Monday, October 13, 2008

And now the rest of the story..........

Going into Sunday's marathon, I knew that I had my work cut out for me. I knew the course from doing it twice before and knew the demons that awaited me out there.

Marathon morning brought us a picture perfect day except for the temperature. Being with Snips reminded me of my first time being at the starting line. Her enthusiasm and excitement was contagious. It was exciting to share the experience with her.

Snips had ironed on our names to our shirts. It was great to have people along the course cheering us on.

The first 5-6 miles flew by. Around mile 2-3, I saw Iron Snoopy, Moose and some tri-friends. That pumped us up.Our pace felt comfortable to both of us. We had a plan to walk through all the water stations and run the rest. We were right on track. This looked like this would be the day that I broke 6 hours.

Just before the water station at mile 8 , I needed to walk because of a pain in my right foot and ankle. I knew that my day was changing. I told Snips to go on without me. I knew she was strong and that I would her hold her back. Reluctantly she gave me a hug and headed off. I began walking and talking to myself. I had $20 in my fuel belt and could catch a cab back to the hotel. I called my hubby and told him that I was quitting.

I kept walking. Between 11 and 12, I saw Running Jayhawk ahead of me and caught up to say hello. She was also walking. She had spasms in her calf. We chatted some then both headed on our way. My goal became to make it to the half marathon point. As I looked around, about 2/3 of those around me were walking.

I passed the half marathon point and looked at my watch to see exactly 3:00. If I kept going possibly I could break 6:30. I had no idea where I was in the city and there were no cabs to be seen so I kept going. My leg felt no worse and I tried to run but that wasn't happening. I glanced around to see almost everyone was walking around me. I began noticing that the aid stations were full with runners and ambulances. I continued walking.

At mile 15, the loud speaker announced the course was now under a "Red Alert". Heat conditions were worse,slow down and take extra fluids. Also be prepared to leave the course and have a plan. I continued walking.

After mile 16, I could see the Sears tower and knew that we were heading back to the city before heading to the south part of the course. Someone was walking toward me and it was Sharkie, my tri-training buddy. She found me and knew that I was having a tough day. She had a map and I decided that I was done for the day. She walked with me back to the hotel. We talked the entire way about triathlon training and next year. She dropped me off and went to catch her train.

At the hotel I changed clothes and went to the finish to wait for Snips. She finished and looked great hear time was 5:38. Her smile was ear to ear. Although I did not finish, I basked in her excitement.

I could give you a thousand reasons for what happened and a zillion excuses but I won't because none of them are important. I know that I did the best that I could and gave everything that I had. I did get to the starting line, I did make it 16+ miles, and I did she a good friend complete her first marathon.

My 2008 season is in the books.

Waddling to plan 2009.............


Running Jayhawk said...

Big hugs to you sweetie.

Seeing you when I did was a godsend. I was really hating life and having a familiar face was a huge boost.

But it was a tough day out there. I'm sorry it wasn't the race that you ordered.

Guess lightning really can strike twice. BOO!

You'll get your revenge, no doubt.

Compass Rose said...

Oh, Waddler! You and Snips remind me of me and my sister! We both ran our first 5K together this past July. I was literally waddling and panting, and she was commenting on people's landscaping and running circles around me. I feel like it was one of my most important accomplishments so far, though, even though it took us (me) over 42 minutes to finish. Congrats on your multiple achievements, and here's to lots more!

Irene said...

I think it takes more guts to know when to say it's finished. You did good. I hope your foot will be OK.



I can honestly say I know how you feel. You did great and you did what you needed to do for you. It was another tought weather day!

There will be other races. Hope your ankle is better. My prayers are with you and your family.
God bless!

Kim said...

I agree it takes a very strong person to know when they have had enough... had you continued to run on that foot/ankle, it could have spelled an end to you tri training or ever getting your revenge on Chicago. And when you do, its gonna be SWEET my dear oh so SWEET!

IronSnoopy said...

Don't forget what an awesome 2008 season you've had and how far you've come in such a short time.

I know how much your ankle hurt. And how stupid hot out it was. I was dying just standing around!

To quote Mary quoting Rocky, "It's now how hard you hit, it's about how much you can take and keep going!".

Keep on going, waddler. Don't let anything get in your way! Here comes 2009!

Vickie said...

You did the best you could on that day. We never know how these things will go until we're actually in the midst of it. Sounds like conditions were tough again this year. There will be other races!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Sometimes you've got to know when to say when. Besides, 16 miles is nothing to sneeze at. Well done.

Best wishes for your 2009 season!!

Sunshine said...

So sorry about Chicago.. Doesn't sound a whole lot better than when we were there last year... HOT.
Better to have run than not run.
Best wishes... there will be another race.

Joe said...

I commented here last week, then blogger messed it up...I'll try again!

This was some event. The heat, I've heard from a number of sources, was really brutal. Getting through 16 is no small task for you and something you can be proud of. Most folks would never have even been at the starting line.

Better days will come. I'm happy you are now turning to the future...the plans sound good. Keep getting yourself out're gonna have some good tri's and runs!!