Well, it’s that time for a recap on the race that ends our 2011 goal – you know until we added New Years Double to the schedule! 🙂
There are quite a few people to mention in this post and instead of interrupting every sentence with an explanation of who they are we thought a reference chart of names might be the best way to go. Voila –
Our race day starts out with Beth, Teal and Mary Alice running late to meet Bitner because Beth couldn’t find her arm band for her iPhone. 🙂 We encounter no traffic really getting to Fair Park because we know the back roads to the fair grounds from many a trips to the fair and to see musicals at the fair’s theater. Pretty much we end up only having time to walk to the fair grounds, go the bathroom and go line up in our corrals. It’s in our corral that we see Lisa a.k.a. @blossum15! So fun seeing you and meeting you! From here we’ll let you into each of our heads –
Teal: I am not 100% sure how to write a recap for this race because I still am not 100% sure I know how I feel about it and that says a lot considering I am basically a counselor and I know far too much about identifying feelings. Here is my range – maybe you can help me sort it out: Angry, sad, happy, excited, celebratory, pissed, irritated, jipped, annoyed, relieved, exhausted, irritated, accomplished, like a weenie, like a badass. I’m sure there is more but you get the idea. I figured I would just give you a recap of the entire race to start with just to let you know I felt all of these ways.
Beth: Miles 1-6, don’t have tons to say here because I was familiar with this route from running the half last year. I wasn’t soaking at this point and felt good running. In mile 4 I saw a lady holding a sign that said “You are a Marathoner” and that was when the tears made their first attempt to show themselves. I knew I still had a lot of miles to cover but I was on my way to being a marathoner!
Teal: Miles 1-6, I felt awesome. The rain was bad but not too bad, I was cold but not too cold and my feet were still relatively dry and we were both hanging with the 4:15 pacer, which I know now was WAY too fast for at least me. About the end of 6 maybe sooner my feet were officially crazy soaked from running through puddles. The theory of “you are already wet, it doesn’t matter” is bogus. It does matter, it adds so much more weight when you step in a pile than from just running. My feet were starting to get heavy.
Beth: Miles 7-12, I still don’t have tons to say here either. The words of Alex a.k.a. @aeross played in my head somewhere in here “remember to smile,” and Alex, I gave it my best! There was a point where I almost twisted my ankle from smiling and not paying attention to the ground. Ha. A chunk of this section is still familiar to us from our half last year and what’s not familiar is still off from White Rock Lake. At mile 9 the Marathoners and Half Marathoners turn off from each other and that was the second time in the course that tears tried to come. “I am doing this I am really doing this!” was what was running through my head. If I’m remembering correctly it was somewhere shortly after that turn that we saw our first set of familiar faces, Ted & Kimberly! I remember thinking in mile 11 that there was a water station coming up and we’d see another familiar face – Michelle also known as @UltraDrum, and when we did see her I pointed at her and yelled “UltraDrum!!” then I see @runmassagerun next to her and yell “Eriiin!!”
Teal: Miles 7-12, Not bad still in terms of running. I took off my gloves somewhere within this stretch. BIG MISTAKE, big huge mistake. Even though they were wet I should have never taken them off. It was about this time that I noticed my neck and face were numb. The neck part was a little scary and I started running thoughts in my head about if I was too cold or not. I ate like 5 Swedish fish right after 6 and I wanted to eat again at 12 but my right arm was not working. I am internally freaking out at this point. My right arm is completely numb and my right hand is turning all shades of random colors and slightly swollen. I tell Beth I am freezing at this point.
Beth: Mile 13, This mile starts out fine – I’m still cruising along. I start to worry about Teal some at this point because I kept looking over at her and she’d never look back at me. But I kept thinking, “Familiar faces are coming! Familiar faces!” Then I see one I wasn’t expecting! I hear “Beth Lynch!” and see a friend from college, I wave at Reid and keep trucking along!
Teal: Mile 13, The bad miles begin—I am so freaked out about my neck, face, and now arm that I fall back from Beth and pull to the side to take my damn arm sleeve off. It’s soaking wet and from the way my arm feels, I think its cutting off circulation. It was so hard to get off. I tried to hold my straw and I couldn’t – I dropped it and Beth told me I did. I knew I did but I couldn’t hold it. It is from here that I never see Beth again.
Beth: Miles 13 – 16, all of mile 13 I am paying attention to the spectators trying to find Kate, Brent & Michael! Thank God I got a purple poncho for my sister to wear out there because that’s how I spotted them! Right before I see them is where I lost Teal. We got separated at a water stop a little but caught up to each other. Then I turn around just as I see her stop to mess with her fuel. I didn’t know if I was making the right decision to keep going or if I should have stopped with her, but I kept going.
Teal: Miles 13-16: I see our cheer squad!! Finally, a non-running human I know. I think I was still basically out of it and internally freaking out. At this point I am thinking, “there is no way in hell I am finishing this damn thing.” I high five Brent because he was the closest and hand them my arm sleeve because it was too cold to hold on to. At this point I am mile per mile. Just get to the next one, just get to the next one.
Beth: Miles 16-19, Somewhere in Mile 16 is the first time I say to myself, “you have come too far to quit!!” And then the rain picks up and is bad and my mind immediately goes “get me the [censored] away from the lake!” Sorry mom, but it was HARD! For the first time I wonder if the hood of my poncho is collecting water and it was so I emptied it out. I attempted to run here with my arms underneath my poncho, but I gave up on that, took my gloves off and stuck them in my pocket. Then towards the end of this stretch there’s our cheer squad again! But this time there’s Chaz & Colleen Bitner…and Mandy AND little Meranda…and Josh. Again with the tears here! I couldn’t believe Mandy & Josh had driven from Ft. Worth to come see us and brought my favorite 2 year old with them!
Teal: Miles 16-19, REALLY?? Why?? I am not sure I have words. This stretch sucked! If there is a word better than sucked—insert here. This my friends is the “cold” side of the lake. It’s like pouring salt on the wound when you are already freezing your ass off and scared you are too cold to run a full marathon. I’m drenched, have been for a while, feet feel like bricks, I am in and out of feeling like I should just stop and then comes the BIG rain drops. You know the ones that hit your car window and you wonder what rock just hit you. It HURT. The girl next to me at this point was like “This sucks” and I was so tired that I could not respond to her. It was seriously hurting so bad and my eyes were burning and my poncho was every where. I am thinking – “if you make it off this lake you will finish. Just get off the lake! You have run for a freaking year, just get off the lake. It has to get better??”
Beth: Miles 20-23, One of the first hills I run up at this point I am wondering if what I’m doing even resembles running. Here, I just keep telling myself “this is the last of the hills! Get through this stretch!” and of course the chanting of “you have come too far to quit” resumes! It’s at this point too that I am thinking about Teal and wishing we were still together! Then I see Corina, point at her and yell “UltraMamaC!!!!” Haha, apparently all I could do was point and yell people’s names. Then I realize that Marci (@BA_MarciRuns) is next to her – sorry I didn’t actually point and yell at you! 🙂 Oh and I forgot to mention previously that I had already been enduring some nice back pain since about mile 16 that would continue on for the rest of the race. Something out on the race course I had decided was that I would only eat my fuel that was solid food. I couldn’t do the gels, so I had 2 things of GU chomps and 1 baggie of Swedish fish to hold me over. So in this stretch when I saw one of the beer tents you better believe I grabbed that cup and had my little chug of beer.
Teal: Miles 20-23, I knew the hills were coming and I heard a guy say next to me at about 20 that we have 1.5 more miles of hell then it’s easy. 1.5- OK I can do 1.5 just get me there! I was ok. I saw the hooters tent at 20.5 and knew I only had 1mile left to get over the hills. Then comes the signs “You are now entering the Dolly Parton hills” I see the dudes dressed up as Dolly and for the first time in a while I have an emotion other than fear of failure. I smiled at the guy and he ran with me up one of the short hills. PRAISE JESUS- I would have stopped if this crazy dude with his hanging out hairy belly hadn’t run/cheered me on. I assume he saw the fear in my face.
Beth: Miles 23-25.5, before the race even started I messed up my Runkeeper app by starting it early. So when I tried to start it again it counted 10 minutes of me standing waiting to start the race. Then somewhere along the lake the GPS decided I was further along than I really was. So this stretch I was missing mile marker signs, trying to decide where I might be in mileage based on my messed up app and losing my mind trying to do math. Ha There was one point I was like “surely I’m almost to mile 23″ and then I went “duh, you already passed that mile marker and SAW the mile marker!” Then in mile 25 I see Ted & Kimberly again! I half hear Ted giving me a motivating pep talk “…..Beth!! You finish this race you started….” Then I almost start hyperventilating because I was about to finish what I started!! I was so close! So I had to hold back my tears, but I loved that motivation at that point!
Teal: Miles 23-25.5, I made it over! A 5k left!! I am seriously in my head going, “you will finish this, who cares what the time is just finish.” I had been back and forth with the 4:30 pacer for a while and had seen them again here. That 4:30 pacer lady was nuts so I tried the best I could to stay with her to hear her stories but I lost them. I saw Ted & Kimberly around here and their cheers were seriously awesome. Ted as like “you’ve got this, just keep going!” I’m dying for real here. I was not able to open my food so I have only eaten twice and the first time didn’t really count. I’m starving, freezing, and my feet seriously are killing me. I’m thinking this is the home stretch why do I not have a second wind? Why am I not excited. This crap sucks. Why is no feeling I thought I would have coming to me?
Beth: Miles 25.5-26.2, My iPhone dies. Haha. The music stops which is no big deal. Yes, I run with it but a lot of the time it is just background noise for me. I know I’m getting closer to seeing my cheer squad again. Right around mile 26 I see my dad with his camera then I see my mom! Brent stepped out and gave me a high five before I made one of the first curves to the finish line. I had this! I just had to finish! I crossed that finish line with my hands in the air! I did it! I AM A MARATHONER! I knew I had finished just barely in a time that I had been hoping for – I wanted to cry and good Lord, I’ve never had so much trouble walking!
Teal: Miles 25.5- 26.2, Cynthia and Will were there – standing in the freaking corner. I hear Cynthia yell “TEAL” and Will cheering. I basically pass them and start crying. I needed to see them. I was dead. I’m thinking .7 miles left. This is two laps around the track. Michael and our cheerers were right at 26. I think at this point I was so emotional I didn’t even realize they were there until I passed. I saw the finish line! This lady had basically stopped and I watched this guy guide her in and remember thinking- “ok, no matter what I’m crossing the line” – I started crying. Once I stopped I felt like I was going to die. The world was spinning, I can’t stand still, I keep moving randomly in a weird circle motion. I see my brother, Brad & Lilia and am crying. Then turn the corner to see Sommer & Edward and Sloopy, the dog and I am hysterical at this point! It’s freaking over. Not good but it’s done.
Beth: Once I crossed the finish line my legs were in pain. The inside part of my right leg had some weird quiver going on in it during the last mile or so, I was told a little while later by Derek (@trigolfer) that was the muscle I used to pick up my leg and with the heavy & wet shoes my leg felt like it put in more mileage than 26.2. I tried to stretch a little before walking in to get my medal and finisher’s shirt. Once I walked in the building and had my medal I waited for Teal. I wasn’t going to miss seeing her the moment she walked in!
Teal: I walk in the building and am searching for Beth- I have no clue how far ahead of me she got, I walk in and she is right there. I just hugged her and start crying. I know for a fact that I would have never in a million years made it this far with out her in training and in this race. Even though I didn’t see her for the hardest part I knew what she would have said to me. Once in the building from then on I don’t talk much. I didn’t have it in me and I was freezing. To the core freezing. I never really got warm. My arm was killing me, my feet are in so much pain, and all I want is dry clothes. This was by far the craziest thing I have ever done. It might take me a while to get to where I really know how I feel. Right now I still don’t know. That was the worst conditions- I think snow would have been better- it’s softer, and I probably would have stayed dryer. I’m do not want to run White Rock again, unless it’s the half, it might take me a while to even run a race around that damn lake BUT I will run another Marathon because that was TERRIBLE. Memorable for sure, worth it, I think, but what I wanted, NO WAY.
Beth: I am with Teal and do not want to run that marathon again. The half? Sure! No, marathon! Ultimately I am SO proud of us – I think that we both still killed it in those horrible conditions. I like to believe that we are not only Marathoners but Survivors of horrid running conditions. Neither one of us had done THAT much running in light rain that’s actually enjoyable, so this was a huge unknown to us! Here’s to hoping Marathon No. 2 has good weather conditions!
Lessons Learned from this race:
- Really and truly do NOT set a time goal, especially in crappy weather as there is NO point!
- Wear a hat, do NOT take off your gloves (or if you do keep them in your pocket) and never take off the poncho.
- Investing in a rain coat is the smartest thing we did before this race!
- If it rains you need people with drying things to give you. Having dry gloves might have made the biggest difference for Teal as she was too cold!
- If you can’t open your food, ask a volunteer to open it for you.
- Bag check dry clothes so you do not have to wait around forever freezing & wet.
WE ARE MARATHONERS!!