Warning: long detailed post- I will not be running another marathon, so I must archive this one well!
I started running to lose 10 pounds before Rob and I got married. (I had gained the "freshman 15" during my years at college and it was time to get it off!). So that means, I started running in 2000- I remember it vividly- I lived with Kendra at Georgian Woods apartments and I would run around the block (toward the Liberty Bowl then down East Parkway)- usually 3-4 days a week. I think that route was less than 2 miles. I lost the weight, but just kept running. After we were married, we lived with Aunt Pat and Uncle Dolph for a couple of months because our house wasn't ready to move into yet- I remember running with ice on the pavement at 5:00 in the morning before I went to work at Baptist Rehab Germantown. When we moved into our house I started running in Twin Lakes subdivision that was beside our house on Drummonds Rd. We moved to Hall Road and I started running down Hall Road or going to the Links or running "in town" (that's my favorite). I never joined a gym until about 2 years ago. So, I never ran on a treadmill until recently. I never ran more than 3 miles until the last few years. My first race was in 2006- the Rotary Run here in town, I ran in it for several years (my only annual race!). It was the only race I ran in until about 3 years ago- when I sort of found my hobby- running races. Running is a hobby I guess, but running in races is completion of a hobby. It's the motivation to work harder, push yourself more. I went from being satisfied with running 3 miles at a comfortable pace- to running 5, 6, 10, 13...and eventually 26 at a faster than "comfortable pace." I keep saying I'm going to cut back, but I just find a "different" way to do it. I did my first mini triathlon last fall and got a road bike for my birthday last year. I have won some medals here and there, and it feels good, but mostly I love how I feel on a random Sunday afternoon after a good run. Love the races, but really just love to run.
After this post, I ran 2 more half marathons in Spring 2012. The first was inspired by little Lucy Krull (I wanted to do the St. Jude in her honor but it was full, so I had to do different one....but nonetheless, it was inspired by her!) When I did the third half marry, it was the Nashville Country Music "hills that will kill" half that also has a full marathon. As I watched the finish line after Kasey and I were done, I watched the marathoners finish in their separate lane...and for the first time in my life, I said in my head "I have to do it." Went home and signed up for the Memphis St Jude Marathon about a week later.....with thoughts of Lucy and her battle with cancer there at the Jude. I had heard stories of running through that campus and I wanted to do it here, close to home, so my family could be there with me. So, I (semi) trained this fall- sometimes alone, but sometimes with friends (usually Nicole or Angela) and I love to run with friends. I used my bike to train quite a bit, but there is a big difference in biking and running! My longest training run was 20 miles. And it wasn't pretty. But Dec 1 rolled around and my (lifelong) friend Kasey and I decided to run it together. We are pretty close to the same pace (we finished the Nashville half together also) so we vowed not to leave each other. We started strong for the first half marathon- and I felt really good at mile 13 when I handed my jacket off to Rob. Then miles 15-18 hit- T-O-R-T-U-R-E!! A slight incline for 3 miles. Kasey was stronger than me (those Knoxville hills help her a lot!) but she held back for me. We started walking while we drank our water at the water stops for the length of the stops (about 45 seconds) at about mile 16. It kept me from walking otherwise. By the time I hit mile 20 I was feeling like I could do it- my body was definetely breaking down, but nothing was extremely painful and I felt like I had managed my nutrition well enough to make it through - (Goo packs, cliff chews,granola, gatorade every other mile). Kasey's knee started to bother her pretty bad at mile 22 or so, but she turned her music up and we kept running. I kept looking at my watch trying to figure out what I would need to do to try to finish in 4:30...but when you are not an avid marathoner...you can't exactly "speed up" at mile 20!!! Our pace had slowed to about 11 minute miles. But hey we were still running. I prayed at every mile marker for someone or something- God has given me the ability to run and I thank him for that constantly was I am running. The supporters along the race route were absolutely INCREDIBLE- for 26 miles there were people encouraging us- awesome signs, lots of humor, lots of high fiving kids! I vividly remember the line formed outside Autozone as we neared the finish- the feeling of approaching that finish with the crowd yelling for us and then turning to run on the warning track in the baseball stadium, holding one of my dearest friends hand, looking up in the stands to see my family cheering for me and crossing the line, on my feet, still running- undoubtedly one of the absolute best memories of my life. My official time was 4:40.
I found my kiddos, Rob, and my parents, hugged them, then sat down on the concrete to take my shoes off! I just wanted to rub my feet!! We grabbed some gatorade and food at Autozone, then headed to The Majestic Grill to eat and celebrate.
|Could not have finished as well without this gal- strong runner and great friend!|
|Snapped this on the day Kasey and I went to the expo to pick up our packets- it was the strangest thing to look for my name on the "marathon" wall instead of the half marathon wall!|
|Course map- When we ride through Memphis, now I am always saying "I ran this street" or "did you know this street is actually a hill?" or " I remember the water stop here"....when you cover 26 miles, that's a lot of streets.|
|My Hero bib that Lucy and Leah (two dear St. Jude patients to me) helped me decorate:)|
|Part of Team Lucy|
|Amy did great in her first half marathon!|
|T-county Team Lucy|
Other races in 2012:
|Nicole and I before the Germantown half marathon.|
Had my best time in a half at this one- 2:02- would have loved to have broken 2 hours!
|Nashville half marathon with Kasey and Noel. |
Really, this race deserves it's own post too! The crazy hills and sun were a rough combination!! If I hadn't been trying to keep up with Kasey, I would have stopped and walked!
|My food box post race. When I finish a race, no matter the distance or the location, I am looking for food!! Kasey talked me into the chocolate milk...I tried it then put it down for my gatorade!!!!|
|Had a great time at the University of Memphis True Blue 5K- all 4 of us had personal records. That makes for a fun race!! Everyone except me medaled....and it was no small race.!|
All 5 of us crossed the finish line in the LeBonheur Pumpkin run!! Bo and Rob in 28 minutes and the girls in 36 minutes. I was so proud of my kiddos for working hard- it's not easy for a kid to run three miles without stopping and Bo did it! He was 3rd in the 10 and under age group and Lane was 5th in the 10 and under females. She may not have been as motivated, but she kicked it in at the end and finished well. We are signed up for the Mito-What 5K in Millington on March 23rd - can't wait. Great cause- check it out here.
And certainly....don't forget to sign up for the 3rd annual Go Lucy Go 5K!! All new route (still in historical Covington), great t-shirts, Start2 Finish event management electronic timing this year. Kids Fun run and activities again this year. Don't put it off- sign up, if something comes up and you can't run/walk, oh well, you gave $25 to a great cause- the Go Lucy Go foundation - helping support families with sick children. Sign up here!!