Monday, June 28, 2010

My first 1/2 Marathon Complete

June 26th
Seattle, WA

WARNING:  Bodily Functions Discussed!
I completed my first 1/2 marathon.  What a course!  Wow.  I will admit right off the starting line here, it took me by surprise a bit.  I had watched the pre-race video.  The incline was so slight in the video.  But running it was of course much different.  The best part of the marathon was not being alone.  I ran alone but my running partner was there.  There were so many people!  I can't believe the number of people that were there.  I know the Austin Marathon (my first full marathon) had that amount of people but it certainly didn't seem like it.  The morning came fast for us.  We left the house at 5am.  We being my girlfriend Michelle.   This was her first marathon.  I felt her anxiety which just comes with a marathon morning.  We had a few gliches like her iphone not loading any of her music.  So at the last minute I frantically searched for my old ipod but couldn't find it.  She had to settle for one of the kids shuffles that had well, kid music on it.  There were some running songs.  But mostly kid songs.  She jokingly glared at me at the finish line, "Wow that was a lot of Sponge Bob."   Oh boy, I think I'd rather run without!  Anyway, back to start line. The crowds for the potties were just silly.  Silly I tell you.   They had set up a drop area for runners.  The runners then had to proceed by walking I would say close to mile.  Well, it was an extra mile for us because we were dropped before the drop area.  I was a little nervous but nothing like the full in Austin.  I had my Michelle with me.  My angel.  She made all the difference.  Unfortunately, we both had to pee.  But after being dropped a mile from the our corral, we were in trouble.  It was 6:15.  The lines were at least a 60 minute wait.  I had to go but not bad enough to miss the guns.  We were suppose to meet up with friends who had agreed to wear my CURE JM shirts, but there were sooo manny people.  We failed to make a connection.  I learned later they were just as desperate to find me as I was them.  (Becky, Gwyn, Katie,and friend, so sorry).  But that gives you an idea of just how many people were there.  So, problem number one, what to do with four shirts, and Michelle was still standing in line at 6:50.  Our corral was a block away so it was do or don't start on time.  Michelle put our shirts on.  I looked at her and said, "Ok  I have to go.  I have to leave you to go to our corral.  If you have to go, you have to go."  I told her I loved her and she was very understanding.  We both had agreed that we would be there together but run separate.  So 6:55, 2 blocks away from my corral, need to stash the shirts in some bushes, and I needed to pee too.  I walked around the office complex to the back of a building looking for an appropriate bush to hide the shirts in.  There were a handful of men doing the peeing thing.  No biggie.  Saw nothing.  Could care less. I had bigger problems.  These girls looked at me giggling.  They made eye contact and practically laughed in my face.  I was in no mood but most of you know, I try not to be rude.  I smerked and said, "What are you laughing at?".  They didn't really respond to me.  They were about to pee.  I found a bush away from the peeing people, then went to join them.   I walked around the back of the dumpster and there stood four other women with desperate looks on there faces.  We looked at each other.  As if in unison, "lets do it".    Cheek to cheek doing what we had to do in order to have a successful run.  One girl said, "look out there are some guys over there."   I think I said "oh well".  I thought if they see anything its there trauma.  Besides, they were doing what we were doing.  As our pants slid back up we all giggled.  It was nice meeting, or I mean peeing with you.  Have a great run.  My shirts were stashed.  Now my desperate attempt to find my corral in time.  I started running past the masses.  So many people.  About a block up there was my corral.   Corral 13.  Estimated finish time of 2:00.  I knew this time wasn't realistic but I wanted to go for it anyway.  I would have been pleased just to get near that time.  I made it fine to my corral.  They were releasing the corrals in waves.  The guns went off at 7, I didn't cross the start until 7:15.  I knew that would be the case but I still had to get to my corral.  As we approached the start, I fired up my ipod and did a quick text to my husband and sisters.   "At start line, couldn't find anybody, here we go".   As our corral came to front I was excited.  I was emotional.  The first step over the line I'll admit I started to tear up a bit and cry.  Don't know why.  It's all the emotions that hit you.  I cried because I had to leave Michelle back at the potties.  I cried thinking of my son and his fight.  I cried because I felt so blessed to be given a healthy body and this opportunity to better myself.  I had to start yelling at me in my head.  Scary I know, LOL.  I had to stop because it instantly started taken air I needed.  So I stopped and lost myself in my music.

In my last write up about my first full marathon I had a section on hills.  I said that the hills in Austin were nothing and I was lied to.  I had wrote if you want to see hills, come to Seattle.  Wow I wish that weren't true.    The streets themselves seemed to be a slight incline.  I kept struggling to keep up with my corral. The people running with me were strong and consistent with there tempo.  I tended to do a fast fast fast then slow slow slow cuz I need air.  I worked very hard to maintain a comfortable tempo.  But of course, hills.  Hills that had me begging for mercy.  I had no idea the first six miles were like this.  We finally dropped down into Seward Park which brought us to the shores of Lake Washington.  It was straight and pleasant.   But the first six kinda whopped me so I wasn't enjoying it like you would think.  I stopped at every water station.  Well I didn't stop, but grabbed the cytomax being passed out.  At about mile 8 I started dumping water over my head to combat my temperate.  I was getting a little hot.  That water felt so refreshing.

What Goes Down Must Come Back UP
So I began to worry about the hill that we ran down to get into Seward Park.  If we came down that, we have to go back up to get back over to downtown at Qwest Field, where the finish line is.   EEEkkkksss.  Oh this is gonna hurt.  Sure enough.  I few good uppers.  Then one that was so up, we all had to get on our tippy toes to keep running.  It was that steep.  Luckily it went fast.  At the top of this tip toe hill was Seattle's I-90 tunnel.   It also had a  lovely incline.  But at the end of the tunnel was sort of the home stretch.  So that was really motivating.

The Clock
So I did have a goal.  I wanted to make it in two hours.  I soon began realizing that I most likely wouldn't be hitting that time.  I made peace with it and continued to do my best.  I started enjoying the face I was running on a freeway.  I made sure I didn't step on those bumps that separate the lanes.  Those could cause an injury if you stepped on them just right.  I struggled with waves of nausea.  But drinking and running cause bubbles.  So a cute little running burp and I was better.  My sister text me at the 11th mile, "come on sweetie, 7 minutes until the clock hits 2 hours.  You can do it".   I was really starting slow down.  I knew I wasn't going to make that time.  2 miles in seven minutes.  I run a ten minute mile.  I kept talking to myself.  Do the best you can.  In about 20 minutes you'll be done.  Make it count.  Of course coming in to town, it looked has though the finish line was in sight.  Oh no, we had a little surprise.  They put us up on the Alaskan Way Viaduct.    Key word here: UP.   One more short incline to rob whatever I had left.  But we did get to come down off the viaduct which looped around to a straight away to the finish.  I texted  my sister, "coming".   She said ok.  Around the corner I came and there was my brother in law taking pictures.  I waved because he didn't see me.  After passing him everyone started the sprinting part.  I tried but I sprinted a little to early and had to bring her back down because I was really working hard.

I am not going sugar coat it.  It's hard to say if I was having a tough day or if it really was a not so easy course.  But to me, it was harder than I thought it was going to be.

So my official time was 2:12.   I am officially very pleased with that.  I had given my some balloons to hold onto.  5 star balloons so people coming down to watch could find him.  It worked like a charm.  There as I crossed over were the balloons.  At the end of those balloons were my sisters.  I wanted to hug them and cry but I could not reach them until I got out of the finishers area.   I exited the area and did not stop for a picture.  I was in no mood for my picture to be taken. I heard my name called.  It was my hubby!  He hugged me.  Told me I did so good.  I was anxious to find Michelle's family to find out if they knew where she was at this point.  She wasn't to far behind me.  I soaked my feet in the ice baths the marathon provided.  It was the best!  It felt so good.

My Cure JM crew!

Michelle and I at the finish line.

My dear friend came down to see me cross.  I was so pleased and happy to see her!  She and her beautiful girls made posters and brought candy and goodies for the kids.  What a huge blessing.  I love you KP.  May God rain down blessings on you and yours for being so wonderful.  She has faithly donated to CURE JM and is always encouraging me.  Ain't she  purdee!

The most excellent part was hours from the start of my marathon, I met my fundraising goal.  I have the greatest most generous friends.  Old and new ones.  Pretty amazing.  To date I have raised $3,650.00.  Let's keep it going.  The support from my JDM Mommies and other friends is so great.  There words are always in my mind when running.

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