Sunday, April 6, 2008

yakima river canyon marathon

Did yesterday really happen? That's what I asked Aaron when I woke up this morning. It feels like a dream. A really, REAL dream that made my quads hurt like someone took a meat cleaver to them.
To start at the beginning---
Blake decided that Wednesday would be a great day to start teething. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night, he was up about 4 times each night, not wanting to eat, be held, sleep; just wanted to let us know how miserable he was. Friday night I had about 5 hours of sleep. So being well rested, we awoke at 6:30 and drove to the Days Inn. Picked up my race packet and then had about an hour and a half to kill.
Stood in line to use the potty, got some water, ran into the guest speaker Rick Nealis, the Marine Corps Marathon race director. Chatted with him for about 10 minutes. He was a closetalker. But he was super nice and genuinely excited for me running in my first marathon.
Then Aaron and I parked the car at a better location; one where he could see me as I ran by and where he could make a quick getaway to hurry home and pick up my sister April, her two kids and mine, and then drive back to the last spot where they would see me run by before I headed into the canyon.
The second picture is me trying to suck down the energy goo. It has the consistency of honey, but not as yummy. Then it was time for me to head off to the starting line which was about .3 miles south of where we were parked. I started to say a prayer and got the first 4 words out before I had to stop because I began to cry. I was so scared. It just seemed so overwhelming at that moment. Aaron was so supportive. He said he knew I could it, and that I would be fine. Choked out the rest of the prayer and headed for the start.
We were started by the blowing of a semi's loud horn, and we were off. As I got closer to where Aaron was, and then when I saw him, I started to get choked up again. I wanted to just run into his arms and be done with it. I could just say that I "started" a marathon. ;) But I kept running past and then I knew I was in it for real.
I have to say it was pretty awesome to be a part of a marathon. I've run in a lot of road races, most of them being only 5k's, and it's always an exciting feeling knowing that everyone around you is out there running because they love it. I love running. It's something that I've always loved doing since my first "track" practice in 5th grade. And I fell in love with distance running in 7th grade. Call me crazy, but it's true.
Back to the story, it was also funny to see all the different types of runners. A runners club ((you have to have run 100 marathons to be in that club)) uses this marathon as their reunion race, they were all wearing bright yellow singlets. There was the guy wearing swim trunks, a guy who looked like his name would be Signor Pepe, who was wearing super short red, green and white running shorts with matching singlet. Then there were the heavier runners, the super skinny runners, the chubby runners ((that would be my category)), but the coolest person I saw got better each time I saw him. The first time was when we were sitting in the car and I saw him walk by with his sweet braided rat-tail. Then at about the 2 mile mark, I saw him and he had on Mickey Mouse earmuffs. Then a few miles later he had taken off his warm-up pants and underneath he was wearing some dang awesome blue, yellow, pink and purple paisley running tights. Coolest runner ever. ;)
Around the 2.5 mile mark, there were a few of the race volunteers and spectators. I ran by and I heard my name being yelled. I turned around and it was the Marine guy!! He had remembered my name and was cheering me on. Awesome.
My cheering section was there waiting for me to run by. ((corgan had just fallen in the gravel right before i got there so he was crying)) I took off my sweatshirt, gave them hugs and kept on trucking. Into the lone, weary canyon I ran.
This is going to sound crazy to a lot of you, but it was fun. It was so hard, exhausting, and not pleasant at times, but it was fun. Not the kind of fun you have at Chuck E. Cheeses, but pretty close. I had stuffed two of the goo's in my bra and I forgot to take to one out of my sweatshirt. But I found one on the ground that somebody had dropped, so it was ok. ;) Those may not taste great but they really do work. I found myself be-boppin' to the music every once in awhile. The hardest part would have to have been the last 5.5 miles. I didn't have any more goo, but it probably wouldn't have helped me anyways. My legs were so very tired, and of course, there was a ginormous hill right before the finish. It was a really long gradual hill that took forever to get up. But then after that it was downhill to the finish. And when I came around the last corner and could see the finish I got all excited and picked up the pace for the last kick. And when I was almost finished, me being the cry baby, got all choked up again. I had done it. I actually finished a freakin' marathon!!! Right before crossed the finish line some announcer dude said "Rachel Smith, first time marathoner!" And the Marine guy was there and shook my hand. I got a rose, and a medal and a space blanket. Then I was looking around for my family and they weren't there. I thought it was going to take me at least 5 hours to complete, but I finished it in 4:47!!! So I found someone with a cell phone and called Aaron. He didn't believe me. Like I would be calling from the course! They arrived about 15 minutes later. So sorry, no pictures of my finish, but I'm ok with that. Nobody looks pretty while they're running unless they're on the cover of Runner's World.
So that's it, my marathon story. I can hardly walk, my quad's are the only part of me that feels sore. But it's enough pain that I probably won't be walking normal for about a week. I didn't get any blisters, didn't throw-up, didn't die. I did almost pass out in the shower though. I think it was a combination of the hot, hot water, complete exhaustion, and the need to just let everything rest. I started to feel really nauseous and then everything went black. I remember calling out Aaron's name. I could hardly hear anything, it sounded like I had a high powered fan in my ears, then I had tunnel vision. Aaron came in and helped me out of the shower and I laid on the bath mat for a few minutes until I felt strong enough to stand. Aaron said it looked like I praising Allah in the nude. But other than that, a success!!!

blake looking his best while teething

sucking down the goo

my racing number

the first .3 miles down, 25.9 more to go

my cheering section

after they FINALLY showed up ;)

i LOVE my husband!!!

a picture of the last stretch of the race

yay, me!

holding up my medal and wearing my sweet space blanket

idol worshipping

thankful things:

1-my body. it's amazing what can be accomplished with training.
2- my family and their support. my husband's especially. i needed to find time to do all the training runs, some lasting for a few hours. i love him and him supporting me!
3- a break. after running a marathon, they suggest not running for 2-3 weeks. done!
4- general conference. it was nice not having to go to church after the race. being able to stay at home and watch/listen to conference on the computer was just what i needed. i loved all the talks given, especially ballards' and hollands'. pres. monson was in fine form, too. he was so stinkin' funny!


Plain City Dickamores said...

Way to go Fuzzbucket. What a great accomplishment. We love you, and so does Lael!!!!

TheDillon6 said...

i look like I'm praising Allah right now, too, but I'm praising Y-O-U!! way to GO! I hope you don't mind...I've forwarded your link to a friend of mine who is an avid runner...he'll love your story. :)

Scott said...

Way to go! I couldn't even imagine running a marathon.

Stan and Jamie said...

CONGRATS Rachel!!! That's awesome! I'm in awe!

The Kunz Family said...

Wow Rachel...that is so awesome!! You are living proof that you truly can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Way to go!

Anjuli Fry said...

Good for you!!! That is defiantly not something that I could have done and I amazed at those that can. Both my brothers have run marathons and they are completely wiped out afterwards. You are Awesome!

Emily and Nathan said...

It is amazing that you can do something like that. Good for you!

Nate and Marcie said...

I actually started crying at the end of your story just seeing the pictures, I'm lame, but that is SO awesome for you!!! Great job!

Lore Smart said...

Conrgrats Racheal what an amazing accomplishment. You are an inspiration to me and I know many others. I love the pics. We should go jogging together sometime, well not for awhile of course those poor legs of yours.

Thanks for all of your comments on my blog. I am so computer illiterate that I had no idea that people could comment and that I could do the same. My sister told me about the comment part and I was so shocked that you and others were making comments on my blog. So sorry for not responding. I had no idea. I'm glad I've figured it out now. once again amazing job on the running 26.2 miles. AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!!!!

MoJo's Weekly Update said...

You're number one dude. Number one in my book or running.

Angie said...

Ok. Wow! What an amazing accomplishment. Someday I want to be like you. Seriously. I would love to run a marathon someday.

So, is there something behind the space blanket? Is that supposed to keep your body from going into shock or something? I'm completely clueless.