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Monday, November 29, 2010

from flat stretches to the ups and downs, glad that's over...

until next time!

Well yesterday I accomplished a recent goal I set for myself, the Seattle Marathon. 26.2 miles of sheer pounding on my already brutalized IT Band and sore knee to the finish line; but no matter what the time, I was determined to finish this feat. This adventure.

My brother sent me a message pre-race day...it read something like this:

"Good luck I guess. I still think you're crazy for doing this more than once in your life."

Reid and I accomplished both of our first marathons in New York 2008, along with our dad; for him, apparently his last!

Well at around mile 17, when my knee was so sore i didn't want to run any further, I was thinking I was crazy too! Running a marathon, a half marathon or a half Ironman, I have discovered becomes something much deeper than the physical; it becomes a mental game. And once it's all over...for some reason...I enjoy returning for more.

Race morning was perfect conditions for the run. It was cool, it got to a high of 5, but no rain, light wind, and the skies parted as I made my way to the finish...no lie!

The full marathon start time was 8:15, such a reasonable start! So at around 7:30 i was heading out the hotel doors up to the start line. A light jog, a few stretches and a quick stop at the port-a-potty line I made my way to the start line crowd to find the "pace bunny" for a marathon time of 3 hours and 30 minutes. This in no way was my goal time (although it will be one day!), but I figured that if I was hoping to finish around 3:40, then maybe I should start here with an ability to slow back because I knew I wouldn't be speeding up! Well I was going strong, feeling light twinges in my knee but nothing TOO bad...popped a few Advil liquid gels and kept on running.

Maybe before getting to far into my life lesson and race update I will give a quick pre-race detail...I have been dealing with a tight IT band to the point of pain for a little while now. It hindered me from running for a week prior and limited my training runs for weeks before that. I originally was hoping to go into this marathon with a finish time of 3:40 but decided to refocus my goals...I had no intention of not doing this race, if you know me you know that once I have something in my mind it must happen, so I refocused my thoughts. This fall, our family world has been a whirlwind; filled with both emotional and physical ups and downs, it helped me see that this WAS my accomplishment. Just getting to that start line and stepping foot over that finish line was all i was concerned about. So that's how I ran. With a lesser expectation on myself, and no expectation from anyone else. What a great way to be!

Well, back to the way the run actually went...

I crossed the half way mark at a great time of 1:45. I impressed myself at keeping that pace till then with still another 13.1 miles to go.

Mile 17...my knee was SO HOT with pain I didn't know if I was going to finish this race...I began to walk. I did a run walk for a few minutes then began dragging my butt along again.

Mile 20...there is no way! Should I walk, should i stop! I am not a quitter...I am FINISHING this thing! Ouch Ouch Ouch.

Mile 20.1...I am doing this. I am doing this for my kids.

It was this mile that I told myself I can and I will. It is amazing how the thought of my kids helped my legs keep going..left, right, left, right...

Mile 24...and then there was downhill. You would think that a downhill would be a reprieve; but if you have ever experienced a sore/bummed knee or a tight it band, you will know that downhill is now your enemy, not your friend...I walked.

The finish line was getting closer, a little under a half mile away, and I was not WALKING through this finish line. I picked up my pace and ran the last of this 26.2 mile race.

I did it! It's over! And I accomplished a new best 3:47 and for some crazy reason...i will go back and do it again some day.

When your body tells you it is done, it is amazing where your mind goes to get you to that finish. The mind is such a powerful thing and I am thankful that mine decided to help me to the finish yesterday. A run is a lot like life, sometimes when you don't think you can, something takes over and, you do.

Today, I am hobbling around the house, trying to avoid the stairs so I don't have to bend my knee...but as with everything, time will heal all pain, and I will be back at the start line again.

See you there.

Oh ya, the best part of the entire day...walking into our home to our with both kids running to greet my husband and I at the door; and Kai looking at me and saying..."a-gras-ulations mom" in the words of a 2.5 year old, this means "Congratulations Mom."












































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