Sunday, February 20, 2011

2:29:00, Part III

God bless Kelsey, who put up with my insanity toward the last two miles of the race.

I’m pretty sure I went nuts at Mile 11. We had two miles. (Around) twenty minutes. That was it. The end was in sight, my legs were hurting but not dying, and we were going to, as Drew Brees said, FINISH STRONG.

Again, I’m sure I went nuts.

I started yelling, trying to encourage Kelsey and myself, shouting, “WE GOT THIS STINKING RACE! WE’RE GOING TO HAVE AN AWESOME TIME! WE’VE GOT LESS THAN TWO MILES TO GO! WE GOT THIS!” I’m not sure if she heard. I’m sure several observers and other racers did, though. I was loud but, unfortunately, probably not very coherent at this moment.

At Mile 12, Kelsey said she didn’t want to take our last walk break like we had planned. She just wanted to finish. I was up for the challenge. So we kept a slower pace than usual so we could finish.

The race ended in City Park. We went over a bridge, and Kelsey saw this big, white museum ahead. “Is that the finish?” she asked me.

“Yes.” Liar.

She sped up, and I sped with her. My second wind was going so strong. We got to the museum…and she realized it wasn’t the end.

“It’s right on the other side of this building,” I said. Lie No. 2.

We darted around the museum…and the end was not in sight. However, there was a huge crowd of people around the race area, and we both knew we were within just a minute, maybe 90 seconds, of finishing. And then, we saw the beautiful green finish line. “That’s it!” I shouted. “I’m not lying this time!”

And then I gave her the final words Rindy gave me before I left for New Orleans, “Watch out for the cracks.
Crossing the finish line

We ran. We ran hard. We didn’t even see our husbands cheering for us. We just ran.

We crossed the finish line, and I threw my arms up in the air and thanked Jesus that we had made it.

We estimated we’d finish in 2:30. Even with the potty break, we finished in 2:29:00.

It was a beautiful victory.

I wanted to cry. I really did. I’ve never wanted to cry after a race, but I did after this one. Everything hurt. Kelsey sat on the grass, but I was afraid if I sat down, I’d never stand up again. We hobbled to the car with our husbands. We passed marathoners who looked absolutely miserable by Mile 25. We clapped and cheered them on. One of them saw our race bibs, and he said, “Good job, girls.” We were stunned. He’s on Mile 25, and he’s saying we did a good job for our halfie? We were more impressed with him.

Overall, it was a fantastic race. Several of our friends were running it, too, though we only saw a couple. It seemed to go really fast, but I think the way I arranged my playlist helped. No beads were thrown this year, but there were some great new signs:

“Dear Runner I Have Never Met: I’m Proud Of You.”

“If this were easy, I’d be doing it.”

“My car got towed because of you.”

And one good T-shirt: “Dear Lord, please let someone be behind me to read this.”

Post-race treat? Mexican food. Yep. I was in a Mexican mood.

And…I’m ready for the next race!


Mari said...

Hooray for you! You did great! I've enjoyed the play by play.

SusanD said...

Dear Runner I have never met: I'm so proud of you!!! Congrats on your great win! Maybe one day I'll be as good at running as you. Have a fabulous week. Blessings, SusanD

Kim said...

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!! I teared up reading! WAY.TO.GO!!!!

Ginger said...

Congrats!! You so rock!!

Beth said...


sara said...

this has been so fun to read! But I have to say that when you got to the end of the race and described how you felt, I thought "why in world does any one DO that on purpose! " ha! I am so impressed and even more impressed that your last words are that you are ready for the next one!!!

msxj said...

Congrats!! That's amazing!! I want to do a half next year - thanks for the inspiration!

Tara said...

You are my hero!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so, SO proud of you, even if I didn't get to see you last weekend. :) LOL

I think it's great you wrote this down in so much detail; it'll be nice to have that as a memory later. :)

Amy said...

Congrats! I've never run more than 5 miles, and I was a runner in high school! It was nice to "meet" you over at Brooke's! :)