Race chatter

Here’s my necklace! It says RUN LIKE A GIRL on it.
morning of the race I was putting on my waterproof mascara (man. i am such a girl.) and John teases “Is that for the Firemen?” and I said
“Don’t be late

I don’t know why these race photos are so tiny!

Look closely, I guess…I can’t get them bigger!
Anyway, this is the Start line. 7 AM, Union Square. There were so many runners that it was 7:19 before we crossed the “official” line-and it stinks to run/walk a mile or so before you even start!
But the camaraderie was great-everyone was so psyched up and full of adrenaline, it was a contagious atmosphere! It reminded me of a big concert where you are all crowded and grinning and talking with strangers and there is this overall feeling of unity because hey-we are all here for the same reason!

Coming down the first stretch-the sun was starting to rise and it was beautiful.

Seeing all the shirts of my fellow runners, with photos of their loved ones battling cancer, was incredibly motivating. It reminded you of what matters. That you are healthy enough to move your body, when so many who wish to-cannot.
You stand in a race start line and see all these athletes. These tall, gazelle like women, 20 years younger and twice as fast as you, and you think “What am I doing here?!” and the announcer yells out “14 million dollars raised IN THIS RACE ALONE, for cancer research” and you remember…wow. I had a little part of that!?
Thank you to everyone who donated!!!


The race went differently than I expected. I had figured I would “gut out” the first 8-10 miles and then happily fly through the last 3, knowing I was almost done. Instead, it was the opposite. It took 3 miles or so to get “in the zone” but the people and scenery was so beautiful that it wasn’t a difficult run.
In fact, for the first 10 miles I was grinning like a fool and talking to everyone-despite it being ALL hills. Not “some hills” like we had trained for but pretty much up or down, the whole race. Shins hurt going up, and quads hurt going down and just when you think “whew, done!” There is another one, coming at you…

But I was euphoric-I am here! I am doing this! It’s incredible!
And at mile 10, as we came down the Presidio, and felt the Pacific Ocean breezes cooling off the sweat, I stated to my running partner Jeanette:
” I am SO doing a full marathon!”


Then, about mile 11, I bonked.

I don’t know if it was seeing the finish line area and having to go past it another 2 miles, or exhaustion, or what?!! but suddenly I flipped emotions, and felt every pain and hated running. I wondered if this race would ever end. I had been running nonstop for almost 3 hours!

I so despaired of life, that my previously Pollyanna self actually snarled “No!” at a volunteer who innocently offered free chocolate bars to us on the “Ghiradelli Mile”.

At Mile 12, I added the mornings miles to the last five months and realized THIS was my three hundred and fifty second mile…352!! I promised my legs that, if they just kept going for ONE MORE, I would never put them through this again…I was crying and praying and then, to my running partners annoyance, I started quietly chanting to myself:

onemoremile onemoremile onemoremile

and then, we saw the finish line!
and strength came flooding back…
and the tears went from despair to joyful relief…
and hundreds of people were cheering
and I crossed like this:

It was one of the best moments of my life–ranking right up there with childbirth and marriage! (messy. life changing. cameras required.)

John missed seeing me cross (again!) but was waiting for me in the finishers tent. I wrapped up in the Mylar foil they give out, and Jeanette and I walked down to the Ocean. We braved the cold waves for the ultimate “ice bath”! It really helped, because before that I could barely walk. Then we took the long shuttle back to the hotel and I started the recovery process. It goes like this, and works well for all kinds of life-changing events. Feel free to copy these instructions.

A. Kobe beef cheeseburger with extra tomato. shoestring fries with ranch. hot coffee with cream. 2 Advil with several glasses of water. warm rhubarb crisp with ice cream ala mode–do this until food is gone.

B. shower–do this until hot water is gone.

C. dark hotel room, soft mattress, down comforter–do this until the sun goes down.

D. Get dressed and go dancing!

I want to be a faithful person, yet despite all the vows made to the lower half of my body in mile 12? I am going back on those promises, and will slip my Asics back on my feet by Saturday. I think I have the fever? I am even signing up for the Eugene Half Marathon in May, because I SO want to beat my 3 hours, 42 seconds time on a nice, flat course. Anyone local want to join me?

So here you go, Brian. Nike’s website says I placed 8,812 out of 20,000?

but it’s more accurate to state

I out-ran 11,188 Turnipheads!

About sparrowjourney

Christian homeschooling mom to three boys, married to my best friend, John, for over 20 years. I love gardening without gloves, learning history with my kids, cooking with lots of butter, serving others, great books, rich coffee, studying the Bible, camping outdoors, scrapbooking, vintage home decor, the smell of rain and cut grass, authentic people, poetry, laughing until your sides hurt, and babies. oh and black licorice is pretty awesome.
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3 Responses to Race chatter

  1. Susan says:

    Ok, I'm crying….great job Brenda. No thank you…I won't be joining you for the Eugene Half Marathon. But you go ahead. 😉

  2. Anonymous says:

    ack I would love to join you!! however maybe net year i would be able to do so without a full medical team present LOL and I have to say those numbers are INCREDIBLE you need to post that everywhere! bumper stickers blogs your mirrors old wood in the garden!!♥Kelli

  3. kippi says:

    I am so proud of you! You go girl..

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