I shared my experience with her, this is her experience with me!
October 19 2014
I woke up at 5:00am and first thing I did was brew a cup of coffee and get my breakfast ready. Toasted (the night before) Ezekiel bread with 2 tbsp. of peanut butter and half an apple sliced on it. I woke up not feeling nervous but feeling excited I had waited a long time for this, I had registered for this race January 1 2014. I had ten whole months to think about this and the last four months to eat, sleep, run and breathe marathon training.
Scott and I met the Harless family in the lobby of the renncenn at 6:00am, after introductions were made we all (Anita, her husband Andy, there two sons and Andy’s parent’s) headed out in the 35’ chilly morning air to the starting line many blocks away.
The starting line was like nothing I had ever seen before, there were so many people and so many spectators. As Anita and I made it to our corral (corral E) to find our pacer person (3:55) it was all so overwhelming an emotional. I looked over at Anita to see her wiping tears from her eyes and found myself so overjoyed and happy to be standing there. Anita had told me a couple of days before that she would be starting the race with me, I was so very grateful and had such a sense of calmness knowing that I would not be starting this 4 hour journey by myself.
The first half marathon was amazing, the sights were amazing the crowds were amazing, my body even felt amazing. The energy was so high it left you on such a runners high. I was able to see Scott, my sister, my brother and law and the Harless clan cheering us on twice during that first half.
And then reality set in right about the time those half milers turned to the right to split off from us and finish their race, Oh Crap I have to run thirteen more miles. I remember saying to Anita "It’s all fun and games till you start the second half of the marathon", I think she thought it was funny but man I wasn’t joking.
I kept waiting for Anita to leave me but she said she was sticking with me and that she would re-evaluate once we hit 20 miles. So we maintained our 8:45ish pace right on thru to mile 20. At that point I was starting to feel a little guilty- was she sticking with me because she felt she had to, was she sticking with me because she felt she wasn’t sure I would finish. She was so encouraging, reminding me to breathe, reminding me to pray, reminding me to relax and have fun. I truly felt how Anita looked to me, full of energy, happy, excited. I would have loved to express all of those things but all I could do at that point was run remembering to put a smile on my face because I was happy, so happy to be there doing what I love to do, run.
My long run training had taken me to mile 21 and that’s about the time in the race when my body had decided it had had enough. It actually was screaming at me to stop, why you are doing this to me, why have you decided to put me thru this. I remember Anita-I think it was Anita at that point say to me at mile 22, "this is the farthest you have ever run before, you’re doing great". She also reminded me that from this point on it was all a mental game.
You would think that at mile 23 there would be some relief knowing that all you had left was a 5k, but there was no relief there was just 3.2 more miles of running. The most painful 3.2 miles of running that I have ever done.
All I could wait for was to see the 25 mile flag, knowing then that I only had about 1 mile left. And then there it was the 40k flag (24.8 miles) and I knew I was in the homestretch. I could run a little over a mile, I had just run 25 miles. "I got this", I thought, "I can finish this". And if it wasn’t for that last little hill that looked like I was about to climb up Mount Everest I think I would have kept that mindset and had finished the race strong. That hill put me over the edge, I think that I had a tear running down my face when I saw it knowing that I had no choice but to run up it. I remember Anita encouraging me to make it up that hill, was she struggling, I truly had no idea, I could not think about anything else but keeping one foot in front of the other.
I remember seeing Andy, Anita’s husband running that final stretch, not knowing where my family was did they watch me cross that finish line. Later I found out that yes they saw me cross that line and heard my name and my time announced over the loud speaker, I heard my name and time announced as well as I crossed the finish line.
I was delirious after that, I think Anita said I was drunk from running, I remember that because I thought it was so funny, being drunk from running, but that’s what I was, drunk form running.
The rest of the day after my first marathon did not go to great, I was nauseous, and my body felt like it had gotten hit by a semi-twice, I spent a lot of time in the bathroom. I could not take care of my kids I could not do anything, I iced my legs on and off and took a 2 hour nap that afternoon and evening and went to bed at 9:30p. Scott got up with the kids and took them to school the next day and I did not get up until 9:45am.
"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.…"