Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lindsey's Marathon Story

Hello Everyone,

Well I did it! I finished my first marathon and I owe all of you an update on how it all went down. Especially to all my donors that donated to my fund. This email is definitley for you.

Well, it all began Tuesday before I left Friday for San Antonio. I started to feel sickly. I was on my way to work not feeling so great and throughout work I felt achy and kinda like I had a fever. I thought it was probably just stress since I was really thinking about the upcoming weekend and getting everything ready and being nervous about the race. But when I got home that night, I felt really bad. Very lethargic, no appetite, and achy all over. I thought this is perfect timing! So I stayed home from work Wednesday and planted myself on the couch after getting maximum strength mucinex and some wellness tea. I was constantly drinking water, OJ, and hot tea...I wanted this out of my system fast. Thursday I felt a little better but I knew I had to take it easy. I went to work for just an hour and did a few errands, but I still had no energy and no appeitite. I think it took me 20 minutes just to eat a bowl of cereal that morning. BUT, I made it to my friend and running buddy Allison's house that night. Unfortunately, she was going through the same stuff. So both of us were definitely the best pair to run together. :)

Friday morning we get up at 4:50 to leave for the airport at 6:15. I was actually feeling better, I wasn't feeling tired at all and I was able to get up very easily. But the cough came that day. It was one of those coughs that was off and on, but when it started it took awhile for it to calm down.

When we got there Friday we went to the race expo to check in and get our race numbers, then we did some sightseeing. Our really nice hotel (Grand Hyatt :) ) was right on the riverwalk. We had lunch at a famous Mexican Restaurant, Casa Rio, that afternoon, which was very yummy. Saturday we got up and had a 1-2 mile run with the rest of the Team in Training participants that were at the hotel. It was definitely a test for Allison and I to see how we were going to be able to run sounding like frogs and not feeling 100%. We made it through, but we both agreed that we had to take it slow since we were determined to finish the full and not drop down to the half. The rest of the day we tried to stay off our feet as much as possible. We took a river cruise with a few of our cobb teammates, and then pretty much sat around till it was time for our carb dinner party. As much pasta as you could eat :). After dinner, we went back to our room to go to bed. I was in bed by 9:45, alarm set for 5:40 to get up and get ready for the race the next morning.

Allison and I both got up before the alarm went off. Her sinuses were still bothering her pretty bad, and I sounded even more croakey. We decided to turn the hot water on in the shower and steam up the bathroom and we sat in there to eat our bagels and peanut butter. We both think it helped, it made me cough some which is what I needed to do. After that we geared up with our running belts, salt packets, energy chews and gels, water bottles and for me 2 gatorade powder packets with gatorade already made in my water bottle that I run with. We headed down to meet up with our team.

We were very excited at the start. Music was playing and being in a mob of 30,000 people getting ready to run really gets you excited. They divided us into corrals depending on what your estimated time of finish was that you put on the race registration. So around 1,000 people went at one time. My time didn't start until I crossed the start line, I had a time ticker thing (not sure how to describe it) on my shoe. Allison and I started out at a good pace. The others bolted out in front of us, but we knew if we had done that we probably couldn't finish the full.

The course was fun. It was called the Rock n Roll Marathon because there were bands set up probably every 2 miles and they played for the entire race. Water stops were almost as frequent as the bands. You just grabbed a cup and kept going. The first half went really well. We were in downtown San Antonio for the majority of that course. The one bad thing was my foot started to hurt around mile 8 (I knew I should have bought inserts for my shoes 2 weeks before). I tried to ignore it but I knew it was going to start to hurt worse, because it did the same thing when I ran my 16 miles during training. Anyway, the half marathon and the full marathon course split at mile 11. A mob of people were turning for the half, and Allison and I with few others turned at the full. It was really funny to see the difference in the amount of people. At about mile 13 we both took our last packet of salt, and we were doing ok till about mile 15 when we both felt like we needed to walk some and maybe stretch. My foot was hurting pretty bad at this point. We both were thinking what I could do, I just needed some extra padding in my left shoe. My right foot was hurting, but not nearly as bad as my left. Allison gave me the idea to put empty gel packets that were lying on the ground that runners had used and put them in my shoe for extra padding. I thought why not, so I picked up 4 or 5 empty packets and put them in my shoe which did make a gooey sticky mess but it did help. But at mile 16 I decided to stop at a paramedic so he can maybe wrap some gauze around the bottom of my foot. Allison went on ahead and I told her I would try to catch up with her. The paramedic took about 15 minutes to figure just how much I would need so I would have extra support and to be able to fit in my shoe. I finally got my shoe back on, but I only ran a few yards and stopped again and took off what he put on. It felt like I had a rock on the bottom of my foot, so I just decided to deal with the pain for the rest of the race and I shortly reached mile 17 after that.

After the 17 mile mark my lower back was also hurting pretty bad, it had started when we first started walking I believe. So for the rest of the race I had to walk/run. And my run was pretty slow just because I hurt so much. It hurt to stop to walk, it hurt to start running again, and it hurt to keep running. By mile 20 I started to cry because I wanted to give up, I doubted I could finish because I was hurting so bad. I had to calm myself down though because I started to cough a lot just because I was so upset, and that made it hard to breathe. And the last half of the course was kinda depressing. There wasn't nearly as much runners or spectators, it was very quiet. I wasn't alone, there was always someone walking or running around me. But I calmed down and just told myself I had to finish. The last 6 miles felt like 100. I tried to run the last 3 but I had to continue to stop to walk. When it got down to the last mile I booked it. I didn't care about the pain anymore, I wanted to be done. The last quarter had a hill which I did not slow down for, I turned a corner and the finish was probably 50 yards away and I sprinted as fast as I could to the finish line and I recieved a medal :). My feet felt like they were on fire when I stopped. I found Allsion, and she finished 10 minutes before I did. :) We both hobbled over to the Team in Training tent to check in and we ate a part of a PB&J sandwhich and drank 2 single cartons of chocolate milk. The muscle pain set in after that and her and I were moving very slowly to her relative's car. We got back to the hotel and we sat in the tub together for an ice bath which her husband was very happy to provide 4 bags of ice for. After 3 bags was poured into the already cold water, I refused to let him put a 4th bag in. hehe. :)

So now I can officalilly call myself a marthoner, which still seems surreal to me. Some may ask me how long did it take. And I'll just say I am very happy I accomplished a goal only 1% of the American population has accomplished of completing a full marathon. You're not suppose to ask a marathoner their time unless you have done one yourself. I will tell you I did my personal best or set a personal record with only getting up to 16 miles in triaining, not feeling 100%, and the last 10 miles being pretty painful. I will tell you it was between 2-7 hours. :) Including burning anywhere between 2600-3000 calories, which is absolutely crazy to me considering I didn't feel hungry that night for dinner!

Will I do one again? Absolutely! I learned from this experience, I know what to do better next time and I really want to run one without stopping. Just not sure when. I want to stagger doing a half and then a full and so on.

I really wanted to thank all of you for your continued support. Especially the ones who donated. Your money is not going to waste. It's going to familes of blood cancer for support of research to find a cure. Thank you Thank you Thank you! The encouraging words were very appreciated. I did not run this marathon for bragging rights, it was a personal goal of mine, but if I did not have the encouragement from you all I'm almost positive I would have given up during training. I hope I've inspired you to maybe get into running or even walking. There were walkers that did the half and the full...:). I would be glad to offer any advice I can. Again, thank you so much for your donations!! If you haven't donated already, I am still taking donations til Dec 14. Please donate if you haven't already and if you can. :)
Thanks again from the bottom of my heart!

Love to all,
Lindsey :)

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