John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." NIV

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

MCM - race recap - part 3 (of many)

After I passed Cat and Craig, I was really feeling high. I was sort of amazed at how long that feeling carried me. The other awesome part was now I was running on familiar territory. Bob and I had run this part of the course and so I knew what to expect.

As I rounded the corner to head past the Kennedy Center, again, the crowd support was AMAZING. I am not sure if I really realized this and the next time I do not want to volunteer at a race, I will remember that the spectators make a world of difference. I tried to safely pass through the food station - as I mentioned yesterday, orange peels ALL OVER THE ROAD and it was dangerous. The only positive here was that the air smelled great... refreshing.

And then I saw my neon green sign: RUN JEN RUN! Again, I was super pumped to see them. I think this is one of my favorite shots. I look so happy.  I was really feeling strong. I was not in any pain. If I started to feel my IT getting tight, I just realigned my Chi Running form. Instantly, any slight twinge when away - but I think it has more to do with the people praying for me. (I learned that as the church service that I regularly attend was starting, a dear member felt led to lift up me and all of the runners before church even started. The pastor and members were praying for me right about this time - how AWESOME!). I decided to call Bob on my next walk break just to let him know I was coming. It would have been bad if he had waited all day to run with me and then I ran right by him.

And as I approached the small bridge, just after mile marker 11 - our planned meeting place, I saw Bob. I got giddy because I knew it would be just like a long run now. And Bob did exactly what I needed him to do. He pulled in behind me and started to watch my form so he could suggestion some improvements. The funny thing is that I forgot I had asked him to do that and kept wondering where we was. Seconds later, he pulled up beside me and the beautiful 10+ miles with him began.

He was wearing a coat, long sleeve shirt, tights, and gloves. He looked over dressed to me, but he had been standing around waiting for me for a long time. I asked if he was hot and he said, no. He did lose the gloves pretty early. And Bob was also a witness to the fuel station fiasco of the sports beans. I actually ran on the grass at this point because it was safer than the street with the bean bags in it.

I asked Bob to tell me a story and he did. I think that first two miles with him flew by. I was telling hm about the first part of the race like it was the best thing ever. We were running in Hains Point. On a run prior to the race, this was sort of a boring flat area, but it was beautiful that morning. The breeze and scenery made it all worth it. We passed a couple that had shirts that read: "Just" and "Married" written on them. Can you imagine getting married on a Saturday and running the next day? Wow. Overall, we passed 3 couples with this on their shirts and one that was "chasing" his finance. Cute. And since it was flat, it gave my legs a little break. The first 9 of the race had some big hills.

We started to run pass the Jefferson Memorial and the crowd support picked up. Reading the signs kept my mind off of the race. One read: "Stop reading this and run" and my most favorite of the WHOLE race (besides my signs) was "Just a 20 mile warm up for a 10K" - too funny.

The next couple of miles are kind of blurry. I remember telling Bob at around 16 miles that I was STARVING. I mean starving like I wanted to eat a whole pizza. The Gu was giving me energy but not filling the tummy. It was growling. I did not like this feeling.

Once again, we rounded another corner passed the Washington monument and Bob got to see my personal cheerleaders first hand. Beth really got some neat shots here and right past Beth and Jen were Cat and Craig - I wonder if they met each other or if they knew that they were cheering for the same Jen.

Again, I love this shot, especially since Bob made it in it. And I was just so happy to see them.

The next part of the course was probably the most emotional part for me. I knew Lyle and the kids were not going to meet me at all on the course. But on Saturday, he started to ask me more and more questions and was studying a map. Since Lyle works with Congress, I felt that if he were to surprise me, it would be along this area. So as we rounded the Washington Monument and headed on the National Mall, I was distracted looking for Lyle and the kids. I did not share this with Bob and I am sure he was wondering what was going on. I just kept thinking, if Lyle had tracked out there and they missed me, it would be just devastating for the kids. I saw many families. I saw many kids that held signs, "Run faster mommy" or "My mommy is a marathoner". I got a little teary-eyed and tried to either wave or high-five these kids. As we approached the US Capital building... this is where I just KNEW Lyle and the kids would be. Bob asked me to pose for a Capital shot of me running that he took on his cell phone (not sure if it turned out since I never stopped running). We rounded the Capital to head back down towards the Washington Monument and I. Never. Saw. Them.

It took me a couple of miles to recover from that disappointment and it volleyed between "did I miss them?" and "I cannot believe they did not come out". I am not sure if Bob could tell, but some pictures that the "professionals" snapped of me at this point, I can see it. In my form. In my face.

By mile 18, I started to feel a little fatigued. My upper part of my body was feeling great. My legs were not in pain, just starting to feel the miles. The crowd support here was awesome too. And without knowing, my friend G and her husband and two boys were along this part cheering me on. They never saw me, nor I them, but knowing that they spent an hour there... waiting for me. SO SWEET! A lot of kids along this point were wearing their Halloween costumes. They all just looked adorable.

By 19, I knew that I was going to beat the bridge.... where ever that darn bridge was....


Michelle said...

Great recaps! Can't wait for the big finish!

Janet said...

wow. i cried again. I am sorry that Lyle did not bring the kids out there. I think you need to communicate that you WANT them there and not worry about any issues he has to run into getting them there. I love you

Rene' said...

your recap is great. it is like reading a book and getting me excited for my marathon this weekend.

teacherwoman said...

Great recaps Jen! Awesome!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

Sounds like an emotional roller coaster! You were running so strong and WOW for such great recall. My mind gets fussy as my legs get tired.

ajh said...

Awesome pics!

MomRunningFromCancer said...

When ever I see Run Mom Run signs . . . I always think they are for me . . .

Very detailed recap - You certainly were in the present . . . great memory. Looking forward to continuing with the 26.2 mile journey.

Kirsten said...

Oh the bridge, the bridge SUCKED! :)

Melinda said...

Isn't it so hard to run when you are looking for spectators? Then it is so disappointing when you don't see them!