**So the weekend I got engaged I gave myself an off day for my long run. I mean, I guess getting engaged and spending time with your fiance, family, and friends is a good enough excuse. ;) So here is my post from Facebook after I completed my first full marathon, White Rock, December 4, 2011, with a few added annotations.(Highlighted)**
So since this is most likely the only full marathon I'll do, I thought I'd do a complete re-cap before I forget all the fun details.
^hahaha fat chance.
It was predicted to rain all weekend for the marathon weekend. Excellent. But the morning before the race, when I was out at camp it was only mildly drizzling. I thought to myself that if that's how it would be the next day then I'd be fine. Of course later that day the heavens opened up and let out a downpour. (This happened right after I got done shooting Barbara's senior pictures, so the walk back was a big preview for what was to come.)
After the youth rally mass, some of my closest friends laid hands on me and Bobby, who was also running the next day, and prayed over us. It was so encouraging and uplifting and was a reminder that no matter what, God would be there along the way and to remember to give all praise to Jesus. :) (Thank you again to Fr. Polley, Michelle, Catherine, Abby, Paula, Megan, Megan, Katie, Trey, Liz, Andrew, and everyone who prayed for us this weekend, your prayers are remembered and were definitely felt!)
And one year later I'm getting engaged to Fr. Polley. :)
That night I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest. The rain was still pouring down, but I hoped that it would finish before the next morning. Haha... NOPE. I woke up around 4:30 still hopeful. Nope. After that I had a dream that I received an e-mail saying because it was still raining/lightning the race was canceled. (Darn?) WRONG AGAIN.
About an hour later I got out of bed, added some music to my running playlist that I'd put off (which I don't recommend), and big thanks to Jenna for that! The night before I had put together all my essentials: GU, SPI belt, body glide, bib, safety pins, watch, arm band for phone, headband, gloves, and shoe tag.
The next thing I did was somewhat on a whim and it's probably the best thing I did to prepare for the race. I grabbed some iron-on letters (which I didn't realize the massive amounts that I have... contemplating my own t-shirt company...) and ironed on "FROSTY" to the front of my zip-up long sleeve shirt.
Best idea ever.
Seriously I suggest this to everyone.
All throughout the race spectators would yell, "GO FROSTY!!!!" and it was amazing! It gave me that little kick that I needed to keep pressing on.
Back to this morning.
It was mildly drizzling when I left. (Now I'm thinking, "okay sweet this can be good!") Traffic was awful, the line for the bathroom was just as awful, and then it was time to go. Whoa.
Within the first mile it started pouring down rain again. Awesome. At first people were trying to side-step puddles but that was a lost cause. I decided to just accept that I was going to be drenched with squishy shoes so I just powered through the small ponds.
My family was waiting for me at about 5.5 with their "Run Frosty Run" shirts on, and my sister's boyfriend had come along as well. (Trooper!!) I was feeling great at this point.
Fast forward a few miles where the marathoners split from the half marathoners. This was like, okay time to get down to business, this is really happening. The split monumentally thinned out the group, which was nice to have more personal running space. The people on Longview and Ellsworth were my favorite. So many had come out of their houses to cheer on the runners and had really entertaining signs. My favorite was "You're all Kenyans to us." hahaha.
Read this. hahaha.
It wasn't long until we were headed down Williamson to the lake, which was going to be a big familiarity to me since I'd been training out there since June. (Side note: There is a cross-street section of Williamson and Alexander. haha)
Not long after we got to the lake we hit the halfway point. WHOA. I was still feeling pretty good.(My thoughts were "Marathons?? Cake." ...Wrong again.)
The Frost clan + Steve met up with me again just after mile 14. I wasn't feeling so hot here. My shoe had been rubbing the back of my ankle and apparently had been bleeding pretty bad. Ashley applied some anti-chafe gel and I went back to running wondering how much longer this was going to take.
Around mile 17/18 "Unwritten" came onto my iPod and I felt this overwhelming sense of love, support, and pride. I almost started crying.
Musical interlude: These lyrics got me:
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
Music makes me emotional okay??
The wall is supposed to hit anywhere between mile 18 and 20 but I never felt it.
I did however get incredibly frustrated/bored around mile 24/25 when the crowd thinned out and I'm once again wondering if I can make it or why I'm doing this.
At mile 20 my sister joined me and ran the next mile or so with me. Pretty sweet! She got to experience both the Dolly Parton hills (and "the Dollys" handing out water. hahahahaha) and the Hooters-sponsored water station.
At this point my pace had slowed drastically, but picked up again a little after 21.5 when "Zero to Hero" came on my iPod. A- Hercules is one of my all-time favorite Disney movies and B- it reminds me of the Junior Co-Ed routine my first year at Spirit of Texas. I was so happy to be on that team... it was something I didn't think I could do (kinda like a marathon??). It also reminds me of two people who pushed me during those years... my coaches Brad and Brett. I like to think of them when something is challenging and remember when Brett told me that he'd rather see me eat carpet than put my hands down after a standing back. (Snapped me into shape! haha. Tough love.)
It got more difficult the last few miles mainly because I knew that I had such a short distance to go. Sounds weird but I think that having more miles ahead of you is easier when you know it's just going to take a while... and with those last few miles it should be cake but being at the end of a long race it's a huge challenge.
This is also where the crowds thinned out so it was harder to keep up the motivation.
Seriously, spectators make such a difference!!
Finally I entered Fair Park and saw the "Mile 26" marker and almost started crying again. I was there. My family was at about 26.1 and gave me that last kick for the last .1. (Even though it wasn't much, I mustered all that I could and powered through.) I was done. I had run a marathon.
Just got those excited/proud feelings again. Such an awesome feeling.
Katie was waiting at the fence just after the finish line and it was great to see her and Bobby. :)
I hobbled into the finisher's area, got inside and stretched, got my medal, my finisher's shirt, and a beer, a bagel, and a banana. Leaving that warm building was one of the most difficult challenges of the day. haha. Simply because of having to go back out into the cold and rain. By the time I got to my family I was SO cold and I couldn't stop shivering. My dad helped me walk to the car by basically holding me up as we walked. Afterward I changed clothes and we had a celebratory lunch at Mia's.
I did it. I finished.
I hadn't wanted to get a sticker for my car at the expo because I didn't want to jinx it, but now you can bet I'll buy that puppy.
I still think "Booya!" to myself every time I see that on my car. haha.
Also, big shout-out to everyone who texted me while I was running. You have no idea how such a small thing can have such a big impact. THANK YOU.
Aaaand mad props to EVERYONE that finished today. Half, full, relay... we kicked...asphalt.
And for those interested, I "GUed" at miles 5, 11, 16, and 21. I also discovered that when they hand out Gatorade I like to have water too to rinse out the sweet taste.
Next time I'll try 5/10/15/20/25.