Monday, June 02, 2008

The Marathon

I feel all I've been doing is talking to people about the marathon, and so now that I have a spare nanosecond - oh, no, wait, Sage is shrieking for her Annie doll, and not Annie as in Little Orphan, this is Annie as in Little Einsteins, and when you press her stomach, she sings some classical song that goes, in part, lalaLAlalaLalalaLA LA! But alas, Annie is not in the bathroom where I've been sent to fetch her, and no matter, because now Sage does not want her. No, she wants the pink bear in the wicker "nest" that is on her bookcase. And as an added bonus, I slammed my heel on the back of the freakin' gate at the bottom of the stairs that serves no other purpose but to keep the dogs from getting upstairs and jumping on our heads in the middle of the night. Or worse, licking themselves in unmentionable places within my earshot.

So the marathon. It was supposed to be a great bonding race. The three of us said before the race that no matter what, we were going to finish together. Thing is, it was a dumb thing to promise because a marathon is, well, a marathon, and shit happens. More accurately, shit happened to me. At about 16 miles, Torrey got some insane burst of energy and took off, leaving Cindy and me. I needed to find a portapotty IMMEDIATELY, and Cindy, after finding one for me, kept going.

I had to stop for another potty break at 19 miles, and probably wasted about 10 minutes waiting in line and actually getting in there. The last seven miles were tough, and I was very sad I didn't have my support group with me when I needed them the most.

My foot hurt. My back hurt. I talked to my Dad, imaging him sitting up in heaven on a big leather recliner, watching me. Then I imagined him switching the channel to the baseball game.

I smirked. And somehow kept running.

Cindy caught Torrey at 23. They got to finish together.

I came in 15 minutes later. Meaning, I did not beat Katie - she got me by less than a minute.

But at mile 25, who should appear but Chris, the coach from Jersey who helped me get through Nike. It was amazing to see him, and he hung with me for about a mile. That was awesome.

I even had enough at the end to sprint.

Two marathons in just over seven months. Not bad. I really felt like this was my first, since I actually ran this one. The first 15 miles flew by. If only my intestines had cooperated. I NEVER stop to use the bathroom, and on race day, I had to stop twice - wtf?

There are things beyond my control: My injuries. My innards.

The rest was up to me.

In the end, I crossed the finish line. It might not have been the way I wanted to do it, or in the time I wanted, but I did cut 45 minutes of my time from Nike. And I got to go home to my husband and my beautiful, beautiful children (Sage insisted on wearing my finisher medal everywhere today, and finally took off before bed).

Now I'm working on perspective. Finishing two marathons in seven months? Not so bad.

Tonight, David was at a convention so I took the kids out to dinner with my friend Ciaran and her family. Her eldest daughter, Marly, who is 11 1/2, congratulated me immediately. So amazing when a kid thinks something an old lady like me did is cool.

We got home, and one of my neighbors' friends was visiting, so I went to say hello (she's run marathons, including Boston). While I was talking to her, Sawyer and Sage were racing up and down the sidewalk.

"What are you guys doing?" I asked.

"We're running a marathon!" Sawyer said.

It looked like fun.


Melissa said...

Congratulations on your big finish!! Running a marathon is something I don't even try to aspire to (very hard and, frankly, I despise running). So, I am all the more impressed with your excellent finish! More importantly, congratulations on inspiring your children. Not an easy task for any mother. :)

Amy said...

Congratulations Cheryl ... I read about your adventures on your friends blog. Even though it was not "perfect" in your eyes, you are amazing and all of us and your children see that ... you did it girl ... oh, and IMHO, given the age difference between us and Katie, you beat her ... hands down.

Tamie said...

Hi Cheryl- I am not sure if you remember me- but I am Tamie from the 30-Something boards over at She Knows. I remember when I read one of your articles in the local Tampa Tribune and we chatted about it.

Anyway, I have been checking up on you here since I have always enjoyed your writing.

I just wanted to say that you are awesome to finish your 2nd marathon in 7 months! Congrats to you for pushing through! Can't wait to hear about your next one and the many adventures of Sage and Sawyer!


Simply Lovely Gifts said...

Hooray Cheryl! I just cannot convey how impressed I am and how excited I am for you that you (again) accomplished this major feat. You should be so proud of ourself & I know that 30 years from now, your kids will still be bragging that "my mom used to run marathons". A big huge congratulations & what a wonderful example of hard work, determination & motivation you are setting for your kids.

Just J said...

Congrats! You are amazing. Katie-schmatie, don't give a rat's @ss about Katie!

Cheryl said...

Thanks, everyone! Your thoughts are BEYOND appreciated! And Tamie - of COURSE I remember you (and your adorable twins)! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Veena said...

It's really exciting to read about a mommy doing marathons. I don't know how I came here, exactly, but you're fun to read. I'm training with Team in Training for the Nike in SF in October, which I read that you did also. Wow- yes the running is hard, but isn't the fundraising even harder?

Cheryl said...

Veena - Welcome! Thanks for stopping by and feel free to visit anytime! ;)
Yep, I did Nike with TNT. The idea of fundraising was worse than the actual fundraising (I raised $2,000 more than the minimum). Are you in the OC? There's a box down below here that says you can email me a follow-up comment. I'd be happy to chat more about the whole TNT/Fundraising/Nike thing. Is it your first marathon? Anyway - CONGRATS on TNT. It's an incredibly important thing you're doing and beyond rewarding!!

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