On Saturday, May 30 I went down to the San Diego Convention Center to pick up my bib #'s, race packet, and check out the expo. There were supposed to be a number of sparks going but unfortunately that didn't come to pass. Kelly (Happy92003), Felicia (fhamwey), my daughter and I went to the convention together. We waited outside the exhibit hall for a few of our fellow sparks who RSVP'd to attend but did not show. Tammy (marathonmom26.2) called and let us know she was running late. Kelly and I went in and got our race bibs!!!
Then we met up with Felicia and Taylor (my daughter) to check out the expo. They had some cool booths and I ended up buying a Rock N Roll Marathon hat!! I love hats!! hehe!! We decided to head off to the Old Spaghetti Factory to get some carbs in before the big day!!!
The wait was a lil bit long so Kelly had to go get a Subway sandwich and eat it on her way to school. Felicia, Tay and I decided to stay and eat. We had a delicious meal and Tammy (marathonmom26.2) stopped by to say hi!! It was great seeing her there and I was able to meet a couple of the ladies she was planning on running with. Big ups to them!!
After we finished eating, we decided to get back home because I knew I needed to get up SUPER DUPER early to get to the marathon. I was in bed by 8pm!!
That alarm went off at 3:15am and I was up and ready to go!! I got on all my clothes, got my supplies together and was off to pick up Kelly. I called her a little bit after 4am and she set her alarm for the wrong time! Yikes!! She was rushing around so we could get to the Airport Parking Authority early! In all the hustle and bustle she left her Clif Bar at the house. We stopped at a Shell station and picked up a couple bars. Finally, we made it to the exit and there was a long line of cars trying to get into the parking lot. We were patient and it went pretty quickly. So we parked, took a couple photos and got our stuff together!
We then found the shuttle and took that over to the start line.
We got off the shuttle and tried to find our running club, West Coast Road Runners. We found them, took some photos and got in line for the port-o-potty! There were tons of them everywhere and there were still long lines at all of them! We went to the rest room and then decided to get in line again so that Kelly could go one more time before the start. The race time was getting closer and closer. The corrals started moving forward and Jessica (coffeerun) and Kelly were still in line. I was waiting with them and finally after the start they were able to use the facilities. We finally were able to get out on the road and start running.
The first four miles flew by quickly. There were many bands and tons of supporters cheering us on. It was exciting to be out there running. The adrenaline kicked in and we were off!!! At the 4 mile marker our friend Felicia was there with supplies! We ate a couple oranges, sprayed some Kool N Fit on our legs and were off again!
The race was going well and we were falling into our pace. There were still plenty of supporters and excitement. Kelly was experiencing some trouble with her ankle but she hung in there. Jessica was right there with us, too! We chatted some and kept right on going. I felt strong and comfortable. We did take a bathroom brake at the 6 mile mark. Luckily, the lines weren't too long! I just kept focusing on the next location were going to see them. It really helped mentally to have these stops to look forward to!
Felicia was going to meet us at mile 7. Her husband Paul was there, too! We got some orange slices again, I traded out my hydration bottles, ate some shot bloks and off we went again!
The next leg of the race was a tough one. Mile 8 took us on part of the freeway. It was uneven and there were no spectators. Jessica was starting to cramp in her calves and Kelly was struggling with her ankle. They started walking. I slowed down for a short bit but felt time just passing me by. I wanted to surge forward. I decided to put on my ipod and thought that would really help get me pumped up! I turned it on and wouldn't you know. It wasn't working very well. Something was wrong with my headphones. STUPID THINGS!!! Of all the times to malfunction, why did it have to be race day??? URGH!!!!
I immediately text my honey who was supposed to meet us around mile 17 and asked him to bring some more headphones. The bad thing was that I wasn't to meet him for another 9 miles!!! I kept messing with the headphones and found a way to sort of make them work. Since I was running by myself now, I figured I would need them! I surged forward and made it back up off the freeway. That was great because there were tons of spectators again and the energy was great. I still felt strong and was approaching the half marathon marker.
Felicia let me know she wasn't too far from there and so I ran and found her. I stopped and waited for Kelly. I didn't know how far she was behind me and I didn't want to go on without her. I believe that Jessica stopped around mile 12 or the half way point. Her hubby was there and she thought that she might stop at that point because she wasn't able to train to run much further than that.
Kelly made it to the meetup spot, we got some more snacks, sprayed some more Kool N Fit and I started eating quite a few pretzels. I was getting hungry and I still had 12-13 miles to go! We took off again only to stop a half mile later for another bathroom break. Luckily, there were no lines and we were in and out pretty quickly. Kelly was really struggling with her ankle and I wasn't sure if she was going to make it. Felicia was going to meet us at the 17 mile mark and Kelly agreed to at least go there and then decide if she wanted to quit. I was worried about her but I didn't want her to give up unless it was absolutely necessary. I knew if she did, she would regret it! I moved on and kept jogging. I was still feeling pretty good but tiring slightly. The fan support was lightening up and the mental games had to start. I made it to Felicia again and let her know that Kelly was behind me. She said she was going to try and walk with her for awhile. I forged ahead to meet up with my honey, daughter and dad. I didn't know where they were but I knew I should see them soon. I decided to walk for a minute and wouldn't you know, that is when I saw them! They gave me a little bit of a hard time about walking! Go figure! hehe!! I was excited to see them on the course.
I hung out for a bit with them and waited for Kelly and Felicia. When they arrived, my daughter decided she wanted to run with me. Wow, I hadn't expected that! The guys were supposed to meet us around mile 21 and I figured Tay would make it to that without a problem. Since Kelly and Felicia were walking, we took off! Taylor was excited to be part of the day and I was happy to have someone to run with.
Here we are around mile 20!
We were lookign forward to mile 21. They guys would be there for some more moral support. I was starting to get pretty tired by this point. My legs were hurting and I was feeling it! The energy was fading and fading fast. WE had only trained up to 21 miles so the rest would be uncharted territory. I was getting ready for this to be over. I knew I was physically capable of doing it but it was mind over matter at this point.
We saw the guys again and I knew I just needed to get moving. I told them they should just try and meet us at the end now. I had plenty of supplies and knew there would be tons of traffic. I asked them to wait for Kelly because I didn't know if she was going to be able to finish (she started feeling light headed and sick) and she might need a ride. Felicia would need a ride back to her car, too. They text me awhile later and said Kelly still hadn't made it to them. I told them to just stay put! I sure am glad that I did because Kelly ate a banana and felt a million times better!! Yay!
Little by little the miles passes. Tay and I were walking quite a bit by now. We would run a little and then walk for awhile. My feet were hurting and my energy was depleted. I kept telling myself that I would finish faster if I ran but my body was resistant. There was a little over a mile left and I decided that I HAD to run the last little bit. So that is what I did. Tay was running with me but right at the entrance to the base they made her stand to the side. She handled that situation VERY well. I kept running and knew she had her phone with her so we would get situated shortly. The guys were stuck in traffic and I knew this was all about me finishing strong for ME!!! AND I DID!!! Man, I couldn't believe I did it!!! 26.2 miles!!! The finishing time was VERY slow but that wasn't the point. The point was to finish....and I did!!! I was a little bit bummed the fam wasn't able to be there to see me finish but in the end our strength comes from within!!!
I waited for Kelly in the finisher's area and we had our photos taken after she finished. SHE MADE IT!! Felicia ended up walking the rest of the way with her and when Felicia couldn't enter the base through the runner's route, she found my daughter and we were all reunited in the family reunification center. The guys still couldn't get on base so we made arrangement us to meet them at Chili's by our house to get something to eat.
Kelly, Tay, Kelani, Felicia and I took the shuttle back to the car and then I dropped Felicia off at her car which was near the 17 mile marker and off we went to get refueled!!!
The day was a success!!! Like they say, pain is temporary and pride is forever. I encourage ANY AND EVERYONE who thinks something like this is impossible to challenge that thought. YOU CAN DO IT!!! I never thought I would do something like this and yet here I am....a finisher! A marathoner!!! WHOOO HOOOO!!!
Thank you to all my supportive SP friends!! You guys rock and I couldn't have done it without you! I dedicated this race to my pops who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. I wore a sign on my back (until the paper got wet and ripped) that said "if you can endure the fight against cancer, then SURELY I can endure 26.2 in your honor. You are my hero and this one is for you pops. Love ya!" Here is a photo:
I also want to thank my honey bunny for all his love and support. He made it possible for me to run every Saturday morning by taking Tay to swim practice &/or swim meets and much more. When people believe in you and support you it makes even the impossible seem possible.
Congrats to Kelly for enduring the fight!!! YOU DID IT GIRL!!! You are the best and I appreciate all your comraderie and support. Now, heal that ankle quickly because we have a couple of half marathons and a triathlon to train for!!! WHOOO HOOO!!!