Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Cried at Mile 18

(This is such a great thought-it's sometimes how I feel while I'm running)

So who knew running a marathon could be an such an emotional experience? I mean I have run a 1/2 marathon before. I teared up when I started out and saw the people running all around me, setting off in the pursuit of the same goal. But I didn't even think about it this time. I was focusing on the beautiful scenery, worrying if my hip-flexor was stretched out (I hurt it earlier in the week) talking with my good friends (Caroline, Amy and my new friend Stacy), concentrating on my pace, checking my wrist bands (for time) and much more.
(Amy, Caroline, Me - Post Race)

I had had a little glitch in my training schedule (see previous post). The longest I had run, up until that point, was 15 miles . I had been a bit worried about that fact and just about killed myself earlier in the week (see above statement about hip-flexor) trying to prove I could still run a long distance. A few miles into the race I started to relax and stopped worrying. I knew I could do it, my body remembered how. Then long about 3/4 into the race, I glanced up to see the mile marker that said 18. All of a sudden, and without warning, tears were streaming down my face. I had NEVER run that far before. I was here! I was doing it! I trained for this (well mostly). I was doing something hard! It was amazing! I WAS AMAZING!!!! It was such a fantastic feeling. I cried again at mile 19 and then just before 20. I was on track to come in under 5 hours. Then about 20 1/2 miles the outside of my left knee started hurting. I walked, it felt better, I started running again, it hurt after running about 100 yards. I kept this drill up for a mile or so. Then I couldn't even do that anymore. It got down to where I couldn't even run 20 feet without just about crumpling in pain. Walking was ok though, so I decided that I was going to have to walk the last 5 miles. I was very disappointed. But in the midst of my disappointment, an angel showed up. Her name was Alexandra. She was adorable and I noticed that she seemed to be doing the exact same thing as me, run a little (a very little) and then walk. We just kept passing each other. I finally suggested that we might have the same problem going on. She asked if it was my knee. She did have the same problem as me. We decided to (speed) walk together. She was way younger than me, she walked faster than me, she pushed me to keep a good pace even though we weren't running. We were disappointed together when the 5 hour mark passed (both of our goals). She was a great running/walking buddy. We even had the same iPod (this is super important news;). Eventually I let her go ahead, I felt like I was holding her back. My time ended up being 5 hours 33 minutes. I limped over the finish line, but I did it!! I could be happy about this, really!

Some of the other joys of the trip were:
*Sitting next to a cute UCLA law student on the way to Utah. (Really, I wish he could have been my son, even though I don't think he would have appreciated me tickling his chin on take-off. Sorry Family Joke - let's just say when you're REALLY excited about something --especially on an airplane-- you need to finds someone's chin to tickle.)
*Staying with Derek (my brother) and Marsha (his wife) and their cute family (Mark, Lauren, Ryan and Joe)
*Going onto the BYU campus (chocolate covered cinnamon bears were calling)
*Eating at JCW's (thanks Marsh) I would totally recommend the Marshmallow milkshake and Jalapeno Bacon Burger!
*Watching American Idol (I would have done this anyway but it was fun to do it with D&M)
*Going to Tai Pan (heaven, pure heaven I tell ya)
*Buying my new Spibelt (Black with pink polka-dots. I know, be jealous.)
*Amy's cousin, a massage therapist, who just happened to be there when I mentioned my hip issue. She did a number on me (it was pure torture), but my hip felt oh, so much better (I'm not even kidding, this was an answer to my prayers.)
*Seeing my awesome, mogul friend, and former business partner Dianne - and her family and her dogs.
*Staying in a 5 star hotel. Ok, it was really Dianne's house - but I would give it great reviews!
*Going to Spoon Me. The yogurt shop that the Dahlins own and operate (can you say, "original tangy/acai twist with strawberries, kiwi and pineapple"? Good, you CAN say it, now go get some, it's delish)
*FINALLY eating at the famed "Cafe Rio". I know, I know, don't say it... I've been deprived all these years. I truly have
*Laughing with Dianne about old times (sorry Caroline - we know we're weird. *Tinkle*)
*Visiting Brigham City (where Caroline's Mother in Law lives)
*Attending Church there (you'd think you'd gone back into Joseph Smith's time)
*Listening to her Sister in Law speak in church. (more on that in another post - it was inspiring and beautiful.)
*Spending a huge amount of time with one of the sweetest people on the planet (Caroline)
*Being able to switch my seat to sit by her on the way home. (She tolerated my chin tickling - see exhibit A)
(Exhibit A)
*Having my family be excited to see me when I got home. They made me a totally lame, but very sweet poster. I loved it!
*Being able to say I'm a marathon runner!
Yep! That's me! Marathon Runner!!!!


Dianne said...

Your post made me cry - and I didn't even hit mile 18!!!!!!!!
This 5-star hotel (ha!) is open for you ANY TIME!!!!!!!!!!
You're the best!

Lindseys said...

Good work, Stef. We are glad you were able to run with everything going on before and your hip issue while you were here. We are glad we got to see you for a couple of days. Come again.


Carolina said...

BIG HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! That is absolutely incredible, Stefani!

Kristen said...


Shannon B said...

I don't know what my prob is but I didn't see this post until just now!! Your post made me cry too! You are simply inspirational!! :) :0) :D

Oh yah and I am so jealous about the Jalepeno burger and the marshmallow shake!!!! WOOOOW!

Joe and Julie said...

Is this my daughter??? Wow! I want to be related to you with your tenacity and did I mention stick-tuitiveness.

Annette said...

So fun to read all the details of the race/trip. Very fun! And that chin tickling picture at the end cracked me up! You're awesome my marathon runner friend!

Janet said...

i can't believe i didn't comment on this post yet! WOOHOO!!! i'm so proud of my stef! i would cry at every mile past 13.1!! you are amazing and can do HARD things! thanks for being an inspiration!

Caroline said...

Wow...I am lame...seeing this post 3 weeks after it's written:-) Had the time of my life and so glad you were a part of it. And the memories will only get better with time. Sure do love ya runner girl!