Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hitting the wall and holding hands. We completed a marathon!

If you had asked me 5 months ago if I could see myself finishing a marathon, my answer would have been a loud and firm, "NO!". Yet here I am, a marathon finisher!!! And so is my husband Rick!!!Here we are with our medals. I've never been one to get very excited over trophies or medals but this medal is different. To me, it stands as a symbol of the amazing journey that I took to achieve my goal. All through training, Danna had displayed her previous marathon medal in a prominent place in her home. She had it in a shadow box and also included other racing memorabilia with it. I found it really motivating to look at it at 6 in the morning before we would go out for a run. I had no idea how motivating it would be to me during the marathon itself. When I got to mile 18, I hit "the wall". My sweet husband held my hand and walked with me for over a mile and a half as I struggled through it. One of the thoughts that kept me going was, "I have worked too hard for the medal at the finish line to go home without it." I had even bought a shadow box of my own to display my medal in before the marathon and I was determined not to go home without it. My sister Cindy took this picture of us when I was at the wall. Don't be deceived by the smile on my face.
Some other thoughts about the marathon. The first 13 miles were great! It was beautiful to see the fall colors as we ran down Black Fork Canyon just outside of Logan, UT. It was exciting to watch a wave of runners stream down the road. Every port-o-potty had its own name and there was a large line of them and a lot of people waiting to use them right after busing up the canyon. At mile 14, we started to feel tired but were rejuventated when we saw my sweet sister Cindy there to cheer us on and that we didn't have to run up a really big hill. At mile 16 we stopped for a bathroom break because only one person was in line. Bad idea. Had to wait 7 minutes. Both of our bodies stiffened up and running was extremely painful from mile 16 to mile 18. At 18 1/2, I requested that Rick and I walk until I felt "better." Another bad idea. I stiffened up and felt every cell in my legs tingling with pain. I hunched over and stopped on occasion. I just wanted to lay on the ground and have the pain stop. No wonder it is called "the wall". It felt like I couldn't take another step. I told Rick I was going to sit down. He thought I might not get up but I did after about 25 seconds and felt a little better. I asked Rick if he had some ibuprofen (he did) and I took some as well as a chocolate gu. I started feeling better. We decided to run 1 minute and walk 3 minutes. We did it. We ran 1 1/2 minutes and walked 2 1/2 minutes. We could do that too. We were able to finish the last six miles of the race in this manner.

Our cheering squad consisted of Cindy who leap frogged along the course to cheer us on at different milages, critical to me being able to make it through the wall, Rick's dad who offered us some water at mile 20, our daughters and Rick's mom and sister just before mile 25. Seeing my daughters jumping up and down cheering for us brought tears to my eyes and was really motivating. They also leap frogged and met us again about a mile down the course. At almost mile 26, I heard someone yelling my name. I was confused because I had passed all my cheerleaders. It was sneaky Danna, Kristin, and Kristin's sister Mickelle. They were cheering so loud for us!!! That made me cry, too. We rounded the corner and saw the finish line. People were screaming and cheering. We started to sprint about 50 yards from the end (I was pretty sure I couldn't sprint for longer than that). The announcer called out our names, "Rick and Suzy!!!!!!" We crossed the finish line, arms raised holding hands! I teared up again. Some nice lady put a medal around my neck and yes I cried again and it was over. Wow! One of the best experiences of my life!


Feliza said...

Way to go Suzy and Rick! Your post made me cry too! Way to stick together and not give up! You're an inspiration to us all.

Becky T said...

Wow, Suzy! I really enjoyed reading this. Things like this are so incredibly inspiring to me and make me feel like I could at least get off my couch and train for a 5k, for pete's sake! Way to go, I can imagine you are so incredibly proud of yourself and I can see why it would be one of the best experiences of your life. Thanks for sending the link!

Oh, and ps...I don't know Kristin personally but I know her sister Karin very well. We lived in Iowa at the same time and were great friends there, so it took me a minute of reading the blog to put the two together. Such a small world, huh?!!