Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Marathon Part 3: After the Race

Happy Random Wednesday,

Alright well it’s been a little longer than I had anticipated.

So last we spoke I had just crossed the finish line. I was an emotional mess. I was crying…surprise. One of the advantages of coming in at the end is that you can just hang at the finish line without worrying about getting run over. When I got my medal, the lady asked if it was my first Full Marathon. When I said “Yes” she gave me the biggest hug. Awwww.

I was looking for my family for more hugs. I saw my Dad and Ms. Danielle. I asked where Grandmom Joyce was and was told they would tell me later. Oh no! 

I got more hugs from Mom and Aunt Kathy. And then I went over to give Ms. Melissa a hug for her finish. While I was there I got more hugs from people who knew me from the Facebook group. That meant so much.


Right before I finished Grandmom started to feel sick. She and cousin Jacob were sitting in Starbucks resting. So I went into the After-Party tent to grab some food and then meet everyone there to formulate our plan.

I got a hamburger, hot dog, and pancakes. There was no more mac’n’cheese. I’m sure there was a lot more food at the After-Party in the restaurant, but I couldn’t walk up those stairs. 

Note to self: Next time have someone in the family get a party bracelet to get me food early and hold on to it.

I also made sure to take a picture with Ms. Melissa.


While Aunt Kathy and I were on my last 8 miles, she asked if there was anything I would do differently for the race. There are some things that I will change for next year, but I don’t regret any of my choices. Clothing wise I had to prepare for the end of the race when I would be so cold.
I might lose the water bottle at the halfway point and just rely on the water stops.


When I got to Starbucks I got a hug from Grandmom and Cousin Jacob and then I sat down…ahhhh. That felt good. But, I needed my feet up so I put them on Jacob’s lap. He was immediately the most important person in my life. Lol.

While we were sitting there Mr. Joey walked by. He had already showered and gone to the After-Party. Haha. He’s a fast runner. We got to congratulate each other on our finishes. 

And then I couldn’t take it anymore and took off my sneakers. My feet were swelling so bad. Poor Jacob had my stinky feet on his lap, but OH how wonderful that felt. 


The plan was for me to go home with Dad, shower, and pack. Then we would all meet up for dinner. 

While we were in Starbucks the heavens opened and it began to POUR. OMG. Thank goodness it 
waited for me to finish.

Dad went to get the van and I waited for him. So let me paint you a picture. It’s raining. A van has pulled over to pick up a striking blonde beauty who cannot lift her legs to save her life. Cars are lining up behind the van as it takes her an hour to get in. It wasn’t pretty my friends.


Dad offered that I could use the Jacuzzi tub to relax. It was nice in theory, but there was no way in heck that I would have been able to climb out of it. I would probably still be in it.


We met for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Harpoon Hannahs. In traditional form I ordered a cheese burger. But, surprisingly I wasn’t that hungry. So I didn’t even order fries.

I was told that I probably wouldn’t be really hungry until lunch the next day. I actually had to force myself to eat all day.  I never really got that giant appetite…I did eat a ton of chocolate though.


That night mom and I drove back to Virginia. She drove and I was propped up in the backseat with my legs up. We stopped at Wawa for gas and we went in for soft pretzels and caffeine so that I could stay awake for her drive.

It took me forever to get inside. I couldn’t lift my legs over the curb. I believe you should be able to hang your medal from your rear view mirror for two days and get preferred parking. It’s not easy.


Aunt Carol picked me up for church the next day. She parked in the back so that I could use the ramp and avoid stairs. She loves me.

I tried to be as mobile as possible. Even though it was difficult, it was important. I couldn’t stiffen up.
There was one problem though. I couldn’t wear shoes. My burning toe resulted in the future loss of my big toenail. My toe was bruised, swollen, and so sensitive. Socks hurt. I was wearing my slides, but they kept falling off because of the swelling. Bah. Why didn’t I pack moccasins?

I did stop and buy some slippers. That is noted for next year.

I believe the cause of the toenail issue was my sneakers. At the last minute I made the decision to switch sneakers. My toes had hurt during the last two distance runs in my newest pair. I couldn’t take that chance so I went with the other pair. I probably needed another 2 weeks breaking them in.

So the problem was that the new sneakers are a half size bigger and I had gotten some thicker socks for them. I wore the thicker socks with the smaller sneakers and friction happened. BAH.


Happily I did go out and put my 26.2 sticker on my car. My original plan was to put it above my 13.1 sticker, but it was a little bigger and the font was different. That didn’t work for my OCD, but I just put it on top of the other sticker.


One of the first questions on the Facebook Group the day after the race was “What was your favorite sign?”

This made me a little sad. I literally saw two and then the ones my family made. By the time I was on the back half of the course all of the signs were gone. People had finished and were celebrating. That hurt a little. Thankfully my family was awesome with their many signs.


Usually I can remember when certain songs came on during races, but I think my brain was just so focused on the finish. I can’t even tell you if most of my songs played. I really only remember 2 songs coming on and then a bunch of Pitbull songs in a row.


My original plan was to drive home to NC on Sunday, but I couldn’t move so I pushed it back until Monday. And that meant that I could stop and see mom’s class. She teaches 3rd grade.

I got to sit in the front of the class and tell them my story. I cried. Surprise. Luckily they gave me tissues.

They were so cute with their questions and hugs. The girls kept telling me how pretty I am. It was very hard to leave. Haha.


The best thing about the Facebook Group is when people ask about people who were struggling and if they finished. A woman went down on the Half and people were checking in on her.

There was a gentleman behind us who was joined by his family on the back half. I knew he was still out there when it started to rain and I felt so bad. Someone asked about him and we found out that his family pulled him on mile 24 because of breathing issues. The race directors were just about to go out and run in with him when they heard.

That’s why I love this race! I love the support.


I was so excited to see my Girls on the Run girls when I got back. I wanted to hear all about their 5k and see their medals. I took mine to show them. They were so sweet. A few were unable to attend the race due to illnesses (a nasty flu/virus was going around), but everyone who did finished!  I am so proud of them.

A couple of the girls gave me Starbucks cards as a thank you.

They got upset thinking they would never see me again. I told them I hoped to be back with them next season, but if they have the coaches and another school needs one then I would go there. They told me that if I couldn’t be their coach then it should be cancelled. Haha. I heart them.

I had a Coaches Appreciation day on Saturday and I spoke with some of the organizers. I will be back with my girls. YEAH!

The appreciation involved several workout classes. I signed up for barre, air fundamentals and yoga. It was fun, but I thought the toenail was a goner during yoga. 


The race took a lot out of me. It also delayed my lady gift for 5 days. That was fun. Training has certainly affected my cycle, but this was unexpected and one of the reasons in the delay for my blog post. I was zapped of energy.


I loved hearing from so many people for days later that they were thinking of me all day on Saturday. Some were out shopping and thinking "she's still running!" haha. That meant a lot. Of course I also heard "You know you're crazy right?" Yup.


So the day after the race I could barely move. I tried to move as much as possible and that paid off. Monday I was fine. I could even go up and down stairs. I was a little sore, but you would never know how far my feet took me two days before. That's why we train and prepare our bodies for this. It was just like another day. I am still so amazed at how far I have come. 

The other big bonus is that my legs have felt fine. My knee hasn't bothered me since the race. I do believe that patella strap and knee compression sleeve have saved my life.


The official pictures were posted. They totally got me crying. Haha.

I was told that some family members want to buy me the finisher plaque. I just have to figure out what picture to use. I’m still a little torn. I like the finisher picture even with the tears. My other option was one I called “I got this!”. It’s from mile 2 and I am happy as can be with my arms up in the air. 


I finished my first Full marathon on Saturday. I was a little in shock still on Sunday. And Monday I was mentally preparing my training program for my second one. I finished and now I want to Smash my time. I know what to expect and plan for now. OH yeah, I’m hooked.


The only thing that would have made this better is if Tony Stewart would have called. Haha. Oh well, there’s always next year. Hey Tony Stewart, CALL ME!

Have a Blessed Evening

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If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support. 

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