Monday, May 18, 2009

My Big Race

The night before the race I thoroughly enjoyed my Olive Garden with Jessica and Meghann.
(We had invited our other race friends but they couldn't make it.)
I did not have to worry about my alarm because I woke up just before 6am. I woke up with Maya standing right next to my bed staring at me. It totally freaked me out. The last time she did that I accidentally kicked her!
For breakfast I had a banana and a piece of whole wheat toast with some water.
I hitched a ride with Laura at 6:45am and I was off for my race.
Here I am with my peeps at the starting line.
I was mostly excited at this point and my nerves were pretty much gone. So no puking....yay!
Here I am running, and I didn't even spit once!
The course was beautiful and the weather was PERFECT! I was feeling pretty good until about mile two. Then the outside of my knee started to hurt. I was so annoyed and kept hoping it would go away. At mile six we were running at 8 min 50 sec pace. I was so excited that I was doing so well. But I was wondering how long I could keep that up with my pain increasing with every rolling hill. By mile nine I had to pull back and my pals had to go on without me. I kept going trying to block out the pain. At mile ten some older lady who was cheering on the side lines yelled "You can do it! Good job!" I seriously started to cry. Just ahead was a water station and I saw Amy so I sped up to catch up with her. The next three miles were SOOOOOO hard. That last mile seemed like it would never end. Then I saw/heard my mom and sister cheering for me right before the finish line. I was so happy to see them and then I heard my name over the loud speaker and I started cheering and clapping for myself....I seriously did see...
Then I crossed the finish line.
I saw my time 2 hours 7 min. I was happy...not thrilled, but happy. Throughout all my training I never thought that I could finish my first half marathon in two hours. But as I was running the race I was actually feeling really good. And if it weren't for my knee pain I could have probably made it in 2 hours. So that was disappointing. But I couldn't be that disappointed when I saw these people waiting for me at the finish line.
And yes those are pom poms.
I couldn't have done this without Amy. She was my training partner...through the wind, the rain, and the snow she was my motivation.
She was also nursing the same injury but on the opposite knee, otherwise she would have smoked me for sure.
(See Cynthia in the background taking pictures. She didn't even get to run the race because she is pregnant. Instead she went along the course on a razor scooter taking pictures of us and cheering us on. Now that is a real friend...thanks Cynthia!)
I still can't believe I ran thirteen miles without stopping. And even more amazing is that I am planning on doing it again next year. I have to see if I can get under that 2 hour mark. I really had a great time. I think it's because I had these friends doing it with me...
And an amazing husband supporting me all the way.
(I couldn't decide which picture I liked better so I used them both.)
And now I am taking a week off from running to give my knee a break. I was pretty sore yesterday but today I am feeling a lot better. I was able to rollerblade with Maya to school but that was about all I could handle.
I will say this about my race. It gave me an even greater appreciation for my body than I had before. I am so grateful to have a healthy body and to have legs that can run. What I asked my body to do was pretty amazing and I will not take my health for granted again. I feel more alive now than I ever have.
As I was trying to block out my pain and find some inspiration, I couldn't help but think of my mother in law. She is battling cancer, a disease that has no mercy. Her body has been put through hell and back just to stay alive. She has always taken care of herself and lived a healthy lifestyle. The fact that her body has beaten this disease three times before is a testimony of how amazing our bodies really are and why we should take care of them while we are young. So I dedicate this race to my mother in law, Kathy. She is an example of what real courage is and what real faith can do.


calibosmom said...

YEAH! I am so proud of you and what are you talkin' about? Your time was GREAT!!! Way to go! Maybe we can run together someday.

♥Shally said...

Great job!

I still think runners are crazy. Running for fun??? Ya, not my thing. :)

Natalie said...

i'm so proud of you jessica. i have knee pain and have to run every night with braces. i feel lame but they help a ton.

you've motivated me to do this. wanna do one together???

yay for you! you're awesome.

Lauren in GA said...

You did it! You did it! You did it!!

So, so amazing!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry about your knee pain. Way to push through it, Jessica. I love that you put both pictures of you and Aric. I just know he is so proud of you and so are your sweet kiddos.

Jean McKendrick said...

Congratulations!! I loved your race pictures. What a sense of accomplishment. Good for you!

Cristy said...

Jessica you are amazing!! You have inspired me to "get in shape" Keep it up girl, you are AWESOME!!!! Congrats on completing the entire race you ROCK!

the wrath of khandrea said...

thank the lucky red sox cap.

this post made me a little misty. i was actually beginning to get a little panicky thinking "is she gonna make it to the end? please let the knee hold up!"

i know, weird. or just a testament to your good writing. congrats on finishing.

Lindsey said...

Inspirational. I think I teared up a bit. I love you. Good job and congratulations!

Jenny Erazo said...

YEAH!!!! You are incredible! You are such an inspiration and I LOVE that you were clapping for yourself! CONGRATS!!!

Erin said...

Totally made me cry. :) I am so excited for you!!! Running has the power to really transform so much of how we feel about ourselves and our ability to tackle challenges doesn't it?? Such a beautiful post and excellent, excellent pictures.

The Hansen Clan said...

Congrats Jess! You did great and I am so proud of you.

Mrs Ana said...

I never doubted you would finish the race.Very proud of you. Such a beautiful thing to dedicate this race to Kathy. She is a woman of great courage and inspiration! We should all run one just for her! God Bless you Kathy!

Ilene said...

You ladies rock. Congratulations!!!

I don't know if I could run a quarter of a mile without having to stop. But I totally would have made it for the pasta dinner the night before.

Love that Cynthia was scootering alongside you guys. Next year she will be running the marathon with her baby bjorn strapped to her chest.

doodooguru said...

Good for you, lady. Next year I will eat pasta before your race too!

Mahina said...

yipee! i love thatyou are clapping for yourself! you're awesome!

right before my marathon i was diagnised with ITB tendonitis and the physical therapist told me i shouldn't run, but i had raised so much money for the leukemia society and the race was in alaska. so, like i wasn't going to run!! i suffered from knee pain through the whole thing and had to walk the last 13 miles. so, i can feel your pain!!

your time was great!!

AMY said...

Seriously... is that the ONLY finishing line pic you could find. I really should have smiled realizing pictures were definitely being taken. And how did my quad looks muscle-y and flabby at the same time?

I seem to have forgotten the pain of training though... I'm thinking about a half marathon in the fall!

Thanks for keeping me motivated!!

Kara said...

Way to go, Jess! You ROCK! It is so empowering, isn't it? You would have blown me away...I only dream of running so fast. And you did it with a sore knee!

I've been hoping to do another one either this fall (Colbert) or this same one next year. Seeing your pictures inspires me even more!

kthom said...

My goodness that is one impressive race you finished....with a spring in your step I might add! What a fun goal to accomplish with friends and your cute family. It always helps to run on a gorgeous morning as well! Check it off your list!

I totally fell asleep waiting for Kyle to get home so I didn't even start our DVRd 24...I'll be watching that tonight with much anticipation.

Little Ms. Kate is hanging in there and as of yesterday's ultrasound is almost hitting the 4 lb. mark, which thrills me. The wicked sore throat/head cold I'm hosting..not so much.

Way to go on your race once again...that is a very Looooooong distance/time to run , continuously, hats off to you my dear.

Melissa-Mc said...

You did it! I am so proud of you and you ran it in such a great time.

Randi said...

Hazzah! I knew you had it in ya!

just the five of us said...

Congrats on a fantastic time! I think your pictures are great too!
I think I would have crossed the finish line in a body bag...but I am running again after an injury last summer. Infact I am doing Boot Camp this summer. I MAY DIE!!!

p.s I am so glad I get to keep in touch with you through the blogging community.

Janelle said...

Amazing! Absolutely amazing! I am so proud of you! That is such a great accomplishment! It makes me miss Spokane though! Seeing all of the pictures really makes me want to come home!!

Elena said...

I am totally proud of you and you've become my inspiration to get serious about my walking and jogging. I like tia Ana's idea. I will look for a short run to do in Kathy's honor. She's a wonderful lady.
I never doubt your grit. If you say you're going to do it, you will. love you.

Bridget said...

You are a rockstar! That is seriously so awesome. I am jealous. I need to make my body run further than five miles someday. I have a mental block that I can't do more than that. Good for you!

Leah and Mike said...

Congratulations!! You are amazing!!

the Aymster said...

Great job!! Which race did you run? I am wanting to do another half marathon in the next year.

Becky said...

Great Job!!!!

Kara said...

Awesome job Jess. I don't know if I could go that far. I just ran my first 5k in 10 years. I finished and I love the way running makes life a go better. You are great motivation.