Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Finish Line

I'll start off by telling you, if you haven't already seen my Twitter and Facebook updates, that I finished. All 13 miles or 21.1km of it.

Whew.

Now, because I am real or a pessimist, whatever, I must tell you the truth. It hurt. There was a wall. I hit it wall with all the power of hurricane force winds (I may still have bruises). I'll get to that though.

Things started off great, Oh Canada was sung and off we went. Me and about 500 of my closest friends and by close I am talking proximity, not relationship. Jay caught me just a few hundred feet into the race:

I am in the blue shirt on the left.

Then I went by my parents, the boys and Jay (he's fast, wait a minute, maybe he should have been racing) as we headed out onto the first loop.

Pacing yourself is hard especially when it seems like that means everyone is passing you. I know the biggest mistake you can make in a race is to start out too fast resulting in a crash and burn before the finish line. But by about the 2km mark I felt like I was running my pace. I was comfortable, not quite in my groove but just above it. It is a race after all. A race against myself primarily but a race none the less.

I did the 7 km of the first loop and as I started the second there was my family, smiling and waving. What a boost that was! On the second loop I was feeling good. I even grabbed a Gatorade to wet my mouth and kept on trucking. As I came around to do the third, and final loop, I couldn't see my family. Thinking they had missed me I kept trudging but willing them to be further along. I needed a boost to finish.

As I passed the crowd I saw the van. There they were. Whew! The boys came running up. I was good to go! Only about 6.5km to go. Can you tell? Little did I know this feeling would not last.

I lasted with this feeling about 20 more minutes but as I hit the final 5km I accidentally walked 2 min earlier than I was supposed to (I was running 10 minutes walking 1 the whole race). I wasn't tired, I just forgot the time I was supposed to walk. Oops I said to myself, whatever, walk, rest and keep going.

I don't think I lasted through the next 10 minute interval. I couldn't do it. By this point my legs were tired. So tired. I was willing them to keep going. Digging my nails into my hands just to forget about the pain in my legs. At that point I realized I had to listen to my body. I have run through pain before when my knee was bugging me, this was different. This was exhaustion kicking in. But I was finishing if I had to cross the finish line on my knees (and it was starting to feel like that was a distinct possibility).

The last 2km were by far the hardest. That is where I smacked into that wall. Hard. I could see it coming. I tried to avoid it. But the truth was that I couldn't. What I had to do is plow through it. Though I bounced off it a couple times first, I can assure you.

The last 2 km I walked when I absolutely could run no more. No more timing. I ran when I felt I could and walked when I had to. I just did what I could. I tried to run the last full km but ended up walking once. Thank goodness for the last water handers (amazingly encouraging people all the way along! Love them!) on the final corner. They got me to the finish line. That and seeing my family just feet from the finish line.

I am smiling. I made it. Steps to the finish line. I can see the time on the clock. 2 hours 22 min and some seconds. My goal, based on my training times was to be under 2 hours 30 min. I met it and then some! I did it! As I left the finish area there was my good friend, Cathy to greet me. A friendly smiling face, what more could I ask for?

2 hours, 22 minute and 9 seconds was my official time. See that black band on my left ankle. That's my timing chip. This is how they accurately time each individual when there are 500 people running. It activates as you cross the start line and then deactivates when you cross the finish. This was the first time I have run in any race, boy do I know how to start out with a bang eh?

They do stats for overall race results and by age category, posted on the internet. Those were slightly depressing for me so I am going to forget about them.

I did it! I ran 13 miles and didn't collapse. I didn't quit. I did as much as my body was able. What an accomplishment to make just 11 days before I turn 35 years old.

And with these two handsome gents waiting for me at the finish (doesn't Kamden look thrilled...about the picture hopefully, not the fact that his mommy finished) how could I not finish?


Kamden said to me as we were getting home, "Mommy, you did awesome." Well if my heart just didn't melt right then and there.

And my handsome Jay was waiting for me at the finish holding these! Can I get an AWWWWWWWW?

Thank you Mom and Dad for making the trip out to cheer me on, it meant more than you will ever know. To Jay, for supporting me through this entire process, you are the absolute best.

And thank you all for your support as I have chronicled this journey here. The comments here and encouragement from my friends and family made a huge difference. Your words kept me going when my body really wanted to quit.

My pain is temporary. I will recover (I hope!). Because this race was not a fundraiser where I solicited donations for a good cause, I am going to make a personal $100 dollar donation to our local Mother Baby Unit in honour of Misty and her precious Issac.

I figure it is the least I can do.

Photobucket

28 comments:

Cheryl said...

Awesome pics Kami, you have an amazing family. All of your hard training paid off, the first one is the toughest, it never gets easier, just a bit more enjoyable.
See you next year?

Anonymous said...

Kami, you are such an inspiration to me. Keep up the amazing work. Jay is a wonderful husband, how sweet of him. And to the boys who kept encouraging their mom!!!! I hope to hear more about your running successes!
Jackie

Kristin said...

That is so awesome! I am totally impressed!

Ed said...

Fantastic job. I think I actually caught a cramp reading your story. Way to stick it out!

BeachMama said...

Yay!! Congratulations Kami, that was no easy feat to accomplish. I know you are still in pain, but you did it!!

Loukia said...

Awwww! Congratulations to you! Quite an accomplishment! I sometimes find running up one flight of stairs a big deal. What you did is not easy!
So sweet to have your boys cheer you on like that. And the flowers are just the icing on the cake!

Natalie said...

congrats girl! i KNEW you would do well. and yes, jay did very good with the flowers!

and, why aren't we facebook friends????

Alicia said...

Kami you freakin ROCK! That is such a huge accomplishment. Keep up that running because you look fantastic as well.

HELLO, I'm on FB - Look a sista up.
Alicia White - West Columbia, SC

Stacie's Madness said...

I am proud of you! You did it, it doesn't matter how, just that you did.

way to go...and for the next time, you will KNOW that you can do it and it might just be easier!

Angella said...

I am so, SO proud of you. I'm actually crying.

Way to go, friend.

Kristin said...

Rock Star! Nice work and what a great example for your kids!

Hannah said...

YOU ARE MY HERO! I am in awe! Your kids are adorable with their supportive words ... and that photo of them cheering you on? AWWWW! Jay gets massive brownie points too for those gorgeous flowers!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

So proud of you!!

Cammie said...

awesome job!!!

Debo Hobo said...

That is so awesome, ah yes the wall only the strong willed make it past the wall, and it looks like you made it just fine.

About an 10:30-11:00 mile that is a really good pace...

Great Job Kami!!!! :)

Elaine A. said...

I think you are awesome and I'm very proud of you for accomplishing this. I'm glad your family was there to support you and I think you need a much deserved night out or day to sleep or whatever you want after doing so well! Congratulations my friend! : )

nicole said...

You are such a rock star! You killed your goal time! Way to go! Who knew pain could be a good thing, at least as a sign of what you can do for yourself. Isn't it amazing what the cheers of people you don't even know can mean? I love that aspect of running in races. I'm doing it again in December. Are you?

Stacie's Madness said...

You have an award at my place!!!

LVGurl said...

WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!! Good work! I am so proud of you!

Just so you know, you're never allowed to run with me. Because you will kick my slow ass.

Karen MEG said...

Kami, you ROCK!!! What an amazing accomplishment, those pics were great! And you're smiling all the way... how exhilerating! I'm like Ed there, cramping as I read...

Beautiful flowers at the finish line (you are a lucky girl)... and so lovely of you to make that donation.

A kickass marathoner with a heart of gold :).

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Kami! As you were telling your story I couldn’t help but think of this quote from Randy Pausch: the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. I am so proud of how strong you are to power through that brick wall! Next year it will a FULL marathon!!!!!!
ML

R Family of 4 said...

Oh I have shivers. I am so proud of you

Kami said...

WOOOOHOOO! You rock, girl! Congratulations and Good for you!

Alicia said...

TAG, Your it! Go check out my blog:o)

Anonymous said...

great job girl...i ache for you....L

Keri said...

What an inspiration! Seriously, you made it and didn't give up speaks a thousand words! Good for you! Gives me hope for my first race ever this May 9 with my boy. Thanks for the encouragement!

teeni said...

Sorry I'm so slow in getting here - I did see your updates on Twitter though so I knew (had no doubts) that you made it to the finish! Who cares about time, especially when you are such a kind person who uses her own pain for the good of others like you do! You truly are my inspiration and I'm so glad to know you!

Ashley said...

WAY TO GO KAMI!!!!!!!!!!!! :)