Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Believe in Angels (The Final Steps to 26.2)

mraAfter eating the piece of best orange ever, seeing the man with the balloons and being in front of the Doubletree and seeing said man turn the corner ahead of me, the emotions as I previously mentioned were starting to swell.

My senses seemed to be heightened as I began to feel hot air and then cooler air and then hot air again. What the hell? The winds in downtown were confused. The cool front and the not cool front were fighting each other.

And my heart was fighting with my legs. Go. Stop. Go. Stop. Go.

As I turned on Louisiana I remember seeing the first angel. And she was yelling my name. Loudly. It was Sarah. And next to her was her boyfriend, Jose. Yes angels have boyfriends.

I ran straight towards her and she stepped off the curb to run out to meet me. I distinctly remember how good she felt as I hugged her as tightly as I could. I dont remember letting go. I think I didnt want to so I just held onto that in my head. And then I kept running.

Up ahead of me I could see the other runners turning and it seemed so close. So very close. And it was. I turned.

And there it was. The light blue of the Finish line paraphenalia. To me it said COME ON IN JUNE. You are almost there.

I was alone. But then out of nowhere a man stepped in line with me and simply said to me "Hows it going June?" (I had my name on both arms), I dont remember now what I said, but I do remember him asking me "is this your first marathon?" and I replied "yes." I told him I wanted to walk and he said "nice and slow, easy pace. Speeding up now is pointless. Just keep going, you're doing great." I thought oh my God hes SO smart. He kept talking to me and I kept trudging along ignoring the beep that told me it was ok to walk right now.

Then there was angels 3 and 4 to my left, screaming...Pony and Pizza Man. I remember Pony jumping up and down and yelling Junebug, and I remember John's smile. Said angel #2 (the man) was still nearby. After I passed Pony and John, I told the man "I cant do it." "I cant get there."

It was so close now. I went to say something to him, and he was no longer there. I didnt have the energy to turn my head and he wasnt in front of me either. I kept going.

From there I only remember reaching up and wiping tears from my eyes, again and again. I wonder if my pics will show me doing that at all. I usually try and make sure for a good pic at the end, but I dont even remember holding my head up at all.

The clock said 5:36 (and of course I still had the wits about me to subtract 3 or 4 min from that)...A runner always is aware of time. Always.

and then it was all over.

A man was at my side asking me if I was ok. Yes. Yes. Yes. He must not have believed me cause he asked if I needed to sit down, and I said "No." And he led me to the door of the GRB.

I then heard Erica. I dont know what she said, but I was trying so hard not to cry and someone was putting a medal around my neck. I went to Erica and April. I was having a hard time breathing.

I think the first words out of my mouth were: "Did Steve BQ?".....Thats the other thing about runners, at least the ones I know.

We are always thinking of others in our most painful times.

I never saw that man again and I wonder if he was real....

I know one thing that is real: I am a marathoner.

And she ran happily ever after.


Jess said...

You did an awesome job! Congratulations on such a great marathon debut!!

Anonymous said...

2 out of 3 Steve's BQ'ed in Houston. Steve #2 is already signed up for Austin so he might as well start making flight arrangements for Boston. Good day for you July and good day for the Striders. Now let's get ready for the spring HARRA race series.

Vic said...

Ok, you saved the best for last. Everybody keeps talking about tears. Well, I just had some of my own reading your last installment.

I can't tell you how incredibly proud I am of you. You DID IT!!! I never had a single moment of doubt. I knew this day was coming for you the second you crossed that half marathon finish line back in October. Never a doubt.

You so rock. Congratulations, friend, MARATHONER!!!

Pony and Petey said...

Wow...thanks for letting me relive my first marathon similar to yours!

And here's kuddos to Coach Pizza... for my first marathon, the Cowtown, in Fort Worth, John drove up from Houston to be with me. He ran the 10k and got first in his age group. Then he started running back from the finish line to meet me at mile *21* and run me extra 10+ miles after already doing his own race. In the rain. Fully dressed in street clothes, jeans, etc.

He was that voice of sanity and encouragement when my knee was hurting so badly, I no longer cared whether I finished or not. But his soft and kind "you can do it" and other comforting phrases got me through and I hugged him and cried on his shoulder after I crossed the line. Thanks again, Coach! And thanks, Junebug, for allowing me to play a part in your first marathon memory!

Party's on at our house for Saturday night...come and watch the news footage!

Steve said...

Dang, I don't know what to say. It would be nice to know who the identity of that 2nd angel. I can't believe after all that you fought through that you asked about my BQ time. I'm honored.

This weekend was so much more than a little (well big) run. We learn a little more about ourselves and who are friends are. Thanks for the installments I've really enjoyed them. Your awesome!

Now, Party at the Pony!!!

Oh and let's hear about the post-run activities on Sunday night!!!! I'm sure it will be a most enjoyable posts! (notice the plural)

June & July Rock!

Sara said...

I'm with Vic.. I had tears too. I had no idea it was such an emotional thing and you remembered the details so well. I am so proud of you.. have I said that today?

Anonymous said...

So great to get a daily July fix and relive our own marathon experiences through recounting things you've remembered that were lost in the fog.

My angel was Jackie Connelly who emerged from the shadows at mile 25 and instructed me to get my a$$ in gear.


Anonymous said...

So great to get a daily July fix and relive our own marathon experiences through recounting things you've remembered that were lost in the fog.

My angel was Jackie Connelly who emerged from the shadows at mile 25 and instructed me to get my a$$ in gear.


Lainey said...

Well I definitely cried. Mostly because I was so proud of you, but a little cause I was there and couldn't find you. Next time I'm going to expect you a half hour before you say to, then i'll never miss it again.

suzy said...

June! I'm speachless. It's amazing to me how emotional a run can be. It's such a personal accomplishment...physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am so proud of you and have really enjoyed keeping up with all of your progress and accomplishments!

ali said...

Your post is perfect, you described those last few miles perfectly.

Congratulations on becoming a marathoner

TX Runner Mom said...

Awesome post July, umm, I mean June - Each segment was certainly worth waiting for! I am so proud of you and so glad that I've had the opportunity to meet you. Congrats on a job extremely well done you MARATHONER you!

Sam said...

Wow... I'm choked up after that, literally. Great post. Great run. Great to have you as a marathoner. :)

Iron Jayhawk said...

That was amazing...beautifully written! Definitely felt like I was right there racing with you.

You're a marathoner!! Congratulations!!!!!!!

greyhound said...

You broke down that barrier, and yet, although you might not believe it, you've only just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible for you.

I love this stuff.

Angela said...

Blimey, it left me in tears too. Great job.

RedDaisy said...

You don't know've never even met me. As a fellow H-towner I feel compelled to finally reach out.

I happened on your blog via a friend and have been loyal reader since August. You are truly entertaining and inspiring.

Congratulations...thanks for the descriptive account of your amazing accomplishement. You brought me...a stranger to tears.

I ran my first 1/2 last weekend and I want to give you credit for unknowingly inspiring me to actually go through with the run.

Sarah said...

You're a marathoner!
You're a marathoner!
You're a marathoner!

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Laurie said...

I stumbled upon your blog today and what a pleasant surprise! I loved your race report. Congratulations! I look forward to reading more about your adventures.

Woodlands Runner said...

What a woman! Congratulations! You are a Marathoner!

V said...

That was awesome! Congrats, marathoner!

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L*I*S*A said...

You are the woman!! Congrats on your marathon. :)

Steph said...

I hope you are as proud of yourself as you can be. Great job and wonderful writing.

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