Monday, October 18, 2010

2 hours 55 minutes!!

Hello, sorry it has been a while since I wrote, not much going on with my training during the taper weeks.  But on Saturday, I ran and finished the Baltimore 1/2 Marathon in 2 hours and 55 minutes.  It was a beautiful but incredibly windy day.  I felt like I was running into the wind most of the time, my eyes watered and my lungs burned some of the time.  And as I had heard, some of the hills were brutal.  But I really thought of all my family and friends who had encouraged me and that truly helped me keep going. 

To honor Uncle, my cousin Jessica came up with me wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, since they ran it the day after our wedding 6 years ago and I was running it the day after our anniversary.  So for something blue, I had my shoes and my capris, for something new, I had my Ipod armband, and some SuperGirl silly bands (that were the same "S" shape as Superman - another way to honor my Uncle), for something borrowed, I struggled a bit, but had Seth's car key (which I know is kind of a stretch, but I worked with what I had) and for something old I had a pin from the Statue of Liberty's bicentennial in 1986, I carried that in my pocket, I was afraid it would come off and I would lose it.  But that was also in tribute to Uncle!!   I had also found some New York City stickers, so I put 2 Statue of Liberty stickers and a subway sign sticker on my waist band.  And then I also found some yellow flower stickers, that I'm pretty sure weren't supposed to be buttercups, but that's what I wanted them to be, so I put those on my waist band too. They all stayed on during the race, except one buttercup!   

I met my friend Joni, and her husband Kevin and daughter Chloe at the Light Rail Station at 7:00 and we took the train into the city.  We watched the start of the full marathon, although somehow we missed the guy parachuting out of the helicopter, oh well.  We were off to get Chloe ready for the Kids Fun run.  There was a lot of excitement in the air but I was trying to not let all it all get to me, I just kept saying I was going for a run.  I didn't get to see Chloe run because Seth called and they had made it into the city so I went to meet them. 

We walked over to the starting area, I got into my wave and waiting to cross the starting line.  I saw my family right before I started and it was fantastic.  I was worried about my first couple of miles and my right calf that had been hurting for a week or so.  I wore an Icy Hot Patch on and it seemed to really help.  I got through my first couple of miles with no problems.  I ran through parts of Baltimore I had never been before.  The best part of it was that there were people all along the course, they were out cheering us along.  Kids were out in the street wanting to high five you, it was fantastic!  It really helped and made me smile. 

I had bought a long sleeve shirt to wear under my running shirt, I was worried about the cold and I thought if I got hot, I could just pull up my sleeves.  Well around mile 7, I looked at my hands and my fingers were SO incredibly swollen, my rings hurt.  I couldn't figure out what was going on, I had water at all the water stations and I had just had a cup of Gatorade.  I thought maybe something was wrong with my sodium.  I tried moving them more and putting them over my head.  I was wearing an armband for my Ipod, but both my hands were swollen.  And I was starting to wonder if I should look for a medic or something.  I mean, they were that swollen.  Then a lightbulb went off in my head, that maybe my sleeves that I had pulled up was to tight and that was the problem.  Sure enough, once I pulled them down, the swelling started going down.  Funny now, not so funny at mile 7.

We ran around a lake, that was very pretty and helped to keep things interesting.  As we got closer to the finish line, more and more people were out cheering.  In one neighborhood, they were handing out beer for the "last hill" of the course.  People were handing out gummy bears.  It was very festive!!

Around mile 11, I started getting really tired, I ate some of my Chomps, and that picked me up a bit, I also grabbed a banana at one of the water stations.  That helped some too.   I tried to channel my "inner Kenyan," like my friend Andrea said to me.  And I kept trudging along.  I kept running and in the distance, Camden Yards and the giant Coke sign appeared, so I knew I was close.  But I was really struggling.  As I approached and got about a half mile (maybe not even that far) away from the finish line, I heard my girls, Seth, my Dad, Randy and Charlie cheering me on.  And that is what I really, really needed.  It perked me up so much that I picked up my pace and smiled the rest of the way!  Apparently, Sarah was sad that I "didn't even stop."  The crowds got bigger as I crossed the finished line and they were cheering everyone on. 

Crossing the finish line was a pretty incredible moment!  I sort of wished my family had been there, but was also glad that they were further away to help me get through the last little leg of it.  The clock said 3:14 and I was kind of disappointed that I had finished in over 3 hours, even though I promised myself that I just really wanted to finish it, I really wanted to finish in under 3 hours.  I had hoped for 2:30, but would have been glad for under 3.  When I got home, I checked the website and my chip time said 2 hours 55 minutes, I was so thrilled!!!  Since I was in the last wave to start, it took me that long to get to the start line! 

I met up with my family and we all took the train back to our house for stew.  I wasn't sore, I wasn't tired, but I knew that was coming.  I actually had an amazing amount of energy and I think I was even talking faster than I usually do.  It was a lovely afternoon. 

I'm so grateful that my Dad, Randy and Charlie came down to be here for the race, it meant SO much to me.  Also, this was the first time Seth and the girls had really seen me run.  I felt like Uncle was with me for most of the run, I had asked him several times to be there :)  It was such a magnificent day!!!!  I'm really proud of my 39 year old self!!  And I'm already looking forward to running the Vermont City Marathon as a relay with my cousin Jessica in May!!!  Although I'm not quite ready to run again just yet, my right calf is pretty sore.  And I'm wicked tired!  I'm hoping to get to the gym on Wednesday.  But I will run again!!  I know I can do it!!  And I know that my Uncle is smiling down on his new running niece!!!  I think he would be wicked proud!! 

Thank you all for your incredible support and encouragement over the past few months!! I have been truly overwhelmed!!!  I couldn't have done it without all of you, so thank you, thank you,, thank you from the bottom of my heart!!


  1. yea! you rocked it! so impressed.

  2. What a sweet day all around.

    May 29th, here we come.

    You know, you can register for the whole marathon in Vermont right now. ... just sayin....


  3. You ran it, You get the gold star! I'm just glad to support you!
    And you are soooo right, Peter is soooooo proud of you!

  4. THAT'S MY GIRL!!!!!!

    (that's what I was cheering in my head all day. Just so you know.)

    I am so impressed with you, Charchar. 25 years ago, you never would have run. 15 years ago, you never would have run. 10 years ago, maybe. 5 years ago, possibly. But this is your year. And you rocked it! And you're going to rock the Vermont City, and it's going to be incredible experience. You're going to know Unc's with you then too, because he ran it too. I burst into tears just watching the start of it, I can't imagine what it'll be like to be actually in the midst of the crowd.

    And seriously, you still could sign up for the whole.....