Monday, August 23, 2010

Oldies but Goodies pt.1... "My First Marathon Attempt..."

I have decided to close my 'myspace' account. I have held on to this for over a year due to not wanting to delete the first time I had ever blogged. Now that I have this, it's time to move on.

I have copy and pasted my first blogs. Please excuse the grammar, punctuation, and "newbyness" of it all.

This was the first blog ever about running. Seeing as I am nearing the time for my 4th marathon, I thought it would be good to reminicse and remind me of why I love what I love. Enjoy!

"Thursday, September 21, 2006
My first marathon attempt, the Endurance 50
This is my first blog. I wasn't sure I would know what to say but I have some news and thought to share.
Like I said in my profile I hadn't been much of an athlete until I began running in January this past year. I heard about a 5k race on the Air Force Base and wanted to train for it. At that time I was a newby so I thought that a 5k was 5 miles. I then realized after I ran it that I had only ran 3.4 miles. I had completed the race in 32 minutes but I knew I had discovered my passion.
The next race I wanted to run was a 10k Easter Sun Run. I finished 6 miles in 58 minutes and cried as I saw the finish line. I now know what the entrance to heaven will look and feel like. All these people on the sidelines cheering you on, it was amazing.
There was another race on the Air Force Base a month later. It was another 5k, but this time for a prize. I came in 2nd in my age category winning an 8 pk. of Gatorade.'s all good. I finished the 3.4 miles in 22 minutes. This was ten minutes faster than the one two months prior.
Running had me hooked. I subscribed to Runner's World magazine and after 2 black toe nails (from the wrong shoes) I invested in some Asics. I felt so much better running and more confident that I wasn't a newby anymore.
I had heard of this Ultramarathon man (Dean Karnazes) and read about him in awe of how the human body can go to the extreme. In admiration of how he could do this I was determined to do a marathon or triathalon. Could my body do this? I have Lupus. I have had this for 3.5 years. I have not had pain in the last 2 years (in my joints and muscles). Would I cause injury training for something like this? Well, with faith in my Lord Jesus that only He was the ultimate maker and healer. I knew I could do all things in He who gives me strength. I began going off of kidney medicine that the "disease" had seemed to attack and I was still feeling great. I would run short distances on my lunch break at work (3.5 to 4 miles a day) and long runs on Saturday and sometimes on Sunday ( I now know that truly is my day of rest). One Saturday I ran I ended up running 12 miles. I was hurting. When I had stopped running my legs still felt ahead of me. I was walking like a flamingo but the feeling was indescribable. Am I really a runner? I thought.
I had read in Runner's World that the Ultramarathon man was coming to Wichita. He was going to run 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states. He planned to run our October 2006 marathon course. I knew I had to participate. I had gotten some advice from a couple runners on the Air Force base on how to pace myself. At first I thought I knew it all but I then realized runners need each other and I cannot do this alone.
One Saturday I had gotten up early for a long run. I had reached 12 miles and at the 1 hour and 50 minute point I got a massive "runners high". I was sprinting so long and hard. I felt like conquering the world. I was thanking God, he had given me this ability. I was then rudely interrupted by the wonderful bladder and had to run home. I was thinking to myself "how can I run 26.2 miles if I have to stop and go to the bathroom". Well, the Bible says "ask and you will recieve", I knew I had to pray that I wouldn't have to go.
So here it is the day of the race and I am so nervous. Will I be the only one running that hadn't ran a marathon. How fast will Dean go? Will I have an oppurtunity to talk and run with him? Will I keep up? All these questions and more got answered. .
When my husband and I drove the starting point we had no idea it was going to be so cold and rainy. I had ran in rain before but not this windy or cold. The car said 50 degrees but the wind chill was around 40 degrees. We went inside to get signed in and wait for Dean. When we walked inside I was in awe of all the runners. They stood around talking about their previous runs and upcoming runs. "I hadn't done this before. Am I going to be the only one?" I wondered. As we gathered around to talk about what was going to take place I ended up meeting another first timer. We connected right away. We talked about how we were feeling and how we would just stick together.
The first six miles we talked and it went by fast. We were both feeling pretty good and the weather maintained. We got to the 8th mile and I began to run faster. In the famous words of Forrest Gump, "I was run-ning". Dean was making his rounds talking to everyone from the front, middle, and back of the group. How awesome that he would be "mayor" of the road. I checked with someone about our pace and we were running 9:45 min/mile. Wow! I had been running 10 minute miles and this was great.
We got to the 11th mile and we were headed on to McConnell Air Force Base. Yes! This was my turf. I run this road and path everyday. I know I can do this! I felt such pride that my husband serves in the military and I work for the Air Force (Child Development Center). Here I am running with professionals. We were to run 8 miles on base with some air force runners with air force pride. At first we were going strong. I was running in the front with two others. How can this be that a year ago I couldn't even jog one mile and now I am at the 14th mile with no thought to stop. As we came up to the 15th mile the wind got stronger and the rain came down harder. The wind began to push me off of the path. I kept quiet and pushed through. Is this endurance? I can do this.
I could see we were going to be passing by my work My co-workers knew I was doing this today and they were rooting me on. These thoughts helped me press on. My hands began to get stiff and the wind and rain hitting me in the face. I was beginning to feel weak. I noticed my husband on the side with our video camera yelling, "go Wendy! not too much longer". How much longer? I thought. I cannot do this anymore. I wanted to veer off the path and fall into his arms.
As we were running an older man came up beside me trying to encourage me. I couldn't really hear him because my hands were hurting and legs were burning. Freezing from the rain I could barely run straight. Another guy ran up beside me. He told me to run behind him and we would be a shield from the wind and rain. I tried to stay behind them but I kept tripping. As we made a turn on base which was on the 18th mile I knew my end was coming. My hands began to shake and my knees began to knock. One of the guys running gave me a pair of his socks and told me to put them on my hands. I wore them for a little while but they quickly got wet from the rain. Two others came up beside me to encourage me. They stuck beside me for what seemed to be minutes upon minutes. Is this what runners do? They slowed down to my pace and would not leave my side. Dean came up and told me to stick behind him he would run in front of me to guard me. I tried for a little while but then I had to stop. My arms and legs began to shake uncontrollably. The Endurance50 car had been following us. They had noticed me slowing down and one of the guys got out of the car and gave me his jacket. What was going on? I felt fine on the inside. My heart rate and breathing were fine. My body was experiencing something different. The medic car was right behind us and they helped me into it. The medic told me that I was in the stages of hypothermia. She asked me who she could contact. I told her my husbands number and she called him. Was this it for me? All these months of training and I am done? Yes...I was finished.
When my husband met back up with me he was so worried about me. I was pretty hard on myself but he just said,"you're awesome". With encouraging words and some roses I was back to being myself. After about thirty minutes my body stopped shaking. I was ready to go to the finish line to see them and meet Dean.
They finished in 4 :20 min. When we walked inside I noticed the people who helped me and right away thanked them for their encouragment. They had related to me and made me feel better as I had been hard on myself. I looked around the room and I didn't see the first timer. Where was she? Was she okay? I said a prayer for her to finish and to be safe.
I got my gift bag and immediately looked for the Ultramarathon Man book to get it signed. As I stood in line I looked around. I was so proud to be where I was. I love running.
It was my turn to get an autograph. Dean was very welcoming and concerned. He related to the hypothermia and reassured me. I got an autograph and a picture with the ultramarathon man. I walked away with having experienced a little endurance. I didn't even have to stop to go to the bathroom. I was feeling blessed.
After saying good-byes my husband and I were ready to leave. We walked out just as the first timer finished her run in 4:50 min. She did it. She was concerned for me but I was so proud of her. I felt a saddened heart that we were leaving. After all these months of excitement, anxiosness, and nervousness, this was it.
What is next for me? I want to run the October 22nd marathon. I will train for it and prepare for the weather. The most important thing for me to do is to encourage those running around me because I experienced what it is like in a runners world. "

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