Saturday, September 19, 2009

Top of Utah Marathon - Nope not my turn

This was to be it. The big one. My first.ever.marathon! I've been so excited! I've been working hard, training even harder. And yet. NO GO. Sitting the bench. Riding the pine. Not in the lineup. Outside the huddle. You get the picture.

When I first planned and signed up for this, I was recruiting buddies. My good friend from the gym, C, said he'd cut me a deal. If I did the Ulcer 100 with him, he would do the marathon with me. Deal. Pinky Swear.

So when I got sidelined, I made the dreaded call and felt terrible telling him that I was out. It was then he shared a secret. While he was happy to be planning on doing it alongside me, he really had his own very private and personal reasons for seeing through this accomplishtment. 'Nuff said. He was still planning on it and gratefully took my hotel reservation for Friday night.

In the meantime I had heard of my some of my Red Rock buddies who were also running it and a plan hatched in my head.

So Friday night, I headed up to Logan and crashed on my sisters couch. As I drove through town to Smithfield, I saw the signs welcoming the runners and various people walking the street back to their hotel rooms after carb loading. I call Splenda and cried the rest of the way to my sisters house. I felt so left out, and it felt so unfair.

Early Saturday morning I drove to the park where they were loading the busses with the runners to take them up the canyon to the starting line. I also picked up my packet and got my shirt and goodies from the swag bag. Obviously no need for the chip timer! : )

I planted my self right where I was told the runners were going to be meeting to load. I watched and watched and watched. I did see these guys and got a pre-race shot
WF, JF and KL

I also saw my neighbor who is a marathon extraodanaire. But I didn't see C. I wanted to surprise him with some pre-race support. I waited until the last runner boarded and the final bus left with still no glimpse of him. Later, I learned he boarded a bus, out of my line of sight.

Standing there in the cold and watching the excited runners with their ankles strapped with their chip timers, their jackets that would be stripped off in a few hours as the sun rose, and the anticipation of what lied ahead for them, was almost too much. I cried all the way back to my sister's.

At my sister's, who also happens to be an M, we hung out, chatting, catching up and even had K my sistah-from-another-mistah come over and iron my clothes for me. I caught up with the kids and listed to their encouner with a dead snake.

can you tell which is my blood?

Same game here. Who's blood and who's my sistah-from-anotha-mistah?

After giggles, a hot shower and some caffeine. I drove back to the park and hobbled my way over to the finish line.

Knowing how fast all my buddies were, I figured I had to play it safe and get there around the 3:30 time frame. I planted my self and my crutches right at the sideline at 3:15. And waited.

What fun it was to watch the various runners cross! The looks on their faces! Some were running it full steam down the chute, while others did their best to keep one foot moving in front of the other. But they all had the most satisfied look on their face. Their countenances were BEAMING. Truth be told, I was insanely jealous!

I bit back yet MORE tears and just watched for each of my friends to cross while taking in the whole atmosphere surrounding me.

At 3:35 and some change, here came RD, my neighbor. Dude is KICKING it! I knew he was speedy but he pulled a fantastic time. I did get the chance to talk to him before I left and he was only 5 min off qualifying for Boston. He'll do it in a few weeks in St George. I just know it!

At about the 3:50 mark, I see KL, My Red Rock captain. Only he isn't running. He is in pain, and walking with obvious effort. I started yelling at him to finish strong and get going. He either didn't hear me, or didn't give a rat's patootie what I had to say, he gimped the best he could across the line. My first thought was "Oh Crap! What's happened? He's hurt! Crap!" But as the runners cross the finish line they are funneled into an area where non-runners are not allowed. I figured I would find out what happened later.

Back to watching for the rest of my buddies. As runners were coming in, they announced their names and where they were from. I recognized my former doctor and his wife, so I cheered them on in as they finished.

Before too long, here came WF - but I wasn't fast enough on my camera. Shortly after him, his daughter JF, came through and I did get a snap of her.

Still waiting on C and JA. I'm looking at the time and realizing that it's a little longer than I thought C would take. I've run with him before, I know he can totally kick it. I began worrying that something awful had happened.

JA comes by - I cheered her and got a pic. Now, I just had C left to wait for. Where was he? I was getting very worried. I knew he had trained properly, he was in perfect shape for this. But what if something disasterous had happened?

As I was stewing, I felt a tap on my shoulder. There is KL. He had laid down for awhile and was now trying to get his legs working again. The dude posted a fantastic pace and was screaming in until the 26.1 mark. And then his legs just seized up and didn't want to work. How awful! That last .1 and you can't get your body to cooperate! I still was immensely proud of him seeing as this was his first marathon ever.

Just as we were chatting, here comes C! Finally!
He is looking great and finishing strong and grinning from ear to ear! This was also his first marathon and I just couldn't be any happier for him! He funneled into the runners area, I tried to get his attention, but he hadn't even seen me yet!

We finally found each other in the park, he told me all about it and I vicariously lived those 26.2 as best I could. I was so happy for him, who is like a brother to me, and for every single one of my friends.

RD - marathon dude who will totally qualify for Boston.
KL - first marathon and a solid performance. Solid! I don't care what he says about the last .1 - he was SOLID.
WF - no stranger to marathons. Comes in steady as she goes, looking like he's just taken a walk in the park.
JF - following in her dad's footsteps. A superb runner who jumps in, does her thing, and finishes as strong as she started.
JA - her first marathon. She was nervous. But as I watched her face come through the chute toward the finish line, I could tell she had been battling internally, and she came out on top. If I had to guess, her body tried to talk her into giving up at some point, and she refused. She was the winner.

and then C - his first marathon as well. And knowing his personal motivation behind it, makes it all that much more special. He struggled at mile 19. But it didn't last long, and when he came through the chute, he came through smiling, and if you know anything about him, THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS!

I am immensely proud of each of these friends and their performances inspire me to do the right things to get better and get back to running. I want to be back in the game, back in the huddle, on the line up shhet, and off the pine.

After dropping C off at his hotel room, grabbing a bev from the sev, I started the long drive home. And while I was so happy, excited and proud of my friends, I was also sad for myself. I missed the rush. I missed the high. I missed the thrill of finishing a physical test so hard that it makes one cry. I missed running.

I think I finally quit crying about Kaysville

BUT - I'll be back!


Devri said...

You will be back better than ever.. sorry I have missed your posts lately! I didn't know you were on crutches, yup me for almost 10 weeks now.. I love them don't you! lol

ok so you don't worry, you will get it next time! you rock, and nothing can get you down for too long..

JennyMac said...

Sorry about your injury getting in your way. The pics were really fun to look at though, thanks for sharing.

I have an award for you! Put on your party shoes and come over.

Vanessa said...

Next year FOR SURE!

Terresa said...

There's always next time...And just think: You are still an inspiration, especially to someone like me would thinks about running but in the end, just runs as far as the pantry where the chocolate is stashed.

Shawn said...

So great that you could be there to support your friends! I'm sure that you will be on the next one!!

Cherie said...

You are such a great and supportive friend!
I know you'll be back with the group running the next one.
Happy healing :D

Omgirl said...

You go girl! Way to keep your spirits up. I know you'll be back in the saddle again soon.

Jenny said...

I know you'll do it next time. Get better quick.

Kado! said...


You are so cute...even if you did not get to race...You'll be back in the running before long!!!