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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Marathon Day!!!...has come and gone...



Well...it's almost been a week since the LR Marathon...Man, I can't believe it!! All that time and training and it has come and gone!

Last Sunday I met Kim and Cheryl at Cheryl's house..our usual routine for runs and races...I got there by 6 so that I would have time to mess with my Garmin, make any minor adjustments with my clothes and shoes, use the bathroom one more time, etc...The night before wasn't too bad..I had a little bit of a hard time falling asleep, but once I did, I slept well and felt rested when I woke up. Cheryl was all decked out in a running skirt and minutes later, when Kim showed up...SHE was too! I felt a little left out, but later decided that it was best I wear pants.."in case" of any mishaps, as my "aunt Martha" ( aka my period) was visiting that particular weekend...Cheryl attempted to help me set the alarm on my Garmin for walk breaks (which we later discovered, didn't work) and then the girls presented me with my "First Marathon" goodie bag!! It was awesome!! They got me a license plate cover and a 26.2 sticker (both of which I almost bought at the expo), socks, Gu, and the cutest bracelet that Kim had made for me!! I thought the weather itself (40's-50's with no wind) was a gift in itself, but the goodie bag made it extra special! :) Kim had brought Josh with her, as he would be meeting us at various places on the course with Cheryl, until she joined us at mile 13. We drove downtown to the Clinton Library parking lot to park ,use the bathroom, and wait out another hour before the start. I could feel myself starting to get nervous, I hadn't really been too nervous up to that point. We sat in the "steaming" car, literally, as cold-natured Cheryl had the heat blasting...as we joked and laughed at the various running attire we saw. Finally, we hopped out, got our gear on and headed to the START. I was in Coral D, which was the slowest and biggest crowd..and Kim and I had a "time" trying to wedge ourselves into the area! We weaved our way through the people only a few minutes before the gun went off, after saying "hi" to Annette and "bye" to Josh and Cheryl.







The gun went off! We finally started moving and I believe we crossed the mat about 2 minutes after that. I warmed up pretty quickly and ended up ditching my "throw-away" layer during the first mile or so.. I was kind of afraid to, thinking I might need it later..but off it went! We crossed the Broadway Bridge and heard cheering, only to see the first runner about to hit mile 5! I was anticipating going down 7th street, as I was hoping to see my friends Sara and Shawn and their kids...I saw my friend Sonny, and was so busy waiting waving to her, I almost missed Sara shouting "Go, Tammy!" and her little girl Sadie, holding a sign they made...it was so cute! Not too long after that, we saw Cheryl and Josh by the Alltel Arena! Kim' phone kept beeping with new texts, asking us where we were and where they would meet us next. We usually saw them (Cheryl and Josh) before they saw us and it was hilarious to come down the street and see them looking so intently at the map! I had ditched my gloves at mile 2, but my hands got cold again, so as we were coming back over the Broadway Bridge, I grabbed a pair of black mittens..."fast-walker-guy" was behind me and said " I guess those were there just for you! Their loss is your gain.." The miles seemed to pretty much fly by as Kim and I chatted..I think she had to stop and use the potty around mile 9 and I tied my shoes while she was inside. I ended up having to use the potty around mile 11. I dreaded it, cause you never can get your underwear and pants back on "just right" after that, but it wasn't too bad. We ran into our friend "Windy"...the guy we call "Wind Beneath our Wings"..because he is this huge, "teddy-bear of a man" that has been so inspiring to us, to me, during the whole training period...He came week after week to the training runs, starting out with a partner that abandoned him..to run by himself, with just an ipod...and got so much faster doing it! Kim got a shot of me running next too him on her camera phone...hehe...a covert operation...


Skipper, the "Rogue Runner" joined us at mile 13..she was nervous that she would get caught...I slowed to a walk as she joined us and Kim filled up her water bottles. It was nice to have some new conversation...She took off with "fresh legs", and Kim and I were like "Wait!" We had already been running 13 miles-hello! I called my sister to see if she would be out on Kavanaugh. We saw her about mile 16, just as they started playing "Vanilla Ice"...it was awesome and lame as I attempted a white-girl version of the cabbage patch...and just looked stupid! Mile 17 was a lazy decent and not as steep as I anticipated, and the perfect time for my walk-break. My knees and hips were feeling it by then...

Once we headed to Murray park...I was really moving slow...both Cheryl and Kim had to use the bathroom..I wanted to go on, but felt bad leaving them...I slowed to a slight jog, while they caught up. They caught up to me and then, it felt like they were dragging me along...mile 21 was the worst..everything hurt so bad!! Once we turned around, and were on the opposite side of the street, it seemed to do a little for me mentally. We passed Hobbitt and her crew walking and they looked great! We also ran into this guy that was attempting to do marathons in every state, the LR Marathon being his second THAT WEEKEND!!! Yes, you heard me right...The last few miles seemed a blur...I was a little bit ahead of Kim and Cheryl...but I had to keep going or I knew I would just stop! Cheryl caught up with me and ran with me for a bit, as Kim seemed to disappear...We looked for her, but no Kim in sight! I wanted to stop at the potty at mile 25, but I decided to wait..I hated to stop so close to the finish. I saw Tom Singleton (aka Coach) and he crossed the street to high five me and said "I knew you could do it!" ...I felt myself tearing up and I think, it was my favorite moment of the whole race.. That was the lift I needed! My smile spread from ear to ear, as moments later, Annette and Michelle bombarded me (Annette with a big hug!) and ran the last 0.5-1 miles with me. I LOVED IT! Annette and Cheryl veered off and I turned the corner to SO many cheers, people who didn't even know me...shouting "Way to go, Tammy!" It was definitely a "moment" as I ran into the finish area, "Eye of the Tiger" playing, looking to the stands to see my friends with tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces! I spread my arms out wide... I was all "beams" and no tears this time! Finish time 5:13:14...


My chip came off, the medal went on, and I immediately got a hug from my friend Kim Stevens. She had done the marathon the year before and it was her picture and medal that first inspired me to try it...I stood in line for post-race pics, with a giddy, toothy, stupid smile on my face...got some water, and headed toward the bathroom. Cheryl, Kim, and Josh caught up with me and we all posed for a picture. My friends followed with hugs all around...Afterwards, my family and Cheryl went out for pizza, as I was famished.. I couldn't believe it was all over, although I was definitely VERY sore and was hoping no one would have to pry me out of the chair when it was time to leave! I had changed my shoes to sandals...as I had two new "friends" (aka my first blisters) that were invading my feet. My mom and sister had gotten me a "goodie bag" too...with a cute t-shirt, socks, Gu, some Peeps, and some Easter candy. It was so unexpected and thoughtful. Cheryl and I left and headed to .....guess? Starbuck's, of course..and actually had the nerve to go to Target, despite me legs killing me. Yes, I walked around Target with that damn medal around my neck and grinning like an idiot! Yes, it took me a LONG time, but I earned it! It was one of my best days!


As I sit here, reliving it, I am struck again my the sheer fact that I did that! The first two days following were really sore, followed by "less-sore" days as I stretched and worked out some of the stiffness. Can't say that I've been too smart about recovering..eating crap and working out, probably too hard, as I feel myself getting "something"...a cold maybe?...My runs are short and light, although I wish I could say easy! I am trying to work my way back slowly and get the hang of this "rest" thing...As far as the rest of it...the part that my family and friends played in it all...I am grateful. I was never an athlete in school, I never had people cheering on the sidelines for me...for ANYTHING...and it touched me. I hope I don't forget that...As this week has gone by and I've had a number of insensitive comments about my finishing time, I have been tempted to downplay all that has happened over the past few months and even race day, discouraged that my "time" wasn't better...Now, I look at it as it is...I tried something I never thought I would do, that I COULD do...I trained! I got up on days when I just wanted to use the excuse of the "weather" and stay in bed...I figured out what MY goals were, not the goals of others...I found the source of my aches and pains and dealt with the problems, not just the symptoms of pain...There were a lot of life lessons in this process...and I am convinced, without a doubt, that it was God that steered me down this path to learn those things. I'm still a perfectionist, I still want to beat myself, always better, always faster..I don't know if I will do another marathon.. I definitely WANT to! Whatever happens, I want to run...I love to run...and where that takes me...well, we'll see!!

2 comments:

Sabrina said...

I love the sound of your voice in this post. I'm so proud of you, Tammy, and I'm proud *for* you. I'm so glad I was there to see that big toothy grin on your face. Pure joy! I loved it!

gabsatrucker said...

Great marathon report!!! You're very lucky to have such great friends and Annette gives the BEST hugs in the world I think.

Gabby