Leukemia and Lyphoma Marathon-2008
Lend me your ears. I've come to bury the 26.2 mile monster.... the Marathon!
21 years ago I watched the NYCity Marathon from the side walk and wished I could run one someday. Well life with a multitude of commitments got in the way. I was bemoaning my missed dream when an acquaintance told me 'its so possible, especially if you train' and directed me to the Leukemia fundraiser with National coaches. It was a suggestion too good to pass ....incentive to finish , and to fundraise in honor of folks with cancer(currently 20 in my life).Well.... the rest is history! With your help and support I did both.Heres a capsule of the Marathon experience.
Sept-Dec.2007:Signup, fundraising , 4 runs a week,....Long runs on saturday at 5:30am,....black nails,fluid intake,Plantar Fascitis and 3 week rest,...worry, walk-run strategy,...more doubts....carb-loading,eat all I want through the Holidays :).....training through sleet,cold,windchill and rain
Jan 13,2008:Disney Orlando. weather forecast: 70 degress and showers possible!
2:30AM marathon day: I wake up at this ungodly hour with questions about my sanity.Seeth lovingly helps attach the computer chip to my sneakers ,my emergency contact info and walks me to my team.Im a bundle of nerves. The pre-Marathon block party with 18,000 participants feels surreal. I listen to the rock bands and make two trips to the porta- potty lines. Angst takes up all thought.
6:00AM: I walk to the last corral...those with no defnite time pace. Mickey and Minnie Mouse ,Goofy and Donald duck... and fireworks accompany us as we cross the start line at 6:30am.
I make my first mile and I hit disaster....I have the runs....but the next porta-potty is at the 2 mile mark and there is not a shrub in sight! I walk in agony, hoping I can hold on.(why didnt someone tell me about diapers?)
7:AM: At the 2mile mark, I'm last on the porta-potty line. Somehow I make it(side note: there are mirrors in the john!) I plan to just slow jog till I catch up. I have no Idea how the next 5 miles pass.....I was so in the moment I even forgot to dedicate these miles as I had planned.
8 AM: 7 mile mark and Im at Magic Kingdom. I catch up with a team member. Im over joyed and run with him for the next mile past Cinderella,Alice in Wonderland and Belle. (Whew,Im not the last).
9:30AM: I pass the 13.1mile ...the 1/2 MARATHON MARK AND FEEL EXILERATED.Unbelivable!!!. I even have energy.I finally think 'I might just make it'
11 AM: I've just crossed 19 miles and Im looking forward to connecting with my family(we prearranged a meeting point).When I see James,Seeth,his brother Krishna and wife Deviyani,with pompoms and messageboards...Im so moved.20yrs ago I recall running after this 3yr old in Disney and today he is trying to catch his 50 yr old Mom at the 20 mile mark.PAYBACK!!!
I continue to pace with random thoughts about schedules,T-shirt slogans, children,life,menopause,poetry,songs etc...till I pass 22 miles and trouble. My right ankle blows up and pain now colors my entire focus. Every bit of training advice,determination and inner strength got called up. Running was not possible anymore. I just kept walking briskly inspired by the back of the pack racers.Water and powergel,and tylenol help. I've consumed over 1000 calories during the race.
12 noon: 2 more miles to go and every step now agony. These last two miles were dedicated to my loved ones ( my sons,Seeth and our Dads)....how could I give up? These were the longest 2 miles I ever walked. At the last mile I found 2 team mates singing Gospel and joined them in loud, out of tune singing.
12:44 PM I see the finish line ahead and dash into the chute with no thought...just pure feeling.
I pull my sneaker off and cannot walk another step. The staff hang the medal around my neck and I slowly shuffle to the sign-out tent and my family. Im smiling ear to ear. Im on a HIGH.The next day there is more hell to pay(see video link).....but I dont regret a single step.I keep the medal on all day and inspite of the inflammed tendons.... Im contemplating my next event!Wait a mimute,did I really say that?
George Sheehan,the philosopher-king of runners: 'We are here to be heroes. The marathon is one way to prove it to ourselves....The marathon is a theater for heroism,the common man and the uncommon challenge.It shows the extraordinary powers of ordinary people'
Thanks to my patient heores and your help.....I achieved my dream.Passion and running are inseparable.And if you have that passion,you have the power to go the distance