Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Corral #5

To help ensure 10,000 runners get off to a safe and smooth race start, when we registered we were immediately separated into separate start corrals (yes, like cattle) based on our projected finishing times. Finishing time is a difficult thing for first timers, still yet to complete many long training runs, to predict- but you make your best guess and hope everything works out for the best.

Just before sunrise we heard the announcement to get into our start corrals.
This is where those extra layers of clothes you come dressed in come in handy,
as there is still a fairly long, chilly wait before the race will actually
start. Most runners come to the start village layered in old clothes they plan
on leaving at the start line or along the first few miles of the race as they
get warmed up. Race organizers collect all the clothes and donate them to
Goodwill. As part of the whole 'life metphor' I was going for in this race, I
chose to leave a few pieces of clothing at the start line that represented
things I wanted to leave behind in more ways than one. Cheesy I know-- but
clearly that's the least of my concerns by this point. It felt great!

Waiting those last few moments for the gun to go off I took this short video of a few people in corral #5. So much energy, hope and optimism-- will it still be there 26.2 miles from now?

While waiting for the race start, I also eagerly dove into the little book my mom put together of messages from all the race sponsors for Susan's foundation. Reading these messages from my family and friends was so amazing-- I really felt like they were all right there with me. A lot of you sent along some great messages--- so I hope you don't mind me sharing them....

"Dear Anna, I am so proud of you! Running a marathon is a huge accomplishment.
You will do great, just like you always do. You are AMAZING!!! See ya at the
finish line. Whoo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love ya, (Amanda Sullivan)

"There is no chance, fate or circumstance that can circumvent, hunder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul." Thanks, Don & Laurie Nicoll

"Hi Ann Marie, I decided to go with a deep thought... this is from Emerson:
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier- not that the nature of the task
has changed, but our ability to do it has increased." It reminds me how far
you've come in your preparation for this race. Remember when 10 miles seemed
like a lofty goal? You have worked really hard through medical/physical odds to
get here today, and I am really proud of you. I can't wait to see you cross the
finish line! Congratulations, xo" (Cassie Capps)

"Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart." (Gerard Bischof)

You'll notice once the race gets going that some messages end up getting
repeated-- this ended up being a good thing for several reasons-- one, depending
on what mile I was at-- I definately needed the extra cognitive processing time
to ponder some of these-- and, a message that meant one thing early in the race
took on a completely different meaning for me much later in the race-- it made
every message very special and tressured. Thank you so much to everyone for
sending these messages and my mom for putting them together.

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