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

Monday, November 21, 2011

Richmond Marathon - Part Trois

After the half way point, my right IT Band was screaming. I tried not to let on, but I am confident that Bob picked up on it. We were still ahead of the 4:45 pace group and just cruising along. We knew what to expect since we had driven this part with G.

We headed up a small hill, where there were definitely cheer leaders, around a turn, down a straight away, and then up the slight hilly turn to enter Lee Bridge. We saw Bob's family there too, but they weren't expecting us yet and missed the shot. Their cheers meant the WORLD though!

I am happy we had driven this bridge and that G had given us advice. We managed to stay with the 4:45 pace group here, but it wasn't windy at all. Actually, Bob commented that it was to our backs. It was in FULL sun, which made it both nice and uncomfortable at some points. I did try to take in the view of Richmond. Bob and I took turns pulling ahead of each other here (more on that later). We were definitely slowing down. I was starting to talk myself out of finishing, but my IT Band only hurt when I was walking.

As you can tell from this picture, my posture was awful by mile 15- 16. One of the MTTographers snapped this of me and Bob. One of the few of us together on the course. Look how strong Bob looks, great posture. The only positive thing I can say here is: "Holy quad muscle!" SWEET!

I wish I was able to maintain a better posture. Bob actually reminded me of the Chi check list later and I tried to straighten up, but it is very common for me to look like this when I get fatigued.

After the bridge Bob admitted that he had pulled up short of a walk interval and his right calf had seized. We slowed. I told him it was about finishing, not about staying with the 4:45 group. Slowly they pulled away. We were both very quiet here. It was a LONG straight street. G had warned us about it. By the time we hit the right turn, I was starting to feel a little better emotionally. I figured, we are at 18... we are going to make it. I could tell that Bob was fatigued. I admitted to him that I wasn't feeling great and that I could in no way pull away from him even if I wanted too. I NEEDED him to know this. I needed him to know that we started together, we would finish together.

Within two miles, I started to break down mentally. I was holding back tears. My hip (IT Band) hurt sooooo bad. I told Bob that I was starting to mentally break down and he said magic words: "We only have a 10k left!"

WOW! It was powerful. I decided to start talking to everyone. Encouraging them as they passed us and we passed them. I started thanking EVERY volunteer. I started to play mind games with myself in a positive way. Just 30 seconds of walking and back to running. I could do this. We could do this. I was getting kind of cocky, proud that I was internally being positive and then the negative would set in. Had to bounce it right out. I mean, by now we were at mile 22. WE HAD THIS!

This part of the course was awesome. Lots of spectators and nice neighborhoods. Lots of signs, music, a LOT of things to pump you up. We walked through every water stop. We accepted the cold towels to wipe ourselves down. During miles 22-25, Bob and I took turns pulling each other. It wasn't even intentional. It was just that we are partners... we know each other. Hard to explain, but we ran in-synch.

By mile 23 I realized that the 5:00 pace group had not caught us, but I thought it was too early to mention it to Bob - I mean, what if they were right behind us? We could not see the 4:45 pace group yet. I said to Bob: "When we get to mile 25, remind me to tell you something!" I decided that a mile left was a good point to mention it. I WOULD be getting a nice PR which wasn't my goal, but I know that Bob wanted to give me that.

During this stretch we did get a few comments about the Galloway method. I think people were a little impressed that we kept up the 30:30 for this long. But it WAS going to get us to the finish line. (Bob saw the photographer and told me to smile... totally faking it here, but not bad for mile 24!) Around mile 24.5 there was a huge Gospel choir singing. It was amazing. I started praying, thanking God!

At mile 25, I go to mention to Bob that we hadn't seen the 5:00 pace group, but instead he pulled out his phone to call his family. Immediately, I thought... okay, it wasn't meant for me to tell him. Bob said that his family was at mile 26, waiting for us. Bob stopped the GymBoss, and said, "Let's run it in!" We did! I was choking back tears as I glanced at my watch. We were going to be SOOOOO under 5 hours. It felt awesome.

As we cleared the tiny hill to make it down to the finish line, we passed his cheering family. I grabbed his hand. We crossed the mat as Bob lifted my hand. We finished. We embraced. We kissed. We had finished! Even the clock time was under 5 hours, but our Garmins said: 4:50:28, 26.8 miles! YES!

We did it. It was so awesome to run this with Bob!

Official time was 4:50:19 (Bob beat me by a second)

And YES; I am already registered for next year. Join me in Richmond in 2012?


momof3 @ Neurosis of the Stay at Home Marathoner said...

The photo where you're "faking it" - epic. Best race photo ever.

I'm so glad I could share part of this with you.

B.o.B. said...

AWESOME!!! congrats to you both. great recap. i totally look like that when i get fatigued too. you've got that 4:45 in the bag. WTG!

Pam said...

I agree with G--that photo where you claim to be faking it is FANTASTIC! That guy behind you? Not so much! LOL He looks like he's hurting.

coach dion said...

Nice recap, love that last picture, you look so tired, but happy.

Carrie said...

Great recap! I was hanging on your every word.

You're so fortunate to have a running partner like Bob.