Monday, June 6, 2011
This is going to be long…you have been warned. You may want a snack.
I have said this before and I will say it again. I have learned more about myself in the past 6 months than I have in my entire life. You would have to know me as well as the other Road Warriors do to know I am an “all or nothing” type of girl. I am like a very strong coffee, an acquired taste.
The seven days prior to race day were going well. My piriformis syndrome seemed to be under control and I rocked my last long run of 8 miles in 1hr 26 minutes. Wednesday, I ran my fastest mile ever on a dare from fellow warrior Amy P. I was ready to rock!!
Friday we all pranced in front of the spaghetti dinner in our Gazelle Sports outfits like true runway models. If you were there you know how completely professional we were. *wink *wink. I was also on the front page of the Grand Rapids Press. The whole page was just me. I am still overwhelmed. I have lived this so to me it is not headline news. It is reality. Being fat is hard, losing weight is hard. You just have to choose your hard.
So I am sure you are all on the edge of your seats wondering how my race went. About 20 minutes before the start the nerves kicked in. I am surprised someone didn’t have to push me out of the hotel kicking and screaming. I was scared. It was humid and rainy. I was about to do something that most people can’t do.
I lined up with the 10:30 pacer and as the gun went off we were not moving. So many people, such excitement flowing all for a walking start. Finally we are running. I look down and I am running at about a 9:30. I knew I had to back off.
I shouldn’t of backed off. I couldn’t find my high gear again. I think it was out of fear of blowing myself up and not finishing. 2 miles in I see a familiar face. It was Rick (Team Maddy). He was moving. As he flew past me I screamed 2:15, go get it. A goal I knew he wanted. 2 miles later I saw him on the side of the road helping Maddy get comfortable. I asked if she was ok and with a nod of his head he was off again.
I ran into people I have run with in the past 6 months. I always asked how they were doing. Everyone I chatted with seemed to be concerned with hydrating. I felt the same. Like I couldn’t get enough water.
8 miles in and I was still feeling good. If I could hold my pace I would be looking at 2 hrs 50 minutes for finish time. The rain and wind picked up. My shoes were soaked but I still managed to high five as many people as possible.
Mile 10 I started to break down. I was losing my pace and I was starving. If there would of been someone with lunch on the course I would of mugged them. I started to think of my friends. People that have supported me through all of this. The ones that think I am crazy but still cheer me on. The struggle of losing weight and how far I have come. My team. My coaches. My family. I knew my husband was done running already. I was pretty out of it for 2 miles. I had to do walk/run intervals and watched my goal time slowly slip away.
I came upon the zoo and was fixated on that sea monster thing. I had to laugh because I just wanted to jump in the pond and then it happened. Someone was smoking a cigar. It made me throw up. I wish I could tell you I puked on the road but it went back down as quickly as it came up.
At that point I just wanted to be done. I held my grandmothers pentathlon medal and I picked up the pace. I felt like I was moving in slow motion but I was moving forward at least. Turning on to Ottawa was like seeing the gates of heaven open up. I felt like I had just won the lotto. I don’t know where the energy came from but I saw my husband (1:47..sorry I have to brag) and my legs felt light again and then I saw Coach Mike. I called upon my inner Kenyan and sprinted across the finish with a huge smile on my face.
My time was 3:06. I would be lying if I told you I am happy with that. 2:45 was my goal but my bigger goal was to finish. I am setting my goal for next year right here and now. 2:30. If you don’t think I can manage that then you obviously haven’t been reading for the past 6 months. I CAN and I WILL. So can you. Whatever it is you want, GO GET IT. Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
Just remember to Run Happy.
Posted by Tiffany at 2:21 PM