Sunday, June 26, 2011

A check off the bucket list

When I was 16 years old running track I remember running 10 miles at the end of the season. It was in that run that I decided one day I was going to run a marathon. To run a marathon is not an easy feat. It takes courage, digging deep with in yourself because it becomes a spiritual mind game to overcome that voice and declaring "Yes I can do this!"  Twice I tried to train for the same marathon. First time I became pregnant,  male runners do NOT have to deal with this situation. Second time it was just not the right timing or mindset. Third time I said to myself  "This is it." I was not pregnant, I had been running for close to four years and I felt in my heart it was time.

My training started the first weekend in Jan! It was a time of renewal and growth for me.  I was able to PR in a half marathon, gain strength from speed training and learn about the important of yoga for my body. Although I have MUCH more to learn about my body and strength training, more details on that later.


Well what can I say. I DID IT! I ran the NEWPORT MARATHON! It was a beautiful day, 81 degrees, very humid and the heat off the estuary made for quite the opponent.

Mile 1-19 went GREAT!! I ran at a 10:20 pace the whole way and was feeling great. I drank a cup of Gatorade and water at each mile (aid stations and out of my hydration bottles.....SO grateful I brought it, IT WAS HOT!). At mile 5, 10, 15 and 20 I took a gel packet.  At mile 4 ate 2 banana's.
What happened at 21....I have not a clue.....

When I left around the aid station between 20 and 21 I was feeling tired but good....I kept thinking " I am going to do it!!"

I hit 21.5 and it hit me!!! I threw UP. I was dizzy and did not feel too hot. I felt like going to the bathroom and started crying BIG TIME. I was so close I thought " Why now?"

Out of no where an older gentleman tapped me on the shoulder wearing his marathon maniac shirt helped me up and said "YOU CAN DO THIS!" He proceeded to walk with me and honestly became my angel.

Mile 22.8 (close to the 23 mile marker) - My knee gave out to the point I could not lift it. I started to jog a 14 min mile and realized I could walk a 12.5 min mile so I started to fast walk. I WAS NOT GOING TO GIVE UP SO CLOSE TO THE FINISH!

Mile 24 - Threw up. Again.....end of story.

Mile 25.5 I said a prayer to the lord to help me as I was about to seriously puke again.

Mile 26 - As I came to the top of that hill I was lifted up and was able to finish the Newport Marathon!!

My Garmin time said 5:16. Official time since Newport does not do chip timing 5:20.Am I disappointed that I did not make my 4:40 goal???? I am NOT DISAPPOINTED!!! I am happy and so proud that I finished. I know everything happens for a reason and now I know hopefully next time will be better. Not every race will be our best. Not every race will we PR. Each race happens and ends with results that are there to teach us something as an individual and as an athlete. I now can say " I finished a marathon :)."

After results:

I have whats called  Illiotibial Band Syndrom. Its not fun and I have MORE strength training to do obviously  if I am going to keep up my current training.  I guess as I look back I had a sore knee after my 15 and 17 mile run but did not know this was a signal of it since I could run through it with out much thought and pain. I do get discouraged sometimes with running because with my hypoglycemia and uneven hip bones it has made it a rough journey. Crossing the finish line is so much sweeter knowing I have concurred trials and bumps during my training.  My physical therapist, doctor and yoga instructor have all make it possible, each one of them helping me discover how to become a better runner. Running takes you to a different place if you let it. It is not just a way to exercise, it is a way of life, a way to better yourself as a mother, wife and individual. The medal is a lot of fun but what really is the reward is the journey you took to get there. From that is the real gift of running. I hope all of you one day get the chance to run a marathon. Although it did not end up how I wanted it to, I look at it as a chance to learn from what happened and go on. I will run more marathons and who knows one day maybe run Boston :). The road has no limits.......


1 comment:

Satina said...

Rachel, I am soooo PROUD OF YOU!!!!! You rock girlfriend! I am cursed with the same I.T. issues and it sucks! You are amazing to have run through that pain and finished with your head held high and such a wonderful attitude. I loved what you said about running in your last paragraph, oh so true! You are an inspiration. Who knows, maybe I could do a marathon. I just need more time to train!


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