So, originally I was signed up to run the Nike Womens Marathon in San Francisco (courtesy of Nike, I <3 them), I was super,super excited....the views, the benefiting Leukemia,the chocolate mile, and that special Tiffany's necklace you get when you finish.
But then life and family got in the way. Jeremiah had a football game the day before, and there was no way to get my family there in time to see me finish. So, I thought....chocolate and necklace ...or family support...
my little ones won in the end ( :
But Nike will forever be my favorite sports brand for being so supportive of mom runners/athletes. And there is always next year...although with the pain I am in right now.... ( :
Luckily I was able to find that the Long Beach Marathon was still open...
Here I am, at 4:30 in the morning,
ready scared and nervous to run a marathon in just 3 hours and tired on the little sleep (tossing and turning all night) I had the night before. Maybe that big meal of mashed potatoes, pasta, chicken and salad was the culprit of the little sleep. ( :
A juice smoothie for breakfast, outfit ready and shoes tied (courtesy of Nike) and iPod ready I headed out to Long Beach.
No traffic all the way... and then I get there and it takes me 1 hour to just find parking.
My advice: If you are ever participating in a huge event like this, get there EARLY. By the time I got to the starting line the first wave of runners were off, luckily with my slow pace I wasn't due to start my run until the sixth wave of runners.
I joined my cliff bar pacer team at the starting line. I highly recommend joining a pacer team if you decide to run a marathon. I couldn't have done it without them. We all introduced each other and supported each other the whole way. It was amazing.
Every time we would get to our next mile, our pacer leader would dedicate that mile to special people...
"let's dedicate this next mile to kids with Autism, we will run this mile for them!"
"let's dedicate mile 10 to parents who are running with strollers" (yes, there were marathoners running with strollers....can you believe that?!?!?!)
We would find runners along the way that needed an extra push...
"let's run this mile for ...what's you name?...Dan, we are running alongside Dan, this mile is for him!"
We encountered special people all the way. A husband pushing his wife in a wheelchair, a mom running for her two children she lost to cancer, people with disabilities. It was so awesome, and so inspirational.
I felt good right till about mile 15, tired trough 18, and then if not for the support from other runners and all those amazing spectators I think I could have easily given up. Mile 18 has to be the hardest, I think it's the hardest mile for most runners. This is around the time your body switches from using glycogen stores and starts using fat as fuel.
The Long Beach community was there all the way... giving out orange and banana slices, jolly ranchers, necklaces and water. Kids cheering us, posters, high fives, it was so special.
And the Long Beach Marathon was awesome about having water and powerade stations throughout the run.
I have no complaints.
Those last 8 miles were super hard. Every step I used everything I had in me. With the help of my pacer team I somehow got to mile 22...and I knew...I am going to finish this. Exhausted, and emotional, all I could do was keep going. I was so close.
I was at mile 25. At that point I left my pacer team behind letting them know I was going to go a little faster and finish before my goal pace. I have no idea where it came from. I just HAD to finish, I wanted to be at that finish line. That feeling is like nothing I have ever felt. It feels good and so hard to describe.
Then I saw my family. Kip taking pictures. The kids yelling for me. I saw my mom and sister waving. And suddenly I got this energy boost.
Feet and legs heavy, I saw that finish line.
Those yards felt so long.
I could feel that finish line.
I could see Jeremiah jumping up and down and yelling.
Later I asked what he was saying...."that's my mom, that's my mom!"
I know this was a super long post ( : Just couldn't make it any smaller!
I did it!
I ran a marathon!!!
BTW: I didn't realize this until just now that I am writing this post (which is great!)...my clothing was completely dry when I got to the finish line. Nike's Dry Fit line rocks!
* No monetary compensation was given for this post. Nike provided race fees and a cute outfit and shoes for me to run in. I have always been a Nike brand user, but now with how much they love mom runners... I will use them even more.