Published: December 5th 2011December 5th 2011
Anticipating the Pain
Here we are - with visions in our head of that finish line.
Hotel room, food and gas $400; registration fee, Gu packs, headband $120, crossing the finish line after 13.1 LONG miles with a friend at your side ... priceless.
Friday we went early to get our packet, bib placard, free T-shirt, people were everywhere. I started getting butterflies.
We got checked in and shortly afterward, George and Tammy arrived. We headed to dinner for a carb load dinner. Tammy ran with her friends last year so she filled us in on what we could expect.
None of us really slept as well as we hoped, too excited. Afraid we would sleep through the alarm I guess. I think I saw every hour on the clock. We had gotten some bagels, peanut butter, bananas, and juice the night before just in case the breakfast wasn't out when we had to leave in the morning which turned out to be a good thing as it wasn't ready at 6:30 when we headed out the door.
Once we got close enought to walk to the start, George dropped us off and took our picture, then went to find a parking place. It was chilly so we wore extra clothes to keep
Tammy started running almost two years ago to help ease the pain after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. She ran the St. Jude marathon last year, we managed to skim off a few minutes of her time for this years race!
us warm up to the time we would start running. St. Jude had made arrangements that any extra clothing that you wanted take off along the course would be collected and they would either donate it or trash it. This made it easier to not have to worry about checking a bag and then collecting it later.
There were over 12,000 people registered to run either the 5K, half marathon, or full marathon. With this many people you can imagine that you have to have some way to get everyone over the start line. The have start points that every person gets behind based on the per mile pace that you think you will run, and then each group advances in 2 minute incriments until you reach the starting line. As you get closer and closer the music, chants, excitement grows until you reach the starting line and cross under the balloons. I had to concentrate on not bursting into emotional tears!
Once we got started we dodged in and out of all the others on the course, through Beale Street, by the river, and then through the St. Jude campus. That's when I had to really get
Traffic of People
All along the route it was never lonely ... over 12,000 people came to run either the 5K, half marathon, or the full marathon.
control. I could feel my throat closing up - not because I was tired, or out of breath, but because the reality of all of the families whose children are affected by cancer, hit me when we were running through the masses of people cheering us on. Pictures on posters of children who have been affected, groups of children holding their hands out for us to slap them as we run past. It was so overwhelming that it really took me by surprise.
All three of us were pretty much right together until we got through the St. Jude campus. Anthony had to stop and retie his shoe and Tammy and I ran on ahead just a bit. But with his stride longer than ours he was soon right back with us and then gradually moved ahead of us. Once we got headed into the back of the route I lost Anthony in the sea of people ahead of us. somewhere near the 7th mile.
George found his way to the back side of the route and somewhere around the 7th mile there he was. Supporting Tammy and taking the pictures here on this blog for us. Throughout
Somewhere near Mile 7
George was great to just pop up along the course and snap our picture. Are we stylish or what?
the day I had Tonya, Tammy and Sonia calling me to help take my mind off the road. That really really helped!
As we headed through the service roads of the zoo Tammy started to hit her 'wall' as they call it. It's basically the time when your body is telling you, 'I have had enough'. We kept talking, trying to help each other keep going - and it works. With all the people around and knowing what the point is of the race really makes you wrap your mind around a purpose more than your knees, or hips, or your feet. I think mine wall was somewhere around the 11th mile. But like Tammy I just kept thinking that if I stopped I would so regret it the minute I didn't finish.
Once we got to mile 12 the mind game was gone and you see the city coming up in front of you, and you know .. this is really doable! You get that second wind as they call it, and you just go. I can't explain it - it's that point when all of those doubts that you had before the race starts that you
George missed Anthony but got there just in time as we were coming around the corner to head into the stadium at mile 13.
worry you won't make it, seem silly.
When I saw the entrace into the ballpark I knew Anthony had already gone through. I am so very proud of him. He had teased me when I beat him at the Franklin 10K race that I would never see that again ... so of course Tammy and I held back so he could beat us! :)
We got ready to turn into the ball park and there was George. He had hurried to get there to get our picture as we came into the final mile.
Tammy and I grabbed hands and crossed that finish line like we knew we could! We got our medal and then heard, 'Shasta!' - Anthony was lying in the grass in right field. HA!
We finished! We ran 13.1 miles!! We are already planning on doing the April 28th, 2012 half in Nashville. Sonia is going to run with Anthony and I, and Tammy's sister is going to run with her. Who knows who else we might recruit!!
Thank you for sharing this "milestone" with us!
There are more photos below