The race has been over for 24 hours.
How do you recap a day of moments that you have been working for, preparing for, thinking about for 4 months and which marks the end of road so long that you can’t see the beginning anymore? I will never forget where I came from. I will never forget the journey from hell and all the moments leading up to it and out of it. I will forever be changed by this day because I let all of that go and I am a new person. I am so proud of this day and of myself for staying focused on the goal and achieving it no matter what. It was absolutely the most unbelievable and momentous experience and day all around.
I was awake at 4:00 am but stayed cuddling with my honey bun until 4:30. Got up and started my prep for the big day. No shower…that’s my morning run routine. Had to stick to my routine…I’m linear you know. Got dressed, laid out all my clothes and equipment that I was taking with me, took my jelly beans and put them in my pocket donned the running shoes that had carried me hundreds of miles and which would accompany me over the next 68,168 feet today. I’m ready:
I load myself in the car with my honey bun and my buddy James and off we go. Driving down I have to admit I got a little bit nervous but not because I was unsure about finishing. I just had the butterflies about the day. That’s ok. I keep in touch with Nubelia about where she is. She arrived first and we arrived 10 minutes later. Bathroom run, scarf, gloves, hat and we’re ready to roll:
We head outside and well, it’s warmed up a bit so as we walk, I shed the scarf but kept the rest…it was still chilly but I’m warm with excitement. We walk with our families to the starting line… Holy smokes there are so many people here with so many different outfits and reasons for being here.
Standing among all these people was just amazing! So exciting! I see Rob and James on the side and I wave excitedly to them. We now wait for the countdown and the starting gun to fire! BOOM! Here we go. The run began at a great pace…seemed easy but it was a perfect way to commence. 2 miles in I had to shed some clothes…on the run with the help of my running partner I shed the INSIDE shirt…YA.. talent for sure! It was during this that I broke my headset…Rob’s headset. Thank goodness it was only a dollar! Ok, so no music…you know what? I’m totally ok with that. I’ve run 13 without music before and now looking back I am so happy I didn’t have music. The experience just would not have been the same with it. I would have been in my world and not benefitting from the sound of the ocean, the birds, the conversations around me, the cars…all of it is what really made my experience wonderful. We smiled for every guy with a camera because it was fun!
I ran 7.5 miles with Nubelia and then per her insistence I Ran My Race. She hurt her knee the day before and was in agony the entire 13 miles. I felt so bad for her but she was adamant that I run the race I came to run and begged me to go and that she was ok. OK, I did with a bit of a heavy heart but I did it. I took off at my regular pace running with strangers that I had never met before talking to some, joking with others, encouraging some to finish, smiling at the guys with the cameras taking in every moment possible to remember and just to have fun. I did have fun! I did all the hills, and there were many, better than I thought and better than some people that look like they should be doing better than I was. HMMM that feels good. I watched for the mile markers ..mile 9 feeling great but realizing I’m near the end and I begin to feel that tired ache creep up on me, mile 10 (last water stop) and now I’m counting and I start talking myself to 11. Mile 11 I want to get to 12 because at 12 there’s just one mile left and I’ll start seeing all those people lining the streets cheering for us…for me. I will see my family who came to support me …my husband who I just couldn’t live without who inspired me and supported me and loved me all along this long road. My son who made a beautiful sign for me and who stood right on the last corner holding it up for me. I love you James! I can’t wait to get to 12. Mile 12 and now I’m feeling very tired and thank god I just kept telling myself with every step that I was one step closer to the finish, to seeing those people and my wonderful family. I can do this. With every cheer I run harder. With every cow bell and clapping bystander I feel stronger and am looking forward to that finish line. I round that last Left heading to the corner that will reveal the end of this journey …the end of this race and I start to run hard…run to a new beginning. All that was is now gone and behind me. There in front of me is my new day. This was amazing and invigorating. I didn’t see my husband taking pictures.. weird because I was looking for him. I saw my son and blew him a kiss:
I finished at 2:01:06 which is very respectable. I came in 38th out of 118 women in my age group and finished 209 out of 648 in the women’s division and 398th overall. There were 900 and change runners. Top 1/3 overall for me. I’ll take that! I am so very proud of this accomplishment. WHAT A DAY! That first picture sums up the whole experience. Just so awesome!
Nubelia and I post race:
And most importantly, my family and I after the race:
A DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET!