Quote of the Day: “We can accomplish but anything within our ability if we but think we can.” George Matthew Adams
Last Saturday, I ran my second marathon, post cancer treatment and BRCA 1 surgeries. In a lot of ways, the conditions were optimal. I had dropped five pounds about two weeks before the race due to an awful flu, something I would not recommend. I wondered if I could recover enough to have energy to sustain me 26.2 miles. Indeed, I felt great making me question if there is also a mental boost when you lose weight, that perhaps if you think it seems easier, it is. I also woke up to perfect weather and a tail wind to boot! It was a gorgeous morning. Joe, Taylor and I were all planning to run until Joe received a call at 10:00 P.M. Friday night from Alex with car trouble. Joe ended up not returning back to Grandma Janet’s until well after midnight, knowing he would have to take care of the car in the morning. He decided not to run the marathon. He did, however, drop Taylor and I at the buses around 5:00 A.M. It’s an early start, these marathons, getting everyone to the start by 6:45 is an incredible feat and St. George organizers are the best. Taylor and I found a seat at the very back of the bus and I must say that I loved being with Taylor. Maybe, it’s because he’s such a great person, or maybe I am trying to make up for time lost while he was serving a mission. Anyway, it was great to be with him. You always want to have a buddy at these marathon starts, someone to sit at the bonfires with, someone to wait with in the long porta-potty lines, someone to stand with as you wait for the start gun to go off. Taylor had decided that he would run the first miles with me so we took off running 10 minute miles. I was impressed that he held himself back, smart strategy as he had energy left at the end. And I was just grateful I could keep up. So, we parted at mile 8 and then I just kept looking for the balloon that signaled the next mile. I was feeling pretty good because the mile markers seemed like they were appearing quicker than the last marathons I have done.
I’ve given marathoning a lot of thought time, especially since time on your feet is essential preparation for it and then during the actual marathon, there is all this time to ponder. I wait until about mile 10 before I start listening to music because I want to work through everything for the day. And here is one major reason that I run, it has this amazing power to help you understand your world. There must be some connection between using your legs and using your brain. I have come to not only rely on that process, but come to love it. So many times, I have left running with a problem weighing on my mind only to return to have it worked upon, definitely feeling better about it and sometimes even solving it. And here’s a little secret, I really like my alone time during a marathon. There’s a lot of pressure to run someone eles’ pace in a marathon and if you do, there’s a huge price to pay for it. You have to make sure that you have enough energy to stretch over 26.2 miles so there is an art to using it wisely when you feel good.
I knew my foot would eventually start to hurt and depending when that happened, I might have to walk. St. George is a down hill marathon, and because of my foot issues, I didn’t train for the hills. About mile 20, the down hill was taking its toll on my legs and my foot. I had to walk and then run but there were these great volunteers at every mile ready to massage tired legs, their service got me through the race, rubbing calves and quads with menthol.
My favorite part of the race was when Joe met me at mile 16 and announced he would run the rest with me. I loved running with Joe because I don’t feel any pressure to keep running when I want to walk and he was so supportive telling me I was amazing to be doing this race. So, yeah, he wins as helping me the most through this race. This would have been his 15th St. George so I know he was a bit disappointed not to run but in typical Joe fashion, he once again sacrificed for us, so that our lives could run smoothly. And, about the car, it was a simple battery replacement so we were thrilled not to have a huge car problem and expense!
At the end, when I met up with Joe, Taylor, Alex, Katie and Aly, I was overjoyed to be heading home to a very needed shower. Taylor in all his enthusiasm said “Why am I not doing this every other weekend?” I certainly did not carry the same sentiment at that time but as I wear my “10 Year Club” shirt, I am smiling inside.
Taylor at bonfires, St. George marathon start