Monday, April 27, 2009

my 'm' day, part two...

Phase 2 | Miles 11 - 20
I was starting to feel tired as the course headed out of the sheltered neighborhoods and onto some main streets. This is the stretch I ran last year in the marathon relay, so it was familiar, which almost made it more brutal because I knew what was ahead. It wasn't as hilly, but it's where we started to really feel the humidity. It is all still a bit of a blur, seriously miles 6 - 16 are ones I can barely distinguish. I did see Ed around mile 11, we were running down a main street and my legs were starting to ache, something that had never happened so early on during any long run before.

*around mile 12, ed was there took this picture of me walking through the water stop. I was still doing more running than walking at this point. but I was starting to feel the fade*

Miles 12 - 13 were just straight down a public street. I think I did a slow run down most of this stretch, the wind was hitting us from the side, but it was still the humidity that was hurting me, mile 13 is when the course was heading toward Lake Hefner, we had to run up a highway ramp and then the view of the runners going around the lake was clear. It look
ed like a conveyor belt of runners, and I could see when people were turning the corner to run south along the lake, that conveyor belt slowed down and I could tell people were walking quite a bit.

As I made my way to mile 14, the point when we turned to run around the Lake, I was hopeful it wouldn't be too brutal. Then it was my turn to do the turn, I was taken aback at how strong the wind was. I maintained a run for awhile, but this is where the walking really geared up. The stretch south along the Lake was about a mile and a half, I walked most of that stretch. And this is when I started losing hope that I would finish. Along these miles I saw quite a few runners stopped to stretch or just sitting on the grass or at the aid station. There was an ambulance that I watched all the way from the highway make its way over to the lake to take a runner out.

After I saw the ambulance I rounded the corner of the lake to head back west and north out of the wind. I was so relieved that I had the drive to keep going. Plus there was a relay and water/aid stop at mile 16 where I suspected I would see my family, and I was right!

*mile 16, my hair looks awesome, i have a puff ball! my sunglasses are on my head too because it was so muggy they kept fogging up, so obnoxious*

I hit mile 16 where I saw some more Wichita people doing the relay, I was thrilled to see them. Then I saw the WALL of my family! I saw my Dad first, there taking a picture and I smiled but started crying, I ran by him and gave him a high five, then I saw the rest of them. My mom, my sisters, my cousin Brian and our family friends Kris and Brad, all of them going nutso for me, holding signs and screaming. I ran past but turned around and went back to them to slap their hands. That was one of the best moments ever!

*the fam with their signs. can you see the trees bent sideways in the background? my dad's sign is my favorite, makes me giggle.*

Seeing my family kept me going for a few more miles. I stopped a little past mile 16 to stretch and rest near a tree. A guy in his 60's saw me, he was wearing an OKC Finisher shirt from a previous year, he told me I could do it and to keep going. So I got back in and ran next to him for quite awhile, up some pretty big hills. From then on it was a blur of running and walking until mile 18. This is the point where I was ready to throw in the towel. I was headed toward an aid station just to sit for a minute and think about whether I should keep going or not, I was so exhausted and defeated mentally that I started walking toward the aid station, then the tears began again.

Right then I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard a familiar voice say "do you know how fast I had to run to catch up to you?" It was Kristen the Running Lawyer. I had been suspecting and hoping she would catch up soon. I told her I wanted to quit and she told me I wasn't quitting. We walked through the water stop talking about the race so far, me in tears, her encouraging me to keep going. I think THIS was the second best moment of this race. There I am, beat down, the one who Kristen expected to blow her away in the race (her words, not mine) ready to quit, needing to be scraped up off the road, and she picks me up and we go. We run/walk the next two miles together. In fact, to give you a preview, we finished the race together.

The only thing at that point that kept me going was Kristen. She walked with me, told me when to jog again and got me going once more. What an amazing friend. The mile 19 point was when we turned to head straight back into the wind. We kept our heads down, together, and kept going. Kristen is much taller than me (who isn't?) but one thing is for sure, that girl can WALK faster than anyone I've ever seen. Every time we stopped to walk I would putter along and she was CHUGGING, I would get pretty far back from her, she would turn around to look for me, so I would start jogging to meet her. Or she could see I couldn't do it, and she would just slow down or stop to wait for me. I asked her not to leave me at mile 18, like a pathetic kid crying to their mother, and even though she could have, she never did. I think I'll keep her forever.

We hit mile 20 and took a break to walk through the water stop. We saw Kristen's parents and then my family. It boosted my spirits like none other! My family was going nutso for us again, that will pick any runner up! I knew at that point, we would finish that marathon.

More pictures and the last 6.2 tomorrow!!


Anonymous said...

I am really enjoying reading this. I have been having a really blah week and have been very apprehensive about my upcoming races and reading your posts has motivated me big time!!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

AMAZING! The power of having a partner to help you through the tough times, that is TRULY inspiring. Wind and cold, it sounds sooo painful.

I am very proud of you for keeping it together when everything in your body and mind told you to quit..


Ashley said...

Yay!! I've been waiting so patiently ALL MORNING for this!!!

EXCELLENT review so far! I feel like I'm right there with you. ;) Isn't it amazing how much a friend can pick you up? You guys are lucky to have each other!

Can't wait to read the rest tomorrow!!!

IzzyBubbles said...

You are hilarious. I nearly choked on my water when I read the part about my walking! I hope you add the part in the last one about how you could have easily left me in the last 2 miles and didn't.

Ace said...

so awesome! This is all making me obsess even more about my race. Great job, great description! Family support teams are the best!

RunToFinish said...

ok just read part 1 and 2... what a start to the race. You have an amazing set of friends and fam, I wish I had more cheering me on it certainly provides a needed boost

aron said...

yayyyy congrats congrats :) cant wait for the rest!

J said...

Way to power through and continue with the race! The pictures are great! Can't wait for the last part!

X-Country2 said...

I love race reports like this. Great signs too!

Marlene said...

Ohmigosh, I can SO remember feeling that way and wanting to quit SO badly!

Awesome that Kristin appeared at just the right moment. Can't wait to read the finale!

RunnuRMark said...

I have been slowly making my way through your archives (and enjoying every minute) and I've finally made it through the marathon! WOW...that really was one hell of an accomplishment. You really battled through a lot to finally get to this point. So consider this my extremely belated congratulations on an amazing race! Looking forward to following your comback this year's stress fracture!