Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thrill of Victory & the Ag-o-KNEE of de-FEET!

I'm alive AND survived the Ogden Marathon on Saturday! It was an experience I will not soon forget. It didn't turn out how Jen and I had planned, but it was still an amazing experience for me. Not sure Jen would say the same however. You can read her posts here and here. My friend Julie drove me to my starting point, and on her birthday no less! To get there we had to drive over North Ogden Divide. She didn't tell me until we were halfway there that she gets car sick when driving on hilly roads. But she did okay and we arrived in plenty of time. I met up with Jen at mile 13 after she had already ran 13 miles. I was raring to go and full of energy and excitement. When I finally saw her running up the course about 9:20 or so, I couldn't wait to hit the pavement. She looked great and said she felt good. I hadn't even ran a step and she looked even better than me! We crossed the START line which was supposed to activate my timing chip, but I found out later it didn't. More about that later. As soon as we crossed the START line, we stopped so Jen could answer nature's call.Thankfully there were plenty of porta potties to assist in that department. I had already given them my business at least three times before she got there, so I was more than good to go! Once we were off again we hit the only big hill on the course. It wasn't as bad as it looked, but did seem to go on forever. The aid stations were great. They had water, Powerade, orange slices, bananas, power bars, Jolly Ranchers, and even bubble gum. If you needed Vaseline, Kleenex, band aids, or even more sun screen, they had you covered. It was a gorgeous course and I really enjoyed looking at the scenery. The first four miles flew by for me. Before I knew it we were on mile 18 (mile 5 for me) and I was still feeling great with no pain anywhere or lung burning. About that time Jen started to want to slow down and I could tell she was not feeling well. She said her body was starting to get tired. After 18 miles, I can only see why! We slowed down but it wasn't really helping much. She also had double side-aches. We stopped a few times to help with that and to stretch. By about mile 20, she did not look good at all and was having a hard time even at a real slow pace. She told me she was really feeling sick and I felt so bad for her. She had chills, goose bumps and was nauseated and looked pretty bad. I thought she must have hit the wall. I tried to talk her through it and tried to boost her up mentally so she could keep going. She did pretty well, but I was starting to get worried when she was barely picking up her feet. I was afraid she was going to trip and fall flat on her face. We just took it real slow and when she wanted to stop for a bit, I told her she only had 30 seconds because I was afraid her legs were going to cramp up and then she wouldn't be able to even walk. There was one point when she stopped and was leaning over in pain that I was ready to call and get help. She told me she couldn't do it, but I just kept trying to encourage her through it. I was worried I was pushing her too hard, but I knew she would be so disappointed if she didn't finish. I got out my whip and chain and kept at her. At least that's what I felt like I was doing! I felt so bad! We both started to think she had sunstroke. It did have to be the HOTTEST day of the year so far! The temp by that time was in the 80's. She looked miserable. Every step was torture for her. I felt so bad for her but knew she had worked so hard for this and anything short of finishing would be considered a failure for her. She kept apologizing to me and told me to go ahead. There was no way I was going to leave her like that. Besides I didn't care about my time, I just wanted to finish this one. And I am so glad I was there to help her. Not sure what she would have done if she had been alone. That's a scary thought. It was slow going for the rest of the way, but at the mile 25 aid station, she poured water all over herself and ate an orange slice and that really seemed to help. She was able to stand up straight and I could tell she was picking up her feet again with each step. I suggested we jog for a bit and so we tried but it made it worse. She was looking much better though and so I knew she was out of the woods. We just took it slow and easy and then we saw the finish line! What a welcome sight! I told her we were going to start to jog when we got about four blocks away and she agreed with that. But when we got to that point, I couldn't even tell her! She was hurting so bad. So we waited until the last two blocks or so and we were able to jog across the finish line. She was a REAL TROOPER!!!
WE DID IT!!! She seemed to do much better once she was able to stop pushing it. I know she feels bad and feels that she held me back, but I don't even care. It was an honor for me to be able to help her through something so miserable. There was absolutely nothing she could have done to prevent what happened. It was just one of those things that you have no control over. I am just counting my blessings that I didn't also have to deal with it. The best part for me is the fact that I was so worried about her that I didn't even once feel any pain or soreness at all! I worried about all that for nothing! But I couldn't help but feel in my heart as I crossed that finish line, that I hadn't really earned that medal. The race didn't really challenge me like I had planned on. It wasn't any worse than my training runs. In fact it was easier than some. But then I realized it wasn't just about the challenge, but about the whole experience. No, I didn't push myself like I thought I would have to, but maybe I did in another way I hadn't planned on. I found this quote that sums it up for me. "We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon." - Emil Zatopek And I did experience something...and then some. It was an incredible experience. All in all it was a success. We both finished and even though our time is no where near what we had hoped for, it doesn't matter. Like I said before...this one was about the journey NOT the destination. And what a journey it was! I just want to thank Jen for taking me along for the ride! The only problem now is... I can't wait to do it again! Maybe even a whole next time! Nah...I really didn't say that...did I???

Here's some photos of the day... I know some are pretty bad, but after all the other photos I've posted in the past on this blog, I have no pride left anyway!

This is a short video of us crossing the FINISH LINE

The thrill of VICTORY and the
ag-o-KNEE of de-FEET!

My timing chip was not activated as I crossed my starting line. It was automatically activated when all the other half-ers began at 7 a.m. and then the starting mechanism was moved and an intermediate one put in it's place. I was told otherwise, so my time came out as 5:13!!!! Holy Cow! A turtle could crawl it faster than that! My actual time was 2:41:07. I was able to get it changed so it didn't show up in the newspaper with that time by my name. I would be shown as dead last! Dead, maybe....but not last!

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fivekidsandsomechocolate said...

Holy cow! I am so impressed with you and Jen. I have just started "running" and was thrilled when I made a quarter mile. Death was waiting for me if I went 10 more feet. Great job!

Yvonne said...

Good for you. I'm so glad you were able to participate. That is wonderful that you made it. How horrible for your friend. I'm sure glad she is o.k.

The Hoyt's said...

Wow what a day for you guys.. I feel so bad for jen. I know she is pretty unhappy about it but you guys did have a great ride and thats what is important. Congrats to you both. You guys are awesome..

Cathi said...

Way to go! You are a great friend to stay with her. What a great accomplishment for you both. Keep on truckin'...


candi said...

Way to go!!!! Even if things don't go as planned you finished. Sometimes that is more important than how you get there. Love ya!!!!

Mel said...

Way to go, Jodi! You are amazing. You are a great friend to cheer Jen to the finish line. Don't we all want someone like that by our saide when we are struggling to make it to the end? What a great accomplishment for you both. Congrats!!!

Tiffany said...

WAY TO GO, JODI!!! You are amazing. Wow! Good for you. You are an inspiration.:O)

Sara said...

You are my hero! Wow! That is a long way to run...or even to walk for that matter. You should feel proud. That is a great accomplishment. And no matter what you say, you DID EARN THAT MEDAL! Holy Moly! What a great thing to be able to do. Such an inspiration to us all!


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