Finish a Marathon.....check!

This might be a long one so grab some coffee and get cozy.

The marathon weekend started with a pasta party....would you have expected anything else? Below is a blogger pic, just 6 of the 14 people scarfing down pasta and chicken.

(from left to right...Steve, Pharmie, Stew (in front), Robby B, Rural Girl (in front) and ME)

Then a pic of just the runners...


After that, it was early to bed for me, I was out by 9:30.

Sunday morning...I woke up a number of times starting at 4:30am. Finally at 6 I was up eating oatmeal and watching the day's weather. Steve's blog has some good pics of the events up to the marathon and the barn yard side of the day. Basically, we all got ready and jumped in the cars. We snapped a few pre-race photos and Pharmie and I went into the Dome for some pre-race bathroom stops. Somewhere along the way Steph took this pic, I look happy and ready to go...what is Steve doing?


Here is a pic of everyone pre-race...

From left to right...Steph (the photographer), Steve (the chicken), Me, Mike (the pig), Pharmie, Brianna (farm girl), Matt (the cow), Annie (farm girl) and Monica (the mom).

At this point Pharmie and I made our way to the start line....after trying to go into the sub 4 hour corral we weaved our way through the back of corral #2 to the 4:20-4:30 group.


Ten min later we heard the gun go off for corral #1, 3 min (it seemed like forever) we were off. The heard of people was walking towards the starting line. I honestly thought with 11,000 other people starting within 3 min of me that I was going to have to 'jockey' for position more than I did. Pharmie and I settled in, or at least I tried. As soon as I crossed that start line I got really nervous, I just kept thinking about what is this day going to bring? Am I going to slow her down? It took about half a mile for me to shake that feeling and just get let go of those nerves. Here is a quick pic of us at mile 0.25...


The first few miles went by pretty quick. Pharmie was pointing out a few things on the course (this was her 9th TCM), like where all the guys pee on a wall around mile 2 (???). Within those first few miles we ran up on a man in his 80's that had a sign on his back, "This is my 300th marathon". WOW...what a mind blow! 300! I was on #1. Pharmie was on #10....300! I hope you did well MR. 300.

Somewhere within the first few miles it had started to rain, which really didn't bother me. I was feeling great and clicking through miles around 9:50 - 10:00 min. When we reached the lakes I got colder, a cool breeze was coming off the lakes and the rain picked up. At first it was ok, but 30 - 40 min later my shoes were soaked and I was ready for the rain to be over. At mile 7 I dropped a gel trying to open it because my fingers were SOOOO cold and numb. I let it go and knew I would be ok with the nutrition I had and what was waiting at mile 15. Miles 8 and 9 fell into the rear view mirror and I was still telling Pharmie, "I feel floaty." I felt great. My shoes were soaked but I still felt light on my feet. Not wearing a Fuel Belt probably had something to do with it, but I'm going to give most of the credit to race day excitement. :-)

Mile 11 was a blur, I spent the entire mile eating a semi-frozen power bar. Small bite after small bite; I hate those things! But I need the added fat and protein the gels, blocks and liquids just don't give me. Shortly after I scarfed the last bite I saw my fearless cycling instructor and her hubby...thanks for coming out Patti and Al!!! It was great to see you! Miles 12 - 15.5 continued to be great! Mile 14(?) I ran by Kari and her gf (can I say gf yet???) and then at mile 15.5 I ran into the barn yard again. Here are a few pics of me and Pharmie running towards the group and I'm even stretching on the chicken....




The next section of the race is where it got tough for me. I was trying to break the race up in my mind and all I could think about was the three hills awaiting me on my way to Summit Ave. I'd ran these hills on numerous training runs, I knew exactly what to expect...they always kicked my butt! Also, this is when I really started to notice some pain settling in. My feet started to hurt, they were swollen and that made my laces start to rub. I'm guessing that the pain in my feet made me run differently because this is where I started to notice 'twinges' in my calf and real tightness in my IT band. We came upon mile 19 and my right food started to cramp, Pharmie and I stopped so I could walk it off and stretch it a bit. We started running eventually and I had to stop again...in the middle of the three hills. After a good stretch I made it up the third (steepest/largest) hill, thinking there would be water at the top of the hill and I would have a chance for food/water and another stretch before the jaunt down Summit ave towards the finish. The water stop wasn't at the top of the hill, it was 3-5 blocks down, so I got that eventually.

Pharmie got me back on my way and this is when I channeled another blogger, IRONMIN. She had a heroic IM MOO finish this year and I remembered something I read on her blog. "Just one foot in front of the other. You have a good pace. Just one foot in front of the other." Pharmie was by my side, all of you were there with me in spirit and IRONMIN's words were circling through my head. I was focused on what I needed to do, one foot in front of the other. I'm sorry if I was distracted as I ran by all of you on Summit; Kate, Eryn, Kari, Scott, Drew, Luke and his wife (sorry, can't remember your name!), sorry if I missed anyone else...I was a little zoned out. It was great to see all of you! A familiar face did wonders for my motivation.

It was amazing how fast miles 22 through 24.5 went by (looking back), in the moment they seemed to take forever. At mile 24.5 I got a quick awakening, my right leg cramped completely! It brought me to a halt! There were some small cramps from mile 19 to 24.5 but nothing that wasn't manageable. But out of no where I was brought to a complete stop! I hobbled while pulling up and slowing, you've all see that awkward looking runner pull up with a cramp...that was me. I told Pharmie to go...this just had to be stretched out. I knew I was going to finish even if I had to walk the rest. I didn't walk much more than a quarter to half a mile when I saw Jairo, this seemed like forever though! So many people cheering, telling me I'm almost there and to keep going. And here I am, walking! I was half ashamed! Then I saw Jairo and had a big smile on my face. He crossed the street and by that time I talked myself into trying to run again. I did, and he was running next to me. I don't remember anything that we talked about but whatever it was, it took my mind off of the pain. I'm not sure if I was running/hobbling or what but I was moving faster again. Jairo, you got me moving again...THANK YOU! Below is a pic of me approaching the barn yard scene at mile 26 with Jairo on my right in blue...



As I passed the barn, Jairo dropped off and i was strolling down hill towards the finish with a purpose...get that medal draped around my neck. Shortly, I ran into Kari again. She ran a ways down the stretch yelling for me to kick it home. I yelled back, I have nothing left. She kept trying though. Kari, Thank you! For everything, you've become such a good friend this past summer! I honestly got chocked up running down the stretch, knowing I had so many friends come out to cheer me along and even run with me. I ran into the finishers chute pumping my arms in the air, asking the crowd to make some noise. I'll post my finishers pics when they are online.

After I crossed the line I got my medal and saw Pharmie. I was just two min behind her. We gave each other a big hug and congrats then worked our way through the food area. We both loved the Chocolate Milk! Not much else tasted good to me. I honestly only ate 1 fun size nut roll (forced) and a banana. I was thanking all the volunteers I saw...I was on cloud nine! Eventually we got to the spot where they take your chip, I put my foot on the ledge and my calf cramped...I almost kicked the poor woman's fingers off. I'm sorry! Then she was soo nice to untie my shoe (I tied my chip with into my laces)and then re-tie my shoe...only to tie it too tight (swollen feet) I kinda cringed and bent over to retie my shoe. She said not to worry and retied my shoe looser. I thanked her so many times, I even think I told her I loved her....

Pharmie and I made our way out of the finishers area and the crew found us. We slowly made out way back up to the cars, like an hour of chatting, walking, chatting, walking. Having three giant farm animals with us meant frequent photo ops with random people. Here is a pic of me and Pharmie shortly after we found the crew...


Eventually we went back Pharmie and Steve's place for some food...


To sum up the day...it was a good day! I ran the best I could for the day, the conditions and the way my body felt. I left nothing. I can't ask for anything else...so I'm really happy with the outcome. If you read my last post you know I was hoping to finish around 4:23...I ended up with 4:39. 16 min slow but I know I did the best I could for the day...and I've got my bling so I'm happy. :-) As for physical injury...my feet and ankles are swollen, I hurt from waist to floor. Getting up after sitting for a while hurts, stairs hurt, but once I'm standing walking isn't too bad. I have no blisters, no black toes and I only chaffed on my left underarm.

If you are a skimmer stop and read this part. All of you have played a role into me achieving this goal. Before this spring I never thought I could finish a marathon, even then it was a small star in the night sky...just barely visible. Everyone has helped me focus in and work towards that moment when that medal was placed around my neck.

Stef, Steve, Pharmie...I've learned soo much about endurance racing from you guys! Before I met you guys I'd never ran past 4 miles...and in just a little over a year I crushed that and finished a marathon. I didn't even just do it, I was able to do it and be smart about it...thank you for all of your years of experience/knowledge and motivation through training and race day! I owe you guys soo much it isn't even funny!

Kari, Jairo, Patti, Al, Scott, Kate, Erin, Lauren, and anyone else I missed...thanks for being there to cheer me on! You've all provided so much inspiration and motivation throughout my training this summer! I've pulled valuable knowledge from you guys! I'm really glad I bought a bike and met all of you this summer! Thank you so much!

All of you bloggers! I wish knew more of you personally! Almost daily I read about all of your journeys...good times and bad times, smiles and frowns. I feel like I'm there racing with some of you. I just want to thank you guys for all of your support/motivation and inspiration this summer!

I just feel soooooooooo lucky to have a number of support groups.


This pic was taken before the race but I think it does a great job of summing up the day...

Rural Girl  – (October 7, 2008 at 6:15 AM)  

Yah, Borsch! I'm so excited for you! It was great to have met you. Keep on keepin' on and who knows where you'll end up next!

TRI TO BE FUNNY  – (October 7, 2008 at 7:16 AM)  

Sounds like it was an amazing first-time marathon Borsch! Congrats and welcome to the club!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady  – (October 7, 2008 at 8:26 AM)  

WooooooHooooooo!!! You did it. It's a huge accomplishment. And you sound so happy. Doesn't get much better than that. :-)

Danielle in Iowa  – (October 7, 2008 at 8:58 AM)  

Congrats on finishing! Awesome job!

Marcy  – (October 7, 2008 at 9:29 AM)  

CONGRATS BORSCH!!! That's freekin awesome! You are very lucky to have such a wonderful and whacky support group with you. Hopefully I'll be joining the club soon too *gulp*

Lauren  – (October 7, 2008 at 10:05 AM)  

I am SO PROUD of you! What an incredible goal to have achieved.
So, what's next? Half Ironman? :)

Colleen  – (October 7, 2008 at 10:36 AM)  

YAY!!!! I'm so glad that the day went well and that you finished in a GREAT time!! You should be super proud of yourself! Now go relax, eat something really fattening and smile because you finished a marathon this weekend!!! :)

lfar  – (October 7, 2008 at 10:39 AM)  

Coming out of lurker hiding to say CONGRATS BORSCH! That's a really good time, too. This post is super inspiring and also... not going to lie, when I read about people's first marathons I sort of tear up a bit. (I've only done a half... maybe next year I'll do a full)

-Lisa

Meg  – (October 7, 2008 at 11:52 AM)  

Wow, congratulations! Your happiness definitely was conveyed in this post! Great pictures, and what great friends to cheer you on out there like that!

Stef  – (October 7, 2008 at 12:53 PM)  

Congratulations -- what a great experience you had. Your post is very inspiring.

Kelly  – (October 7, 2008 at 2:42 PM)  

Great post and race! I smiled the whole way through it, your happiness and excitement are contagious :-)

And that is not a shabby time for a first marathon!

teacherwoman  – (October 7, 2008 at 8:12 PM)  

Oh Borsch! I am so happy for you and such a wonderful first marathon! You did awesome and your race post was wonderful!

The final picture definitely says it all!

Congrats, again! :)

Steve Stenzel  – (October 7, 2008 at 9:08 PM)  

HA! I love that last photo! CONGRATS again!!

I hope the "below the waist" soreness subsides shortly. I'd offer to massage, but that's weird. So I won't.

NICE JOB ON SUNDAY!!

IronMin  – (October 7, 2008 at 9:09 PM)  

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am so, so happy for you. Your race report was incredible, and I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes...Truly inspiring journey and what an awesome performance! You dug deep, you overcame challenges with a positive attitude, and YOU DID IT! Wow, I am just so excited for you....I wish I could've been there to cheer you on in person. Get some well deserved rest and don't be afraid to wear the bling out in public. ;)

P.S. It was hilarious that you think you even told the chip volunteer that you love her - isn't the euphoria after a race amazing? You captured that emotion so well! Again - congrats and thanks for letting us join in on your journey. BIG SMILE! :)

Girl on Top  – (October 8, 2008 at 8:28 AM)  

Great job! I totally followed each word and I have yet to run a marathon (one is in the works next year), but thanks for a great post!

JohnnyTri  – (October 8, 2008 at 9:56 AM)  

great recap!! and nice job on your day! Rest up and then slowly get back out there having some fun.

Congrats!!

rockon`

LG  – (October 8, 2008 at 6:27 PM)  

Yippee!! Yay!! Yay!! You are a marathoner!! I am so proud of you! this post really but a smile on my face today. i will remember it as I attempt my first 1/2 marathon sunday.

M  – (October 8, 2008 at 9:14 PM)  

MAn, I had goosebumps the whole way through that post - I know I have only been following you for a short time, but it has been really great to watch how hard you work - and gosh darn positive you are - All the time! For all those people that have inspired you, please believe that there are that many of us and more out here that follow your progress and are inspired by you!

That picture at the end is priceless, and something tells me that there were probably a number of those smiles at the end of the race as well.

Many, many congrats on a great race - you are now a marathoner!!!!

J~Mom  – (October 9, 2008 at 4:21 PM)  

Congratulations!!! I was just cracking up at the part about the chip removal because I remember when I finished my first half and they wanted me to remove me chip and how far away the ground seemed! LOL AWESOME job!!!!!!!!!! Congrats again!!

The (IRON) Clyde  – (October 10, 2008 at 8:39 PM)  

Yeah Man!! Way to go, God I love race reports, yours was what it is all about. Face adversity and overcome it, not every race is going to go like we planned (see my DNF from July for that one, haha) Congrats again on the great accomplishment.

So what's up next? I know "M" above and I are "in" for the Racine Half Ironman in July, something to think about. I also do the Green Bay Half marathon in May every year, that's a GREAT race....we should try and set up a race together Bro.

Pharmie  – (October 12, 2008 at 8:29 PM)  

A very late CONGRATULATIONS again, and thanks for keeping me company out there! Now it's ON for the next half :)

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