I am a three-times marathoner. Me. THREE TIMES. Me. The one that walked, ran, hobbled, walked some more and finished and beat my personal record by 21 minutes.
I am so humbled. I dedicated this run for those who can’t run. For those who are no longer with us, and for those who were robbed by cancer and its treatment for the privilege to be able to run. There are many of them around, but in this particular run, I dedicated it to Tom Roush (b | t). Tom is a dear friend of mine and he’s currently facing some major challenge in his health. His previous challenge prevented him from being able to run and it’s another thing that we take it for granted. We didn’t realize how lucky we are to be able to go out and just run until that is no longer an option.
We met for a team meeting on Saturday where the coaches and our team leaders gave us last minute tips and tricks as well as the logistic on what’s going to happen on the race day. I have a great opportunity to speak in front of everyone and thank everybody’s effort on their fundraising. To really show that they made a difference. I am a living proof on what that fundraising all about. It was deeply touch with so many awesome people I know on this team!
Shortly after, we head out to Team in Training inspiration dinner. This probably the biggest inspiration dinner I ever attended! There were 1,500 TNT runners and their family in the room and together, we raised 4.5 millions dollar during this race! That is VERY impressive numbers. Our chapter alone for the summer seasons raised $153,000! Wow. This is what I am talking about. The cure is around the corner and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is working hard to raised all these funds so they can fund more research for the cures. YOU, my friends, are part of this awesome thing because many of you supported me, either by donating to my fundraising or encourage me during my training run. For that, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you!
The alarm went off at 3am. Yes THREE AM. I was so cranky and really didn’t want to get out of bed. After half hours just dilly-dally and did nothing, I slowly got up and got myself ready. We were told to meet at the lobby at 4:15am so we all can boarded the bus at 4:30am. I told Karen (b | t) that I will meet her by the corral. Karen is another dear friend of mine and one of my awesome corporate sponsor for this Summer season, the one that actually talked me into running to begin with. I never forget when she dared me to run Portland Half Marathon on 2011 shortly after my Rainier summit trip. Few months ago, I dared her to do this marathon with me.
We started with a very slow pace and 2-1 ratio for the first mile, then changed to 5-1 afterwards. First five miles went by really quick until I had to go to do a quick stop at the porta-potties. We decided to go to Starbucks instead (yes, the stores opened their restroom for runners). Initially I was so happy to see that there were no lines. We waited and waited but the lady inside the restroom spent FOREVER in there. I swore it took almost 10 minutes before both Karen and I ran back to the course and continue on.
I don’t remember much until the about 13 miles. We ran through Mission Bay park and it was really nice running path. Weather was overcast and breeze which was great for me. Karen and I kept our 5-1 ratio and managed to still joke around during our walk breaks. She even live-blogged during the run! We hit mile 18 and my asthma that been bothering me lately started to acting up more and slow me down a bit. I took more puff from my inhaler and continue on. Karen and I kept outrun each other, but we managed to stay together.
Mile 19 came around and it was the beginning of a long, very long gradual hill. About 2 miles long. I shorten out my ratio down to 2-1 and grind through it. Again, Karen live-blogged during that hill and I assured you, even the picture didn’t really show it, it was a very long hill!
Mile 21, both Karen and I decided to sprint, well, ran fast on the downhill. Yes, we knew that was bad for our knees but we did it anyway mainly because I just wanted to get done. It felt so great to head down that hill fast that way!
Mile 22 was a mission mile stretch. It’s a stretch of street that filled with signs with name of the people that we run this race for. I started to cry to see my name on few of that signs. It was overwhelming to see it!
The last 3 miles of the race somewhat a blur. I knew I was so happy we were almost done and the fact that my husband greeted me at mile 25 with his big smile just gave me a boost that I needed. One of my coach, Erica, who ran with me during some of those hills as well as towards the end also gave me the push that I needed.
Then the finish line.
Karen and I sped up and we both smiled cheek to cheek. We had hold hand, up in the air, big cheesy smile and cross the finish line together.
For me personally, this is the best marathon ever. Not because I PR’ed by 21 minutes, but mostly because I did it with my dear friend. Because I can say that I motivated her to complete her first marathon, and because we started, ran it, and finished together.
Karen, thank you for allowing me to be part of your first marathon. Thank you for continuously to support me and agreed to do more of the crazy races with me (yes, stay tuned for that).
Until the next race.