Friday, October 22, 2010

Bitty Soccer Comes to an End

Both boys participated in the Y's bitty soccer. It lasted a whopping 3 weeks. Which is a good thing for Bodey, because he pretty much checked out after the first day. Booker really got in to it. All we had to tell him was get the ball and go that way, and he did! He almost scored about 7 times in three games. He thinks he did score because he took a shot and some of them even touched the net. After he would shoot he would run over to us for high-fives with a huge grin on his face. And the little bugger is quite fast too! Bodey, on the other hand, spent his time on the field running aimlessly around, with no idea where the ball was at any given time. It was pretty cute to watch, and he had fun, so that's all that matters. The last game Bodey bumped heads with another player and his glasses cut him around his eye. So, he sat out the rest of the game. When we were getting ready to leave he said, "Hey, we fordot to play our soccer dame." Nope, Bodey, you just had no clue it was going on! When the coach handed out their medals she had a nickname for all the kids. Booker was "Future Wizards Soccer Player" and Bodey was "Sometimes There, Sometimes Not."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Now Pronounce Myself A Marathoner!

I have to be honest when I say that running a marathon was never on my bucket list. I couldn't believe that people could actually run that far. I was a sprinter in middle school and high school and my longest distance I would ever try is 400m and that was a very rare occasion because it was too far. A quarter of a mile. Granted, I have now slowed my pace drastically, but I conquered 26.2 miles. That is over 100 times what I could do when I was younger and in the best shape of my life. But, I was lacking the faith and the heart to run any further. Somewhere, in the last 16 weeks of my life, I dug deep enough to find both of those things.

This journey has never been easy. There are such busy schedules to juggle when still trying to train. There is pain, there are injuries, there are days you just don't feel like running, and many days you feel like giving up. There is no possible way on earth I could have done this without my loving and patient husband, and my running partners, Cori and Jen. Even though I told Jen on the morning of 10-10-10 that I wanted to punch her in the face because I really didn't want to do this, she is my biggest inspiration and I'm so thankful for that.

We started off our trip by leaving the kiddos at home and taking off to Chicago. We arrived at the lovely Howard Johnson Inn Downtown with a stellar view. But the hotel was the least of things on my mind. It had a bed and that's all that mattered.

Now we were of to the Expo to pick up our packets. This place was crazy! There were so many people and so many vendors that we really didn't have a chance to look at everything. But we did have a few photo opportunities.

Saturday night the guys went out on the town and Jen, Cori and I had a pow-wow in Cori's room. We discussed what to pack, the game plan for the next morning, and how nervous we truly were. Then I went back to my room, set all my gear out and hit the sack. I, of course, didn't really sleep, but that's ok.

I woke up at 5:45am on 10-10-10 to run my first marathon. I was sick. I was mad. I didn't want to finish the journey I had set out to finish. That changed when I lined up at the starting line. I was ready, game on.

We all had inspirational shirts made for the race. Our names were on the front of them, which was the best idea ever! No matter where we were we could hear, "Traci, Cori, Jen, you got this! Good job!" In the beginning I was telling them all thank you and high-fiving them. Towards the end, I couldn't even look up to see who was yelling.

The first half of our run was great. We felt awesome, we had high spirits, our pace was right on track, we were in the shade. It was so much fun. We were totally in the moment, taking in all the scenery and spectators. Then came the 2nd half, the 89 degree temperatures (which they said were probably 100 degrees on the pavement), and the direct sunlight sucking the life right out of us. We gradually slowed our pace just to survive. There were several times when we walked because one of the three of us was so nauseous. We each had weak moments, but were able to pick each other up and continue on. That is one of the best things about running with friends. I blocked several parts of the second half out. I couldn't look up, I just had to focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Our husbands were rockstars. They mapped out everything according to our pace, jumped on buses and subways, and walked a lot of ground to see us. I can't even explain how much I needed to see Dusty's face each of those times. It was a fresh breath of air that was much needed. Dusty was able to see me at mile 2, 8, 16, 22 and at the finish. As you can see by the next picture, our legs were barely leaving the ground anymore by the end. This picture was about mile 25.5 and we were toast.

I always imagined that crossing the finish line would be one of my best memories and I would have immediate satisfaction. This was not the case for me at all. I was in so much pain and giving my all, but it just dragged on. When we finally crossed it was just a blur. I hurt, I couldn't walk, I just wanted to cry, but not out of happiness, out of pain. I was hot, sunburned, my legs and feet didn't work anymore and I just wanted a seat in the shade. Jen and Cori felt the exact same way. We walked a few yards and received our medals. This was an awesome moment. I started crying when it was placed around my neck and looked at Jen and Cori and they were too. We all just hugged and cried. At this point in time we were all delirious. We spotted some wheelchairs at the podiatry med tent and immediately seeked shelter! We were hoping to score a wheelchair, but settled for a cot to sit on instead. We just kept thinking of things for them to "fix" on us, even though all of our symptoms were completely normal after running 26 miles. We left with Jen's blisters doctored up, Cori got some medical advice on her black toenail, and we suckered them out of bags of ice. With steps about an inch apart, and only our socks on our feet, we stumbled on to find our husbands. It took us at least 40 minutes to get from the finish line to where our husbands were. When I saw Dusty I just started crying because I hurt so bad. All I kept repeating was how badly it hurt, I hated it, and I never wanted to do it again. And I wanted him and everyone else that knows me to remind me of that. Shhhhh.... don't tell anyone that within 24 hours, I totally thought I could do it again. It's a sickness. It reminds me of child birth. Somehow, you forget the pain and think you need to do it all over again!

A very vivid memory for me was at mile 2 we saw the Chicago Theater and I was so excited. I have no idea why, but it was my favorite part of the route.

I just have to thank Dusty for making this long journey possible. There were many nights and mornings over the last 16 weeks that he was superdad while I was out training. He didn't complain one time. I also just can't even imagine doing this if I didn't get to share the experience with him. He immediately started putting positive thoughts in my head the morning I woke up to run. I really needed that, and especially from him.
Oh, yeah, and for the record, my Garmin read 27.17 miles from start to finish. We mainly ran on the right side of the road (which was the outside of the loop), and the marathon was measured from the inner most part of the route. Wowzers!