Tuesday, May 8, 2012

the miles...Kalamazoo Race Recap, part 2

So I suppose the easiest way to start this one is just by putting all the facts out there.

- Chip Time: 6:07:13 I think its wrong, because the clock said 6:05 when I crossed the finish, and I was not at the front of the pack. Anyways...(and really, does it matter at this point? not really haha)
- 683/703 overall
- 272/283 female
- 48/49 in my division

I will also be really up front that this was not the time I wanted. But I am not letting it ruin the memory of my first marathon.



As I said yesterday, I went out the with 5:00 pace group, and I hung with them through 11, when I had to stop for a bathroom break. But by hang with them, I really mean that part of me knew I couldn't keep it up. And I should fall back. But I was being stubborn.

5 hour pace group around mile 3?
All smiles at mile 3

As so you can see from there, things got slower. I managed to keep trucking for about 3 miles at a decent pace. Somewhere in those miles we went through a neighborhood (there was a ton of amazing neighborhoods with AMAZING crowd support all along the course) and I was pretty alone on the street (someone far ahead, and someone far behind) and the crowd was yelling my number, and cheering for me, and only me, and I started balling. I couldn't believe I was doing this. I couldn't believe that I would be a marathoner (When I say I couldn't believe I mean it like "holy crap this is really happening, I never thought I would do this"). I remember specifically running past one of the many amazing police officers, and him looking at me in concern as I balled, and me trying to smile, and giving him the double thumbs up. I wanted to him to know I was okay, it was just so overwhelming and amazing.

Text from Shane: "I'll be at about mile 13 on Waite. Keep going." & Those simple words of "keep going" meant so much to me. I am so lucky to have him. (PS crying again right now)
I managed to hit the 1/2 mark at about 2:30. (another AMAZING neighborhood)

Sometime after that my tummy really started to give me trouble. It was just uncomfortable. There were more walk breaks, and more bathroom breaks. Somewhere around 3 hours I texted Erika that I was walking a lot, having tummy troubles but in good spirits.

Those good spirits continued through probably mile 17 or 18? I saw Shane for the last time (before the finish) at mile 17.

Walking, smiling and still feeling just so freaking happy.

After that, my mental state went downhill. My body hurt, and I couldn't get myself to run, bc walking felt better. I wanted to be done. I got some encouraging messages, and I tried so hard to use those as fuel to keep going.

Here are a few:
From Erika, around mile 20: "This is where it sucks...dig deep, remember that you are amazing! What lies ahead of you is nothing compared to what lies within you!! Hang on!!"
From Nicole: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but simply moving on with dignity despite that fear" and "If you want something you've never had, then you've got to do something you've never done".

That last one hit me hard. And it was a HUGE boost. I got that sometime around mile 20ish I think, and at that point I was still walking but it helped my spirit. I was not being so negative and I got back to enjoying what I was doing.

It last for a mile or two and then at 21 1/2 I texted Shane this: "21.5 just want to be done. I feel horrible"
Shane said "Block it out baby. Just a bit more. Keep going you can do this. Just a Sunday run"

I keep going. Walking pretty much each mile. Around 23 or 24 I started running .25 and walking .25. And somewhere around 24 I rounded a corner in a beautiful park, and saw someone waving at me. It was Tim, Erika's husband. They had come back for me (crying again now) and I immediately teared up. I told Tim how happy I was to see him, and that I was running/walking and off we went. He warned me a big hill up ahead and we turned a corner and it was definitely big. And at the top of it was Erika in her boot. And I pushed up and was so happy to see her. And we kept going. Tim told me that at the light up ahead I would turn left, and then two lights after that I would turn into the finish shoot. We talked about little things during the run. It was so nice to have someone to talk to and distract me. He had PRed the half, and Erika had finished the half in under 3 hours in a BOOT. I told him all I wanted gummy bears haha.

And that conversation and company and knowing it was SO FREAKING CLOSE was what I needed. I started pushing. Tim said when we turned to the shoot he would pull back and it would be all me. And we just kept going and I pushed and it felt so good to be running. And then I turned into the finish shoot and I started BALLING. Not gently crying or having watery eyes. I was BALLING. And I was booking it. And I just kept pushing as hard and as fast as I could. And the announcer was commenting that I was picking up speed, looking strong etc. And I saw Shane taking pictures. And I saw the finish line camera man, and I knew I wanted to look right at him and try my hardest to smile. I was crying tears of joy, and I am sure my finish line picture will end up being terrible.

Terrible but wonderful. Because it will show everything I was feeling.

Shane managed to get this one:
If you click that to enlarge, you can see my face and see what I mean. Also, the guy in the background in the neon green is Tim. I don't know if I will ever really be able to express how good it was to see him and Erika. Words just don't do it justice.
(PS: On an unrelated note, I love that my legs look RIPPED in this picture. ANY WHO)

Once I crossed the finish, it look me a minute to stop. And when I did I immediately crouched down on my knees and just balled some more. I was shaking from the tears, and in a second two medics were on me and Shane was there. I leaned on him and told them I was okay, just so happy. They brought my water and I moved out of the shoot, grabbed Gatorade and CHOCOLATE MILK. There were oranges slices and I had one of those two.

After I was sitting for a few minutes, Erika caught up to us in her boot, and we hugged and cried and she told me she was proud of me, and I was just so happy she was there. *crying again right now*.

Pictures were taken. Milk was drank. Lots of smiles and tears and disbelief that I was a marathoner.
Erika and I. Note the BOOT on her leg!

For me, this picture says it all.
The smile on my face is huge, and I still smile that big when I think about it. I don't care about the time, or the "dark miles" as I have started referring to them haha. They don't matter. What matters is that I am a marathoner.

And I have the medal to prove it ;-)

And yes, I did get some gummy bears on the drive home. And I ate the whole bag in probably 10 minutes. And they were wonderful.


  1. Gummi bears!!!

    congrats on your first marathon! awesome.

    1. thanks!!!! gummi bears are magical :)