Flying Pig 2015

Flying Pig 2015

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Columbus [Half] Marathon: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

I was so crazy excited about this race because it is SO AWESOME! I was up and at 'em early this morning. Coffee, oatmeal, several appearances in the bathroom...about as normal as race morning could be. We got into the car and I listened to three pre-race necessities (in this order): Sledgehammer, Ice Cream Paint Job, and Baton Rouge. We didn't hit up any traffic on our way there.


Until Jimmy dropped me off and I left my phone with him....

That's when the bad begins. Jackie and I have trained for months together. We were looking forward to doing this amazing race together. Neither of us were going to have our phones so we made plans to meet up in our corral. It wasn't crowded at all when I arrived but I wasn't sure if Jackie was there yet. I'm looking everywhere near our corral and I don't see her. I'm starting to get worried because this is her first big race (we ran a half two weeks ago but there were only 3,000ish runners compared to 18,000 in this race). Twenty minutes later, I decided to check my bag and continue my search. Apparently, we were in the same area of the corral. I have NO idea how we missed each other!

Although I was a little stressed about not finding her, I knew I had to make the best of it. I REALLY did not want to run without her. She seriously makes me a better runner.

And we're off...

The race itself was great. I knew I would enjoy myself because I ran the full two years ago. The crowd is the best part. Everyone is so supportive. I love all of the high fives from the kids (and adults) and I even got some hugs from my amazing friends that came out to support me! My ultimate goal was to break 2 hours. Based on how I felt this week, I knew I wasn't going to beat my time from 2 weeks ago (1:50:13). I probably ran harder than I should have and I'm paying for it right now!

My right leg has given me fits all season so you would think that would be my issue...NOPE! I think I was relying more on my left leg because of the injuries on my right. My left knee started bothering me around mile 5 but I still felt ok. I kept pushing and pushing...

When I reached mile 9, the knee was starting to feel unbearable and I could tell I was slowing down a bit. At mile 10, I wanted to give up. I kept repeating "I wish Jackie was here." I knew she wouldn't let me quit. Although I did not give up, those last 3 miles were the hardest I've felt since running the full marathon. About that time, I started thinking about the people I was running for: my hubby, my son, Jeff, and Jim. I kept repeating their names (which made me get all emotional and almost start crying! If you've ever started crying while running, you know you can't breathe right!).

As I approached the last mile, I knew I would see Mr. and Baby Boo. When I did, it gave me that extra something I needed to do the last quarter mile. I was so happy to cross that finish line!


Here comes the ugly...

After the emotional roller coaster I call the last 3 miles, all I wanted was to hug my husband, my son, and Jackie. The problem: where are they?! The way the finish was set up, it seemed like we had to walk FOREVER to get to the area where you can wait for your family. The following is a lesson about the importance of communication and the flaws associated with assumption:

Each year, they have an area set up with posts that have letters on them. The letters are to represent your last name so that you have a place to meet up with your family without looking around for them for an hour. Two years ago, this is how I met up with my family afterwards and it wasn't an issue. So, I ASSUMED this was the plan this year. What I didn't realize is that Jimmy did not make that ASSUMPTION and we hadn't COMMUNICATED a meeting plan to each other.

The ugly part? I stood, lonely and cold, under the "D-F" sign for over an hour! I didn't want to move because I knew for sure he'd come there for me. My body was still in shock (and freezing) so I was hurting pretty badly. I was afraid to sit and stretch because I wanted Jimmy to be able to see me. Two different gentlemen let me use their phones to call but I had to leave a voicemail. Finally, more than an hour later, I look over and see my relief. Jackie was there!! I burst into tears. All of the emotion hit me all at once: relief, pain, name it, I felt it. I had to sit with Jackie for a few moments to let it out so I wouldn't get unnecessarily mad at Jimmy. It wasn't his fault or mine. Just a piece of the plan we had not discussed.

I was very quiet as we walked to the car...and in the car...AND when we arrived home. Mostly, I was cold, in pain, and still processing my emotions. Why do I subject this stuff to myself on purpose?!

Anyway, I really love this race and enjoyed it despite the bad and the ugly. I just want to thank those who came out to support me and those who supported me from afar! You guys really helped me when I wanted to give up!!!

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