I did a marathon!

This weekend has been a whirlwind. Myself, three friends from high school and one of their mothers left our hometown about noon on Saturday. We drove for about two and a half hours down to San Diego. Once there we checked into the Grand Manchester Hyatt (or maybe it was called Manchester Grand Hyatt). We then went to the convention center to pick up our marathon packets.

At the convention center we got in line and picked up our numbers, timing chip, goodie bag, and t-shirt. We then looked around the health expo that was happening in that same building until it was time for our Team In Training pasta party next door in another section of the convention center. At the pasta party the five of us found seats with two of our coaches, Vickie and Kendall, and ate lots of pasta and listened to several speakers. After the pasta party we went back to our hotel and met up with our head coach, Jimmy, for a brief speech about what would be happening tomorrow including where and when to meet up in the morning.

After the meeting the five of us took the trolley to Target to buy a few things including pajamas for Sergio, a chair for Linda, and some snacks. On the way back to the trolley we stopped at Starbucks for drinks. By the time we got back to our hotel rooms it was about 11:30pm. We still had to write on our shirts, fill out our emergency information, and get everything ready for the morning. Then Sergio and I laid in our beds and talked until a little after 2am. We set up a wake up call for 3:15am.

I never went to sleep. I read some of the book I brought with me and got dressed. At 3:15 I went in the bathroom and finished getting ready. By 3:45am John, Danielle, and I were in the hotel lobby with a growing group of teammates and by 4am we were on the bus to the starting line. It was still dark. We stood around, enjoyed our bananas and water, sat with our teammates, stretched, and used the port-a-potties until just before 6:30am. We then walked and walked.

John and Danielle got too far ahead of me to keep up with. So I found someone in a purple shirt (meaning they were members of Team In Training) that was walking about my pace and started talking to her. Her name was Donna. She was from Virginia and wife of a preacher. We stopped once to wait in line at the port-a-potties because she didn’t think she could go any further without stopping so I went too while we was there. She stopped twice more and I kept walking. She quickly caught up with me both times and eventually got so far ahead of me I could no longer keep up.

I got further and further behind everyone. TNT (Team In Training) coaches cheered me on as well as spectators. Eventually a woman named Liz caught up to me. She was a mentor on the other Los Angeles area team. At points she got ahead of me. The “sweepers” caught me as I was the last Team In Training member. Eventually the one other woman (not TNT) that was behind me, a woman in her 70s, gave up and I became officially the very last person of the thousands and thousands of people in the marathon. This was a little depressing. The two sweepers were funny and kept me going. I forget both guys names though.

Eventually I reached the cut off point. This marathon, the Coca Cola Zero San Diego Rock and Roll marathon, had 2 cut-off points. At 13.4 miles if you didn’t make 17:26 minutes a mile you get rerouted to mile 22, which means you walk 18 miles instead of 26.2. At 19 point something you get bussed to the end and do not receive a medal. I obviously got rerouted at 13.4. I was so thrilled to see that 13.4 cut off. I felt so tired. And when I got to mile 22 I was no longer last, hundreds of people were behind me.

The longer I walked the slower I got. By the end we were close to 40 minutes a mile. I was in so much pain and it was obvious. All the coaches I passed asked me if I was okay and pointed me toward the medical tents. When I ran into (not literally) our coach Kendall she told me where we were on our training course to give me a frame of reference on how much further I needed to walk. That helped. Our head coach, Jimmy, did the same. Kendall had Liz put her hand on my back which got me to walk faster. It’s amazing how having a hand placed gently on your back can really get you moving. Liz was able to walk a little faster than me but made sure I kept up with her. I really liked her.

When we finished they took a couple pictures of us. I was almost in tears from the pain. Then I got my medal, took some pictures with John and Danielle, took our official pictures, and then started the maze to get out and to the TNT tent to check out and get our pin that says “26.2 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team In Training”. We checked out. I then grabbed a sprite, a half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a little bag of Fritos. I ate the pb&j sandwich as we walked to the bus back to the hotel. Oh my Gawd, did it feel good to sit down! Getting back up was not an easy task.

Once back at the hotel I took a cold bath, then laid down a bit. I couldn’t sleep so I called Harmony and Dawggy. Told them all about the day. Then I hung up and finished getting ready to go to the Victory party. At the party I had some turkey (which just made me feel even more tired) and some chips. Then I ate an ice cream bar and some cookies. People (all of which had done the marathon) were dancing! I couldn’t even consider dancing as tired and achy as I felt.

After the party we went back to the rooms and talked a bit before going up to the Top of the Hyatt bar to meet up with some teammates. We didn’t stay long. After that I laid in bed and read a bit before going to sleep. I had the room to myself because Sergio left from the Victory Party because he had to work first thing Monday morning.

Monday morning rolled around all too quickly and I got up and was getting ready to go when Danielle knocked on my door. There was a fire or something on the thirtieth floor of our tower. The elevators were shut off. So we walked down 5 flights of stairs to the lobby to meet up with John and Danielle’s panicked mother. We then had to go back up for our stuff. Fortunately we found working escalators that went to the fourth floor so we only had to climb one flight of stairs. We checked out and Danielle drove us the two hours home. When I got home I called my mother to tell her about the trip, then talked to Harmony, and took a nap until my mom called again. My mom has some super sense that makes her call here every time I take a nap. I then ordered a yummy pizza and wrote a daylog. I'm thankful it's over!

I couldn’t have done it without your support!