Saturday, March 15, 2014

It Takes a Village: Rock and Roll DC Marathon

I completed my second marathon today. My training wasn't where it needed to be, so I called on the help of friends to get me through. My Coach laid out a great training plan, but I didn't follow it as I should have. Heather and I completed some of our long runs together, but my long runs were never as long as they should have been, so I was worried. I called up Tracy and Angie and asked them to run with me and they didn't hesitate for one second. I got through the first 16 miles alone, but with lots of doubt about going the full distance. It wasn't until I saw Ieesha and she told me, "You're going to finish" that I knew that I would not bow out at the half. It was mental, as nothing really hurt besides my Achilles in the first mile. I was just tired and not up for the challenge, since I didn't get conditioned as well as I should have. This was an emotional race for me. I cried when I saw Ieesha, I cried when I saw Gladys and I cried a couple of other times. I realized that quitting was not an option and that I need to have mind control over Deebo (the devil that sits on my shoulder sometimes). I thought about my upcoming Ironman Chattanooga triathlon and asked myself, "How are you going to become an Ironman if you start quitting now?".

I pushed past the those crazy thoughts and started to count down the miles before I saw Tracy. I hesitated at the point where I could go left to the 1/2 marathon finish or right to stay on the marathon course. Tracy was exactly where she said she would be at mile 16 and we got to stepping. I started to fade in mile 18 because I needed salt, so she bummed some pretzels from a spectator. Francy was out there and gave me a hug. Angie was right before the 20 mile mark, as promised, so Tracy handed me off to her. I had no pain, but was just getting tired. Angie decided that we would start running 3:1 intervals, but we quickly had to change it to 2:1 intervals. She was relentless with sticking to the intervals, even on the hills of that wicked Minnesota Avenue. Before long, we saw Gladys and she had my Coke and Peanut M&M's as promised. Angie made me some salt water and we brought it in to the finish line.

This was truly a group effort. I know that the last 10 miles would have been even more of a challenge without those ladies. I will eternally be grateful to them and vow to follow my training plan moving forward. My Coach and Heather were waiting for me at the finish line. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

Me and Heather
Shayla: Chance meeting at the start line!
Running Angels: Tracy and Angie!

Me and Gladys: The Coke and M&M's got me to the finish line!!
Mission Complete!