and had a BLAST!!!
i trained. then i got pregnant. then i had the little cowpoke. then i ran sometimes. then, a year later i started training again. then i pushed a baby in a jogging stroller through the snow. sometimes 6-8 inches of it. then i thought that i must be getting an extra good workout for all the extra effort i had to put in. then the snow melted. but it snowed again. and again. and again. and spring never came. then we finally got a membership to the Y and spring pretended to come. then i realized that my times for my long runs weren't slow. then i got excited. then i got an overuse injury in my knee. then, finally, it was race day!
hooray for race day!
race day is one of the best days in green bay, wi. (maybe 2nd to the day we won the superbowl. maybe. j/k!)
our church is one of the many wonderful groups who come out to show support to all the runners who are crazy enough to try this. now, i've always considered myself a runner - HOWEVER - i never really considered the possibility of running a marathon. i mean, why do it? after volunteering at the marathon for so long, the itch needed to be scratched. i wondered if i could. i wondered how i'd have time to train, especially now with a kid. ESPECIALLY one who is so darn cute i want to spend all my spare time looking at him. and taking his picture. i mean, come on...
anyway, back to race day!
once i was out there, year after year, i needed to know if i could do it. when all the insecurities came rolling in after i decided to run, i knew i HAD TO if for no other reason than to put those insecurities to rest.
so, i trained. and it was a pain. my life became training for this thing. i felt like i was letting down my husband, my son, our family. i didn't want to travel on the weekends because i didn't want to miss the long runs hosted by prevea (such a blessing). i wasn't taking many pictures because i didn't have time! i almost felt like i was getting lost in the training.
but, then, all of a sudden - RACE DAY!
ok, one more tangent before i actually get to race day. my biggest fear was not failing to finish. my biggest fear (read: insecurity) was looking like a fool. you know, all rosy cheeked, sweaty, and exhausted. we really know a lot of people that help at this thing. usually around 500 people from our church volunteer. that is a lot of people to potentially have recognize you in your foolish ickyness. (don't worry. i am not so arrogant that i actually think that 500 slc'ers would recognize me. i'm just saying!) of course, i didn't want to fail, but especially did not want to look silly while failing!
ok... RACE DAY!
Amazingly enough, as we pull off the highway on our way to Lambeau Field (the starting point of the marathon) my mom, kristen, and ky pulled off right behind us even though they came from appleton and we came from the east side of GB. We got to park together and I got to see them before the run. I got hugged and kissed and headed to the starting line. There were so many people. Over 11,000 people competed in the 2 days of events. Most people were in the full and half marathons. Having never done this before, I didn't know what to do. So, I hopped a fence and got in line. I felt like I should find my pacer but there were so many people and only like 2 minutes to the gunshot and I still needed to stretch.
This is the reason I felt like I was passing people the whole time. This is the main reason I have for why my time was ultimately so slow. That and the 45 mile per hour winds we were running into. I think God put me in that place because He knew that I needed to go slow in order to enjoy it.
And, enjoy it I did. Every mile marker was a little chance to celebrate for me. Every corner I turned was another possibility of seeing friendly supportive faces. There were 3 groups that I was looking for: my family, my core 4, and anyone else from church. My family and my core 4 showed up at awesome places. It's like they knew when I needed them. They were right there when I needed to take off my jacket. They were right there when I needed a bite of banana. They were right there when I needed to laugh. I danced my way up Spirit Hill. I got pushed over a step and then stopped dead in my tracks by the wind a few times on the Fox river Trail. I danced through the wall party. I smiled the whole way across the bridge. I teared up as I touched the Tundra at Lambeau Field. And I only cramped up once!
That's not to say it wasn't hard. It was hard. My knees hurt. I stopped to stretch out at a few water stations. But so much of this run was so enjoyable. It really seemed to go by so quickly.
I just kept reminding myself, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Over and over.
And, then... I was there. Coming around the last corner...
Waiting for me at the finish line was a very proud husband, amazing family, and ridiculous friends.
|These amazing girls gave me 26.2 pieces of red vine, dove chocolate, laffy taffy's and water bottles. They love me!|
Don't forget this little stud muffin...
And then I got to stretch (which I didn't do enough of based on how stiff my legs were the next day).
I see now why people get 26.2 tattooed on themselves after they do this. (and I really hate tattoos)
So, the main things I learned through this experience are:
1. My husband is the greatest, most supportive man. Ever. (I knew this already, but it was reconfirmed this day)
2. We live in Green Bay because I need that Core 4.
3. Labor was MUCH harder than running a full marathon. Much harder.
4. Green Bay is the home of the greatest fans in the world. And, not just for Superbowl champs. :)