and could not catch my breath.

At mile 21 I see all my friends and family and realize for the first time … Oh.. they have TEAM KACEE shirts on… surprisingly I didn’t cry then… but probably b/c I needed all the fluids I could get.

We’re finally out of Wash park and things are going ok with the walk/run until at mile 23 I realize we have to basically run up and back down a bridge. But the worst part is that there is NO place for anyone to stand along the sidelines and cheer.
This is also when I began to see other people struggling… a lot of other people were walking at this point too. I had to keep my eye on Nicole and Kara ahead and I would let them get just so far ahead of me then I would run and catch up and do it again. I’d even told them at one point if they needed to leave me I would be fine.

At mile 25 I realize we are almost there and I really expected this surge of adrenaline to kick in and I’d run so fast and just finish. NOPE.

It was tough, it was mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. When it was over I just walked around with my medal in a total daze… I didn’t know what to do or think or feel.. Meghan took a great pic of me just sitting there with a smile on my face, but my eyes are totally glazed over… I had no words.

And in the winner’s photo on the marathon website Ronald McDonald is standing there clapping… um first of all huh? And Second of all… where was he when I finished?
It was truly the best feeling in the world to know that I had so many people supporting me along the way. I mean people were wearing shirts with my name on it? WHAT? How unbelievable is that?

So what now? I just spent the last 8 months mentally preparing, and the last 4 months physically preparing… so now what do I do?

Again- a huge thank you to everyone. It meant so much knowing that I had so many people on my side. Not just during the race- but all those months of training. Yesterday I was finally able to catch up with all the texts and facebook messages and I was completely overwhelmed with all the love.

So to answer Landon’s question- yeah I guess I did win.

Way to go Jogging Babes... much love to you all!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's the final countdown... nah nah nah nah... nah nah nah nah nah...

So I love running, I do.

I love getting up super early on a Saturday and running for three hours. I love going for coffee after and laughing about whatever ridiculous thing happened during the run… like the Santa Claus walking down 13th, or the number of times Kara fell, or the fact that we sang the entire theme song to Fresh Prince of Bel Air out of nowhere and we all remembered all the words. I’m thankful to the Joggin Babes who kept me going… ps – we didn’t name ourselves the joggin babes… some kind stranger once yelled out “Hey, it’s the Joggin Babes!” and though creepy - at that point we needed that support-so the name stuck.

That being said… I hope I continue to run after this marathon… who knows what will happen and if I’ll continue with full marathons… or if I’ll stick to halves. I am SO happy I did it… BUT I am ready to have my life back.

I’m ready for my pants to fit again. I didn’t realize my thighs would get so huge. I thought they’d get small and cute… wrong.

I’m ready to say Yes, I can attend that function…

I’m ready to go to the gym and do something other than run.

I’m ready to STOP eating bananas.

I’m ready to stop worrying if my toenails will turn black or fall off (neither happened).

I’m ready to start drinking mimosas at 9 am on a Wildcat Saturday.

I’m ready to not spend a weekend lying under bags of frozen vegetables. From my experience- Brussels sprouts work best.

I’m also ready to finish this as a thank you to all my friends and family who have stood by me and supported me the entire way. More than anything I’ve learned that I am one lucky girl. I can’t believe how many amazing people I have in my life.

I’m ready to cross the finish line....

and then drink a really big, ice cold beer.