Well, today is the day, I turn 30 at 12:12 pm (right mom?). I have been trying to write an entry about the Yakima Marathon and I feel like it will be inadequate, almost like I let myself and my cheering squad down. I started in Ellensburg and moved my 200lb frame to Yakima with my own two feet – so I did finish, just not like I had imagined.
Here is the story; I started out great, a little overdressed, but it was in the 30’s and windy in Ellensburg. I started with the Y-run group, Eric, Steve, Marco and Abi moved to the front of the back and at the back of the pack was Michelle B, Michelle S and Sydnee (it was her first marathon also, but being young and in shape I knew she would be fine). I guess I started my Garmin in the wrong program – my running .5mi, walking 1min. was off – not a good way to start. I fixed it at the first walk break and got my head into the run. All of the fast runners quickly moved ahead and this was hard, I could see everyone in front of me, moving further away, which was a very deflating feeling. I turned on the music at mile one and settled in for the day, the ‘back of the pack’ group moved ahead and I was glad to see them moving. After entering the canyon around mile 7 my left hamstring was starting to tighten a little, and I could feel what I thought might be a blister forming on my right arch. The canyon road was very twisty and turning (and beautiful), but I think it was taking a toll early on (I did all of my training on a ‘flat’ asphalt trail, this road was banked – like the kind that a fast convertible would love to drive). I was always encouraged when I got to an aid station – I did find that I somehow did not get all of my snacks from my drop bag into my backpack (guess that was part of my morning jitters) – so I started rationing snacks by mile 7. I was looking forward to the mid-point so that I could change my socks and get some more Aleve in me. Being out there for 6 hours is a long time, I was thinking a lot as I did my run/walk intervals – how great it would be to sit in a drift boat with my husband and our dog and do a full day of fishing – how it would be much quicker to ride a bike through this canyon - how I should start more lavender in the back yard to make soap – how crazy I was for trying to run for 26 miles – you know the usual stuff you think about when you are alone in a canyon running for 6+ hours. I made it to mile 13.5 or so and changed my socks, sat down for a minute and hit the wall (I thought about the people who were probably finishing right now – big mistake) – but, I made it to the half-way point in 3hrs- my goal. I checked out my massive blister, put my fresh socks on and kept moving. I took more walk breaks than scheduled through the second half, longer stops at the water stops, and more thinking about how crazy I was for thinking I could do this. Along the route I was able to talk to my friend Elinor on speaker phone and she gave me a surge of energy, she and her husband were going to come over to see me finish. I also talked to my husband and he got me moving again.
I ran into some hills in the last half (why didn’t I train on more hills?) and I ran out of energy and rice crispy treats. I started walking fast and drinking lots of water. This lovely lady and I kept leapfrogging each other, she would keep me moving if I was walking a lot. She must have been in her 60’s and she was speed walking the course – which doesn’t help my mojo when the walker and I are keeping pace, but were both out here doing it right! She used to live in Yakima and always wanted to walk this canyon, now that she lives in Issaquah she thought now would be a great time to do it. Anyway, she was about the only constant person I saw in the lonely canyon. I was really dragging and got emotional about mile 21 when I knew I would finish. I reached the top of the ‘hill’ above the dam and said to myself, get moving people don’t want to wait for you all day at the finish. So I picked myself up and got some more running in before the finish on the downhill portions.
I rounded the bend with about .3 miles to go and sitting on the side of the road were the ‘back of the pack’ runners that I started out with. Thankfully I had my sunglasses on and could shed a few tears without everyone seeing them. I ran into the finish area with Michelle and she peeled off as I ran through the finish. I heard the loudspeaker announcing me coming through and I had to correct him that it was my first marathon. After I crossed the line I was in a daze. My hands were swollen twice their normal size, I couldn’t get my shoes off fast enough (I couldn’t even bend down to reach them) and there were so many people there that I knew out of the few people that were left. Michelle handed me an S-cap to get my salt back (and yes I swallowed the most enormous pill ever), Steve was getting me pretzels, Eric handed me part of a banana. My husband gave me a hug, his parents made it over with their dog, some flowers and a sunshine garden art to remember my day. My friend Elinor and her husband drove their shinny new car over and I saw the nice lady that I was leapfrogging and we hugging in congratulations. I was tired, sore, hot, sweaty, overwhelmed and amazed at myself. I just ran from Ellensburg to Yakima – that is even a long drive in the car!
I showered at the local school and Elinor, Jack, Brian and I headed up to Ellensburg for some great burgers and fries at ‘the Tav’ a college bar/pub that had huge burgers and fries – I was really, really hungry.
Overall I was sore, tight and tired for the next few days, stairs were the hardest. But overall I did it, I had a medal, I finished my first marathon!
In writing this I have come to realize that I did do it, even if I had to slow down, I moved myself, with my own two feet from 8am to 2:30pm from Ellensburg to Yakima over 26.2 miles of beautiful canyon country. It was not my best run, but that leaves plenty of room for improvement. It leaves me with the do’s and don’ts for next time. It leaves me with the idea of ‘when will the next one be’. It leaves me with the sense of accomplishing the goal of completing a marathon in the body that I have, not the body that I want to have. It leaves me with the love and support of all of my friends and family, without them I would not have made it through that Canyon (or through all of my training runs)!
Now on to the fun stuff; Michelle tagged me
Here are the rules:
1) Write your own six word memoir
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links
5) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!
Here are some words that I wanted to use;
Live, laugh, goals, best, planner, projects, imagination, athlete, adventurer, explorer, color, growth, emergence, learner, teacher, smile, friend, family, wife, builder, baker.
Here is my six word memoir:
“Determined to succeed at my goals”
Here is to running slow and steady and smiling at the finish line!
P.S. I don’t know when the next marathon will be, guess I better get to planning!