Monday, November 28, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I don't know what I'm going to write here because I can't figure out how to even come close to describing the marathon experience. It was the for SURE the hardest thing I've ever done. And it was BY CHOICE!! What was I thinking?! Anyway, I'll tell you a few things about it, but I won't do it justice.
Alex, Morgan, and Iver were awesome enough to come up to join our support team. We drove up with them, met up with Brian and fam, drove to Santa Barbara, picked up our racing bibs, went out to eat and then Bri and I were dropped off at a hotel. The awesome ladies I run with were able to fit us into one of their rooms so we could attempt a good nights sleep with no kids. Attempt FAILED. We were so jittery and anxious; 4:30am couldn't come fast enough. The women in the group have run a million marathons (this was one ladie's 44th!) and they know that it's best to get an early start and not be rushed.
Finally, it was 7:15, and after MANY trips to the port-a-potty, Shane, Kiristi, Alex, Navy, and Audio made it just in time to cheer for us as we crossed the starting line!
My nerves got to me. I didn't feel great even for the first few miles. So, right then and there I had to get focused and realize it wasn't going to be smooth sailing. I got in the zone and didn't mess around. Brian, on the other hand, was completely stoked and joking around the whole time I was with him. It was great to have him run with me, to keep my spirits up. He was so nice and patient and helpful to me. I like to think it was good for him to run with me so I could keep him from going too fast and burning out too soon J.
Our support team was amazing. I seriously can't say enough about how much I needed them. They were there at several spots along the course, cheering loudly and smiling and excited. It was such a boost to see Kirsti's smiling face, Shane's funny signs and excited smile, the kids' cute "Go Dad Go" shirts, Morgan calmly holding Iver, and Alex eager to see what we needed.
A few mid race notes: I didn’t listen to music-it just kind of made me irritated; I almost puked when I took my first gel (luckily, there was a guy on the side of the road who let me steal his bottle of water, which saved me in that moment); the course was pretty (didn’t really notice), and a little hilly (really DID notice); everyone was really nice to me: family, friends, and spectators.
When we hit mile 17, Brian started to pick up his pace, and Alex ran with me. I could barely talk at that point and I desperately needed to get my mind off the insanity of what I was doing. I asked Alex to tell me stories and that's exactly what he did until mile 21. It was exactly what I needed and he was awesome, even though he had an injured foot, bad knees, and an aching back. What a trooper. Shane took his place at mile 21 and started in on the stories. He got me through the dreaded half-mile steep hill at mile 24. Yeah, how CRUEL is that?! But it didn't really matter. Hill or no hill I was in pain and just had to will my body to keep moving forward.
It was exactly what you call an "out of body experience." It was like my body was diconnected from my brain. It was totally crazy. Shane really got me through those last miles. Really. He kept the one-sided conversation going with a cheery disposition. Then he took off before we got to the home stretch so he could sprint and catch me coming across the finish line. When they told me I only had .2 miles left, I thought, "POINT 2 MILES?!? I don't know if I can make it!!" And I was serious. Somehow, I had a little kick right before the finish line...don't how that happened. But holy cow was I relieved to cross that line (4:01). RELIEVED. And dead.
I was so happy it was over and so happy to see everyone while standing still. Brian had come in 4 minutes before me and all the other ladies were waiting to hug me. My support team was there taking pictures and smiling big for me. I had finished my first marathon and it felt GOOD. It made me happy to think about my parents, being proud of their kids for carrying on the marathon legacy. It's a rite of passage for an Osborne to run a marathon:)
Will I run another you ask? If you had asked me during or right after the answer would be HECK NO. But now that it’s been 5 days, the answer is for sure. I even think I’m nuts for saying that.
HUGE THANK YOU to:
My family support group. You guys were amazing and you made the experience so much better and more fulfilling for me.
My running women! You ladies are seriously inspiring and got me ready for that race no problem. You were so encouraging, warm, and friendly. You took me right in, no questions asked. I’m lucky to know each one of you!
Brian! My bro. My broham. My broski. Thanks for talking me into doing this crazy thing. I had a blast talking the talk with you, doing those long training runs, and running the race with you. You’re a stud muffin. Literally.