Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jeremy's run

     Okay, when we last left off Tonya just finished the race.  Now here is my side of the run.

After Tonya and I split up in the start corral I made my way up to the group that was going to be running my goal pace.  It wasn't easy.  When I finally got there I had to wait shoulder to shoulder with other excited runners.  I could barely see the starting line from where I was, but when they started the race I got chills from knowing I was about to embark on a new life.  I would no longer be training for a marathon, I would be a marathoner.  Like Tonya, the first mile went really quick.  I couldn't believe how easy it was feeling through the first few miles.  I think it had to do with the rush of excitement from the surrounding runners and spectators.  I was frightened around mile 7 or 8 by my boss.  He was yelling out support to the passing runners as they went by and when I ran by him I didn't notice him until he started screaming my name and jumping up and down.  This surprised me and made me jump.  I twisted around, gave him a wave and continued on.  It was getting warm out and around mile 11 and I noticed I wasn't sweating anymore and it concerned me.  I figured I wasn't staying hydrated and realized I needed to drink more water.  The one thing I was doing well was staying on pace.  My pace through 15 miles was right on my goal pace.  When I passed the halfway point I had knocked off about 20 minutes from my previous half marathon time, this got me excited about knocking out this marathon in no time, but then I realized, I still had 2 1/2 hours to run.  
Well at about mile 16 I hit the wall.  The heat was getting up there and I was starting to feel soreness in my feet.  I started to question whether or not I would be able to finish and if running a marathon was a smart idea.  I figured to be able to make it to the finish I would walk through the water stops and then run in between them.  This helped my attitude and my energy.  I had so many things running through my head during the last few miles trying to take my mind off of the pain.  A guy I work with who donated to our charity had told me to think of him every time my left foot hit the ground, I did a few times after mile 16, and it helped.  I hit mile 20 and felt a surge of energy hoping it would carry me through to the finish.  It didn't.  I still was struggling putting one foot in front of the other one, but the great supporters at the aid stations and standing along the race course helped to keep me going.  Mile 24 came and went and I was having to take more frequent walk breaks and was feeling defeated.  But I knew I needed to push on, I was only 2 miles away from my goal.  My time had faltered and now I was hoping to finish in 5 hours.  Hitting mile 25's water stop I told myself to buck up and start running.  I had told myself earlier that no matter what, I was going to run the last mile.  So I dug down deep for some inner support and started pounding the pavement.  I could feel the finish line getting closer and my legs seemed to have a new surge of energy.  I began running at a pace that I didn't know I had the energy for.  I was passing people left and right listening to the crowds cheers of encouragement.  I turned the second to last corner and headed up the small hill that would challenge my ending pace.  It didn't slow me down, it actually felt like I started running even faster.  The crowd was cheering loudly as I made the final turn to run the final 0.2 miles of the race.  I could feel my legs struggling to keep the pace, but I knew I could do it, I pushed myself that final stretch and when I reached the finish I raised my arms in triumph.  As I finished I got a lump in my throat from the emotions I was going through.  I felt a sense of pride for what I just did and I almost started to cry, I think it has a lot to do with the stress you put yourself through running 26.2 miles.  After making it through the finish corral and getting my medal, I slowly walked through the crowds taking everything in.  As I waited for Tonya to finish I was looking back over my experience of the run and couldn't believe I had just ran a marathon.  I still can't believe I ran one, but I can say this, I am going to run another one.  It didn't deter my attitude towards running and I know that I have at least one more marathon in me.  Anyways I am glad I did it and happy that I finished and if there is any one who wants to run next years marathon with me give me a call and we can start training.  

Sunday, October 19, 2008

We finished, Tonya's tale of the marathon

We did it. Tonya and I finished the marathon and have finally starting walking without pain again. It was rough, I won't lie. The weather did not cooperate at all and it took both of us longer than we were hoping, but we finished. The heat got up to about 80 degrees and it was sunny, so towards the end of the race the heat was getting unbearable. Luckily they had plenty of water stops along the route to help keep the runners hydrated. I completed the marathon in 5 hours, a half hour longer than I wanted to, but I feel great for finishing. Tonya finished in 5 hours and 58 minutes, and was equally happy for finishing.
Heading to the start, we were getting nervous and excited. When the race finally started it was less than spectacular because it took us at least 17 minutes to get to the start. It was tough at the beginning because it was so crowded. As we continued on it got a little easier. Tonya and I actually got separated in the crowd and did not run the race together. Tonya has always thought the first mile was the most difficult because she is trying to find her stride and get into a tempo. It didn't seem to be hard and before she knew it, she was hitting the 1st mile marker. When she hit the 1st mile she was surprised at how easy it felt and thought only 25.2 miles to go. She was having to run without her trusty running companion, her ipod, for the first time and she thought it would be hard but there was so much excitement with all the runners and spectators. She is glad she didn't use it, she felt she was able to take everything a little better. Then came mile 7. She hit the wall and needed to call her friend Kate. She needed a shot of support and Katie was just what she needed. When Katie answered the phone, Tonya was sobbing and said she wanted to quit. Katie told Tonya she couldn't quit because she wasn't a quiter. As soon as she got off the phone with her she took off running with a smile on her face. She was texting with her friend Diane who told her she was just past mile marker 11. Knowing she was there helped Tonya keep going. She passed mile marker 11 and started looking for Diane on the west side of the street where she said she would be. All of sudden Tonya saw a crazy lady jumping up and down on the side of the street yelling her name. She threw her arms up and smiled. Tonya ran up and hugged her. Tonya was trying to tell her something and Diane told her, "don't stop to talk to me, keep going," and she started yelling "GO, GO, GO!" She kept going and was getting tired again so she was very happy to see the 13.1 miles, which is half way. Tonya took two minutes to walk and then began running again. For mile 16 she did a run/walk. Around mile 17 Tonya met a girl named Stephanie who had lost her running partners. They started running together. Stephanie was very encouraging for Tonya when things started getting rough again. Basically they decided to run from water stop to water stop. There were water stops every mile. So they passed mile marker 18 and just a little further was the water stop. They grabbed a gatorade and walked to the water and grabbed a water. They walked and drank and tried to keep moving while they took water. They were trying to stay hydrated because of the heat that had been beating down on them since mile 12. As soon as they finished with their water they were off and running to the next water stop. This was working great for them. Unfortunately, in mile 23 Tonya stepped on some uneven pavement and she was so tired it was all she could do to catch herself, but twisted her ankle. Tonya jumped off the course to stretch her ankle and to make sure it was alright. Stephanie stopped with Tonya to make sure she was okay. Tonya was very happy running with Stephanie because she was very encouraging and a nurse so Tonya knew she would be alright if anything happened. Tonya was fine and they continued on. She was getting tired and whiny, but Stephanie kept encouraging her. At mile 25 Stephanie said, "we have to finish this. We didn't come all this way to give up with only 1.2 miles to go. We can run to the end." Then they saw the 1 mile left marker and Tonya wanted to cry. She couldn't make her legs cooperate. She just tried to keep up with Stephanie. She took a second to walk and waved Stephanie on to go ahead. She didn't want to hold her back. Tonya was coming up to Michigan Ave. and knew she only had two turns left. So she walked to the corner and took off because she could see the 26 mile marker and knew she only had to go 0.2 miles beyond that to the finish line. She started running and swearing wondering why they would make the end uphill. Tonya started crying and then heard someone calling her name. She looked up and saw her Mom and Sister standing just before the turn to the finish line. She ran over to them sobbing. She hugged them for a second and then ran for the finish line. Tonya didn't know they were coming and was so happy to see them at the end. As she rounded the corner onto Columbus and towards the finish line, it was almost like she hadn't run at all. Her legs were moving faster than they had at mile 1. She was so happy to cross the finish line. She missed her goal time by almost an hour, but she didn't care. She was just happy to finish. She hasn't ruled out running another marathon, but it probably won't be next year. She plans to do the half marathon in August and maybe a few others throughout the summer.

I will add my story later, so you can take this one in for now. So check back in the next couple of days for my experience, and hopefully we will be getting photos soon, so we can post a few.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Long Time

I know it has been awhile and I am sorry.  It just has been really busy for me lately.  We are entering our final week before the marathon and we are excited and nervous about it.  We ran 8 miles today and it is our last run until Saturday the day before the race.  I had a good run and felt good, so I am hoping that that feeling will carry over until next week.  Tonya said her run was a little tough, but she is feeling good about the race.  School is going well for both of us.  Tonya is still enjoying her class and loves having her own classroom.  I am busy with homework, but I am still happy with my decision with switching majors.  Well I need to get back to homework so I must say goodbye for now.  I will definitely blog after the race next weekend, so check back to see how your favorite marathoners did.