And speaking of surviving, I did. Well, barely. At least the plane flight. I didn't mention it in my last post, as it seemed slightly trivial and down right wimpy in the company of such bravery, but .... I am terrified of flying. TERRIFIED. The flight is like barely an hour but that doesn't help. I think it is a control thing. You know, 30,000 up and no where to go and well, no, where. to. go. Ask Jess, a few times, especially on the flight back, I had a serious death grip on her forearm. And my Jess, anyone that knows her, knows she is short on patience and sympathy, with those who lack the ability to see things with logic. And I say that with the greatest respect and love. Really. But even she admitted after, that the turbulence was nasty and the pilot, on a few moves, appeared to be new to the gig of maneuvering an aircraft. No joke.
Flight aside, the race was great.. With a few exceptions. One : A calf cramp, straight out of the gate and lasted from step one until mile 3 and then as quickly as it appeared, it was gone. Two: My iPod. You see, I have never run 10 feet without my music. Ever. So, there we were, in the starting gates and I turn on my iPod to set up my marathon playlist and I look at the battery life and see ... one red bar. I could not believe my eyes, I show Jess and I am instantly freaking out. An under 10 minute freak out but none the less a freak out, until I finally say, well, it is what it is and will be what it will be.
At 7 am the race begins, I click on my iPod and go, fully expecting the thing to stop at any moment. Between the calf cramp and my iPod, the only thing I felt like doing in that first mile or so was running back to the hotel, and pulling the covers up over my head but I press on and the calf gets better and the music keeps going. And mile 6 flies by and the hills come with a vengeance from mile 6 -9 and I push forward and the music keeps going. I round a corner and see the bay in all it's beauty and I visualize all the beautiful faces of my mighty cancer warriors and I begin to cry and, the music keeps going. Soon, mile 12 has arrived, 1.1 miles to go, I see the finish line ahead, with those handsome firefighters ready to give the finishers their Tiffany necklaces for crossing that line and that flipping music is, unbelievably, still going. Some of the last lyrics I remember hearing as I am running those final feet are a few lines from a Coldplay song and it went like this:
Lovers, keep on the road you're on
Runners, until the race is run
Soldiers, you've got to soldier on ...
I find Jess, she asks me how long my iPod lasted and I tell her it played the entire time and we look down at the the iPod and at that moment, it says "connect to power". No lie.
Can you believe that? I asked all my angel warriors, at the beginning of that race, to help me see this thing to the end and you know, I knew they would, and they certainly did, didn't they?
I missed the time I wanted to hit by 4 minutes and Jess, well she kicked my butt. She finished the 1/2 in 2 hours and 10 minutes and I finished in 2 hours 34 minutes. We looked at our standings in our age groups and Jess rocked it by finishing 476 out of 3063 runners and I came in at a respectable 445 out 1380 in mine. Jess wants to break the 2 hour mark eventually and I want to improve mine to oh, a lofty goal of maybe 2 hrs. 15 minutes. Jess hasn't signed up for another quite yet but if I know my girl, she will soon. As for me, I have the Santa Barbara International Marathon coming up next month, November the 12th, where I will be running with Team Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. Our funds raised, furthering the cause of eradicating SMA. Speaking of which ....
I would love it, appreciate it and be so very honored, if any of you felt so inclined to sponsor me in my race. You can make a tax deductible donation though my personal fundraising page with FirstGiving and, in doing so know, that each dollar you give will be a much needed dollar towards cure. Together we can make a difference. No gift is too small and this little girl, the beautiful Miss Gwendolyn, will send you virtual love, no matter where you are.
Thank you again to all of you, for your inspiring words of support and encouragement for my run and words for the beautiful children that I have come to love. I was touched by all the messages and I truly felt the love from afar. I am so blessed to be part of this amazing blog community. The people, you all, everyone of you, even the silent lurkers and maybe, most especially the silent lurkers, your presence here with me on the world wide web, is a gift. A beautiful, inexplicable gift.