The night before the marathon all I could do was think of what I needed for the morning. Race outfit and bib number pinned and ready, water bottles filled-1 part gatorade, 1 part water, showered, and time to sleep.
Um…yeah right, I started texting, face booking, and playing wwf. Ok ok…I decided to just close my eyes…”Oh wait, I forgot to set my alarm!” 3:30am, I need time to get dressed, eat a light breakfast, use the bathroom, and leave in time to miss the race traffic. 10.000 plus runners and volunteers, and event crew were expected not to mention spectators. Matt Maher came on., my alarm…3:30am wake up. I stretched and thought, “Ok the moment I’ve been waiting for.” The weather was predicted to be really nice. 39 degree low and 70 degree hi, low winds…perfect! I got dressed and replayed the course race map in my mind…”Ok Ok we got this, we are Team AWESOME Blossom!” We drove out to Fort Worth there was no traffic, thanks to Erik’s event parking pass we parked right up by the start line and then just sat in the car, it was 5:15. The kids napped, Erik went to help with their sound system, and I texted with Tiffany and we were calming each other’s nerves. At 6:30am I made my way to the porta potties, met up with my friends, Tiffany, Veronica, and Jennifer. We went over met with the others, Tatiana and Jeanie. I was so pumped. Then we walked over to bag check in Will Rodgers Memorial Center, where I was meeting Katherine and Austin-his first half marathon and he’s 13 going on 14!!! Yay Austin! We took pictures gave each other hugs and then headed to our perspective corrals.
Jeanie, Tatiana, and Jennifer were in Corral 2, Katherine and Austin were in corral 3, and Tiffany, Veronica, and I were in Corral 4.
I was nervous but I was confident, I knew I was going to finish and that was what mattered to me. If I finished under 5 hours even better. There goes the horn! We were moving forward…woo hoo 26.2! We were moving….my heart was beating, I set my Garmin…beep! There’s the start. Veronica went ahead, she was running the half marathon and had a PR to get. Tiffany and I planned on running the first 3 miles then walking a min. After that 1/2 mile followed by a 30 sec walk and so on for the first 13 miles. It made for a nice beginning and we were enjoying the scenery and the people.
Tiffany’s family met us at mile 6ish…she kissed them all and we continued. We were going along and I saw a sign that read, “You’re so fast and…pretty.” That sign made me pretty happy, along with others, “Humpty Dumpty had wall issues too.” That was funny. “Stop reading and Run.” “Stopping…Aint Nobody Got Time For That!”. I think it was before the big hill by mile 9 at the courthouse over the bridge. Shortly after that around mile 10 or 11 we split off. “Marathon and Ultra to the left!” We heard the guy say, so the half marathoners went to the right and the marathoners and ultras went to the left. There was a sign with arrows telling us which way to go, I hesitated in front of that sign. Tiffany and I looked at each other…alright this is it, moment of truth and we split off! Woo hoo here we go!
The volunteers and spectators were amazing. The FWPD directing traffic…wow I felt truly honored and special. The little kids cheering for us were so cute! Tiffany’s family was at about mile 14ish, I can’t remember…but there we got our pb crackers and then we continued…during mile 14, I felt the ache in my foot and a little soreness on my ankle. “How can this be!” ” I felt so good after 20 miles run!” I powered through, then got my one minute walk break. Drank my water ate my snack and continued, mile 15 walk break…foot started to ache again and Tiffany’s knee started acting funny but we powered through.
We saw Tiffany’s family again at mile 18 and we got some peanut m&ms and I stepped back for a second to get ready to run when I heard, “MOVE, MOVE!!!” this guy yelled at me when all he had to do was go around me…but whatever, Tiffany’s husband said, “Go Pass Him!” So we did!!! “hahaha” was all I could do cause if I stopped to point I would have lost my balance and fallen.
Then there was a noise, a heavy “huff, puff, huff!” Tiffany said, “WHAT IS THAT!!!” The creepy breather guy fell behind and finally it stopped. I still chuckle thinking about that.
We saw my family, I handed my fuel belt to Erik and we got bananas. My mom said, “Do you want tissues?” She remembered I gave her that task…she’s so cute. I got my tissues and off we went. Banana in hand…mmmm that hit the spot for me. We got to mile 21 and I was tired of running, I could have quit if only I seen my car I would have driven home. We stopped and stretched. Tiffany’s IT band started to shoot fire balls up and down her leg and my feet were throbbing, I winced in pain with every step until it went numb. My left shoulder was on fire it hurt so badly and all I could do was think…”How could this be?” I felt great after our 20 miler and this was so unexpected. And what made it worse is that there it was another hill!!! Are you kidding me we were nearing like mile 22 or so I can’t remember and there was still another hill! The spectators were encouraging and said, “this is the last one then it’s all flat from here.” That was great news.
We got around and here we were in familiar territory, Trinity trails where we trained for the last 4 months. I got a second wind, “Come on Tiffany! Just a few more miles this is our trail, Home Court Advantage we can do this!!!” Yes I was on a second wind here. Then mile 25, “GRRRR!!! What the hell! I want to be done!” Spectators were awesome, “Come on just 1.2 miles left!” Ok yeah just 1 mile left, OH how I wanted to stop, ok I had to shut down that left brain that focuses on getting rid of pain. At this point I was on survival mode and wanted to make the pain and suffering stop. I had to focus on my right brain…visual scenery, “I love what I’m doing”, songs, spectator signs, whatever I could to help me. There was a sign that said something about childbirth. I started thinking, “Yup this is worse than child birth…or is it?” I couldn’t remember! It was either worse or equal to child birth and I went all natural for both boys. We went around mile 26…ok ok but I don’t see the finish…”Where the HELL IS THE FINISH!!!” Tiffany shouted. Spectator answered her, “Just around the corner.” She laughed she didn’t realize she’d said it so loud. OMG There it was!
I started hyperventilating, lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, and we crossed the finish, there done and done we did it! 26.2 miles, 4:51 was our chip time!!! Water bottles were handed to us, medal put on our necks, photographer took our picture…and I was in a daze…I felt drunk. They told us where to get our shirts, we went inside, got post race snacks…”sigh” Tiffany and I hugged…”We did it!” I thank Tiffany for her positive attitude, for her voicing her concerns that I had but was afraid to say, for being supportive, for tolerating my tardiness, and holding me accountable. Veronica met us inside, she finished and got her PR! Yay Veronica! The three of us had our pictures taken by our lovely families.
I can’t stop thinking that I am part of the marathon club. Who would have guessed that I would have done this?! Certainly not me! After my first half in 2010 I swore I would never do it again and a full marathon was out of the question. Just 3 years later I’ve run 6 half marathons, 4 timed, 2 virtual and OMG I ran a marathon it is so surreal!!!