I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
I am now a marathon runner! 26.2 miles!!!We left for Memphis Friday afternoon. Kelly drove while I read Eclipse. I am also happy to report that I am almost done! I was going to read it on the way back, but I drove home and chose to listen to Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix instead because I am trying to finish it too! The whole ride was a little tense cause I have been soo nervous.
We got to downtown and decided to eat prior to going to the expo. There was a couple of restaurants to choose from, but Sara told us spaghetti warehouse was good. So that is where we ended up. When we walked in there was no one waiting, by the time we finished our pasta the entire entry way was packed from people carrying their St Jude marathon bags. I was very glad we ate first, I would have been flipping out if I would’ve had to wait and hour to eat.
We went to the convention center next to pick up all of our stuff. I felt that I had gotten punched in the stomach when I walked up to the shirt table, only to have the unfriendly girl tell me that “they no longer had any small shirts”, ok then med I say. “Nope, no med either.. large or extra large is all we have.”
I know that this may be silly to most of ya’ll… but to me.. This is a huge freaking deal. It was like an omen. An all knowing sign that my race was going to be absolutely horrible and I was going to collapse on the side of the road and refuse to finish. I know it is amazing that all of this can be foretold just because they did not have my correct shirt size. I just can’t explain the mental frustration I felt all week. In my mind all I could think about was I was about to do what only one tenth of American’s have actually accomplished! What If I hit the proverbial wall that everyone keeps talking about, what if I just can’t do it and have to quit? Then the lady tells me that my first marathon will not be able to be commemorated with a shirt!!
In all fairness though, I signed up for this race in Aug. That is 4 months prior to the race and 2 ½ months prior to the race being capped. To me this is the point of pre-registering. So that you know exactly how many people and how many shirts you need!!!! If the race was capped in the middle of October, you would think there would have been adequate time to order the correct number of shirts, as well as put them with the appropriate bib number.
I did find this shirt though! Almost as good!
I want one of these, kelly said not so much..
So we get back to the hotel, “get race ready” and head to bed by about 9pm. For those of you who don’t know what race ready is.. It is when we do everything from pin on out bib number to our shirt to lay out the socks, I pod, and sunglasses for the next morning.
When the phone rang at 5:30am the next morning my stomach felt like it had hit the floor. I got up ate my normal pre-run breakfast (whole wheat bread, skippy natural peanut butter, and honey sandwich) and was ready to go by 6:10. The race didn’t start until 8 so I was left with almost two hours to get in my head and think/stress about everything! It was FREEZING!! We got to the Redbird Stadium at about 6:45 and it was a warm and cozy 29 degrees and great running weather!
race ready at 5:30am!
I will spare you the mile by mile breakdown since I have lived through the agonizing hole by hole account when my husband plays golf and I know how painful it can be!! I will give you some of the major points though. We ran through the St Jude’s campus and I almost started crying. They had the patients outside cheering us on and they had made signs for us that said stuff like:
“Thank you for supporting St Jude’s you are helping with my treatment”
“Thank you for running for me because I can’t”
“Don’t give up, you are running for my cure”
I could go on, but again it makes me tear up, so I won’t. They even had signs through out the course that would say the same type of stuff. Even if you wanted to quit, you would read those and it would renew your spirit.
I got to see Sara and Ben at mile 19 and I was SO excited to have a familiar face. They had even made us a poster. I can not express the happiness that I felt at that moment to know there was people there cheering for me and motivating me to push harder.
WOW! I was a happy kid!
I didn’t hit the wall either! Maybe because I was so worried about it to begin with that I had the “wall” before I even started running, or maybe it was because of all the prayer and encouraging words from everyone, but regardless.. I never hit it. I will say though that I don’t remember the race much. From mile 1 until about mile 19 they flew by. There was water at every mile, complete with a sprit group and they just ticked off, so much so that I don’t even remember running Beale street for the 2nd time, or running by the pyramid until I saw the pictures! Kelly struggled a little bit at mile 23. At one point I heard him singing.. yes singing, “tonight’s gonna be a good night” People must have thought
us sprinting to make our goal of under 5...
(they had wave starts so the clock didn't match our gun start)
After the race we headed through the food line for a piece of cold pizza and an orange slice, then off to sara's. Where I might add I wanted to curse out load when I saw that she had stairs!! AHHH STAIRS!!
We then set off in search of some real memphis BBQ. They took us to the original Corky's BBQ. YUMM! It really was soo good and I am not even saying that cause we just ran a marathon either!!
Here is our dessert!
My personal favorite is anything Reese's
Kelly however had to be difficult!
The gas station had a "make your own milk shake machine"
So being the ice cream lover that he is.. we had to make one!
The next morning we put the sticker on!!!
I am on my way to MN this week so I may be a littl MIA, but I will try to take pictures!