Sunday, October 26, 2008

Yes, I survived

I did it!

15k.

9.3 miles.


I crossed the finish line!


Running.


Smiling.


Now, the behind the scenes story.


I really second guessed myself all the way until I had parked the car and started walking to the starting line. There really was no turning back once Beth and I left for the 2 hour trip up the night before though. I realize that now.

I have never done a race that wasn't 'for' something. Breast cancer and brain tumors were the reason for my other two. There was a different feeling about this one. Maybe it was the group of shirtless men wearing only short running shorts in the 38 degree morning. Or maybe the girl in black tights and a black cami with a bright yellow tutu. Or the cross dressing man that looked better then I would in a short floral skirt. The men in hula skirts and leis were festive. It could have been the runners that apparently didn't check the weather before packing and were sporting big black trash bags to keep warm. Who knows?

I've been going to Tulsa for 15 years. I knew it was hilly. I also knew that the Tulsa Run was traditionally a hilly race, but this year they boasted about a new route that offered views of the river. I like views. I don't like hills. Can we talk about the hills? ALL of them? There were at least 5 that were rough enough that my shins weren't able to run up them. Bless Beth's sweet heart, she walked them with me. She's a much better runner then I am and could have made much better time, but since we were in it together she stayed with me. She also fed me Energy Jelly Bellies from time to time.

She loves me.

We were doing well, only 2k more to go of the 15 when we got to the bottom of the Detroit hill. Since we were at the river it was straight up to Highway 51. She told me we were walking that one. I was thrilled. As we started up she told me that whatever happened we had to cross the finish line together to have our picture taken and remember this moment in time. I was honored enough to tear up and then asked her if she wanted me on her back or cradled in her arms.

I wish I had pictures to share with you but since only the two of us went, there was no one to take the camera. I found a slew of pictures on the Tulsa World website but none of them are right clickable. Oh well, I have the memories.

So, how'd we do? Well, as I said before, Beth is a much better runner then I am so she had to take my time...but she did it so sweetly. 2:07. The first female to finish did it in 58:00; the last crossed at 3:00. Smack dab in the middle. I can live with that!

Now if I could just straighten up and walk without intense pain, my life would be complete.

So what now? Well, this race was very good for me, mentally and physically. 9.3 is well on it's way to 13.1. I'm glad my body could do it, and my brain now knows I'm capable of much more then I thought. I need to keep that in mind when I have to run 8 miles by myself in Lubbock Saturday.

Oh boy. But as Forrest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." I really have no idea what that means. It's just that I saw Forrest Gump running, while holding his box of chocolates, and didn't really know how else he fit into this post!

5 comments:

miruspeg said...

I have always loved that Forrest Gump quote and the other one 'Me and Jenny goes together like peas and carrots.'!

Congratulations, well done, brilliant, etc etc etc.
You must be very proud of your achievement.
Take care
Peggy

Margaret Glyn said...

You go, Girl1 I am proud of you!

Melissa said...

Steph,
Nicely done! You amaze me. The thought of 9.3 miles makes me ill. I'll sprint any day, but 9.3 miles...honestly, I don't know how you do it.
Great work!!!

avtcoach said...

Yeah! Kudos! Three Cheers! Ole'! I am so impressed, especially with those Tulsa Hills! I read your post to my husband the runner and he loved it! He says you are already ready. He says that if you can run 2/3 of your goal distance then you are ready to run the goal distance. Have fun in Lubbock!

Diede said...

The quote, I think, may be similar to the saying, “Life is full of surprises”. Life is complicated, and everything is unpredictable. Change is permanent, and we really do not know what will always happen next. Hehe. Anyway, you are a good girl my friend. I think with, or without your breast cancer and brain tumor, you will still be that dedicated to your races. It’s sweet that you always offer your races for something so special to you. It really motivates you! Congratulations on being always so strong my friend. I’m proud of you.

Diede School