On my last post someone asked, "Did you split up at mile 13?"
Yes, yes, we did. My mom and I have been running together for years. We have one rule. Never let the other person hold you back. If you are not a runner, this may seem cruel or uncaring. How could you leave someone behind? But if you are a runner, you know that holding someone back or trying to keep up with someone when you're having a bad run can be mentally draining.
If you establish expectations at the start you don't have to worry about it throughout the entire run.
For the most part, in training, we always stick together. Every once in a while one of us will be feeling really good and take off, but we always circle back to make sure the other person is okay. You can't really circle back in a race. So you start together and pray for the best.
Mom and I had decided for the marathon that we would stick together as long as possible. I was going to be the pacer as mom tends to start off faster than I do and with such a long run, that isn't advised. As soon as we hit the start line (which took 45 minutes) she took off and I had to reminder her, "We have 26 miles!"
She reluctantly slowed to my pace. Our first mile was about two minutes slower than our training pace. Not good. Why? Well if we stuck to this pace it would take us almost an hour longer to run the marathon than we had originally planned… six hours instead of five. That is a looooong time to run! Mile after mile we were consistently slow. Mentally though I kept thinking, "I don't care about my time. All I care about is finishing."
For the first 13 miles we stayed together. I would run through Gatorade and water stops grabbing the cup while moving, trying to drink and run at the same time. Mom would stop to grab a cup, drink and walk, but she always caught back up to me.
I can't remember what happened at mile 13 but she took off and I lost her and that was okay. At mile 17 someone came whizzing up from behind me. It was my mom! I was so happy to see her, but couldn't figure out how she had gotten behind me.
I chucked, “Where did you come from?
She said, "I had to stop and stretch. My knees are killing me. I have to walk, stretch, sprint and then walk again. Can you believe this? I've never had knee pain."
I felt so sorry for her. I could see the agony in her face. We still had nine miles to go. I hate that her race was going to be miserable.
That's the one thing I hate about running. It can be so unpredictable, just like many things in life. You can do all the right things, train your heart out, and then on the big day your body has other plans.
As quick as she came up behind me, she was gone again. As she was getting ready to take off, she said, "I've just been praying for people who pop in my mind. Who is #17?"
I won't get to 17 because I have lots to share about #14 and #15. But I'll get to 17 this week:) Here is who inspired me through miles 14 and 15.
Mile 14: Rick and Dick Hoyt- I heard about this father and son duo years ago and their story has always stuck with me. Whenever I'm having a bad run, I think of the Hoyt's and my pity party quickly subsides. They were meant to be with me on Sunday as the duo competed in their first race in 1977, the year I was born. Rick is a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy and Dick is his father who pushes him in a running chair. Over the past 38 years they have completed over 1,000 races, yes I wrote that correctly 1000, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons including six Ironman competitions. They biked and ran across the US, 3,735 miles in 45 days. I was trying to get through six hours of running and this team did 45 days. 45 days...let that one sink in. They remind me that the impossible, is possible! Read their incredible story here.
Mile 15: Holly Dunn- In 2006, I was organizing a Women's Empowerment Conference for high schoolers and looking for a keynote speaker. I came across Holly and thought she was perfect for the event. Her story is one of tragedy, struggle, hope and inspiration. Since meeting Holly I have never forgot her story and we stay connected to this day through social media. Her smile is contagious and knowing what she lived through made mile 15 a walk in the park.
Here is a bit of her story taken from her website. Holly is the only known survivor to the railroad serial killer. Holly and her boyfriend Chris Maier were enjoying an evening close to the campus of the University of Kentucky. Engaged in conversation alongside a railway line, the two began to walk back toward a party they had attended earlier in the evening when suddenly they were approached by a man with a weapon resembling a screwdriver or ice pick. The stranger would not accept their pleas to take their money and spare them harm. Instead, he viciously attacked them, first by tying their hands and feet and ordering them face down on the ground. Holly helplessly watched as her boyfriend Chris was struck first with a 50lb rock, gruesomely taking his young life. Once the killer finished with Chris, he began attacking Holly. Holly was stabbed, raped, then repeatedly beat with a wood object both in the face and on the back of her head, leaving her unconscious. Holly regained consciousness, and miraculously gained enough strength to walk to a nearby street for help. Having been left for dead, Holly narrowly escaped her attacker's intentions and found a home from which to seek help. In the home near the scene of the attack a man assisted Holly and called 911. Holly's life was changed forever.
Holly went on to win numerous awards, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Greatest Public Service and was featured in People's Magazine as a Hero Among Us. She took tragedy into triumph and is the spokesperson for Holly's House, an advocacy center for sexual abuse and domestic violence survivors helping others see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The other miles are listed below or you can copy and paste these links.
If you missed 1-4: Here's the link: fb.me/7MK0Ulauq
If you missed 5-8: Here's the link: http://fb.me/3PWBSbJHG
If you missed 9-13: Here's the link: fb.me/21dxCec1K
Thanks for following me on my journey!
P.S. I'm really sad about the picture. I cut off the Hoyt's label when I took the picture, but if you look closely you can see (1000) in parentheses. It was my reminder they had done 1000 races!
Be Bold. Dream Big. Bless Others.