Monday, May 08, 2006
"It is finished"
It's done. Finished. completed. conquered.
At the half marathon point i felt awesome! i was praising God that i felt so strong. Then mile 14 came and something happened. i began to feel tired. by mile 16 my stomach began to feel upset. it was nauscious. i began to struggle eating and drinking cause it only seemed to upset my stomach more. At mile 19 i was feeling like i couldn't finish this thing - pain was setting in pretty heavily by now. i hit the restroom to try and throw up. at mile 20 i began to feel cramping in my hamstrings. my body was wasted. i had decided - with SIX miles still to go, there was no way i could possibly finish. i had basically started emotionally going through the process of quitting and and what that would mean for this fundraiser. i was walking/limping a whole bunch. At mile 21 i tried throw up again to help my stomach - but couldn't again. i tried to choke down another cup of water/gatorade. my friend Bob pulled along side me and stuck with me as internally and externally i felt utterly miserable. i still wanted to quit but i can't remember if i disclosed that to Bob or not. i struggled to get to mile 22. Then something happened. i don't know if it was tunnel vision or what but mentally i just "checked out". i focused on an object in the distance and just stared at it (like those 3-D posters that you stare into to see the hidden image) and suddenly i felt "better" and i began to run faster - what seemed like a faster pace than the first 13 miles. well, at least as fast. Mile 23... the same thing. everything around me was a blur except a pin point down the street. again i tried to drink and eat a power gel pack. i couldn't eat. Actually i probably stopped eating at about mile 20ish. i ended up drinking about half the liquid and spitting out the rest - just getting my mouth wet. At mile 25 i lost the ability to zone out of my pain and misery and began to feel it - but i was also finally at a place i knew i was going to finish this thing. I stopped once more at mile 25 and tried to throw up, to no avail. i grabbed a cup of ice and chewed a few pieces. At this point a i was completely out of it. my back, groin, thighs, knees, ankles, feet... all of it was in unbelievable pain. i rounded the last corner and though i could see the finished line less than 200 yards away, i had to walk again for a minute, one last time, other wise i did not feel like i could make it to the end.
and then i crossed the finish line.
the next 5 minutes were a blur. i remember a kid cutting off the time chip from my shoe. someone put a medal around my neck and i stumbled as i tried to stand for one last photo (they have photo takers throughout the race). Tracy came up to me and i know was saying something but i couldn't focus on it. i couldn't focus (auditory wise) on anything. like i was stilled "checked out". i walked over to the grass and laid down for a couple minutes. once i got up, i was back in reality. i (with Tracy, Bob and his wife) gingerly hobbled to the car to go back to the hotel to shower.
although i couldn't bare the thought of eating any more gel, or even drinking anything.. i was starving, and nothing sounded better than a big, juicy hamburger with fries. and that's what i ate. i had maybe two sips of my pop. infact, i didn't really drink anything for teh rest of the day. basically as of about 12:00.
as for my race time. i didn't make my goal. at a 12 minute mile pace, i was to finised the marathon by 12:20. but i probably walked an extra (not the planned walk breaks) half hour's worth just in the last 6 miles in order to keep moving. i think my unofficail time was 5 hours and 36 minutes.
Today, as expected, i am in more pain and soreness than i have ever been in my life. the only thing close i can compare it to is when you have the flu and your whole body aches and you feel miserable. even though you know you'll feel batter in a few days, the minutes seem to last hours and you feel like you are going to die....
i began to get emotional around mile 20 when i thought it was the end and i was not going to be able to finish this thing. and then after i crossed the finished line i began to get emotional, because i was relaxing and letting all the emotion flow. i felt like such a loser when i knew that i could no longer go on. It was only by God's grace, your prayers and my friend Bob's companionship that got my past mile 21 and indeed across the finish line.
Now, for the fundraiser update... are you ready?
as of saturday, the unofficial deadline of the fundraiser, we have raised $5,289!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! there are three other pledges that i know of out there that will bring us closer to $6,000. UNBELIEVABLE. you guys are amazing!!!!! This is our single most successful fundraiser to date!! We did it!! we not only met, but EXCEEDED our $5,000 goal!!
but now i HAVE to get up and start moving around again to keep my legs working!