Sunday, December 2, 2007
St. Jude's Memphis Marathon
Weather was perfect at the start line, just barely 50 degrees, maybe slightly cooler. It would warm up up to upper 60's, perfect running weather. Ideal for shorts and a tank and I started with a long sleeve shirt.
This was my 11th marathon, my third St. Jude's Marathon, and I have also run the half in Memphis. I walked to the start with Colin, who was not running but planning to meet me along the course. I said to him "The first time I ran this marathon it was in '03 and it was my first marathon after Ken passed so I was really sad to run it and be here by myself. And I thought, well maybe someday I'll get to be here with someone. And today is a someday." It was awesome to see Colin about 4times throughout the race, he gave me words of encourgement, and body glide and caught my gloves.
I should have quit drinking ealier because at the start I ended up in line for the portables with 13 people ahead of me and 17 minutes to the start! Finally they started moving a little quicker and I was watching my watch deciding to get out of line at 7:55 if it wasn't my turn yet. Whew! Got in at 7:54, then bolted my way through crowds of people to corral #3, the bathroom lines were at the opposite end! I ended up having a couple of minutes to spare before we started and they held each corral so I didn't cross the start officially until 3 minutes after.
Of course I went out too fast, but I really was holding back and felt like I was running slower than my actual pace turned out to be. The first mile clicked off at 8:00 minutes. It was sunny, gorgeous, a beautiful day and you just wanted to run. My plantar fasciitus was hurting slightly but it wasn't too bad and I thought it would stop around 2 or 3 miles. I was moving right along, slowing myself down some and was with the 3:35 pace group for a few miles, lost them at a water stop around mile 5 and couldn't catch back up. My foot was still hurting and I realized I needed to pay attention to my body and run my own race rather than try to force myself to try to stay with a pace group that I wasn't really able to hold.
Around mile 10 the 3:40 pace group caught up to me which was fine because that was my ultimate goal for a finishing time. Unfortunately, I could tell that there was a strong possibility they would pass me too. They did. :) It was a nice three miles together.
My foot was still hurting and getting worse but around mile 14 the pain just leveled off and stayed the same for the rest of the race. The 3:45 group came and went. The 3:50 group came and went. By then I had already realized my situation and my goal went to FINISH THE THING and try to get in under 4 hours. Sometimes we just recognize our limitations. Besides I kept looking at all of my split times and knew I was giving everything I had and not holding my pace. :)
All along the course there were signs for JAKE. Run for Jake. His family and friends and team were everywhere. One year I ran the race and Jake was on the course, a sweet little two or three year old in a stroller, bundled up in the cold weather that year. This year there was a sign for the Jake Owen Raborn foundation and a sign that said Run in Memory of Jake. How do you not tear up when you see that? The year Jake was on the course was my first IT band injury marathon and I was in pain. I turned the corner and saw Jake and remembered there are a lot of worse things in life then running with a piddly injury. So this was another of those moments. I checked out the website when I got home and learned that this family lost their precious son in Oct. 06 at age 4. They are incredible to still to be out at the race to help other families still fighting pediatric cancer.
I finished@!!!! Yay Rah!!!! Finished in 3:53:52. The course by the way, had tons of traffic, exhaust to breathe in, and people telling you to run on the inside of the cones. I much prefer the middle of the road where the cars were, Come on!! I wish they had closed off the lanes completely, oh well. Running on slanted pavement is my least favorite. The traffic control was excellent though, the police officers did a great job directing and wathing out for the runners in our one lane. The slightly rolling hills were nice, just enough to make the race not flat. It actually felt good to have a change in terrain. On the way home, I was stretching my foot and talking about my next marathon, Boston. I'm qualified from Chicago 06 and hopefully will be there with two awesome friends, Lisa (my aunt) and Raquel. We shall see...