PS that sentence should make Janice proud.. very proud. It was as long as a marathon! Longest run on sentence in history. (she will probably have beat that but hey I am bragging here)
So lets back track a bit. From the beginning the very very beginning. I signed up for this marathon in March of 2013 the day after completing the Shamrock Half Marathon. I loved that half. It felt good. I enjoyed the lay out and the scenery. I decided that day that I wanted to see what the first half looked like. I signed up. I then later signed up for 7 half marathons that year. Less than a month later the accident happened. Some of the half marathons were completed, some were deferred, some I just didn't show up to. It was not a good year. When it came time to do anything about getting ready for the Shamrock Marathon I deferred it. Thinking to myself I will be better the next year, many of my friends completed the marathon without me. I was incredibly proud of them but there was an empty place where I just felt like a loser because I did not complete something I set out to do.
Then roles around June 22nd 2014 and someone had the bright idea we would all get Trusz the marathon for his birthday, nothing like giving the gift that keeps on giving.. mile after mile after mile after training mile. :) The someone was smart, it was a great gift. It let the Rhino know we believed in him and that we knew he could do it. GREAT IDEA.. until the one night we were at the Trusz's house and he says.. "You should do the marathon with me." Without even thinking of the ramifications I said "I am already signed up." That pretty much sealed the deal. Time and time again I heard from either Chris or Kami... "You are going to do the marathon you can do it" and day after day I didn't train. At some point in the month leading up to the marathon when I finally started training I was a complete disaster I KNEW I could not finish it and I had this overwhelming fear that I would have to drop out mid way and that to me is a HUGE HUGE failure. I talked about it with as many people as I could and it was a fifty fifty thing.. half said "DON'T DO IT" half said "YOU GOT THIS.. JUST GO DO YOUR BEST". Just so we are all clear here my feeling behind this is half were extremely worried about my health and well being and felt the half was the best way to go and half felt that I had some kind of magical fairy dust hidden around somewhere and could do what I wanted to do even if it was one of the most physically insane things I have done. Neither half to me is any better than the other, I love you all and each of you were open and honest with your feelings.
In the end, my fear of failure won. I felt that bailing on a commitment and goal yet again would mark yet another failure next to my name, a failure that mentally I could not afford. If I failed mid course at least I could hold on to the fact I tried, not trying at all to me is worse.. much much worse. I think I would have been very angry at myself, which by the way I am on a regular basis so I didn't need another reason. I knew my training wasn't enough, but I kept hearing the words of my friend Melissa "Girl you are insane, but you are just one of those people that when they set their mind to it they can just do it, training or not, you just go out there and do it." and my coach Matt Costa who responded with "Be determined to finish and you will" after asking him exactly if he thought I could finish or if I didn't have a chance in hell.
So that was it, after exactly 28 days of training, 74 miles of running I found myself at the start line with my best friend the Rhino and a group of amazing friends, runners, and team mates. I was nervous I will not even begin to lie about that. I was totally all in my head, what if this.. what if that.. what if I get STUCK IN A PORTA POTTY! (I think I have an irrational fear of porta potties.. the things that could happen in there.. what if someone was coming in to hot and couldn't stop and instead of stopping to get in the big blue box of poopy water they yanked the door while running forward and barrel into the whole thing sending me toppling down a hill into a river in a PORTA POTTY.. WITH POOP!" ((there were no hills or rivers involved in this marathon.. but what if)) Anyhoo.. my mind it is racing with every crazy thought out there. A very good thing is that we stayed very close to the start line and I was only out there for 20 minutes before I heard 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 GO! At which point I said to Kit, "Oh we are next!" the reply I got was scary, he says "No, that is us! We go now." I hope he didn't hear my reply.
Trot Trot Trot.. off we go. I had no desire to go "fast" I just tippy toed on down the road. People were already cheering and waving signs and looking for loved ones and before you know it I see MY LOVED ONE! The absolute tee total love of my life is standing there yelling GO RE!!!! Oh wait she is standing in the middle of the road, move honey don't get trampled.. at which point I realize the stamped has stampeded way far ahead of me and she is safe. She snaps a pic and I keep on my merry way.
Mile 1.. opps 1 minute faster than a 200 year old turtle in molasses on a cold day (did I mention it was chilly) I thought to myself slow down you old fool you won't make it. Mile 2 CRAP still 1 minute faster than I was supposed to, you aren't doing what you said you would now SLOW DOWN. Mile 3 was the bridge that slowed me down a bit but still a tad too fast then I saw Terry at the cut off.. then a half a mile later I saw Chris and the gang then I saw Brandi timing Then right before 5 I was lucky enough to run into a team mate who helped me get back on track even if I did end of with a soaking wet pile of wool stuck on my lower back for the next 9 miles, it was well worth it. I got to see some team mates and that always makes you feel good. Mile 6 back by Brandi. Mile something or other I saw a team mates mom. Mile something or another ish I ran though the first military base and got major high fives from some of the most awesome soldiers. Beebop back over the bridge down and around the end of the point.. passed the ladies I had kept ping ponging with as they cut of to use .. THE PORTA POTTY.. I never saw them again, I hope they didn't meet an unfortunate issue in the porta potty. I know I was past mile 10 right about here I remember the sign. Miles 5 through 10 flew by, after 10 I knew that Theresa would be coming up and I spent a considerable amount of time looking at park benches until finally.. finally I can drop of the sopping pile of wool (this comes as a blessing in a short while so keep up) I kinda felt bad handing it off, here is this beautiful woman with her beautiful daughters and the best I can do is say "Here! Take this dang thing." I hope I said dang because her girls are young and keep going, I knew I couldn't slow down or stop. It was very important that I make it to mile 13 by a certain time. I had a plan a very good plan. I caught up to a few people during the next mile and chatted a bit, that is one of the things about being a slower runner, the conversations you get to have with people. The where are you froms, how many of these have you dones, we will make its that you get to share with complete strangers. I was lucky enough that some of those people I met in this mile held their pace with me until the last couple of miles, we encouraged each other and ping ponged some times running alone some times running together some times praying that the water table was around the corner. THEN WOOHOO MILE 12!!! Right there with my stuff is Shannon she had everything ready to roll made sure everything got in my belt while I never stopped and crammed down a banana. Thank yous and see you at the finishes exchanged OFF AGAIN. Half a mile up the road in the middle of the road (these people really aren't worried about stampeds) is Christina more encouragement more love and off! At this point I did find out that our tracking chips weren't working .. I remember having a feeling of sadness and saying.. oh no they won't be there when I finish. Christina assured me that they would. That was a fleeting thought I shoved the pb and j sandwich she made me in the exact spot that the knit hat had been and did not even notice it, so you se that icky wet thing was a blessing and I was off. I realized as I ran along that I would not be seeing my team mates until the end. Talk about miscalculation on my part! It wasn't long I got to see James dashing by .. and then Mike and Brittany who I probably slowed down a bit by high fiving them in their lane but I needed that love.. and KAMI! She was still out there! She was up farther than I thought she would be in the perfect place. It was exactly what I needed to keep going! Don't ask me what mile that was I don't know, at some point I remember running mile to mile and knowing exactly what mile I was at but now I think once a mile went by it was gone I didn't retain it. The last of the miles didn't seem any longer than the first of the miles. I did catch up with other people that I hadn't been with and some people I had been when feel back farther and some forged ahead at a faster pace. I did something I was not even planning. My plan had originally been to run the first 13 at a certain pace and then the final 13 at a much slower pace, that didn't happen. Some how I was able to maintain the first half pace all the way through to the finish. A few things about mile 13 to 26. Miles 13 to 18 were the hardest mentally on me, I kept thinking you aren't going to make it you have never run this far before. Some how I completely missed mile 20 and ran into mile 21 and the guy standing there looked at me rather confused and amused when I screamed OMG that is 21! I COMPLETELY missed 20. Trust me by this point you are grateful to miss miles. The miles 13 to 22 were entertaining, I spoke with people, I thanked people, I didn't kill the jack ass cop who replied to me thanking him for being out there today and I quote "Well I wish you would all hurry it up I don't want to be out here all night" Believe me I KNOW he heard me when I said.. "Well aren't we a jack ass" I encouraged half marathoners, I have never gotten to do that before, I have always been the one that marathoners were encouraging as they came by. The next thing I know MILE 23! I yanked out my phone and sent a quick text.. I AM AT 23!!! I couldn't believe I was at 23! I was in shock.. keep in mind at this point I still didn't believe I would finish. I also got the pleasure of running into people that were yanked off the course at the army base and deposited back on to finish if they wanted, Yay for them they can say they finished a marathon in 23 miles. If it were me.. I would have taken the yank and gone home to try again. Finishing seems wrong some how. Anyhoo.. the next 3 miles it was more encouraging and talking and people saying WE ARE FINISHING THIS MARATHON! I think people back there in my pack were all in the same boat as I was, not quite 100% sure of finishing. I kept trudging along at mile 24, 25, and 26 as I did at mile 2 3 4 or 15. I held my pace with the exception of 2 miles where I walked a bit more than I ran encouraging and sticking with some people who needed to make it to the water stations, the next thing I know I am turning on the board walk. That felt like the absolute longest part of the entire marathon! I could see the finish but it was like one of those horror films where the hall gets longer and longer that is exactly what it felt like the finish was doing, then Christina was there right beside me (sorry for yelling at you sweetheart, she was getting ready to touch me and right then right at that moment I was petrified for anything to throw me off.. again irrational) THEN THERE SHE WAS.. MY SHANNON.. YELLING, TAKING PICS.. Holding on to my black shirt. I grabbed my black shirt and kept on the green arch was right ahead... Leslie came out to run me in (Sorry that Christina yelled at you girl, I think she yelled because she knew I was going to yell) at this time there was only one more thing I needed to do before crossing that finish line.. I had to beat the poor lady in front of me. I did. I don't really feel bad about it, ok I do a little bit, but not enough to not do it again.
I did it I crossed the finish line. I had finished 26.2 miles running and walking. Yes I had finished that distance before but not in that time frame and certainly not by running it and definitely without serious pain and blisters, this was completely physically do able. I did not get one blister and the only painfulness I have had was my feet which was expected and quite honestly they have hurt worse after a bootcamp day followed by a work night. At some point I thought that finishing this marathon would not mean as much to me as the other 2 because there meaning was so completely emotional, but I was proven wrong. This meant A LOT but in a completely different way.
Back tracking again.. right after crossing the finish line I didn't quite stop running and went directly for Matt he was standing there and well he needed a hug, I am not 100% sure that he knew I was going in for the hug or if I was getting ready to throw him over the rail, I think there was one flash second that he probably thought BLOCK, BLOCK HER! Thank heavens he got that I was going in for the hug because I would still be laying on the concrete if he had tried to block me. :) Next up was the entire line of the bootcamp team! They were all there. All cheering. All smiling. All hugging! Each and every one of them was right there waiting on me! I hugged each one down the line. Still nothing and I do mean nothing beats this one.
A couple of last thoughts.
Running a marathon is much more mental than physical.
Sticking to what you trained at pays off.
Longer training is optimal.
Stick around for the rest of your team mates to cross the finish line, the feeling and emotion of seeing them finish is incredible.
I am already planning my next marathon and how to better train.
And seriously I lied.. this is probably not the last post about the marathon there are other thoughts I have that need to be shared. This is just your mile by mile run down.
Again sorry for any grammar and spelling issues.. no time to proof!
Got to get to work!