Monday, December 14, 2009

Texas Marathon - Miles 1-8

Once the gun went off, it took James and I almost 20 minutes to finally reach the starting line. It was a well-rewarded wait. Thousands of people screaming, music playing, TV cameras and confetti flying everywhere. There aren't many opportunities in life where 'regular citizens' get to feel like rock stars-- but this was definitely one of those opportunities. The weather was absolutely perfect and we couldn't have gotten off to a better start!

The first part of this video (highlights of last year's race) will give you the best idea of what the race start felt like on Sunday. AWESOME!!

Mile 1 -- Jolee Swann

The excitement of the start line continued throughout the first few miles of the race. The course was crowded, the sidelines were crowded. James and I had the chance to exhange some passing comments with a few nearby runners (including the previously mentioned Ninja Turtles).

Coming into this race (particularly given the H1N1 obstacle I encountered during training season), I had no expectations whatsoever about time goals or pressure not to walk for any particular distance. Mentally I had broken up the race into several smaller pieces. My first goal was to celebrate the experience and get to mile marker #1. The entire first mile was AMAZING!! My only regrets were that it ended so quickly.

Jolee-- I tried to imagine what an infant's reaction would be to all of the celebration that morning. You would have loved it!! SO MUCH to see! I thought of you and your parents several times during this mile. Thanks so much for supporting me!

Mile 2 -- Bruce & Janet Mortensen

Okay-- I had finished mile 1 and now was time to start focusing on my next goal-- reaching mile 10. Mile 2 continued to be a huge celebration as we began our journey out of downtown Dallas and started getting to more residential areas. Many residents had set up camp on their lawns that morning to see the spectacle of runners go by. I was still feeling great and James and I trotted along happily chatting away and taking in all the excitement around us. Miles 1-3 were all a gradual uphill climb, but so far I think we were too distracted to notice.

Bruce & Janet-- What can I say? Thank you so much for the opportunity to run for Susan's Foundation. Being a small part of such a great cause to remember and honor Susan has made my marathoning adventure more touching and meaningful than I ever thought it could be. Susan has given an incredible gift to our family of keeping us close, both before and after her passing. In addition, she's given an incredible gift to the world through her foundation. Thank you for supporting me in being a small part of it!

Mile 3 -- Bruce & Janet Mortensen

Somewhere during mile 3 I finally ditched the extra jacket I'd worn to the start line. As I was now getting warmed up I realized that keeping pace with James was keeping my running just slightly faster than I would have run on my own. Given the circumstances of my training season, my plan for this race was to start 'really slow' and then slow down. For me, James was running more of a 'slow' rather than a 'really slow' pace-- but I was having so much fun running with him I decided to stick it out as long as I could before asking for mercy.

Mile 4 --Nelson & Kelly Prater

We now enter the very upscale Turtle Creek neighborhoods, which give us the chance to ooh and ahh over the mansion sized homes and ornate Christmas decorations. It was interesting to hear the comments of other runners as we passed, many of them echoing my own thoughts. "Could you imagine having to clean a house that big?" lol. But the drastic differences in our living arrangements clearly didn't have any impact on today's events. The Turtle Creek residents gave us a lot of fantastic support and encouragement.

Nelson (below, center) (and Kelly, whom I hope to meet soon!)-- It has been such a pleasure getting to know you through the DRC training group this season. You are without question one of the kindest and most generous people I've gotten the pleasure of knowing through DRC. I wish you a well deserved congratulations on completing your very first marathon at this event, and look forward to running many more training miles with you (and eating many more of your baked goods) next Spring. You are such a great inspiration and reminder of the possibility of acheiving personal goals and maintaining an awareness and generosity for others in the process. Thank you!

Mile 5 -- Miaisha Moore

Mile 5 finally brought us as close as we'd get to my street and my little apartment. There's something very comforting about running a race course that follows your every-day running route. At this point I'm still feeling great, and decided that the pace I was running with James really was feeling much better than I expected, so I decide to keep with it as long as I can.

Miaisha- It was great to exchange emails with you this summer and learn more about the friendship you and Susan shared. Thank you so much for contacting me and supporting my running this summer and fall.

Mile 6 -- Jeremy & Melissa Goodman

Still running strong- though starting to get a little overwhelmed with how crowded the course continues to be. As we cross over the freeway we get our first glimpse of the half-marathoners (the faster ones anyway) heading back the other direction toward Katy Trail-- which means shortly the course will be splitting and the congestion should ease up quite a bit.

Jeremy & Melissa- Amazing how Facebook can connect you with people from so long ago, isn't it? :) Thanks so much for taking the initiative to contact me and support my running and Susan's Foundation. Jeremy, after all those crazy college years we spent at NAU it looks like you've really grown up after all. Who would've thought? lol. j/k. Honestly, thanks for your support and I hope to get the chance to see you in Phoenix sometime and to meet Melissa.

Mile 7 -- Bryan Crabb

Late into mile 7 we say good-bye to the half marathoners (aka- reach the point of no return for the full marathoners), and comment on how suddenly we've gained so much space on the course. It's at this point we start scoping out who our running buddies would be for the next 19 miles or so. We seem to have lost the Ninja Turtles somewhere, but have now come across a lady in a pink curly wig, several running Mrs. Clause's (or Santa's helpers-- not exactly sure, but very cute outfits), and Lolita-- a very petite lady running in a HUGE foam green cowboy hat that I'm fairly certain must have outweighed her. I don't know for certain if she made it the entire distance with that hat-- but if she did, I'm AWFULLY impressed!

Bryan- Thanks so much for stepping up to adopt the very last available Texas Marathon mile! It has been great to get to know you through DRC and Team Swedish Fish Kickball this summer. I'm sorry that kickball season prompted an unfortunate break in your running plan (darn injuries), but I'm so glad you were able to make a full recovery and were out pacing one of the half marathon groups at this event! I look forward to watching you pursue and acheive many more of your running goals in the future. Your continued dedication is inspiring!

Mile 8 -- Tamara Adamson

Yee-haw for mile 8! This is typically about how many miles it takes me to get warmed up and feeling good about my pace, and fortunately today was no exception. It also probably helped that we were now on a downhill starting to head toward our loop of White Rock Lake. The residents in these mile 8 neigborhoods were awesome. Many had set up BBQs in their yards, and were calling out cheers of encouragement as we passed by. And don't think we didn't appreciate that, given that we were at the back of the pack, they'd not given up on cheering already. It's one thing to shout "Looking good, runers- keep it up!" to 3 or 4 runners. But to do it continuously for well over an hour shows quite a bit of dedication-- and it really meant a lot to us!

Tamara- My ever-dedicated, Team Sprinkles fellow officer. You are amazing! I have no idea how you manage to keep up all of your positive energy and enthusiasm the way you do when you're involved in so many projects. Every time I turn around you've found another worthy cause to devote your attention to. I hope you don't ever think that your caring and dedication goes unnoticed. Congratulations on completing your very first marathon at White Rock!! I had no doubt you could do it!

No comments: