Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quad Cities Marathon 9/25/11

Just thought you might be curious about the marathon I ran today in the Quad Cities (border of IL and IA). It was a beautiful route--along the river on both sides, and through an army base. One very powerful moment was running through the army base, and running past hundreds, if not thousands, of white headstones all lined up in a row. It touched me deeply.

So, I started out feeling strong, powering up hills (not too many of them), and staying at a good pace. My goal of qualifying for Boston was revised at mile 15, after I had strong stomach pain for 3 miles. I decided to slow down a bit, and my new goal was now to "Finish". Around mile 17, a drizzle started, which turned into a strong downpour, till about mile 20. It was in the 40's, and I'm known for my lack of thermo-regulation, and sometime around mile 21 I started shivering uncontrollably, teeth chattering. I walked at a water station, and when I tried running again my muscles seized up, and I almost fell over. I hobbled along like this for a short while, when a nice lady spectator offered me a blanket to wrap around me. By then the rain had slowed back to a drizzle, but I was thoroughly chilled. My goal of "finishing" was then revised to "not get hypothermia"...and I met my goal!! I'm sad to say that I didn't complete the entire 26.2 miles--I fell short about 3 miles. It's funny, being dry and somewhat recovered (I can almost walk again :), I wonder if I should've pushed on toward the goal, but in the moment it was all I could do to not fall over. I kept telling myself to run so I could move my body faster and warm up, but my muscles wouldn't go that way!

I crossed the finish line at my goal time, which is ironic, considering that I'd cheated the clock for 3 miles (and that I was hobble-walking across the finish line w/a blanket wrapped around my shoulders!). But I'm alive, I didn't get hypothermia, and am very humbled by the experience.

So that's how it was. Will I run another marathon to redeem myself? I told Jaron that I've been effectively cured of all desire to run a full marathon, but he said something like, "It's okay, Honey, you don't have to make that decision right now." Sly dog.

Another highlight, besides running through the army base, was thinking of something that I'm thankful for at each mile marker. I was almost moved to tears at some mile-markers, as I reflected on how blessed I am with amazing family, friends, health, and my faith in God. It was also a nice way to get my mind off the "how many miles are left" thoughts that are so pervasive in a long race like that. :)

I loved having Jaron, Spencer, Mikey and Trevor greet me after I finished. They missed me when I hobbled across the finish line (no pics of that--phew!), but they found me a few minutes later huddled in the foyer of a restaurant (over a heater) trying to warm myself up. They each gave me such sweet hugs and told me in sweet voices that they loved me. It really took all my discomfort and disappointment away (at least for a moment). I love my darling husband and my wonderful sons so much!


Merideth Sullivan said...

Go Em! Wow, what an awesome accomplishment. I'm glad you didn't get hypothermia!

Jaimie said...

It's great to get an update on the race. I am proud of you for how hard you worked for this race Em. And for how hard you fought during it today. I am so sorry to hear you were so cold, had terrible stomach pain, and your were muscles giving out on you. Things didn't go how you hoped... but you are a fighter. You are a winner to me, Em. And I am very proud of you.

I am so happy to hear Jaron and the boys came to be there with you. Sounds like you may have needed a doctor. Ha Ha.

Steph Thomas said...

Yeah, I don't even think I could train for a marathon let along start one. You are awesome. Keep it up!

Jennifer said...

What an amazing experience! Way to go Emily! I am proud of you :)

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