Thursday, October 23, 2014

{Marathon Finisher}

I am a Marathoner! Gosh that feels so good to say.
Sunday October 19th, 2014 started very early in the morning. The alarm went off at 4:30 am. We needed to get up and get going. I like to get to races early so we don't have to worry about getting stuck in traffic. MIT was meeting at the Hyatt hotel downtown in the Arena District before the race. We got there around 5:30 am and ate our breakfast. Alli and I were VERY nervous. We both used the bathroom, sat and talked for a few and then it was time to start walking to the starting line. We snapped a few pictures before.

Christopher gave me a great pep talk and made me cry (again). We walked to the starting line and he gave me lots of reassuring hugs.

As soon as we got the Athlete Area we headed straight for the restroom line. Of course I had to use the bathroom.

Alli and I had mapped out a plan for the boys and they were to meet us in three spots: Mile 2, Mile 8 and Mile 17. Mile 2 and Mile 8 were pretty much the same mile, so after 8 they just needed to hustle over to "The Shoe" at Mile 17 to get us the last of our fuel they had on them.

All the plans were in place and we started the race.
Miles 1-3: Were great. We talked, we set our pace (a nice steady 10:08) and enjoyed the scenery. We saw the boys at Mile 2 and handed off our sweatshirts to them. They were all smiles since they found coffee.

Miles 4-8: We still were feeling great. Chatting away about nothing and everything. Concentrating on the finish line and talking about how great it's going to be 'Marathoners' We saw the boys at Mile 8 and I handed off my arm warmers since I was heating up. I ate my first stinger waffle at Mile 8 and that made me feel so much better. I was starting to feel run down and hungry already but eating the waffle definitely helped me pick back up my mood. They are so delicious.

Miles 8-12: Were a total blur. I remember at Mile 12 saying to Ally "I'm ready to start the second half of this race" and then all the sudden everyone started turning off to head down the hill for the finish. Us Marathoners just kept on going.

Miles 12-17: These were really hard miles mentally for me. At around 12 miles I ate another Stinger Waffle but I was just having a hard time mentally getting over that we still had 10+ miles left. It seems very daunting. Right around Mile 15 we saw my friend Jackie and her fiancé Nate. Let me tell you how awesome it is to see familiar faces at these higher miles. I feel like it snaps you back into perspective for a minute. Less than a half a mile down the street, we saw the boys. They decided to surprise us at Mile 15. It's was so great to see them. Alli and I focused on seeing them again at Mile 17. It got us through.

Alli and I talked later about how we were both confused and not focusing much during this time frame. By this time we had started listening to music and trying to concentrate on the finish line. Right as we were coming up to stadium we ran into two of my MIT friends Lisa and Nelson. I love the look on Alli's face here. It describes these miles perfectly. LOL!

Miles 17-20: Right before Mile 17 we saw the boys and we stopped so they could get us our fuel. Chris filled back up my water bottle with Frost Gatorade for me and gave me a pack of GU Chomps with caffeine. I started eating and drinking both right away. I was definitely feeling drained. Right around Mile 18 I realized I forgot to get my last Stinger Waffle from Christopher at Mile 17. I looked at Alli and she goes "Don't freak out, it's going to be ok" I called Christopher to see if he could meet me again. I could hear it in his voice that he wasn't coming but he told me "You are doing awesome. I'll try babe"

Miles 20-25: Somewhere around Mile 20 I lost Alli :( And everyone else. Alli was having problems with cramps and I found out later her stomach was upset. I kept turning around looking for her but she was no where to be found. Right about the same time, my IT Band started stiffing up. I haven't had issues with it all season but these were all new miles for me also. It got to the point, that I walk through one of the water stops around mile 20, filled up my water bottle knowing that was going to be my last stop. I just needed to push through to the end. Miles 20-25 were very lonely. I focused a lot on the reasons I was doing this. I'm pretty sure at one point I couldn't remember why I was doing it but luckily it returned to me :)

Mile 25: Oh Mile 25, you are a killer. I was so thankful for all my friends that were lined up at Mile 25. First I saw my friend Jackie and her fiancé Nate again. Jackie ran with me for a few seconds because all I was saying was "My leg hurts" She was so encouraging telling me "You can do it, one more mile" I started crying AGAIN. It's so nice to have so many encouraging friends. As I rounded the corner and started to compose myself again, I saw my friends Ashley and Amy with Ashley's daughter, Ava. How sweet is she? I started crying all over again.

Ashley took these pictures of me running into Mile 26

Tears, lots of tears. My heart was warmed and my leg was hurting. It took everything I had to compose myself for the finish.

Mile 26: I finally turned down to the finish which felt like it was never going to come. I twisted and turned and then there it was. THE FINISH! The only thing going through my head was "Holy Sh*t I just did it" I heard my brother's girlfriend, Judy, yell 'Christy' at me. Then I heard Christopher screaming 'You got this babe' I was crying the whole way in. My IT Band hurt so bad but I was done. I was done. I was a "Marathoner"

I crossed the finish and was so happy that my knee didn't give out on me. I limped my way to the medals and the volunteer put it around my neck. Again I thought "Holy sh*t I did it"
A sweet, sweet volunteer must have noticed I was a little confused. He kept yelling "Christy, Christy" then he said "Make sure to get your blanket and a water" Thank you volunteer, that is exactly what I needed. The first thing I did was call Christopher. I broke down on the phone with him. My knee hurt so bad I just wanted to see him. I started looking for a medical tent because I wasn't sure I could make it to the car but after I walked through the Athlete Area a little more I wasn't as stiff. I got all my goodies, some chocolate milk and I headed out to meet Christopher.

It was so great to see him. Chris and Robbie did so awesome meeting us all over downtown and keeping our spirits up.

Alli finished about 10 minutes after I did. The minute I saw her I told I was sorry that I didn't see her again. She did so awesome! This is one of my favorite pictures from after. We both laid down due to our backs hurting so bad. It was nice to lay on the cool grass and chill for a few minutes.

My brother took this picture of the finish. I just love it because look, that's me and my pony tail is flying. It's just perfect!

So the big question everyone wants to know..."Will you do it again" and my answer is "In a heartbeat"! But never without MIT. There is so much support with MIT I cannot thank them enough for the programs they offer.

Thank you so much to all my friends and family for the support you showed me over the last four months. This girls Marathon Dreams came true!

And if you want here is the video of my finish:

1 comment:

The Rohman Family said...

I've been following your journey but haven't commented...congratulations! YOU DID IT!!!