I did it. I can’t believe it.
I finished. Business is settled.
Take THAT 26.2 miles of pain…you did not win this time.
I’m a scrapper. Just when I think I have nothing left, I will dig deeper. And that is exactly what I had to do to get through this. Dig deep.
**The following post is a long one. It has a lot of pictures and recaps the day of the marathon. It has special thank-you’s at the end too. Just wanted to let you know!**
EXPO! Did Someone Say EXPO?
We arrived in Pittsburgh on Friday to pouring rain, which was forecast for the ENTIRE weekend. Great.
Since hubs and I wanted to stay off our feet as much as possible on Saturday (race being Sunday), we wanted to hit the Expo early. So he and I and the kids ventured to the Convention Center down town and walked through the Expo…
Here is were you pick up your Bib number, goodie bag and shirt. You can also try out new products or buy whatever you
need want. Vendors were everywhere showing off their wares…the kids helped me pick out a bumper magnet that says “26.2”-and said I could only stick on the car AFTER finishing. Good motivation.
My watch battery died on the way and I did not have time to replace it, so I also got a new watch. I love it because the face is larger than my other one- easier for my old eyes to see!
I also saw this shirt which cracked me up!
We then moved on to the “Wall of Fame”…18,000 names….and it said “find yours”!
Badges? Yes, I Want My Stinking Badges!
I am not going to lie. This event hurt. It hurt a lot. When I crossed mile 15, I did not know how I was going to do this. My calf muscles felt like they were rolling up my leg then knotting in the meat of the calf. When I ran, it got worse. So, I had to walk. From mile 17 to mile 24, I walked. And it sucked rocks. All day, I was getting tweets and texts encouraging me along and as I got later into the race, the more emotional I became. My phone would ding and I would read “Keep Going! You are doing great!” or “So proud of you!” words that kept my feet turning over one after another.
My overall goal for the race was to finish, but the competitor in me wanted a time…so I set my goal for 5 hours and 30 minutes. Now, remember the fact of only having 12 miles as my long run? Yeah, competitive brain was not registering that. At. All.
Hubs goal was 4:30…which he acheived (so proud of him!) and he called me at mile 22.
Hubs: How are you? How are your knees?
Me: (blubbering mess) I don’t think I can do this! I can’t make it! My feet hurt so bad and I can’t run because of my stupid cramps. My knees don’t hurt at all. It’s my feet…Boo-hoo-hoo.
H: You are doing great. You can do this.
M: (Now realizing my goal time had passed and I was pushing past 6 hours) If I finish after 6 hours, do I still get a medal?
H: Yes. You will finish, and get a medal. (Later, confessed that he had no idea if I would or not, he just told me yes)
M: ok. (Sniffle) Because, if I go through all this, and I don’t, I am going to be pissed!
Family was on the sidelines!! My brother and sister-in-law and their two kids were there to cheer me on!! It was so nice to see them, but at the same time, I was miserable. My sister-in-law asked me one question: “Can I get you anything?” and my only response was: “Yeah. The end.”
They walked me as far as they could and guided me toward the next mile. Thank you!
The last 1/2 mile, hubs and my son came to meet me. As soon as I saw them, I broke down again. I kept asking “am I close” and they said “yes, just over the bridge and around the corner.” Once we were over the bridge, I could see the checkered flags….I was determined to cross the finish line running. With that, I got a new burst of energy and saw my daughter on the side taking pictures yelling “go mom!” She ran up to me and flanked with both of my kids, I crossed the finish line, a medal draped over my neck and into the arms of my hubs. And, yes, you guessed it. I cried again…muffled words of “we did it and I love you’s” into eachother’s shoulders.
I crossed the finish in 6:53. One hour and 23 minutes past my goal time. I guess that was not bad for all the walking that I ended up doing. And not bad for not having the miles on my legs!
It was an awesome moment. One that I will remember forever.
Special Thank You’s
My first very special thank you goes to Jessica, a woman I just recently met on twitter and through blogging, who was kind enough to write a thank you to me today @fourplusanangel. She claimed mile 11. I ran this mile in honor of her late daughter Hadley who was one of triplets. Go Here for Hadley’s story. To reach Mile 11, we had to cross a bridge and when I saw the flags, I could not help but think they looked like angel wings. I snapped a picture and sent to Jess. This was the start of a steep hill into Oakland. It crests just as you are entering into the campus at Pitt and I needed all the help I could get. A song on the iPod came on, and I felt as though I was being swept up the hill. It was the first time I cried on this run. A very emotional moment.
So, to Jessica, I say thank you. Thank you for sharing Hadley for part of my journey.
A few others to thank:
Lisa F-W. Thank you for mile 22. I could hear your words and your mantra over and over- ” I know I can”
Josh & Petra: My favorite speedskaters. You have always been so supportive and I just love you like you were my own kids.
Sandi: My paesan: Thank you for tweeting the whole race! Your supportive words always appeared when I needed to read them most.
Jane: From way down under your words encouraged me to keep going.
Dawn (MK): your texts and tweets-thank you. Telling me you missed my face and to “Go Baby Go!”- you rock.
Sherri, Liz, Poppy, Heather…for all your support and RT’s!! Thank you!!
@ITSMoments & @BooYaDad: Your call to action & encouragement meant so much. Thank you.
@Sarahviz: You will rock your half marathon!!! Thank you for your kindness!
Sue & Tony-Thank you for being “with me” all day…every check point would have a quick response of “keep going!”
Alison & Rich- You always made me laugh! Just when I was feeling down- you would quip with a good one. Thank you!
I am missing sooo many others…so many that tweeted and sent messages on Facebook. It really, truly did help me through and I cannot begin to tell you how much it meant to me that you took time out of your own day to encourage me. Thank you so, so much!
I may put a special page up here just to list everyone.
The final thanks goes to Hubs & kids and the Pittsburgh clan- You have been so supportive from Day 1, cannot thank you enough for everything!! I love you!!