Monday, January 24, 2011
I had some misgivings about running the P.F. Chang Phoenix Rock and Roll Marathon:
1) My legs haven't been working for about 6 months
2) My lungs haven't been working for about 6 months
3) The marathon was on Sunday -- I had a secret fear that I would die from breaking my tradition of keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.
The weekend of the marathon arrived. I flew out to Phoenix. The weather was amazing: 50s-70s! We got pumped up at the Expo battling the crowds for free Muscle Milk, Cliff bars, fortune cookies . . .
I should've known from my fortune that it may not be my best race: "Some dark moments may lie ahead. Slow and steady finish."
Caleb's fortune was much more positive: "You are a winner. Run like one!"
(By the way . . . I made those fortunes up!)
Caleb bought an awesome running jacket. I bought a padded running bra (took me up to a size A cup). We were ready to "ROCK!"
The morning of the marathon, we woke up bright and early to make it to the 7:40 start time. I used the potty twice, took some pictures, packed up all my gear.
We used the porta potty by the bus stop before we were shipped off to the start line. We used the porta potties 3 more times before the start time. I should've pretty much been completely cleaned out!
Caleb and I were leisurely stretching near the potties when we hear the marathon announcer say, "One minute till start time, Marathoners!" What?! How did we lose track of time? We ripped our sweats off, ran our gear bags towards the UPS trucks, and then headed towards the corrals where we were supposed to be. Unfortunately, everyone had already started running. We were at the back of the pack. It was fun passing people for the 1st mile. Caleb was feeling good -- hopping onto sidewalks and curbs to get past other runners. I was feeling happy with our 8:15 starting pace. No problem, right?!
We cheered a bit as we ran past the 1st band at the Mile 1 marker. The band sounded like they should've been jamming in their garage instead of in public, but who am I to be choosy? I think I was expecting U2 or Bon Jovi. Instead . . .
Well, I don't know if it was the lack of excitement I felt for the band or just my weary legs, but I started to slow down. I lost sight of Caleb by Mile 2 and just kept slowing down from there. There were a few memorable highlights from the rest of the marathon that will forever be engraved in my memory:
1) I had trouble gagging down my 3rd Chocolate Outrage GU around Mile 16. I think I took it way too early. My stomach revolted. No porta potty in sight. I was either going in my pants or . . . a convenient store parking lot. I chose Option #2. I feel bad for the workers at the store who will have to eventually clean up the mess, but even more so for the runners coming up behind me who had to witness the event. One runner shouted, "Ooh, gross! Look at that girl!" Unfortunately "that girl" was me! P.S. Another possibility for the mess at Mile 16 was all the cheese our beautiful, niece, Nora, made me eat for dinner the night before!
2) I will never forget being passed at Mile 20 by a woman with 1 leg (her other one was prosthetic).
3) I will also never forget being passed at Mile 21 by a 90 year old man that looked like he should've been dead.
4) Seeing one of the "Rock Bands" that consisted of one woman playing a cello and saying "Go runners" into a microphone. Not very motivational.
4) Absolute best memory of the race: finding out that Caleb ran his first marathon in 3:29. He is AMAZING!! Never had a more proud sister moment.
I am so glad that I got to run the Rock and Roll Marathon with a Rock Star! Thanks for doing the marathon with me, Caleb!! Till next time . . .