Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Moon Pies... 10 Miles... I Survived... Barely

So last Saturday was the big 10 mile run. 

I pretty much prepared in the most horrible way ever.  Wednesday I ran too fast, faster than I can go and Thursday and Friday my legs were mad about it.  Friday night I helped put together a friend's 30th birthday party.  We played night golf.  I got in bed at 1 am after eating crap.  Not smart decisions!

Foot tag thingy - kind of cool we got to keep them
Saturday morning I was up at 5, getting ready to go do this thing.  My friend picked me up at 5:30 and off we went.  We got there, got our stuff and headed to the start line.  My friend, Melissa, had signed up, but with wedding planning and such going on, she decided she would just do a few miles, then turn back.  I'm so glad she did!  She did the first 3 miles with me, and honestly the went by so fast.  I'm so used to running with a partner, and  I really enjoyed getting to run with her.  At mile 3 she turned back.  3-4 wasn't bad, lots of downhill, probably my fastest mile of the race.  However, I was still toward the back of the pack (but not the end!!), and the ambulance was right behind me, for a long time.  At first, it was a little reassuring, then it got just a touch annoying, then it was humorous, a couple of us were asking each other if the paramedics knew something we didn't know.  Finally I pulled out in front of the ambulance enough I didn't have to hear the roar of the engine. 

Once I started running by myself, I began praying.  I had thought about it earlier in the week, and decided that was how I was going to keep my mind occupied and not thinking I was going to die.  So, mile 3 was spent thanking God for my Mama, who is always a super encourager, and has been so supportive of my running, my sister, Clair, who will listen to my aches and pains on the phone and who is always honest with me, and my sister, Susan, who awed me two summers ago with her willingness to get out of bed early all summer and go meet folks for cross country practice.  I was just so impressed with her committment to stick with it, even on the days she hated it. 

Then came mile 4 and the hill, holy smokes, that hill.  It was long.  I knew it was going to be tough, so this mile I thanked God for my daddy who pushes all the time.  He pushes himself and his daughters.  Recently I saw him, and he asked if I had run, I said no, he said, well there's plenty of daylight left.  So, what did I do, ran that night in the dark.  So, mile 4 I had him in my head telling me not to stop and to get up that hill, to expect nothing less than the best from myself.  I finally made it, and there at the top, were these little angel children saying cold water, and they handed me a little dixie cup full and it was amazing! 

At this point, I'm still doing ok, and I'm almost half way.  At mile 5, I thanked God for my friend Thomas.  When I first started running last summer, he received lots of texts... "I made it 4 miles", "I made it 5 miles", "I think I'm going to die from shin splints".  He was always encouraging, taught me about the wonders of ice, and he'll listen to about anything I say (whining, excited, discouraged, happy).  I prayed for our friendship, his future, and our neverending world of football.

I wish I could turn my pictures the right way.

Mile 6, about 6.5, the bursitis flared up, my hip was hurting, and it was getting hot!  These last miles I thought about my running friends, first Kathleen, she's the one who initially made me realize people ran for sport.  Honestly, I didn't really grow up knowing people who ran, some walked, but very few ran.  Most of my friends and I only ran when a coach was blowing a whistle.  But Kathleen would leave our study groups in college to "go run"  When I would ask later how far, it would be rediculous answers like "8 miles"  Who does that??  Now I do :-)  So I thanked God for Kathleen and prayed for her to stay injury free and for her new marriage of almost a year, and for blessings in her life.

Mile 7  I realized Melissa should be getting back to the start.  Melissa just started running a few years ago.  First she and her mom walked a half marathon, and then Melissa decided she was going to start running and she did.  I'm one of those people who wants to think about things, mainly as an excuse for not doing them, and I took that approach with running.  I thought about it, how do you become a runner, blah blah blah.  But then Melissa started doing it, and started running longer and longer distances.  I was so proud of her.  She went from a non-runner to a runner.  If she could do it, I could do it too.  So I thanked God for Melissa, for putting her in my life in grad school.  I prayed for her upcoming marriage and all the stresses that go along with wedding planning.

Mile 8 Um, I'm tired.  The Bell Buckle policeman says there is shade and water ahead, please bring it on.  I'm back and forth with these 3 girls in front of me.  I think about how I started running, just over a year ago.  And I think about Emily.  Without Emily, I'd still be sleeping late every morning, I would laugh at the thought of 10 miles, and I'd be a couch potato.  Emily and started working out together a couple years ago.  I knew she ran too, but I had no interest in running.  I did a little on the treadmill when our workout called for it, but that's about it.  She told me a running group was starting in town and that I should join.  I kind of him hawed, she stayed on me.  Finally, I joined.  It was kind of expensive, but I think that turned out to be a good thing, because after paying that money, I definitely wanted to get something out of the investment.  So, every Monday, I left work early and hauled myself back to town.  The first week was one mile.  When I got back I couldn't breathe, it was tough.  Emily encouraged me, helped me with my training runs, and let me join she and her regular running buddy for their runs.  Somehow in all this, I fell in love with running.  It was a challenge and it felt like such an accomplishment when it was over.  So I thanked God for Emily.  I prayed for success in her workout and eating goals.  I prayed for blessings in her life.

Mile 9  A little truck drove by.  It was about 40 feet in front of me when I thought to myself, you idiot, if you had jumped in the back, he would have taken you to the end :-)  But on I drudged.  At this point, I thought about Erin, my running buddy.  She's amazing.  She's run a marathon in every state, plus some.  She has running goals and sticks to them.  I need accountability in a bad way.  I need someone meeting me to run.  I don't love running by myself.  So she comes to my house most mornings and off we go, sometimes by ourselves, sometimes with a crew of 6-7.  Then we eat most days at a hole in the wall place.  It. Is. Awesome!!!  Erin pushes me, keeps me moving, and has taught me a ton about running.  I thanked God for bringing her into my life.  I prayed for her to meet her goals, to stay strong, and for blessings in her  life.

Mile 10 Almost the end, and a hill, seriously, a hill on the last mile, what kind of cruel people laid out this course???  But this is it!!!  I keep running, back and forth with some people, starting into town, starting to see people, and I see Erin.  She has finished and is coming back to run me to the end.  And she does, and we get to pass Jane and Jason who are cheering me on, and then I can hear Kathleen, Mickey and Melissa cheering, and then Brandi and Chris (yeah, pretty much everyone had finished and had their breakfast by the time I got done).  It was so great to see and hear everyone. The announcer guy called out my name and I crossed the line, woo-hoo!!

Erin and I almost to the end - PS Brandi I completely stole this picture off facebook, since I'm a picture failure!
I spare you the details of how I almost passed out at the end, and black spots were everywhere and all that.  Let's just say I still have some to learn about fueling before and during a race and not partying late the night before.  But overall, glad I did it, and thankful I finished.  I still want to do a half and plans are in the works for a combo girls trip/half this fall.  I'm looking forward to it already!

When I got home and saw my phone I had several texts wishing me will and saying prayers for me that morning.  I'm so thankful for those folks and those prayers, they were much needed!


Jane said...

Oh my, I LOVE how you prayed through this race! That is such a wonderful idea and it seemed to work! Congrats on a great finish. That is one of the toughest races we do each year. It took quite a bit of arm twisting by Mom and Jason to get me to do it the first time, and I had many of the same thoughts as you describe here. :)

Melissa said...

This is soooooo sweet, AC! And I'm sooooo proud of you for setting a goal of running this race and doing it so well! And, don't worry...we'll have you loving the GUs before the next race...and you will never almost pass out again!

Brandi said...

I've been waiting all week for this post! So proud of you! I just loved the part about your dad. I can just hear him. I also noticed that you didn't pray for me. At least you weren't cursing me! ;-) It still it my favorite race. :-p

Amy Lavender said...

WOOHOO! Congratulations on your first 10 miler! Glad you were able to finish strong despite the hill at the end (it always makes me mad when they do that). You look like you're having fun in that picture (at least I think that's a smile!).

Anna Catherine said...

Thanks so much everyone. All of you had a part in encouraging me and I can't thank you enough!!