Saturday, May 19, 2012

26.2


My alarm went off at 5:15 this morning and I started getting ready for the race.  Normally my stomach can only handle half a banana, but today I felt extra hungry and knew the race wasn't for awhile so I ate the entire thing.  I did a little foam rolling, taped my knees, drank a glass of Gatorade with some ibuprofen, and practically forced my dad to take a picture before we headed to the race.


Normally I'm one for taking lots of pictures, but the cold wind coupled with my nerves kept me bottled up in order to spare everyone of some kind of explosion.  The start line was crowded, we sang the national anthem, they blew a horn, and off we went.  For the most part, the course ran along the Boise river greenbelt and had some pretty beautiful views.  I was soaking in the atmosphere and feeling great about finally getting to this point.

The first 13 miles were a breeze.  I remember thinking to myself I could totally do a half marathon and push myself to get a decent time.  But I was not naive to the fact that we were still just beginning the race at that point.  We knew Dan would be bringing the boys to the race but we weren't sure at what point we would see them.  As we came around the corner it was a nice surprise to see them just after the half marathoners broke off for their finish line.  We quickly ran past and that's when I remember things starting to get hard.

Around mile 15 my dad jokingly told one of the spectators he would pay them to drive us to the finish line, he replied with a loud, "get out of your own head and finish this race".  A few miles later we were caught walking by Dan and the boys along with Andrea and Helen.  It was nice to hold Jace while Camden and Helen walked with us until we started running again. After passing them I turned around and Jace was running after us crying for me to come back.  We started noticing several people running back toward us and thought for sure the turn around point was near, but it felt like an eternity until we hit it.   I'm pretty sure miles 16-20 were the hardest for me, that is when my legs started feeling like led, and my emotions were at the surface.  We pushed forward.  I took out one headphone so I could listen to what people were saying.  Everyone was so nice!  As runners passed, they said encouraging things.  At first I thought it was out of pity until I started doing it myself.  We were all in this together, not trying to beat each other, just seriously hoping to finish.

The volunteers and spectators we so great.  Clapping, smiling and cheering for everyone.  I tried  hard to thank them and smile back.  There were several runners wearing "Leukemia & Lymphoma Team in Training" shirts and had coaches running with them.  At one water station all the volunteers had those same shirts and one man held up a sign that said, "I'm alive because you run".

One marathon runner was doubled over in pain, whaling out while trying to rub his cramping muscles.  I remembered being miserable during one of my training runs and said a little prayer of gratitude for the way my body was holding up.  My dad had some hip pain and calf cramping that bothered him and I felt pretty helpless.  There were times I thought he was gonna fall over because the cramping comes on so quickly and severely but he pulled through.  When we were both feeling ready to be done he said, "you know this is your fault" but I quickly responded with, "actually I think it's your fault because I would have never kept going if you didn't train with me" and I was dead serious!


We made it to mile 26 and the last .2 miles were longer than we expected.  We rounded the corner and saw the finish line!


We made it across the finish pad in 5:20 and were greeted by Dan, Camden and Jace, Julie, Andrea and Helen.  It was so fun to see them at the finish line and extremely nice of them to spend their Saturday in the heat for us.


Trying to put my marathon experience into words is actually harder than I thought.  I'm convinced anyone can run a marathon.  It's not a matter of if you can, but if you will.


This marathon was never about winning to me, it was about pushing myself past limits I never knew possible.  It was about doing hard things.  When I started training I couldn't run to the end of my street without stopping, now I am a marathon runner!  I did it, and it feels good!

7 comments:

Tracy said...

Lissa,
You. Are. Amazing.

Tawnya said...

So AWESOME!!! You are a goddess!

{amy k.} said...

just reading this gets me teary eyed imagining the energy and excitement that must have been present! you are amazing and so inspiring! i've never had the desire to run a marathon... but it's definitely something i admire when people do. maybe one of these days i'll have to give it a go!

5th Place Decor said...

So Dang Proud of You!!! Your amazing!

Kaylie said...

Congrats! What an accomplishment. I agree that you are amazing!

DontYouWishYouWereUS said...

You did it!!! I am so proud of you! You are amazing plus you look amazing. I cried a little while I read this. Great Job!

budnkris said...

We are PROUD and AMAZED! You are an example to us all! Congratulations! -Bud and Kris