|Getting our bibs!|
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strengthI should have known from the beginning when there was only one pacer for both the marathoners and the half marathoners there could be a problem. This single man was going to take on the role for both goal setters.
of my heart and my portion forever."
of my heart and my portion forever."
That's some big boots to fill if you ask me.
For the Chicago Marathon there were 6 or 7 pacers for my time.
As I got into my corral I looked at this small man and thought OK..Let's see what you have. He was very friendly and encouraging to those of us in "B section". He was a simple man with a bald head and a red band around it. He didn't look elite or like he carried any super powers but I have learned in running not to judge a runners form or figure!
When the voice came to Go, I kept my eyes near to him and tried to shadow his every move. For me this was more than trying to finish 13.1 miles in 1:37. It was wanting to get into ING NYC. I have been wanting this for several months now. From deep within I have been gauging my training with this single goal as my destination.
|Andy is in the shorts..WTG!|
I am sure "Mike" would have done a fine job but I had lost confidence in him. I had heard a nagging voice now for over a mile, "Go, Nita, disconnect." I knew I had to be more confident in my training, my Garmin and my God. But now I had to make up time.
Mile 4 I started catching up, running a 7:11 pace. I had a couple guys ask me our pace and I shared with them our pace for about the next 7 miles. We ran together laughing and encouraging one another.
As we entered the tunnel you were welcomed by a deceiving warmth. At first this warm air was received well. We were out of the elements of wind and a light misty rain. But soon it began to fatigue you as the air got stale and the walls of the tunnel felt like they were vacuum sealing you. The down hill decent into the tunnel was like being pressurized. And then the up hill ascent out of the tunnel you found yourself looking desperately for the light that leads to the great outdoors again.
It is the most invigorating feeling to have the fresh air greet you. And then when you add hundreds of people waiting outside to cheer you on along and see that sign that says 9 miles you suddenly get your second wind. I found myself giving high fives and waving the crowd into cheering us on. People were shouting my name as they read it off my bib, " Great job NITA" , "Run NITA Run"!
Moving forward with my little group I never did see my Pacer "Mike" and the group come up behind me. Each mile I was gaining speed but I didn't realize how badly the first 3 miles hurt me.
At mile 11- I was doing the math. I was trying to stay on target running now against the wind with drizzle slapping me. I knew it was going to be tight. I was going to be coming in within seconds of my Goal time of 1:37. I was panic stricken and praying hard.
I was dancing between 6 and 7 minute miles coming into the last mile. I looked down at my Garmin and saw I had to finish in 4 minutes!! I could hear the DJ but I could not see the finish. "Please God, Please. give me strength, make me swift. Oh God Please."
2 minutes and what looked like a lifetime away. I pulled so deep, my stomach started cramping and I thought for sure I was going to loose my bladder or my stomach. I was approaching this young girl who I decided I was going to stay behind and follow her swift speed. But I quickly passed her knowing the clock was ticking away. I was soon facing the timing clock. "Anita Harless of Holly Michigan". That was all I heard as I crossed those blue mats. I must have looked like death as they put my finishers medal around my neck because several volunteers asked me if I need assistance.
I looked at my Garmin and it read 1:37....This was not good. Too close. I didn't have time to cry, I had to get our baggage at the check in and get back to find Andy cross the finish line.
Waiting for Andy my calves took turns cramping up on me. I am so short I could barely see him coming and every time I stood on my toes my calves went directly into a charlie horse. "Oh, for Pete's sake" You have got to be kidding me I thought in frustration. I got a glimpse of his bright green shirt and regardless of the pain I just started shouting his name. I was so thrilled to see him. And I think he was equally as thrilled to see the FINISH!
|Andy Amazing race...My Epic Fail!|
We met some of our friends and through exhaustion and endorphins found enough energy to laugh together and snap a few photos. "Scott" took his phone and looked up all of our times. To be honest I really didn't want to know because I think I already knew.
|"Scott", Andy and I..Scott met his Goal also!! WTG Scott!!|
Andy met his goal of under 2 hours! WTG. Less than 1 year from a ruptured Achilles tendon injury. He is a monster!
3 Seconds off. If I didn't throw up crossing the finish line now I really thought I was going to.
"EPIC FAILURE"!! That is how Andy sympathetically described it. "Nita it would have been better for you to be 1 minute off then 3 stupid seconds!"
There was a pit in my stomach and tears that just waiting to explode from my eyes. I was in total Grief Mode!
First ANGER.. Mad at the world. Mad at mom and dad because they were not there for my race, mad at Andy because He is ANDY (Husbands get it by default).. Mad at me because I failed. And REALLY mad at the Pacer.And Mad at the ING NYC for not having a grace period and such tight qualifications.
DENIAL- Maybe the timer is wrong. Maybe they have a grace period. maybe....
BARGAINING..I am sure it was in there somewhere....
DEPRESSION-Trying not to be a girl and sob. The flood gate was wavering. I still as I type feel the lump in my throat and struggle seeing the keyboards through my glassy eyes. It just sucks 3 seconds. 3 measly stupid seconds.
ACCEPTANCE- "My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure. " Abraham Lincoln
'Tis a lesson you should heed, Try, try again.
If at first you don't succeed, Try, try again. - Thomas H. PalmerWell I am not mad at anyone soo much anymore ( Mom and Dad you are amazing and are always there for me, forgive me.) Just at myself. I should have left the pacer before I got to mile 4. Lesson learned. Trust in your training. I put to much faith in another person and not myself and what God had prepared me for.
Sadly I got so upset of my failure that it trumped my great race. It really was a great race. I had a Personal record for the half marathon. I should be happier. I am just stuck on stupid right now. But I am not going to give up YET......there are a couple more half marathons around the corner.......We will see....
|Best recovery drink...this makes things a little bit better!!|