Thursday, April 14, 2011

St. Louis Marathon–The REST Of The Story

I am hearing Paul Harvey’s voice in my head as I type the title of this post.  This IS the rest of the ins-and-outs of the St. Louis Marathon, which I ran on Sunday.  There are a few things that did not make it into the initial recap post, but I thought were blog-worthy.  I KNOW you’ve just been waiting with bated breath until I posted it! Winking smile

But first, a quick summary of the last three days:

  • Yesterday was a poopy day.  The day started out with our yearly tax appointment so that should tell you enough right there!  But, to add to the load on my mind was a last-minute baseball game that was rescheduled for yesterday which led to me digging through dirty clothes for uniforms and all the necessary pieces, five – yes, five – loads of laundry that my boys decided to throw down the laundry chute surprising me when I thought I was caught up on laundry, Tyler texting me to tell me that he needs food brought to him before the bus leaves for the game at 2, our Lending A Hand 5K/1 mile event for Saturday that I am making the signs for, a property description that I had to find at the request of my husband, bills that need to be paid and bookwork that is waiting to be done, AND I was a day late taking my Effexor because the drug store didn’t have my refill order done yet.  It was the perfect storm.  I thought my brain was going to shut down.  Ahhhh, the lovely effects of menopause!  But after some tears and lots of help from the hubby, all was well; my younger kids chose to go to church instead of the baseball game and I got my medicine refilled so I was a happy Mama again.  True story.
  • Today I headed outside for my first post-marathon run.  And after yesterday’s emotional breakdown, I needed it SO BAD.  And it did not disappoint!  It felt amazing, and I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t sore at all!  Yay!  I killed an 8-miler and I am feeling so good right now.  Thank you, Jesus.
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SO, on to the REST of my marathon adventure…

Here’s a shot of me giving my speech on Saturday night at the DetermiNation event:

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The big story on Sunday, for the Marathon, was the heat

Prior to the race, race directors were giving instructions on hydrate, hydrate, hydrate…anticipating the conditions for the runners.  I took their advice, as I told you, and took water and Gatorade at every aid station, even if I wasn’t thirsty.  I never stopped sweating (a warning sign for dehydration), and even had to stop and pee around Mile 15, which was a good sign for me because I knew that I was getting enough fluids.  But even at the end of the race, I was covered with salt.  My black shorts had salt crystals all over them where my sweat had dried, my face was like a salt-lick, completely covered in it.  I think you could probably had taken a shot of tequila off of my legs, they were so salty…I know, gross, but true!

Yes, the heat was a BIG DEAL. 

But it wasn’t until I finished the race that I found out that the heat had gotten so bad, that the race directors had made the decision to close the course and divert the full-marathoners who were keeping a slower than 10:00/mile pace at the 10-mile mark to the half-marathon course.  Yikes!
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I had NO IDEA that it had gotten that bad out there!  I just kept fueling and running, and running and fueling, and was completely oblivious to what was happening behind me on the course.  Can I just say, I AM SO GLAD THAT I WAS AHEAD OF THE CUT OFF TIME!  Oh my goodness, I can’t even imagine how upset I would be if I had been one of the ones forced to turn around and finish the half, rather than the full I had trained for.  I completely understand Go!’s decision, but would have been so disappointed if that had been me.  My heart completely goes out to them.  Especially the guy who I saw on Go!’s Facebook page who had a goal of running 30 marathons in 30 days and was one of the ones turned around…I can only imagine how he feels. 

To look at it from a safety point of view, though, the race directors are responsible for the health and safety of 20,000+ runners and I know they were looking out for our best interests.  I’m sure it was a tough decision to make to close the course.  I would not have wanted to be the one to make that call.  I see both sides of the issue FOR SURE. 

I knew the St. Louis Marathon was going to be a special one to me.  In training for the race, I was looking forward to going to St. Louis and running through the streets that have become so familiar to me.  For those who may not know, Siteman Cancer Center and Barnes-Jewish Hospital is where I have received all my treatment for breast cancer, which I was diagnosed with in 2008.  We have made too many trips to STL to count for tests, appointments, treatments, and surgeries.  I have come to feel very connected to St. Louis, and feel as if it is almost a second home. 

When I saw the course map for the first time, and saw that the marathon would take me right through Central West End and by Siteman, I was so excited!  Excited, because after sitting up on the 7th floor of the Center for Advanced Medicine receiving life-saving chemotherapy and other drug treatments, I was going to be running strong by that building. 

As I approached the CWE area, I started to see the buildings that were so familiar.  The offices of my physical therapist who gave me exercises to do to help prevent lymphedema, The Parkway Hotel where we stayed so many restless nights before a surgery or treatment, St. Louis Bread Co. where the hubby would get food while I was sleeping from the Benadryl during chemo and have it waiting for me when I woke up, and then Siteman itself.  I almost could have broken down and cried as I started to see the building, but decided that it was not the time to have a big emotional moment…it’s not easy to cry and run at the same time! Winking smile  But it was a very powerful moment for me, and I felt amazing as I ran by the place that saved my life.

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Coming out of Forest Park, with Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the medical complex in the background: 

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At Mile 22, getting support from my family.  The rounded building in the background is Siteman and the Center for Advanced Medicine.  I remember looking down from the 7th floor at these very streets as I took chemo; and now here I run by them as a marathoner.  Thank you, Lord.

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I am still so excited to have run my second marathon and to have run it in St. Louis.  The runner’s high is real, and I am still riding it, even 4 days later!

I’m off to get ready for baseball games tonight and then start to focus on our Lending A Hand event this weekend.  Never a dull moment! 

Love y’all!

xoxo

PS- Today is the last day to vote for Bat Girl!!!  So if you wouldn’t care to pop on over and give me a vote or two, I would appreciate it so much.  You can even vote as many times as you want!!  Thank you!  Muah!! 2011-03-04_1247mlb

2 comments:

Pen said...

What an amazing woman you are! So inspiring and a total rockstar! Thanks for sharing your journey with total strangers!

Natalie said...

congrats on rocking the race!!! :)