Sunday, July 17, 2011

Miles 17-21

Mile 16 - Kristi Madden

Kristi- My favorite running neighbor! :) With all of your traveling-running adventures, there were several points on the course I thought of you. Running through these freeway tunnels was one of them. At two different points on the course, they went on for quite awhile. While it was kind of a unique and exciting experience at first. I admit it started to wear on me pretty quickly. I lost Garmin sattelites, so I had no idea where I was on the course once I emerged, and to be honest I would have rather been looking at the beautiful Seattle scenery than the inside of a free way tunnel echoing with loud band music, but it was all part of the adventure, so come what may! lol. Thanks for all of your support and friendship!

Mile 17 - Renegade Racer- Steve Lucas

'Thoughts of Endurance are strong enough to break down any wall'. I guess with my 7 hour marathons I offer you endurance for this mile. Don't be ashamed to walk, just keep moving forward, recharging your mind with the reason you are out there. I know you will do great!!!! - Steve Lucas

Steve- I can't thank you enough for your incredible generosity to support this race. You are definitely a great example of inspiration to keep moving forward regardless of what challenging circumstances might stand in your way. Thank you again and again!!!


Mile 18 - Gerard Bischof, Steve Lucas

Gerard- Given all the adventures we've been through in the last 3 years, it's still hard to believe we just both happened to end up in Seattle on this same weekend. It was so incredible to have you there and part of my Seattle marathon memories. I knew you were tracking my progress throughout the day, so I thought of you often, as especially every time I crossed a timing mat. :) You are the best, KG. Thank you!!

Mile 19 - Tamara Adamson
Tamara- Having you sponsor mile 19 was the perfect lead in to my cupcake mile 20! I was definitely feeling the fatigue at this point, so I just tried to imagine you running with me and immediately felt better. This happened to be another very lonely part of the course, inaccessible to spectators for the most part. So the thought of your smiling face and never ending optimism was a welcome gift at this point. Thank you!!!

Mile 20
- "The Cupcake Mile" Debbie Van Winkle

Deb- In reality, mile 20 was another lonely one- although I could hardly tell. Inspired by you, I knew my parents had cupcakes waiting for me on the course, and were hoping to meet me as close to this point as they could, but it would be awhile yet before I'd see them. But it didn't matter- just seeing the mile 20 sign immediately brought back a flood of memories from White Rock and what a special experience you made that race for me. I know I keep telling you, but it is so true! I will NEVER forget it!! Thank you so much for being an incredible supporter, and an incredible friend!
Mile 21 - Kent & Gail Mortensen

'Don’t run with your legs, run with your heart. - Keep on truckin Ann Marie! We love you!!!!' - Kent & Gail Mortensen

Here we were- mile 21 at last, the infamous "hit the wall" mile. I wouldn't say I really felt bad at this point, but I'll be honest, after 21 miles I wasn't all bouncy and full of smiles either. The lonely course was wearing on me, and my feet were past the point of hurting. It's always funny to see what unflattering photos will be snapped of you on race day. I swear those professional photographers intentionally pick the most difficult parts of the course just to catch you looking your worst. Here's one example- certainly not likely to end up on the cover of the next issue of Runner's World- lol. Yep- I was TIRED!!

I can't thank you enough for all of your support, Mom & Dad! I love you both very much!

Half Way There

Mile 12 - Andrea & Mason Convey, Steve Lucas

Just prior to the half way point, the full marathon course traversed on an out and back segment of an interstate bridge which had incredible views of Seattle, but for some reason took a lot more out of me than I would have anticipated for that distance. Once we hit the turn around point I realized why. We had been running on a very gradual uphill for a mile or two- and my pace suffered a bit. My parents were waiting to meet me here as the course passed through downtown, but weren't able to catch me with the pace change. Here are some pics of the downtown views during their wait:

Mile 13 - Roxanne Olvera & Greg Hall

“Just think…. This is much less painful and much more fun than sitting in a hospital passing kidney stones! On a serious note, by Mile 13, the real race begins. All your friends and family believe in you. Feel Susan's spirit run with you, step by step. Peace be the journey.” -- Greg & Roxanne Haha! Very accurate reminder of some of the circumstances under which I missed last year's Seattle marathon. At mile 13 I was feeling great- which was especially an accomplishment because this was my first marathon that I was running without the assistance of major steroids and medications to keep my health issues in check. To call this a big deal is an incredible understatement given all I'd been through with doctors and hospitals in the last few years.

Thanks so much for your continued support and friendship, Greg & Roxanne. You are both such a special part of my life!

Mile 14 - Serena Lambiase

Serena- Thanks so much for being such a loyal supporter of my marathon fundraisers. You are quite an endurance inspiration to look up to! Thanks for helping to keep me running strong and happy. :)

Mile 15 - Bruce & Janet Mortensen

Bruce & Janet- Of course none of these experience would be possible without all of the hard work and dedication you're putting in to changing lives through Susan's Foundation. Thank you again for allowing me to be part of this great endeavor! I love you both!

One of the sites we passed around mile 15- and had passed on the Duck Boat tour the day before- the Pink Elephant car wash, where reportedly Elvis himself brought his pink Cadillac on a number of occasions. And yes, I saw several running Elvi in this race- what marathon would be complete without them? :)