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26.2 before I am 40…why yes, I SURE DID!

Wow…where do I start.  Some of these miles, markers and the like will be skewed as I found myself never really knowing where I was unless Bobbi would tell me or I would see a mile marker…J

The day started off early, with a 4 a.m. wake up, in time to get dressed and ready and settle down to eat my protein bar.  I drank a bottle of water while I waited for Kyla to pick me up, and away we went to our friend’s house to drop us off at the race.  About half way there I realized I forgot my nose spray (allergy), and hoped that would be the only thing that happened ‘wrong.’

We got to our friend’s hotel to pee, warm up, and calm down before hitting the Congress hotel to pick up my sister.  One more pottie stop and we were ready to hit our corral.  Quick smiles and hugs to Kyla as she sought out the 5:20 pace group and we found our 4:40 pace group…
 

We were ready.   We found Melissa and her friend and got a quick photo up.  I was nervous, excited, and stoked that this day had finally arrived.  At 8:17 we finally crossed the starting line, and my Garmin wouldn’t work.  ‘Wrong thing’ number 2.  But we ran on with Bobbi tracking our time, and we settled in as best we could amidst thousands of runners.
 

We saw our family just past the 1 mile mark, and it did my heart wonders, helping me calm down and settle in.  We saw them again a couple miles later, and it was priceless.    

By mile 7 I had to pee, and after waiting nearly 10 minutes for a porta pottie to open we gave up and hit the road…I started to tighten up, but did my best to ignore it and just take in the atmosphere.  The spectators truly made this race and we had a blast reading signs and high fiving everyone.   Oh, and I truly wanted to run in to the Pancake house we saw at this point and scarf down some pancakes…but I didn’t, LOL. 

Mile 10 we finally were able to make a pit stop and I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  We salted, fueled, and kept trucking. 

This is when the chaffing occurred.  Really??  I’ve never had this happen EVER.  So I grabbed some vasoline from an aid station and kept running. ‘Wrong thing’ number 3. 
 

At the half way mark we saw my friend Carolyn and crew, and then my friend Andrea.  How truly amazing it is to see your friends and family cheering you on!  Thank you ALL..

And then things started to hurt…I am not used to running in the cold after this hot summer, but we managed to keep trucking…I was still running at this point so I was happy. 

But at mile 17ish, when we saw Carolyn again I stopped to hug her, maybe a bit too long-and when we took off again my knee gave out…literally.  I winced in pain, and the tears quickly followed.  I was afraid I wouldn’t finish.   But there was my sister, cheering me on and never leaving my side…(Bless her)…I cried for a bit, and then decided shuffling along was better than quitting…another great kiss from my husband telling me how proud he was of me as I ran past because I couldn’t stop got me through the next 8 miles.  Mind you my shuffling was no faster than a speed walk, but I was moving…forward.  Andrea jumped in to run with me for a bit around mile 18 and I couldn’t help but to get choked up.  Somewhere in there we stopped at an aid station for my knee and I was able to get some numbing meds….praise Jesus.  It still hurt, but I could at least move. 

I nearly forgot to enjoy myself…nearly.  But through the pain I realized that I was running in the greatest city in the U.S., supported by the greatest fans I have ever met.  Mile 23 we saw our friend Nora from daily mile, and then it started getting real.  And why on earth are they cooking fried yummy smelling food?  ROFL, I was SOOO hungry at this point and a banana did NOT appeal!  LOL!

Mile 20ish the wall truly hit, and I felt every single step, and every single corner we took.  My phone was about to die so I had to turn off my music.  Ack.  ‘Wrong thing’ number 4.

Mile 25…TWENTY FIVE.  And it hit me…I have farther than I have ever run in my entire life.  I could have quit, but I didn’t.  I could have NOT signed up due to a wonky knee, but I didn’t.  I could have bailed 3 weeks ago after my 20 mile and hurting my knee even more, but I didn’t. 

And as we turned the corner with only a ¼ mile to go we saw our families one last time…and it became surreal.  I was now RUNNING at nearly my normal pace, pain free (or just numb) and nothing was going to stop me…we turned our last corner and I saw the finish line.  Bobbi grabbed my hand, and we ran it in strong with tears pouring down my face.  I could barely contain my sobs as we finished and hearing HER say how proud she was of me made it even more worth it all. 

And so with medals, and beer in hand, I was in sheer bliss. 
 
Wrong things and all, this race was a success in a 5:23 finish.  Not my time goal, but my finish goal is now complete. 
I am in awe of my friends and family…truly. 

Thank you ALL for your amazing support. 

A new name for this blog will follow this week, as I tackle new dreams and keep moving forward. 

Love you all!
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33 thoughts on “26.2 before I am 40…why yes, I SURE DID!

  1. I'm in awe of you…when we saw you at 25+ miles, I commented that I thought you looked so much better than when we had seen you at 20 miles. I'm so proud of you for powering through and finishing strong!

  2. YOU DID IT! 🙂 When I saw you at the aid station right before 18 I could tell your knee was bothering you…but you powered through and you finished and that is all that matters!!! AWESOME JOB!!! Congrats, Marathoner!!!!

  3. Great job, congratulations to you! Wrong things are inevitable in a marathon, especially a first but you seemed to handle them all well!! Congratulations!

  4. Great recap, Michelle…..and I'm so very proud of you. I never had any doubts (I know, easy for ME to say that about YOU!) and regardless of your time goals, you had the time of your life and accomplished something truly magical. Save the time goal for NEXT time! :>)Get out and walk today….you MARATHONER, you! :>)

  5. Congrats! You did awesome with all the curveballs thrown at you. Marathons are always harder than we think and the pain never seems to last in our mind, so you'll be out there agin soon enough chasing down that 4:40 with a HUGE smile on your face.

  6. Congratulations! A finish is a finish and especially a Marathon finish regardless of the circumstances is always a good one no matters what. It was nice seeing you out there. I'm curious to see what the new name of your blog will be 🙂

  7. So proud of you-cannot believe I forgot to post on your blog! 😦 You did it! Years of making this a goal and almost a year of training, planning and all the other stuff and you DID IT! I have told you this more times than I can count but you inspire people, me in this scenario. We have known one another since we were younger, making goals, plans, setting dreams and you have done them! Cannot wait to see what other dreams and goals you suceed at! You have inspired me to run-for health! I am not sure if a race is ever in my future but this past few weeks I have been running a few miles here and there and why? Because you inspire me to do so-it really does give one peace to hear their feet hit the pavement, the rythm of it all and it simply makes me feel alive. I thank you for that, I thank you for over 10 years of friendship-My beautiful and AMAZING best friend. How lucky I am!!! Love you so much girl-there are no words. ❤

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