Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ran it!

I did it, I did it! I was so afraid that with my sore knee, I would have to walk a lot and end up slower than three hours, but I finished in about 2:37. When the chip-time gets posted, I'll put up my official, official time with photos.

Officially, next to childbirth, that was the hardest thing I've done. Also officially, my confidence is boosted and I now feel like I could try anything. (Except a marathon, ladies and gentlemen, HOW IN THE HECK COULD ANYONE RUN THAT FAR? I suppose with the right training... still - I kept breathing out thankfulness that I was done at the end of 13.1 and not just halfway.)

I was under the impression that this was a flat course. It wasn't. One of the hills about mile 8 was the steepest I've ever run (walked) and I have plenty of hills around my house. Not that I was with the elites, but NO ONE was running that hill just before the turn-around.

I was nervous last night. My biggest fear, besides arrival at the race, for some reason, was getting to mile 8 - which sounds PLENTY FAR to me and realizing I still had FIVE TO GO!!! Miraculously, mile 8 was okay.

I'm wiped. It's gorgeous out and I'm getting off the couch to go get some sunshine, but I'll "stream of consciousness" write for a minute. Hope my blabber is somehow interesting.

There were bagpipes at the start line. Fabulous. I love bagpipes. That got me hyped up.

The first two to three miles sucked. I thought of you, Laura, and how you asked me to remember what I was feeling at each mile. My GPS said 2.65 when I first felt knee pain. But I swear I smooth-talked my way through it. "It's okay. No big deal. Run smooth. Fluid. Flow down the hill." (HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!- I did say those things, but I'm laughing that I believed myself.)

I don't like being passed. I don't care if I'm pudgy and a slow beginner, I have my pride and I hate being passed. Someday I will pass people.

Gu sucks. The "magic beans" as Kevin calls them (sport beans) were great. Gatorade (lemon-lime only) is great.

Just like on some of my longer training runs, I said to myself, "Cover the miles. Listen to your music." It worked, I suppose, but the music didn't mean as much to me during the race for some reason. Purple and yellow flowers along the edges of the paved portion meant more to me than the music. That was around mile fourish or fivish and I was running 9:15 at that point and loving every second.

We ran through six tunnels out and back. Those suckers were dark. I could not see the ground in front of me, nor did I have the energy to remove my sunglasses. That was such freaky running, and so surreal that I am quite positive I will have dreams about it tonight.

The guys who run 6-minute miles are really heroes to me. I am amazed, impressed, inspired. The race was two "out and backs" so I had two chances to watch them coming back toward me as I slogged along and they were very very cool. One, a fair-skinned guy was about at mile 12 when I saw him last and he looked a little close to death, with dark-red circles around his eyes, but he still zoomed along. Another speedy guy was in the ambulance on an IV at the time of my finish. Geesh.

Hated the last three miles, but was simultaneously excited to be nearing the end. I had walked a few times, but I refused to walk the last three and a half miles or so. It took a LOT of willpower to keep jogging when I just wanted to stop, curl up in the dirt, and whine.

Seeing Kevin, Joseph, Cayna and Bethanie near the finish line with smiles and flowers was the best sight of my year. I did cry. The announcer was calling out names and when I heard "Teri Love" it was about as sweet as hearing my name at college graduation, no lie.

I crossed the finish, sobbed a time or two, and walked to receive a finishers ribbon and over to a stepstool where a volunteer sat to assist in the removal of the chip. I tell you, I could hardly lift my foot to the first step, never mind the second. Then he told me I was giving him the wrong foot. I laughed and realized I couldn't lift the other foot at all, so he bent to clip it. I noticed other finishers were in the same predicament.

One other time in my life I have felt that faint as I did right after the finish, and it was after childbirth. Now I know it wasn't blood loss that wiped me out, it was exertion. I sat down, ate an Oreo, a bite of muffin, and several orange wedges. My knee killed, but it was overshadowed by the discomfort in my gut. Ugh. It didn't go away til I got home and ate a salmon burger and some mushrooms. I was honored to have Sharon Anne and her children greet me and celebrate at the finish line, too! And I got home to a big banner hung on the garage door that says, "Way to go, Teri! We love you!" If that's not a reason to run a race every now and then, I don't know what is.

Good day. Good, good day.
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