Race Recap: Part 2 : ANGELS
Oh I believe there are, angels among us
Sent down to us, from somewhere up above
They come to you and me, in our darkest hours
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give
To guide us with the light of love
So, as we pick back up with this journey, I was just coming through the half way mark. Finally, after half a race, and wondering how much to hard I had pushed, because, let’s be real here, I had just laid down a pretty quick half compared to what I wanted too, I saw the 5:30 pace team catch up to me. This gave me a shot of adrenaline for a bit. I finally realized I could relax a moment and do some rotations with them and collect myself to prepare for what laid a few miles ahead, the Gauntlet and Beat the Bridge. I had been beginning to feel a little bit winded, but thought, hey I’ll manage it because even though I am half way done, it is still Early. I did link in with this group, but it lasted about 1 rotation. When they quickly dropped me, I knew that I had gone much too hard the first half and was going to really have to dig deep a lot sooner than I wanted too to hang in there.
Also, around this point, it should be noted that we came off of the shaded part of the course, and into the sun which was beginning to come out. I knew that this would be a time to really watch myself.
By the time we got to Mile 15, I was really struggling badly. My feet had begun to hurt. I knew that they were swelling I could feel it. It was also around 1145 ish and the sun was out and it was getting warm really quickly. Even though I had been hydrating like crazy, it still was starting to wear on me. I knew in a mere moments we would be hitting the Gauntlet and the critical time would be upon us. I knew this was going to be tough, Especially with the feet already hurting.
As we crossed the time check for gauntlet, I thought there is no way. I was profusely sweating; things were hurting pretty damn bad. It hurt to step. My mile times were in the 15 min mile mark. I knew I had a few banked up, but didn’t plan on using them THIS fast. Also at this point, we are headed right down Pennsylvania Ave with the White House at our backs. I had stopped a couple times to gather myself, my thoughts, try to take a cool off, regain composure, and go on. When I say I was struggling, I mean STRUGGLING! Bad!! My mile times had gone from 12 and 13 to 15 and 16. As I rounded the bottom of the hill, my feet were on FIRE! It hurt to step. I was hot as could be. I didn’t feel right. I thought about giving it up, since it was so painful. But I did not work this hard to come this far for nothing. So I kept trudging.
Around mile 16, I bumped into a girl. She was struggling. I was struggling. So we started talking to take the mind off. This was also her first Marathon. Every time I would say this is it, I can’t , she would say, YES YOU CAN ! Keep going!
Finally, after what seemed like forever, and thinking I am dying here, because of the sweltering heat, and nausea, and foot pain, we clear the gauntlet.
We then hang a hard right, and come up to BEAT THE BRIDGE. Its now about 1230. This is 2.5 miles. We have till 1:15 to get over this. I honestly didn’t know if I could make it again. Around this time, I met up with ANOTHER GIRL who was doing her 5th marathon. She was struggling as well. I am telling you right now these girls were my ANGELS in my darkest hours. Both of them paced me till we crossed the bridge. Run short intervals walk, until it became too painful.
After we crossed the bridge with 5 min left, we headed down to the pentagon north parking lot where we hit mile 20-22. I knew at this point, the only thing I had to worry about was the time cutoff and getting swept by the sweeper. I kept trucking, and would sit when I felt awful. I was still lightheaded, and considering dropping, but I knew I could never live it down and face my team and family failing. It’s just not me. I wasn’t going unless I couldn’t move.
Mile 22we got to crystal city. Talk about a block party and THE PAIN intensified. It wouldn’t stop. It got so bad, my 2nd angel was still with me , was making sure I was ok. We were talking about different things, and just trying to stay upbeat. I was nauseous and very thirsty at this point. All I wanted was it over. At 22, I said The hell with the shoes, and pulled them off for 15 min. I walked city blocks in bare sock feet. This provided some relief, but soon put on my shoes.
By Mile 23, I was hurting. I finally got caught up too by my friend whom I mentioned , Tamara. Right off she knew I was not good. At all. She supported me best as she could, along with my other angels.
Mile 24, Tamara looks at me. I don’t respond. At that moment, she got right into my face and went drill sergeant on me. She told me that I have trained too hard. Am I ok?? I said yes.
Truth be told, this angered me. It was not long after that I found the where withal in me to giddyup. Not as fast as a fresh set of legs, but I found the power to snap out of it and go.
As I came around 25 to 26, I realized I am pushing it to be done by the close of the line. I wanted to finish it after all of this more than ever. After all of this, I was going to finish.
Finally, after EVERYTHING, I see Arlington. The finish line is .2 up the hill. As I was coming in, I was thanking every marine, hugging some (honestly the hugs were to give me a breather in case I went down) and soaking it up.
After 7hrs and 6 min, I had DONE IT! I WAS A MARATHONER! I was so glad it was over. I was also an emotional wreck. The phone went off. I knew it was Coach Kristie messaging me. But I had to keep moving up the hill to talk to the marines for the Medal Ceremony and get my medal and finisher Photo.
The ceremony was something else. Very emotional. Having a marine tell you well done is beyond me. Then they hang the medal around your neck. And they take pictures with you. Like you’re the star. When In reality, it’s THOSE GUYS that make it possible by standing in harm’s way for you to do what you love to do. I thanked them and hugged them and then headed up the hill to get my photo and find a place to set down.
Finally, I was able to limp up the hill and find a place down the hill to call coach. It was so emotional. I am very hard on myself. But hearing her say she was so proud of me and cry was very gripping and emotional to me. It was a call I will never ever forget, EVER!
Looking back, now a week later, this is still so raw to me. After almost quitting numerous times, having angels, whom I don’t remember names, or have very few pictures of , come and guide me through the darkest points I really did this. I am and forever will be a Marathoner! A part of the 1% club.
Also, this past week, I had a chance to talk to Tamara. She told me that If I had not responded when I did, she was going to consider having me pulled from the race. At first this upset me, but honestly, it would have been correct, because I was in some serious trouble. I knew it , but just wanted to keep going. I would have fought tooth and nail to finish, but luckily it didn’t come to that.
So, in closing, I just want to shout out my friends, family, and especially my team and coach who stood with me from start to finish. This was a special special event for me and I know I have talked about it forever, but by golly, at the end of the day, I got the job done. Couldn’t be happier. The medal has been on a tour this week lol. I will finally hang it up later this weekend. I was also so honored to carry an American Hero on my shorts as I ran in honor of one of our own killed in action. Thank you again Stephanie, for the honor and privilege to do so.
So, after major events come let-downs. However, I am determined not to let that affect me. So, I have races scheduled to keep me focused. I am going to be running a 5k here in a couple weeks, a 10K on Thanksgiving Day to get some revenge on. See last year at that race, I had a PR all sewn up then I got sick and it cost me. I know the legs are still recovering, but I am gonna go get my PR back. Then I am running a Half Marathon in December.
My next MAJOR EVENT will be in March at Biltmore. I will be running the Backyard to Vineyard Challenge. It consist of a Half Marathon on Saturday Morning and then a Full Marathon on Sunday. Yep back to back. When I go, I go BIG! LOL.
So with that being said, I think its now time to end this story.
I will continue blogging over on my normal site of http://oneidiotsjourney.blogspot.com
So, until next week:
From one “Idiot” to another-