Thursday, November 24, 2011

How the Marathon became more than just a race day event (part 2)

The Day of the Marathon....
Of course, I failed to sleep the night before. I was up a lot. I had not been feeling well; I was thinking that was all part of the taper madness that I had been dealing with leading up to the race. (By the way, taper madness is not fun. You can do a google search for more information on that.)

Anyway, I woke up and starting prepping at 4AM.  I got my food in me, made sure I had everything I needed and mentally got my head prepared for what I would face. Then, I got my family up, ready and out the door.

Along the way, I was getting pep talks from my son. I really think he liked being on the other side of things. I am usually the pep talk one, but this time he got to “mother” me. I soaked it in and thought what a great heart he has. I also wondered if that is what I sound like to him before games.

We arrived at 6AM, just as I was supposed to.  Then, we waited around until 6:30AM when the race began. I met a few ladies at the start and took pictures for them so they could remember their morning. It was their first Marathon and they should remember it fondly. As for me, I got a few last minute hugs from my husband and son-just what I needed and I was on my way.  

The course was not well marked, which lead me to follow a map that was not drawn to scale and didn’t have all the streets on it. There must have been at least 3 times I thought I was lost. I wasn’t, but I had to stop to figure this out. Why couldn’t I just follow those in front of me? At first, I could and did follow the few in front of me- we were keeping close in a pack.

However, they decided to take off running around mile 1 ½. Yes, I did say I was the walker division; apparently there are loose rules for that. I was frustrated, but reminded myself that I didn’t train to run this, I trained to walk it. So, that’s what I did.

I had anxiety over the course until it was better marked. I decided that I would keep a pace that I knew I could finish and reach the goal of under 6 hours. But, most importantly I wanted to enjoy this day. When shooting for anything under 6,I  knew I wouldn’t get my reach, reach goal. But, instead just a time that would allow me to take in all there was in this first marathon of mine. Looking back, that was a great decision as; I can now look back with fond memories on that first marathon. I was able to cheer others on, encourage them and hopefully helped a few along the way to achieve the results they wanted that day.

My support crew helped with this being such a wonderful memory. I got emails, text messages, phone calls, care packages all to make sure I was mentally ready for this day. Then, the day of I had 3 amazing friends who each joined me for a few miles and it was wonderful to have the company, it made me feel so loved and cared for. (Girls if you read this, you were awesome and I am so blessed!)  Of course, I had my husband and son out there cheering for me. They met me at miles 6, 7 and 25. My son had notes for me at miles 5, 10, 15, and 20.  What more could a girl need?

The notes were as follows:

Mile 5’s note: Believe in the Lord and you will have succeeded. We are counting on you. C’mon!

Mile 10’s note: Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength they will soar on wings like eagles. Isaiah 40:31. We are counting on you. Try your hardest. Do your best.

Mile 15’s note: I believe in you. Do your best. Try! C’mon try! Go baby! Go Power walk Go! Don’t give up now- go!

Mile 20’s note: Make this count. 6.2 more miles. C’mon Go power walk. Run, do anything except give up!

While out there, I twisted my ankle twice. It kind of hurt, but honestly I couldn’t feel it that much at that point. Plus, I knew I was not stopping! I carried my supply of water and gummies with me. Along with a few other supplies just in case I needed them.

Around mile 22, I didn’t want to give up but between mile 22 and 23 I knew I had to get in it mentally. It became tough; it wasn’t that I didn’t think I could physically do it. It was more that my brain was telling my body to stop and I was fighting with it. It’s hard to put into words, but whatever it was I got through it. I knew my legs were swelling and starting to hurt. But, I knew if I stopped that I would pass out. I could feel that. So, I focused on the fact that I had only a few more miles to go. That way I was able to get myself snapped out of it and get back into the mental mindset that I needed to have to finish. I had a friend with me at this point and I think that truly helped me. 

Mile 25 came and I saw my son and husband there waiting for me. I waved and smiled. (I smiled a lot during this race.) At this point it was so good to see them. Then, my son joined me and took over for the friend that was there for those few miles before. His presence was just what I needed to finish.

After I finished and I got a hug from my husband, I knew that if I stood still any longer that I would indeed pass out. So, I walked around and we grabbed a few pictures thanks to my friend and her family. Yes, I walked around more and I took the stairs down to the car. I got in the car and could hardly believe that it was over. What a day, what an experience. The scripture that stuck in my head all through training was there with me then at the marathon and it is so true. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

What’s next? Well, I have more goals to reach for and I plan on reaching for them, as this is just the beginning.


  1. Congrats Amy!! So very proud of you and I'm sure you woke up today even more thankful for such loving and supportive family & friends!! The story of your son speaks volumes on how awesome you are as a mama!!

  2. What a wonderfully inspiring story...I truly enjoyed reading every word of your marathon journey! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Hope you and your beautiful family enjoy Thanksgiving!

  3. You all are sweet. Oh Heather, I am blessed with this Son of mine and just trying my best. Your words are too kind. :)
    S- You always know how to make a girl smile!
    Thank you ladies! :)