I say "I" loosely as I feel quite humbled in where I give credit. I am a firm believer in a Father in Heaven who loves us dearly and knew His little girl wanted this badly and helped her to achieve it.
|My supporters who don't look very excited to be up at such an unearthly hour sitting in the cold waiting for their Mum to run by.|
Early in my training my friend Natalie, who is an awesome runner and has done 1/2 marathons before, told me she would train with me. She'd had surgery on her foot a few months ago and wanted to get back to running again. I told her that I don't run. I sloth along. I would be holding her back but she was welcome to train with me. I'm so glad she still wanted to!!! I had so much fun training and running with Natalie!
Can you all tell I'm still on a runners high from the race? (Squeal)
|Sleep deprived and yanked out of bed. "This is the stupidest parade ever!!"|
As I said, I was fine until I went to get my packet. Then the butterflies started in my tummy. I kept telling myself that it was just going to be another day of running. The only difference. I'd be surrounded by tons of people running in the same direction I was. My tummy wasn't buying it.
|Henny Penny sees Natalie and me and comes running to greet us.|
Flit around the house when I should be going to bed like a maniac because I can't focus. The SM makes me sit down and make a list of things I need to take the next morning and then get them all ready. Boy am I glad he made me do that. I couldn't think or focus for anything! I'd have forgotten my clothes I'm sure and run in the buff it weren't for him I was so scatterbrained!
|Levi and Henny Penny greeting us and Levi telling me he likes to run too!|
I went to bed. I told myself to get some sleep. My body/brain didn't listen. I tossed and turned all night until 3:00AM. I got up and started to get ready. My main focus for the morning. POOP! Yes, I really do get that much anxiety about pooping before I run because if I don't........ I know what happens.
My anxiety builds. What happened to all that salsa and grapefruit and the TONS of food I ate the night before??? I'm not pooping!!!
Time to go catch the bus! Natalie comes and picks me up and we are on our way!! We sit in the parking lot for a few minutes and eat some more. I start to feel like hurling. What goes in....... must come out........ It hasn't yet!!
|Taking off our sweatshirts and throwing them for The SM to grab for us and take to the truck.|
We arrived at our starting place. It was still dark outside, the moon up, tons of people milling about, laying around, huddling around fires.... I wish I had a photo of the start because it felt like we were at Wood Stock or something. All of these fires all over the hillside and thousands of people sitting/laying/walking around. So cool!!!
I had an hour and a half before the race to get my body to take me seriously and unload! Natalie and I decided standing around with eyes watering from the smoke wasn't helping. Maybe walking around. Nope.
Maybe if we sat in one of the hundreds of biffys my body would get the idea. Nope!
Time to line up for the race. NOOOOOO! I HAVEN'T POOPED YET!!!
Two minutes before the gun goes off, Natalie is calling to me outside of the door of my biffy. We need to go! Fabulous..... I resign myself to my doom.
|Jackets and sweatshirts off, we re position our hydration belts and keep on running!|
We're off and running. The view in the canyon we ran in was gorgeous! We ran and took it all in. The first hill arrives. I don't want to walk. I want to keep running. My goal, if possible, is to run the whole thing. If I can't........ no biggie........ but I want to try.
We do it! We top the hill a little winded and enjoy the level terrain. Aid stations appear along the way. We grab our waters and keep running. I pass biffys and marvel that I don't have to go to the bathroom! Isn't this marvelous!! I pass another aid station and get my water and pass another set of biffys. Amazing!! No need to use the biffy!!!
And then......... it hits.......... and I've still got a mile or more until I reach the next biffys at mile 6! I will be forever haunted by mile 6!!
I came around the corner in hyper drive so relieved to see the biffys only to have my relief sink in horror. Everyone in the entire state of Utah needed to use the biffy at mile number 6! I had to sit in line for almost ELEVEN WHOLE STINKING MINUTES because that is when my stupid salsa grapefruit dinner decided to make it's exit!
I can not tell you what it did to my competitive self standing there in such an agonizingly long line as person after person passed by me. A thousand people got ahead of me!!!
Moving on. I promise I won't talk about pooping anymore. Well, in this blog post at least.
|More crazy people getting up way too early for a parade of runners.|
As we got closer to the finish, people on the side who were cheering would comment that Natalie and I were still smiling! If they only knew.......... if they only knew what being in this race meant to me! What I had over come! Where I had been just a few months earlier! In bed. Not enough strength to climb in and out hardly! A dream I'd had............. out of my reach......... or so I'd thought at the time!
Yes! I was smiling! I was living a dream!
|The finish! Hugging Natalie and telling her thank you for running with me!|
I'm like a horse that smells the barn. My body started to go faster. I was so close! And then four miles to the finish...... the unbearable pain started. I tried changing my stride to see if it would help. I knew I wasn't running with good form anymore. I was using precious energy trying to compensate and keep going. I was starting to take smaller steps and curl inward.
Pain from where I'd had surgery two years ago. Oh Nellie!!! If it hadn't been for Natalie running with me, I'm not sure I could have kept going. I just kept staring at the finish line and telling Natalie I could see it! We were almost there.
When trying different running strides didn't help, all I could think of was the faster I get to the finish, the faster the pain will stop! Kick it into high gear. And we did! We picked up the pace.
As we got closer to the finish line I looked over at Natalie and grinned. GAME ON SISTER! This was a race right??? I started to sprint. Natalie accepted the call and sprinted with me. We went sprinting down the finish gates and as we crossed the finish (me just about cutting her off by mistake) I grabbed her hand and we finished hand in hand together laughing our heads off.
What an amazing experience!!
|We're done! We've got our medals and are coming over to say hi to The SM and The Native's!|
WON'T QUIT FIGHTING!