Maybe I should of titled this post "I am alive, I just haven't been blogging" or something super clever. I honestly can't think of anything at the moment to write that would sound witty or clever. The reason I am writing is to share my race report.
This all begins oh I don't even know how long go. Let's just say around May or June. I come up with the big bright idea of running the 2010 Kiawah Island Marathon. The reason I chose this one was I have time to train through furniture market. I show up at master swim one day and say "hey, Dan, Fred, Steve, Scott and Wendy - lets all run the marathon at Kiawah Island. They think for a moment or two and being the super athletes that they are, they all agree. Great! Fred or someone sends out a training plan and it looks easy enough to follow, and we all get started. Except about 6 weeks into training, I tear a calf muscle. There goes my training for two months! Dr. Fields tells me no way I am running a marathon this year. Won't happen, you might be able to run a half but that would be pushing it so just plan on a spring 2011 race. Bummer!
I am a very impatient woman (shocker) and I never gave "you won't be running a marathon this year" soak into my brain. I take the time off that I am supposed to on the calf and cross train. In cross training, I mean spin and some swimming, mainly spin class though. Which never really bothered the calf just taxied the lungs to the max in some classes. I would say I won't complain about Corey Dixon as an instructor again, but I am sure he has some new tricks up his sleeve for 2011 that will kick me into a new level (or secretly I am hoping it will) of fitness. When, I am finally able to run, it is not really long distances. I ran 5 miles a couple of days a week and I think my longest run was 9 miles about a month ago. I had thought that I would switch from the full marathon to the half but when I tried online there were no spots. Oh well... I will go and if I have to pick the cones up and be followed in by the van, well by golly I will finish. I have 7 hours to accomplish this and I am not going to Kiawah with any expectation other than to finish this race. Not to mention I am dragging my husband along to run the half and over the year he may have ran 8 or 9 miles! I only asked where the life insurance policy was in case something bad happened. He can write his own story but I am super proud of him. He finished that darn half marathon. OK Ok back to my story......
There are 10 of us going from my group, so we found a nice big house and off we go! The weather looked good earlier in the week. As good as the weather for fall/winter can look anyway. We all start arriving on the island around 5:30 get our race packets. Well our bibs and shirts. Everyone is going green this year so no fun stuff. We have a huge pasta dinner, our group and my friend Steve Price from Charlotte and his wife Cindy. We had a lovely dinner and then off to bed we went. While dinner is being prepared though we check the weather forecast. Slight chance of rain in the morning. I mean it says like 20%. OK what does slight mean to the weather forecaster? It does not mean that it will pour down rain most of the morning then turn into a steady rain for 13 out of 26 miles. Oh well thank goodness it was not bitter cold. But weather forecasters you are all fired!
Off to bed we all. I slept just o.k. I worried about my limited training and how bad of a time I would have. The other runners in my group are FAST! So I knew they would be well rested by the time I got there. So the joke became that I would be picking the cones up and van following me in to finish. I will have to admit the thought of that made me sad. I hate being last and I hate being the slowest. I should just be happy with that I am there and I am able to run I know. But I am not but I am not willing to put in the time it takes to become faster.
5:30 a.m. and it is pouring rain! Time for breakfast and to start worrying. Breakfast is a bagel, peanut butter, a banana and coffee. I could not decide what I wanted to wear so I brought enough clothes for three ladies. I dress in what I think will be plenty to keep me warm and grab a trash bag to keep me dry. Shuttle is called and we are off to the start line! We get there and now the nerves have kicked in. I honestly feel like I am going to toss my breakfast and just not run at all. Not really that bad but I don't really know how this is going to turn out. Plus I couldn't find Steve and I was getting sad. Not that running with Scott was going to be bad. I just had talked to Steve into this so I wanted to run with him. We live 2 hours from each other so we don't get to run together unless we meet at races. He finds me in the 12 minute pace group! That was a pace I thought I could keep and so did Scott. Scott is as He is as unprepared as I am. They call for the race to start in 2 min, last minute run to the porta john and then it is time. Horn blows!
We start running and we decide we are going walk the water stops. I know that at some point, I have to walk instead of run, due to training limitations but I am determined to give it my all. No shame in walking in my book. The shame comes in not starting. We are running right along, having a great time and then here comes John Barrett. WTF is what I say. How did the guy catch up? Are we running that slow, or he is running that fast? Probably both but I can't let this happen. He can't have a better time on the half than me. Then I have to be reminded that I also have 13 more to go! LOL! Oh how did I forget that? I was having so much fun that it just crept up on me. John has a great race and I am so proud of him. Now maybe he will train for the next race he has.
13 miles down and I feel great. I was soaking wet though. I tossed my long sleeve shirt hoping that would help. But not really, I was cold! Funny stories come from being cold. I won't share them with you, but poor Scott and Steve. They now know more about me than they care to I am sure. I was very thankful when two ladies walked by with a handful of clothes they had picked up and she had a sweatshirt type jacket. I asked her if I could have it and she was so kind to give it to me. Warmth finally! It was a little damp but way better than that cold t-shirt. The rain diminished and and even a glimmer of the sun comes out for a bit. I am shocked by how good I feel. It is still me, Steve and Scott plugging right along. Knocking out one mile at a time. The water stops are great. I made sure to hydrate well. I tell them, if you have it and you can leave me go ahead. I will see you at the finish. At the potty stop, Scott whose one step equals three of mine is gone. Steve though is still hanging in there with me. We had already though made a deal that if he could leave he will when he is ready. What great friends I have. Finally about mile 18 (I think, maybe 16) it catches up with me. My feet are hurting, my knee hurts, the legs are sore but never do I think I have to quit and I can't do it. Steve and I are running and there are two women that obviously have the greatest friend in the world who is meeting them and rubbing their legs out. So jokingly I ask her to rub my knee and she does. Magic hands. It was wonderful and I wished the rest of the race that she was my friend. Then low and behold, there is mile 20! Steve and I have caught back up with Scott. It was a plan we had. We were going to run past him and laugh but as soon as we got there, he started running with us. Darn it, foiled my plan! At mile 22 Steve takes off. I put my ipod on and I leave Scott. Ally fixed my music so you know I am listening to music of today's youth! That gave me a little extra jolt to my step for a bit anyway. I did have to stop and walk a few minutes but then I was down to my last 5k. I wanted to dance in the street I was so happy. Funny how good it feels when you get down to single miles needed to finish.
When I got to mile 25, honestly I got emotional. My prayer had been before this race was safety for the runners, for my race to be good eand let this be the beginning of lots of good things to come. So when I was 25 miles into the race my body was not prepared for, I was ven more thankful. Then a lady says "you have less than 1/3 of a mile to go" , the smile that came across my face made my cheeks hurt. I had done it. I had completed another marathon and wow only 22 minutes longer than a marathon I was trained for. I was happy. First face I see is my friend Steve, without him and Scott I would never have made it, I would be picking up the cones. Mile 26.2 and all of my friends where there screaming my name and my husband there when I crossed the final finish line. Thankful is all I can say about that.
I will not write about how sore I am or the other aches and pains I have. Nothing rest and darvacet won't cure. But what I will finish this with is how thankful I am for a husband and a group of friends who never doubted (outloud) that I couldn't do this. They laughed with me, they trained with me, encouraged me, they cheered for me and more than all of that, they believe in me. Thank you, you know who you are! I always am looking forward to the next year, for good things, but I am going to take the next few weeks of 2010 and be thankful for the journey and the lessons I have learned about life and people.
To those that ran this weekend, great job! It was so much fun, where are we going next?