Another Milestone under the belt

Published by Melanie under on 7:55 AM
I write this entry with complete pride, sense of accomplishment, and ultimate astonishment.
I walked/jogged/ran my very first 1/2 marathon...13.5 miles to be EXACT.

I still can't believe it.

A month or so ago, a new girl joined our boot camp regime. She announced that there was a marathon / half marathon being organized for February right next to our house. She said that she did it last year, and that it was a lot of fun. I don't know why...I don't know how...but for some reason, I started to believe that participating in this grueling event would be a great experience for me...a great milestone to conquer. I blame my optimistic attitude on the recent 5K I completed....

Knowing I would have a difficult time completing the marathon on my own, I called my neighbor Kim, who is likely the most fun, upbeat, motivational person I know, to see if she would like to participate with me. Without hesitation, she said YES. I was amazed...what a great person! I contacted the IMS Marathon organization to sign up, and found out that there was a special Valentine's Day promotion going on...a 2 for 1 special!! Completely sold on the idea that it was a sign, I signed up.

The next few weeks that passed seemed to count down like a time-bomb...ticking away seconds until D-day...and to me that's really what it felt like. I was so scared...asking myself, "What have you done?" Underestimating my strength and stamina to complete the adventure. I would finish a night of boot camp wondering if it really would be possible for me to move 4 or 5 hours without stopping.

Weekly boot camp newsletters were a constant encouragement and reminder that I was in control of what happened...thoughts such as:
I create my life and am in control of what happens

Play to WIN...
Commit to succeed
Think BIG
Practice is 1/2 full

I bought another new pair of shoes that alleviated 80% of my prior shin splints were now a thing of the past, and all I had left to overcome was the pain in my foot, which only surfaced some nights.

With my hopes high, my legs pain free, and a good friend by my side, I was as ready as humanly possible to face my next challenge.

Elmo dropped us off at the start line and took our "before" picture. See how excited we were? (Oh one thought it necessary to let me know that I pinned my number on UPSIDE DOWN. I ran the whole day like that...people must have thought I was a loon!)As we started the run, the butterflies that I had been feeling dissipated and a surge of adrenaline encompassed my body. I was optimistic, energetic, and just plain feeling good...ready to embark and conquer this great challenge ahead.
The temperature was a balmy 42° when we started, and our bodies quickly went numb and tingly, complete with a deep tone of PINK by the time we hit the 1st mile mark, but we were still high on spirits and catching up on girl talk.

By the time we hit the 5th or 6th mile, my infamous foot pain reared its ugly head. Kim was concerned, but I knew that nothing I (or 1st Aid) did would alleviate or diminish the pain, and that it was just something I would have to work through. ONWARD....
I had to take a potty break at the 9th mile...but little did we know that it was the LAST port-o-potty stop available until the finish. Poor Kim went the last 3 miles with her bladder ready to explode!

I called Elmo at the 10 1/2 mile marker to let him know my location so that he could leave and meet me at the finish line. By that time, both of my feet were in so much pain...and I had also developed a blister on the bottom of my foot. On a positive note, my calves/shins felt great!
We were now within sight of the Stadium, which was adjacent to the finish line. Ordinarily, that sight would invoke another adrenaline rush, which would give you a 2nd wind to finish. However, since everything in my body was telling me to stop out of agonizing pain, all I could think was, "We're still so far away!" Kim tried to be encouraging, and even though I may not have shown her that she was helping me, she really was. She told me, "It's so close. We've already gone 11 miles."

Every step hurt, every tendon and muscle in my foot ached, and I fough back tears more than once as I pushed through the pain. I finally let some tears fall when I saw the 12.5 mile marker...letting us know that we were only 1 mile away from the end. I pulled out my phone and took a picture.

The last mile led to a bridge that went over the highway. Who's idea was it to make the last mile (or at least part of it) up hill? As we finished the last stretch (Kim doing a potty dance and I failing to fight the tears) I suddenly realized....I had finished. I finally succumbed to my emotions as the crowd of spectators cheered us on the last few yards. When I saw Elmo & the kids at the finish line also cheering, I was a mess.

Our official time... 4:18...not bad for beginners!

As Elmo hugged me, both in pride and concern I'm sure, he asked why I was crying. I told him I was just so happy I did it...but in all honesty...I was also crying because I still had to walk to the car!

I spent the rest of the night staying off my feet...I must have looked like a 100 year old lady trying to walk...that's what I felt like anyway!
Today, my feet don't hurt, but my knees & back are a different story. Hopefully the Ibuprophen I took will kick in soon!!

Needless to say, I will not be attending boot camp tonight!


Mom said... @ February 16, 2009 at 10:13 AM

My sweet Mel,
I'm so proud of you!!!...words cannot express. You have only to look back at last year this time to see your growth. You are truly an amazing woman! What mother wouldn't be proud of a daughter who's accomplished so much in such a short period of time?!?!
I love you!

Anonymous said... @ February 16, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Mel, you have such a strong spirit and there was never a doubt in my mind that you would succeed ...and you did it. I'm so proud of you, this was a HUGE accomplishment not only physically but mentally and emotionally too. Tell Kim I said Great Job too!! LOVE YA keep challenging yourself!! Enjoy relaxing tonight.


Anonymous said... @ February 16, 2009 at 4:31 PM

YOU GO GIRL.....Don't stop are just beginning.

(atleast YOU could read your

Tracey said... @ February 16, 2009 at 6:49 PM

You are so AWESOME and such an inspiration to me and all the other ladies. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU and I never thought for a second that you would not finish. You are a ROCK STAR in my eyes. :)


Anonymous said... @ February 18, 2009 at 8:55 AM

WAY TO GO GIRL!!!!!!! OMG, I am so PROUD of you. you are definitely an inspiration. I am at a loss for words really. Please come to boot camp tonight, we all can't wait to hear about it and if you are still sore, I will give you a break! just don't tell Tracey! haha.


Anonymous said... @ February 18, 2009 at 8:57 AM

HOOORAY!!! HIP, HIP HOORAY!!!! I am so proud of you!!! Amazed at your progress and determination!

Rachel H

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