- My best case, Dream Goal
- My goal I trained for. Realistic.
- The goal I would settle for.
As soon as I got out of work at 1:30pm, I hustled to pick up Lacey. The sun was shinning and we were busting out of the seams with excitement.
Lacey booked our hotel months ago. We decided to drive to the expo first.
When Lacey and I run races together I typically drive and she is my co-pilot, directing and planning our routes. Lacey even answers my phone and responds to my text messages. We are a great team, we get lost, we get turned around but ultimately we get back on track laughing at ourselves and not ever breaking a sweat. Always an adventure.
We were driving about 45 minutes behind the rest of our gang. MaryAnn, Andy, Jama, Erin, Claudia and Justin. We were all running on Sunday Glass City Marathon or Half in Toledo Ohio.
By the time we arrived into the expo Lacey and I were "caffeined UP". I was off the charts hyper. I was talking to random strangers, asking people to get pics with me or take them for me but overall having a blast.
We found our gang, took a quick picture with them and made plans to meet for dinner later that night.
WOW! Lacey booked us a GEM! We were at the Hampton Inn in a suite. It was a newer hotel. Our room was amazing.
I bounced on the bed and like a little kid peaked in all the corners before our text came through with dinner plans.
We met the gang for Mediterranean. Funny thing! One of the kids I coach was there with their family having dinner!! I chatted with them laughing at the coincidence! This happens to me all the time!
I wish I could tell you I was tired when we returned with a full belly back to our diva suite. I was so wired I actually took 1 1/2 Motrin PM's.
The conditions for Glass City Marathon were as if Mother Nature had favor with Toledo, Ohio.
Even though it was 35' at 7am it was full sun!
Lacey and I got up, got rolling and headed out. We struggled with parking, this put us a bit behind, throwing my nerves into a tail spin. Mostly, because I knew I didn't have time to pee that one last time. This meant I was pretty much going to end up peeing my pants on the course!
The gang were waiting, everyone was stoked and full of smiles. I had already cried 2 times and I found myself crying all over again. Erin looked at me and said "Oh no girl, your gonna get me crying again."
It was just minutes later we watched the helicopter cross of the starting line, we listened to the national anthem and we closed our eyes in a brief prayer.
I watched Lacey slowly move ahead and never saw the gang again.
Lacey had got with a 3:35 pace group. I wanted a 3:40 pacer, however, they not only didn't have pacer bands for that time, they didn't have any pacers for that time either.
I knew I had to be about a half a mile behind Lacey.
The First 13...BAD bad Bad...
My GPS on my watch was bouncing around different paces making it really hard to pace myself. I decided to just try and gauge my pace off of Laceys pacer.
BAD BAD IDEA!
Every mile my watch beeped it shared a pace that I knew was going to bury me. Even though I felt great, when I reached 13 miles I had over 2 minutes banked....BAD BAD BAD.
I do not bank time, I knew it was gonna be bad.
My right calf was aching, I decided I would walk the water stations briefly in hopes I could recover my body.
The course was stunning. Everything was green and lush. We ran through a paved park and along a railroad track out of the city. And the spectators were loud and proud. I didn't expect to see so many cheering us on.
I took my music out of my ears hoping the crowds would rejuvenate me.
Running to my left were two girls about my age. I overheard them talking about their pace.
"HI, watcha guys running?" I inquired.
"We are on pace for a 3:40 marathon..."
I knew I wanted to stay with them. They were my only chance at even coming close to my goal, a 3:40. The Dream Goal was out of the question at this point and honestly, I was entertaining the goal I would settle with, a 3:45..Still a BQ-ing time but not a time that would get you in to run Boston.
The Second Half of UGLY.
The 3 of us chatted and it appeared we were all following behind that pacer. We all were pretty upset we had ran soo hard. I was not the only one in the Hurt Locker.
It was just a few miles when our threesome became a twosome. Me and Kelly. Kelly from Tennessee.
Kelly and I encouraged one another. Every once in a while, I would hear Kelly whisper "SH@%" followed with "I'm sorry".
It was hard not to smile through the pain. The sun was hugging you with warmth. Everything was bright and full of color. We ran along the road for a couple miles bringing us up a hill, I had been warned about. It was not as bad as I anticipated.
Kelly reminded me we would be going back through the park and we would get to enjoy some nice down hills. The time we had banked was diminishing faster than my goals. I was hot, so hot. My calves were burning like they were running through hell.
We came into the park and I wanted to stop and take pictures it was so beautiful. On my right, a canal was cut through trees and foliage. On my left, trees loomed overhead. We were running on a covered bridge that was very large and stunning. I wanted to come back to enjoy it because at that time I wasn't enjoying very much other than the fact we were going downhill! And even than was making my quads throb.
Kelli must have memorized the route. "We are going to turn left right up here."
When we made that left it was like full sun and my legs felt as though they were in a bucket of clay. Nothing wanted to move. The course was as flat as a pancake, my motivation to move felt the same way. Kelli and I were walking though water stations together.
I looked at my watch with less than 3 miles to go and told her to GO. My legs were cramping and I found myself walking with another group.
"3 miles to go and your walking Anita" I prayed harder. "God just get me to the finish line upright and smiling."
I knew my 3 goals were shot. I decided to make a 4th Goal.
To run with everything I had. Finish in pain, Finish sweating. Finish dizzy, Finish this Damn Race with all I had.
My body was shutting down. I had peed my pants with every drink. I couldn't keep anything in my bladder. I literally had no control as it dripped down my legs. My stomach was wanting to retch. I turned on my music to get me out of my head the last two miles.
|Don't PEEk to closely....!|
I thought about Lacey. Lacey was waiting for me at the Finish. I so badly wanted to run Boston with her. I knew she had finished. I knew she had qualified. I just knew. Trying to hold back the tears and keep my legs moving I turned my music up louder.
My watch had me finished and yet the volunteers were yelling "2 tenths of a mile to go"!!
Walking in was an option I wanted so badly to entertain. But it was NOT an option.
"Pick it up and turn it over Anita."
I reached the stadium and felt my legs pick it up. It felt so good to see the timing mat. I found myself thanking God for just getting me across that mat running!
I was thankful for everything.
Lacey was there. I was so happy for her.
Andy J came across the finish line not to far after.
It was a great reminder that joy comes from other people victories as well.
Lacey and I hauled butt the best we could, all beat up and crooked to the rec center to get showers and make it back to see the girls finish.
Heading back after our showers Lacey spotted the girls coming down the course. Shouting and panicking we tried to run but it was more like a hobble. We were screaming from the top of the hill and trying to get our cameras.
Everyone had finished.
“A failure is not a loss. It’s a gain. You learn. You change. You grow.”
Disappointed, sad and emotional. Yes, I would have loved to run Boston with Lacey.
I didn't make my time.
But God has given me that victory many times. It was time for someone else to enjoy the Glory. I may not have been able to reach my goals but the end result isn't the end. The end result isn't even the main moment for me. It was all the moments that came together to make this Epic Victory for Lacey. It was 16 weeks of training and bonding together as friends.
It was being there to watch others make their goals, to watch THIER dreams come true. I have been in the lime light, it was time embrace the emotions of my dear friends and their dreams coming true.
My tears could saturate my cheeks in defeat but I found more joy in others.
I was painfully reminded to DIE to SELF.
I was also reminded that God still gave me a great race. A great day. I great finish and Great Friends.
Glass City Marathon: 3:46:20
Course: So scenic. A park like setting with all this lush foliage, bridge and railroad was so lovely.
The Medal and shirt. The shirt, not much to be desired. The medal totally made up for it. The medal was so big and bingy everyone commented on it. Very COOL!
“It is better to make a thousand failures than to be too cowardly to ever undertake anything.” Clovis G. Chappell