The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer
What an amazing race! It was an honor to run and be a part of the 3rd annual 26.2 with Donna.
When I thought to run this marathon it was for a few reasons: location and ease, for my Mammer, a breast cancer survivor, and mostly to prove to myself that I could. Just because.
Part of choosing to be a stay-at-home-mom means giving up a tiny bit of what you are. Losing a little bit of what you love, even if just for a few years. The years fly by in one fell swoop but at the end I'm certain you stand around wondering who the hell you are. You don't start out that way, though. When the baby is born you think you'll do it all and, before you know it, you're on the list...just in last place. When it came to me and running organized races, we were just last on the list.
When I found out I was pregnant for the third time I decided I was done with the excuses (Oh, I can't, I'm growing a baby; Maybe next year; *yawns* I'm tired; I was up late with one or the other...or both). So it was, on a chilly morning I walked my 19 weeks pregnant butt the 1.6 miles from the parking lot to the Mayo Clinic -the starting lin
e for a 26.2 mile run. I had on my cool shirt,
and didn't expect much from my body. I was up at 2:45am rocking a two-year-molar-teething Eli for 45 minutes, was sick and flat out exhausted from the months prior. Because of the circumstances, I wasn't able to train like I would have for a race. The long run didn't happen and I knew my muscles weren't up to exact racing par. I did what I could with what I had; I didn't have much to lose!
The gun went off and I had lined myself up with the 5:15 pace group. My first song was Warning by Incubus and, as I was coming up over the Inter Coastal waterway on JTB U2's Beautiful Day came on. What a sight: the sunrise and a sea of pink running over this bridge. Truly amazing. The next miles were through neighborhoods along the beach and then a 2 mile stretch of packed sand on the beach. It was tough, but not as incredibly painful as I thought it would be. I haven't exactly been pushing BOB on the beach. After that were more gorgeous
homes along the beach communities and I even found a super awesome park! Now, if only I can remember the name... The entire time I had been actually running with the 4:15 pace group but around mile 15 it happened: the wall. My legs started to feel the wrath of poor distance training. Also, because I was stopping at every water and Active Water station I had to stop at every porta-potty. Around the 15 mile mark I noticed I started to spot. I had spotted once during the 1/2 marathon and was fine afterwards so I decided to go on. I knew I was hydrated so I was fine with the decision.
Every porta-potty stop after mile 15 I was still spotting, but it was ver
y light not the bright red "call 911" kind of thing. I finally walked around mile 17. Actually I "let" myself run/walk until mile 20 and then started running again. If it could be called that. Still spotting when I arrived to mile 25 I noticed it was a bit heavier. Here's where I've got to be honest: I found a medic and got carted back to the finish line. Yes, with one mile (albiet an entire span of what looked to be an insurmountable bridge) left to go in the marathon. Under normal circumstances I'd follow my own running creed: puke or pass out. I did, however, listen to my body. I hate that I didn't physically run across the line but my chip registered and I finished, damnit! I just didn't want to make the, potentially, worst mistake of my life by ignoring that sign. I took my medal, any way and limped to the Family Reunite area. Just like all the other runners. I even walked the 1.6 back to the parking lot so, technically, according to Katie Ogden, I did finish.
It's fitting that this year's race poster is "A Labor of Love." It took a lot for me to get to the race. I have been beat down and tired from the last two months (hell, year), I was running on zero sleep and I'm emotionally drained from playing mommy and daddy to two super awesome toddlers. But, I did it. I followed through and remembered that I'm important too. I went out of my way to make sure I was able to run this race. I think part of remembering to balance is knowing that it's ok to leave your kids for a few hours to get out for whatever it is that makes you feel accomplished: whether it's exercising or just getting a shower and making yourself look pretty.
Thanks, Katie and Mom! There is no way I would have left my babies with anyone else.
Oh! And I forgot to mention I met a cool marathon mom. She runs the Marathon Mom Shop and is supposed to be starting a blog soon. She even found me on the course to see how I was doing.