Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Texas Marathon - Miles 14-20

Mile 14 -- Rob & Serena Lambaise

We are now halfway around the lake, and got a brief break to stop and visit with Randy who had come out to cheer on James!! Still feeling good, running happy!

James and Randy--
Me and James-- Serena & Rob- Thanks so much for sponsoring mile 14! Serena, it has been great to get to know you this past year. You have such a positive, optimistic attitude that is so much fun to be around. I hope to cheer you on at many more triathalons and running races in the future. And thanks for being my travel buddy on marathon morning- it got my day off to the perfect start. Congrats on running a great half-marathon at White Rock!
Mile 15 -- Lauren Ratner

At mile 15, my mile 20 cupcake anticipation begins to increase. Debbie had said she'd made a special sign for me and to start watching for it around mile 15. So watching for it I was!! I have a tendency to zone out when I run sometimes, so keeping me alert and looking for this sign was a bit if challenge, although it was keeping my mind off my increasingly uncomfortable feet, and I was grateful for that.
Lauren- Congrats to the first-time half marathoner!! Did you ever imagine you could run 13 miles when you joined that couch to 5k program over the summer? You worked so hard for this and I'm so excited for you. I'm so glad you joined DRC and jumped right in to getting involved and getting to know everyone. I look forward to sharing more running and cupcake memories with you next year. Thanks for sponsoring mile 15!

Mile 16 -- Kristi Madden

By this point, I'd still made no sighting of my special sign from Debbie, but we had reached the water stop staffed by our DRC friends, which we'd been looking forward to for some time now. First we spot our ever-enthusaistic Assistant DRC Training Program director, Stephanie, dressed as- what else? a cheering banana!!
The next people we were excited to see were our friends Greg and Roxanne (mile 13 and 26 sponsors), who had been busily handing out water and oranges to needy runners for the past few hours. I was so excited to see Roxanne, I gave her a huge hug! I would have loved to stay and chat/take more pictures-- but they were both very busy with their volunteer duties as well so we moved on ahead. Kristi- My wonderful neighbor who I wish I got to see more often! :) Thanks so much for sponsoring this mile, Kristi. It was great to see you race morning (although briefly) at the rail station. I wish I was fast enough to keep up with your half-marathon pace group so we could talk more often. I'll keep working on it. :-) Congrats on running a great half-marathon!
Mile 17 --Nancy Smith Mitchell
We now start wrapping up our loop of the lake. I'm still intently watching for my cupcake sign which I have yet to find. Somewhere along this mile James and I begin to exchange comments that this run is starting to hurt.
Nancy- Thanks again for taking the initiative to contact me and support my fundraiser this summer and fall. I did think of you during this mile, particularly what you said about how at this point you always liked knowing the miles-to-go countdown was in single numbers. That was a happy thought, because I was beginning to hurt!
Mile 18 -- Natasha Murray
My feet were past the point of hurting and my enthusiasm was beginning to wane. As we crossed our last bridge across the lake I made the confession to James that I really did HURT, and I was starting to have a hard time remembering why we kept running these crazy marathons. Within 30 seconds of making that comment, we rounded the corner onto Garland Rd. and lo and behold MY cupcake sign was dead ahead!! I was so excited I screamed, jumped and danced right up to it. I was well aware that James, many other runners, and a nearby cop directing traffic around us got a good laugh out of this, but I didn't care! I had found my sign at last!! Thank you Debbie!! As I was setting up for a picture one runner (who I didn't even know) shouted out "Team Sprinkles- Powered by Cupcakes" (our Team Sprinkles T-shirt slogan). Boy! Apparently word was really getting around about cupcakes. lol.
Me with my long-awaited cupcake sign--
James laughing at my cupcake enthusaism-- Natasha- I've had so much fun getting to know you the few times we've gotten to volunteer together. Hopefully we'll get to do it again soon because I doubt I'll be joining your speedy pace group anytime soon... but I'll keep on dreaming. :) Thanks so much for your support! It was great to see you race morning!
Mile 19 -- Hari & Nirisha Garimella
My mile 20 cupcake was just a mile away. Seeing my sign had given me a brand new burst of energy. I no longer noticed the painful feet. I felt like I could run 10 more miles if necessary. I just had to get to that cupcake!!!
Hari & Nirisha- I wish I got to talk to you both more often. I always enjoy visiting with you when I get the opportunity! Jay gets cuter every time I see him. Thanks so much for your involvement with DRC, Team Sprinkles and being so supportive of my fundraising for my last two marathons. I look forward to getting to know both of you better at DRC events next year.
Mile 20 -- Debbie Van Winkle
From Debbie: "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe" -Anatole France Anna, you dream of this and of a better world. You havve trained for this and each day you work for a better world. Because of you- many believe in that better world. I am so proud of you.
A-ha! this was it!! The moment I reached the mile 20 banner I began ernestly scanning the crowds for Debbie. She was no where in sight. Maybe I missed her? Maybe she hadn't made it to mile 20 yet? Maybe she couldn't find a parking spot? Maybe.... and then, there she was...
...eargerly waving be ahead, cupcake in hand. I ran to her, hugged her and cried! This was not about a cupcake. Granted, I was excited for the cupcake-- and let me tell you-- it was an AMAZING cupcake (homemade chocolate with chocolate silk frosting-- oh yeah, baby!!). But all the emotion surrounding reaching this mile had less to do with the actual cupcake, and everything to do with how it feels to have people in your life you support you and believe in you so much that they will give up their entire Sunday (and more than that with all the race preparations) to cheer you on to your goal.
It's one of the those moments you sincerely hope that everyone gets to experience at least once, if not multiple times in their lives. To have someone acknowledge and appreciate all of your efforts, and celebrate their achievement with you. I say it all the time, but running marathons is not about the running. It's about life. It's about the people you meet along the way, the life experiences you accumulate while training (both good and bad). All of the support I had gotten from Debbie, James and many others to reach mile 20 was just a representation of all of the support I'd gotten throughout the past year. Reaching this point was a chance to celebrate and reflect on that. I'll never forget it!
I now had achieved my mile 20 cupcake. However.... the finish line was still 6.2 miles away...
Debbie- I know I've tried and tried to tell you, but there just aren't enough words... THANK YOU!!!

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