Thursday, September 26, 2013

Marathon Part Two

I meet up with my cousin. I totally could identify him by his "John Stockton short shorts." ;) We ran past Joe and the kids, and I handed him my ipod and gear belt.  (I had come prepared – I had my ipod, and my phone, and my gear belt). I was NOT going to run 26.2 miles without music.  My cousin asked how I was feeling and I said, “fine.”  His "fresh" leg pace was kicking my butt a little (come to find out he had done 18 miles two days earlier, and was going to run 9 with me) but I enjoyed the change of pace.  My cousin was a champ and is seriously my hero, this next month he will complete his 12th marathon!

I remember many years ago, when he was running the Deseret News Marathon.  He asked my brother and I to meet him at certain mile markers to help him through.  I ran 3 miles with him and could not fathom running a full marathon.  My brother helped him through the end and he received his PR on that race.  Ever since that point and time I had wanted to complete a marathon.  He inspired me.  I kept putting it off, long training runs were hard, time consuming, and painful.  It was always a thought in the back of my mind, but honestly, I never thought I would really follow through with it.

My cousin helped me so much.  He carried one bottle of Gatorade, a bottle of water, his phone, cliff blocks, and a bottle of propel.  Slowly, through the miles I finished off the Gatorade and cliff blocks.  I carried the water from mile 19 on until it was gone.  I stuffed the cliff blocks in my bra. Until Mile 19 when I sqooze them so hard they started to disintegrate (any runner who knows those things knows that is really not possible).  Mile 20 was ahead.  I could not believe it.  Did I really make it to mile 20 without walking? There was a hill.  It felt good on  my legs to use different muscles and I got up that hill without any difficulty.  Person after person were walking up the hill and my cousin commented that that was “nothing but a mole hill.” I’m sure a few runners heard, but didn't care.

                                      *Look at all the crap he carried for me!

He asked me how I was feeling and I said fine.  He said, “If you were going to hit the wall, you would have by now, I’m going to push you.”  Great, I thought.  He pushed me to quicken my pace and obsessed about the miles and my time so I didn't have to (I had hoped I would run under 5 hours, but I told him never to tell me where I was at). He sang (err screeched and yelled) songs about a Blue Dog, and a solider.  He made fun of my music (Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, and Lady Gaga).  We talked, and ran. And talked, and ran some more.  We were approaching mile 23.  I read a sign on the side that said, “You can do anything for 30 minutes.”  I could. I had almost finished a marathon.

didn't hit a wall but I was feeling it.  It was getting hot, and my hip was hurting.  I searched every aid station for a medical tent, hoping that I could get some icy/hot to rub on my hip.  No such luck. My cousin pushed me along, running a couple feet ahead of me.  I was not a big fan of him at this point.  Why would he just not let me go at my comfortable pace? He didn't want me to have anything left at the end.  I ran the mile I was in. 24 came.  I was not letting anything stop me.  We crossed the intersection of 6200 S and highland, a car whizzed past nearly missing us, and some other runners.  I told my cousin, “If that would have been a Murray police instead of another police officer at that intersection, that would not have happened.”  ( I won't single out another police department here, but you get my drift).

Mile 25. Lovely Mile 25.  I got water and felt something sticky being poured on my back.  My cousin had dumped grape propel all over me.  It was gross, sticky, and I smelled like a giant grape.  But at that point I didn't care.  It was cool and I had a mile left.  Was he going to let me run my 10:00 minute pace? Um. Hell No.  We came to another intersection.  An older lady, who probably should not be driving tries to pull onto the road with other runners.  A Murray police officer literally jumps in front of her car and starts banging on her windshield   Yelling at her! "What are you doing?" He proceeds to lecture her, and I run pass smiling.  Yes, I was smiling at mile 25!  “See I told you Murray police take their job seriously,” I told my cousin.  He laughed.  Then it began.  He began singing at the top of his lungs, “I've got Soul but I’m not a solider” (Lincoln forgive me if I did not type the words correctly, but seriously at this point I was not focusing on what you were singing).  He was singing and singing, and then his singing got louder and louder. I was getting a bit annoyed at his singing and yelling so I turned up my music and tried to ignore his singing.  At one point an older lady turned around and told my cousin to, “Sing it to me baby.”  Awkward. She wasn't kidding.  We then had to run faster to get away from her.

“You need to catch up to the girl in the pink shorts,” yelled my cousin.  What? Why? I thought.  But I did it and then he’d tell me my next victim until one by one I was passing people on Mile 25!  “Come on Kalikakis,” he’d yell. “Faster!” “Gray shirt guy….go!!!!!!!” (Who by the way was actually someone I knew and I was pretty proud of myself to pass).  “Kalikakis go!” (Why is he yelling my maiden name I thought? But it motivated me.  Reminded me of my soccer days, reminded me of how far I had come, how much I had accomplished.  I was going to finish a marathon.) I passed person after person on that last mile.  My cousin stopped running with me at Mile 26.  He told me I better sprint to the finish.  I thought about not. I was tired.

*In case you were wondering I did beat that guy!

But then, the competitor in me sprinted.  I sprinted the last .1 miles of that 26.2 mile race.  I had finished the marathon.  I had checked it off my bucket list. I was a marathoner.  I saw the 4:30 pacer, and I saw them behind me after I crossed the line. 

I did it.

I walked across the line in a daze.  A volunteer told me to go to the medical tent.  (I must have looked pretty bad).  I was stubborn, I was fine.  I got my medal and went to find my family.

Joe, my Mom, my cute sister-in-law Kim, Tymon, and Laykin cheered me on at the finish.  Joe asked if I could hear them when I was crossing the line, and I said I could hear Kim.  Kim said, Joe told her, “Now that’s one determined girl.” He was talking about sprinting to the finish.  I told him Lincoln would be mad at me if I didn't  and in reality I would have been mad at myself if I finished the race having anything left in the tank. I shortly found out that my awesome friend, an amazing runner and athlete had finished only 10 minute before me.

*Look at Laykin, any chance to eat food she will

Tymon had the cutest smile on his face, and grabbed my medal. “Let’s put these with the rest of your trophies Mom. I hang it up with the rest,” he remarked in his cutest little voice.  Then grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the free food! 

I thought in my mind.  Yes, I’ll put this medal with the rest of the trophies.  But it is unlike those half marathon, 10k, and division winner medals.  It is my marathon medal.  I completed a marathon.  I did it for myself.  I woke up at 6:30 am countless summer mornings to do 10 plus miles.  I prepared, mentally, physically, and emotionally.  I accomplished it, and that medal and I will proudly hang that medal with my others.

When we got home, I took a freezing cold ice bath.  It was miserable.  Ty hung my medal in the middle of my trophies.  It represents more than finishing a marathon.  It represents having the determination to finish something I started.  It represents proving others wrong.  It reminds me that, if I put my mind to something, I work at it, and I want it bad enough – I can accomplish it.

Up next....Marathon number two.


Mandy said...

Jamie! This brought tears to my eyes. You make me think that maybe running a marathon is possible for me...albeit in the (very) distant future. I'm so proud of you!

Jamie Cheney said...

It totally is! Let's talk when your recovered from having your sweet baby! Don't do it while you are nursing. ;)

Kallie Olson said...

Jamie! I am so proud of you! I knew you could do it! Congrats! :)