Monday, May 21, 2012

13.1 done and done...

{love from my man at the finish line}

Well, yesterday was quite the busy and exausting morninng for us! I ran my first half marathon and Ben was there to watch and cheer me on! My motivation to run this was Ben. He works hard every single day and never gives up even when it gets so hard for him to move forward! Ben is a man who will not surrender to this brain injury and will not allow it to get the best of him. I needed something to do the same for me. Yes, it is challanging for me to live every single day in the brain injury world but I needed something outside of that to challange me. Sure, why not run 13.1 miles! Ha. When I told Ben that I was going to do this he said, "well if you are going to run the half why not just keep going and run the full marathon?" I told Ben that I would leave that to him and for now I would just focus on getting my feel across the start line and at least start!
The original plan was to run a 5 miler! I have never been in an organized running race before so I thought that it would be a good place for me to start. I asked my sister and she was in and then our lil bro's girlfriend joined in. About 5ish weeks before the race they came to me and said that I was easily running 5 miles already and so did we want to change it to running the half. I looked at them all crazy like and was like I run five miles easy...and you want to add 8 more miles to it?? Are you cray cray?
Well, I agreed to do it...a major challange was coming my way!
The training began! I continued to run my 5 miles and tried to add more to it. Because we have such lovely rainy spring weather here I did alot of my training on the treadmill! Thanks to Pandora I had some good tunes to get me through! It wasn't until about 3 weeks ago that I ran a lil over 8 miles indoors and about 1.5 weeks ago I ran 11 miles outside. I did not do any hill running at all and I knew that there were going to be a few but ehhh I would leave that to race day!
On race day it was not supposed to rain until the afternoon but guess what, right as we lined up to at the start line we felt rain drops...then rain and it didn't stop the whole time! It was actually a warmer temp and humid out so the rain actually felt fine!
All three of us girls started out together and we came across our first incline hill, and then it flattened out a bit and then another! I found myself cheering inside at a hill because I knew that I would get to go down in just a few moments! About mile 5 I was setting my own pace and the girls were a lil ahead. My eye doctor (known him forever because of church too) whom we had seen at the beginning of the race just happened to sneak up on us. We set a good pace for each other. The girls would come back and check on me and I told them just to go. I didn't want to slow Dr. B down so I told him he could go too. He didn't want to because he said that I was setting a good pace for him. So the girls went ahead. They would have stayed with me if I wanted but I knew that I would be fune! Ben and the rest of my fam was at about mile marker 6ish and when I got close I saw Ben sipping on Starbucks, a white chocolate mocha! How dare him! He did take a break to yell good job and give me a kiss before I took off again! I was happy to see mile 7, 8, 9....oh not to shabby, one foot in front of the other. Then there was one last hill, yup forgot about this one! It was grueling but I did it! I was by no means sprinting but I was jogging and still moving! When we got to the half way point I knew that I could do it...just felt so good to get to the half way point! After mile 10 Dr B was in unknown territory, after mile 11 I was in the unknown! We just kept telling each other mile 10!! Mile 11!! Mile 12 was an amazing marker to see but also the most grueling because my body was really starting to feel it! My hands felt like they were so swollen and I started getting some pain in my hamstring and then working its way to my knee! The amazing part is that I never felt winded to my lungs. I think from just all the running I had done that my breathing and lungs had really been built up! If I were running with lungs alone I could have gone on forever! Every time I wanted to stop I would think of Ben...I couldn't walk, I couldn't stop! Every step mattered! There is something that he says often and I said it to myself, "my healing is so close that I can just taste it." I said that but just inserted "the finish."
We were on the last stent, We saw the finish line ahead! One step in front of the other! We heard the crowd as we got closer! As we got closer the girls came back because they wanted to cross over with me! They had already got their time but of course it was nice of them to come back! Ben was there again to cheer me through the finish line and he was smiling!
We crossed and my legs turned to rubber! I could walk but standing was more difficult. I just had to keep moving for a bit or I felt like I would fall over! I think I downed some water, coconut water and chocolate milk. I got emotional as Ben, from his chair, kept telling me that I did a great job and that I finished. I told him I did and that I did it for him. He said I was amazing and someday soon he would be running one with me! We got some photos and then the chill set it and it was time to go and get a shower...a hot one! I did it! I finished! I didn't stop running! I beat my goal time!
**I actually just got off the phone with Dr. B who was calling to check up on me**

Stats from the half marathon...
My time: 2:13.32 (goal was 2:30 for my first one)
Average time/mile: 10:11
69/128 for age group
390/804 in women's group
756/1253 overall
Number of finishers: 1253
Female finishers: 804
Male finishers: 449
{pre race:starting to rain}

{were ready!}

{doc b and i}

{super close to the finish!}

{finished! good job from my man}

{done and done}

{and more done}

{i did it}

{finishers...still smiling}

We had thought about matching in blue but then decided not to...we all showed up in a shade of coral! Ha! I guess it was meant to be!
Thank you to all of you who knew we were going to be doing this race and sent prayers of strength and protection our way! Thank you also to all our family and friends who were there in the rain to cheer us on! It was fun to look forward to the cheers at the viewing points and get some good encouragement!!


marlece said...

Katie, I was sandwiched in there between you sisters. I was at 2:01, it was funny how you mentioned that warm shower and chocolate milk afterwards too. Yah, it was a good day, way to go girl, you look good!
(it was fun having your ma and family standing there cheering, it was a moment I was kind of needing it myself (smile)

Anna said...

Awesome! I am still building up to a 5K (it's the opposite for me, my lungs get lazy) but my goal is to run a local 6 mile trail by the end of summer.

Way to go!!! I'm sure Ben was so proud!

Crystal said...

You are a complete rock star!!! You and Ben both are such inspirations. Fantastic job!! I'm going to remember some of those snippets and let them be motivation to me on runs.

Great job!

Theresa said...

Good job Katie! That is amazing! Can't wait to read about Ben running with you.

Mama D’s Dozen said...

Way to go! Great job!

Laurel :)

Anonymous said...

YES MAM!!!!You did it. I am so proud of you. I think the reason I don't finish exercise routines/races, is because I am afraid to start. You have given me courage. Thank You, Marion

Vegan Momma said...

You did it!!!! I would like to suggest that you go look at or and look at their "Never Give UP" T-shirts for you and Ben. The Strong's are dear friends and their family never gives up fighting for a cure for SMA. You and Ben would look like the rock stars you are in the T-shirts, which are breathable for working our in :)

Congrats on doing such an awesome job, and I just know that one day Ben will be running along side you!!

Blessings, Mrs. Mari

Caroline said...

you rock!! I love that you all matched too :)

Mandy said...

Congatulations lady!!! That is so awesome!!!

Jenay said...

Congratulations!!! So fun to hear your man cheering you on in the video.

B. Wilson said...

You are a rock star. And you're even wearing this season's color. Nice.

Congrats. That is definitely a huge achievement!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, what a gift for Ben to show your support for his struggle and willingness to work hard.

sharon said...

What a cool thing to do...running for Ben! He is your hero. Both of you are my hero! blessings, Aunt Sharon

Mrs. Mari said...

back again with another comment. My husband's colon cancer has returned again, this time in his esophagus and right adrenal gland (it's already spread to both lungs and his liver). Friday was the first round of chemo, for this time, and these tend to be 14-16 hour days at the infusion center for us. I knew I had been eating too much icky foods since we knew something was wrong and learning the cancer was back. I stepped on the big scale Friday morning, and sure enough I have gained 10lbs.!!! NOT happy at all about this.

All this simply to say, I wish you were closer and offering of personal training for running. I keep trying to do the courh-to-5K, but can't seem to stick with it.

What is your ticket to success with running? How do you keep yourself motivated to get out and run. I so want to do this for so many different reasons--my mental and physical health for starters.

Blessings, Mrs. Mari

Sisters Of Honor said...

Congratulations! You had some great motivation!