Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon 2011

My second FULL marathon.

Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon


June 25, 2011


Awake, at 2am.

I had so much anxiety leading up to this marathon. I knew why.  Lets face it.  Until I get more of these full marathons under my belt, I don't think it will go away.  The weeping and worry.  I literally get sick, t minus an hour before the marathon.  The car ride to the marathon is agonizing.  Cold sweats, rocking back and forth.  I just want to get there and start.  That is the only way to pop the bubble of anxiety that is causing me to want to poop and puke at the same time.  Yet in the end, post 48 hours, I am dying to run another.

My little sister and brother in law were involuntarily nominated to drive me to the start.  Mom and Pops can't be the ones.  I would be to emotional.  They would most likely have to carry me and place me in my coral, then peel me off of them to get me to start running.  My older sister would be go to go too but she was my point on course person.  My hubby has to stay with the kids, and he gets just as scared as I do for me so that doesn't help.  Although I like feeling justified in my feelings knowing, hey this is a big thing worth having a little worry over.  Anything can happen in 26.2 miles.  Something I have worked on for months and months could go down the tube with one trip or slip or twist.  Maybe even a little heart attack, you never know.  

My little sister is also patient with me.  She and my brother in law entertain my fears but stop them by getting onto business.  I am never organized.  I wish I could be one of those.  I think that I am being organized but in my distraction of fear,  what pocket did I stick my ipod in?  OH MY GOODNESS did I leave it, oh my baloney there is no time to go back and get i.......oh there it is.  In a secret pocket I forgot to look in.  My brother in law snatched my back pack away, like you have got to be kidding me!   LOL   

The drop off at the marthon was nutz like last year was crazy.  We ended up pulling off at the casino to gear up and walk in to the start which was about 1 mile away.  We were greeted by a manager of the casino shouting, "I will have you towed if you park here."  I shouted back, "I am just being dropped off."  I wasn't nice about it because I thought it was stupid.  But I can see he can't have his parking lot filled all day with nowhere for his customers to park.  But why do people have to be so gruffy about it?  Nothing wrong with being nice.  

Marathon Tradition
Marathon tradition by definition:  Always have to use the porta potties that have endless lines.  This time I got lucky.  They put a long line of porta potties at the end of the trail away from the start.  I walked past the long line of people thinking no way.  No way will I get through that line in time.  The number of porta potties were a lot.  At the very end were a whole batch of them completely open.  Out of desperation to go to the bathroom, which will make or break your race, you think I was gonna walk by?  I mean, I know there was a line for them but it was a rare opportunity I had to snatch up.  The line of people were way down the way.  I heard my sister start calling down to the line, "there are open bathrooms down here".  After doing what I needed to do, I felt so so so much better.  I think part of my worry is I won't be able to find a bathroom to use.  I got very lucky.  The lines are unbelievable. 

Coral 19
My sister walked me almost to my coral.  I told her this is where I wanted her to turn back and find her husband.  I am so lucky to have such a great family.  But only I was in charge of running this race.  I found my coral and settle in.  I plugged my ear phones in and began to cry.  Yep!  Balled like a little baby on a Sunday in a church daycare.  I started in on my music.  Looking my song that would be the anthem to the race.  Every race I run has a special song I start out running to.  The Dawg Dash back in October was Welcome to the Jungle.   Last years Seattle half anthem song was Push It to the Limit.  I settle in for a worship song first though.  I started praying.  I thanked God for my health.   I thanked Him for my body.  I thanked him for my wonderful family.  I thanked him for my wonderful children.  I thanked Him for keeping Gary healthy.  I thanked him for giving me the courage to be standing there in coral 19.  I asked Him to be with me during this race.  I thanked Him for giving His son to us.  I asked Him to help me fly through the pain.  And I wept.  It's emotions that over take you.  What you are about to endure.  What you are about to do.  Anything can happen in 26.2 miles, I suggest God be your co-pilot.  It helps tremendously.   At that point I had to get my tears to turn off because I didn't want to look silly as the only big baby in the coral.  I had a few woman flash a smile at me, as if to say, I know.  They didn't even need to ask what was wrong.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I was full on blubbering, just silent weeping.    Anyway, back to get myself pulled out of the weeps.  They were bouncing beach balls up at the start line throughout the crowd.  I. DID. NOT. WANT. TO. PLAY. BALL!  Lol.   I said out loud, "if that ball hits me in the head, I'm gonna get it, and pop it".   What do you suppose happen twice.  Seriously people.  I suppose it was a distraction but ME NO LIKEY!   Finally it was time.  Our coral was ready for gun time.

First Seven
A lot of people run this marathon.  A lot of people run with friends.  They like to run with their friends.  Sometimes elbow to elbow, forming a hard to get around, pace breaking LINE!  I know, I am a total party pooper but Im running a marathon.  I got goals people.  I even resorted to getting up behind people and grunting.  I am not saying that I am ready for a faster coral but buggers!!

I was so glad at this point that I ran the half last year.  It didn't seem has hard that way.  Knowing what inclines were coming was nice.  I was sweating a lot!  It was dripping into my eyes.  No bother though.

I began to look for friends.  The first friend I spotted was Merilynn.  She and her husband had volunteered to pass out water at the race.  I asked her to wear a Cure JM shirt and she happily accepted.  Thank you to the Bates Family!  On to the lake front.  Lots of people, still fought the line runners and the elbow to elbow friend clubs.  But has the street would widen it was better.  At about mile seven I saw a large Cure JM orange shirt. It was a tall one too.  It was my beloved brother in law!   There they were.  I knew my sister was with him, along with my lovie Michelle, who ran the half with me last year.  My sister had large sign, I didn't read it because I was busy.  BUSY BALLING LIKE A BABY AGAIN.  LOL.   I wanted to wrap my arms and legs around her as we hugged and whisper in to her ear, "get me out of here." LOL   I would never but those are my emotions.  Michelle took many awesome pictures which is a huge gift.  Despite no make up and sweating profusely, I am very very thankful.

It was long and lonely but a nice, drying experience.  The wind came up and aired everyone out.  It was beautiful out there.  As we ascended up, and broke off from the half runner, I had the song E. T.  by Katy Perry playing.  The line, "you are not invited to the other side of sanity" played.  I grinned with pride breaking off to the bridge.  I went from running with a lot of people to running with no one.  Ahhhhh.  More my style.  I chatted with a couple ladies who were first timers.  They had a mean pace.  But we all agreed the break off from the crowd was nice.  We called the crowd Half Riff Raff.   It was very pretty out there.  The water glistened with the sun.  I kept getting glances on my arm, In Memory of Casey.  I began to get a little weepy again so I had to set a new rule.  Weeping takes my air, so no more weeping.  Come on Casey, help me out here I thought.   My knee started acting up on the bridge.  I started to get a little worried.  My toes were burning.  I began to wonder if I should have ran in my old shoes. But at that point, no return.  The bridge was long.  I was happy to have it done with.  It was the first segment of the dreaded, OUT and BACK.  They run you out, show you want you have to do to come back to your next mile.  Hurts your mind a little bit.  My lovies caught back up with again at mile 11!  YAY.  It was a good distraction to see them and keep looking for them.  The run for the city was fun.  Roads are stinking.  You have to be careful for knee twisters and ankle benders in the uneven roads.  They had a sharp down hill when taking us up onto the Alaskan Way viaduct.  Everyone started to yell around me as we descended down.  Including me!  It hurt!  Sharp down like that.  No spanky.   It was short lived though.  The next segment of the out and back came up quick.  Not before we were treated with a water station manned with big, buff, army rangers.  "Nice job Mam."  Think I take breathe'r here.  LOL.  Awooogaaa.  Hubba hubba! :) lol.  Is it me, or it HOT out here, or yay, that's right, I'm running a marathon, O yeah, and I'm married, sooo gotta go. Smack back to reality.  I would see them soon again, but not soon enough.

MILES 16-21
Brutal.   Running through the tunnels did not bother me at all.  I thought it was kinda cool.  Like an underworld : )  They need to do a halloween run through there.  Up and out of the tunnel was a awesome sign on the opposite side of the street.   It said, "MILE 21".  Ok  what?  Did I just warp some miles? No.  Wait.  don't be dumb, and don't get excited.  That is their Mile 21, not mine.  Not yet.  That was an out and back mind bending crusher.  At mile 17 I started to sputter.  My knee was pinching and my toes were on fire.  I had to walk.   I walk and shoved down a power bar.  Back to running was rough.  My power bar tried to bounce back up but I wouldn't let it.  I had filled my water bottles with Gatorade.  It tasted terrible!  YUCK.  Don't know why they tasted so back but no thanks.  By mile 21 the hurts were setting in.  Back up threw the tunnel again I kept pushing.  My pace was pathetic but I was still running.  Ok maybe jogging but I wasn't going to speed past the army rangers.  NO MAM!

MILES 21-26.2
Mind bending.  Running past a view of the finish line was a little mind bending.  Miles 23-25 were hard.  Every step was a stinker.  My ipod was ahead of me.  It would tell me I reached a mile marker when I had not yet.  But I just changed the words to "you almost reached Mile 25".  They throw one last hill in for at the end there.  Make it hurt REAL GOOD.   LOL

I got a text from my little sissy who signed up for run tracker.  She texted, "your almost done, 4:20, come on, you can do it."  My pace just wouldn't hold up.  I was so happy to run down after mile 25.  I text back really quick, "here I come".   There on the corner of my last stretch was part of me.  The man who help put me in the this world.  The man God blessed me so much with, my Dad.  Smiling brightly.  He glowed.  As I approached him, the BIG BALL BABY came back.  It was short lived because running and crying equal no air.  So I had to get a hold of myself and finish.  Daddy joined me out on the course.  Took my hand.  "Tired?" he asked.  "Just a little" I said sarcastically.  He took my hand.  As we cornered, there they all were. You know how you here those stories of near death experiences?  They say you are greeted by your family when you pass on after death.  There they were. MY HEAVEN.  They are all MY HEAVEN.  The screamed and shouted and smiled so big.  Dad let go of my hand and motioned to run on in.  I started to run faster because that's what you do when running a marathon.  You never walk in if you can help it.  I was feeling great.  I was feeling let down a little. I was hoping for a better finish time.  But hey, my second marathon, shaved an hour off of my first marathon.

There are so many details I have left out.  I could write a book!  I will fill more in as I remember them.

Post 48 hours later, I want to run me another marathon!!!!!! But on to the STP.  204 miles on a bike.  YEP


I really LOVED seeing all the CURE JM orange shirts.  It was an honor to be able to be there.  Before the marathon, in effort to raise money.  I pledge to write the names of the children names on my legs with a sharpie.  I was very happy to meet my fundraising goal.  I had some very awesome last minute donations come in.  I had a lot of people looking at my legs and asking me about CURE JM.  Awesome to raise awareness.  I have had some very heart felt message on facebook sent to me and I am just so thankful I was able to do it.  I am so honored to know and be apart of CURE JM.  It is a reflection of what we go through has parents of children who have been diagnosed with an incurable disease.  The horror, and the beauty of it all.  Thank you to all the families who donated money and gave me permissiont to write there childs name on my legs : ):  Here are some of the beautiful, amazing, wonderful comments:

"Absolutely awesome! Thank you for the honor of having Kristen's name as part if your running legs!"

"You are truly so amazing Erika and THANK YOU for doing this!!! I hope it is okay I keep tagging the pictures but I wanted to show my friends and family how wonderful you are! Hugs!!!"

"Jessie has always been quiet about her disease, not wanting to share or let others know too much about it. When other people talk about it, she would often just tear up and get quiet. But when I showed her her name on your leg and what you did for her, her face lit up in a big smile. You really made her day Erika. Thanks for everything!"

"That's Awesome!!!"

"You ROCK!!!! There are no words to tell you what this picture means! When you first mentioned it, I thought, "what a cool idea!" I had no idea what an effect it would have on my heart! Thank you for blessing all of with this simple but HUGE GIFT!!! This has blessed me abundantly!!! All of the runners are amazing! Maybe you will have started a new trend ;-)"

"I know Casey was with you and all the other runners, Casey liked to run too. She played soccer all her life, center wing or forward, she liked CW best for she could run more. Thank you again Erika! and God Bless!!!"

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