My phone alarm clock sounded at 4:15 a.m. (I had also set back-up alarms for every 5 minutes after.) With Kyra (my daughter) still asleep, I crawled out of bed and took a shower. I dressed and gathered stuff together. At 4:55 a.m., I woke Kyra and we went to Ty's room. Kyra crawled in bed with Sophia (Ty's daughter) and then Ty, Will and I went down to breakfast (Ty's mom is babysitting today). The original plan was that we would have breakfast and then go to Lisa's hotel since her hotel is on the way to the race starting location. But it was SO COLD that we decided to call Lisa and have her bring Bryn (Lisa's daughter) to stay inside with the rest of the girls rather than tagging along with us in the cold. I think I pottied a half-dozen times within an hour; caused by nervousness I guess. After tucking Bryn in with Sophia and Kyra, we went back down to the hotel breakfast room. Ty, Lisa and I made one last potty stop in the hotel lobby and all of our phones buzzed at once, while we were in adjacent stalls, with a text message from our friend Bryan saying "Go get 'em Lilburn Lightenin'"! Made for interesting bathroom talk, but thanks so much Bryan!
Ty, Will (Ty's hubby), Lisa, Gary (Lisa's hubby and the greatest orthopaedic surgeon on the planet) and I walked down to the race start. We stopped at the porto-o-potties and had limited time to get into our starting corral. After a quick photo, we headed to a corral. (photo from left to right: Ty, Lisa, me). Will and Gary stood back while we squeezed our way into a corral. THANKS Gary and Will for dropping off my bag since I didn't have enough time!
It was 30 degrees. We were cold, but as soon as we were in the corral, we were packed like sardines and warmed up. Nothing like the body heat of thousands of runners! We cuddled close. We made a pact that if anyone needed to slow down for whatever reason, the other(s) were free to go on ahead to try to achieve their goal finish. We stuck together through the first 6 miles, including waiting on each other during a potty break around mile 1-2. But without warning my iPhone fell off my pants and in the minute or so that it took me to pick it up from the road and get going again, I lost sight of them in the massive crowd. I knew they were faster than me anyway, and I'm used to running alone, so it didn't bother me. I re-adjusted my iPhone, grabbed some water/gatorade, and kept going thinking that I may catch up to them. I sent Kyra a text message saying, "6 miles done." She responded, "Stop texting.start running. Good job good luck." At about mile 9 my left knee started hurting. I had shooting/stabbing pains on the outside of my knee. It HURT! I walked for a few minutes and when I started back running the pain was intermittent. At about mile 10, Lisa came up from behind and put her arm around me. They had stopped for another potty break and ended up behind me. Lisa gave me 3 advil and then they picked up their pace and left me behind (as I said they should do). At about mile 11, I saw Gary and Will. I ran over and hugged Gary and screamed, "MY KNEE HURTS!!!" He said, "Keep going". Kyra and I exchaged a few text messages and she wrote "Keep on going! You can do it! I wuv wu watts and watts!" and "Anyone can do 3 more miles, just 3 and then 3 more again.". When I got to the 12 mile mark I sent Kyra a text saying "3x4 done". Thirty minutes later I sent her a text saying that I just passed the Liver character that we saw at the race Expo. She responded with, "I just saw you on tv!". Right before the Liver character, I saw a TV camera and smiled as I passed wondering if it was live-feed. Guess it was! Glad Kyra could see me in the race after all. (It was still too cold for the girls to be out (34 degrees).) About 30 minutes later she sent me another text message asking what mile I was on. I responded, "Almost 15" and she wrote, "Good job! Keep on truckin!" At mile 17, the song Push It to the Limit by Corbin Bleu came on my iPod. This is one of my most motivational songs because it remindes me so much of Kyra and it pumps pushing it to the limit. I thought I sent a text to her, but it turns out that I sent it to Bryan saying, "Push it to thelimit / Corbin = 17 mi" But Kyra didn't get that text. When she asked next "what mile are you on?" I responded with "3x6". She replied with "Good. Keep doing good. we are rooting for you." Then she wrote, "I love you sooooooooooooooo much. You are doing great! text me when you cross the finish line. What mile are you on?" My response was "20". She wrote, "Great! how is your knee?". My reply was "Killing me. But i make it." Obviously at this point I didn't care about misspellings. I was in SO MUCH PAIN. She wrote back, "Hope it feels better. You are doing great!" At about mile 20 I was with the 5 hour pace group leader. I was optimistic and thrilled that I'd kept this pace until now. But it quickly went downhill as the stabbing pains intensified. Now I could no longer adjust my posture to make it go away. It hurt in any position except walking. The next text from Kyra was "How many miles have you run so far?" My response, "23 and moving slow". She asked, "Are you ok?" but I didn't notice that text message. At this point, I had removed my earphones and couldn't hear the text beep above the crowd/noise. She wrote again, "Have you finished yet?" and I replied, "24 miles. Walking. Knee hurts too bad to run anymore." She responded, "Ok. Well keep on doing your best. I love you soooooooooo much. Text me when you finish. You are princess kewl." Shortly after this, I stopped at a Medical Aid Tent and said that my knee hurt really bad, I don't want to stop, but could they please give me some pain medication. The doctor gave me two white tablets. Not sure what it was, but I took it and kept walking. The next several texts from Kyra become desperate because my earphones were no longer in my ear, I was struggling, and didn't feel the vibration or hear the beep that would indicate that she'd sent more messages. She wrote, "Where are you? Are you ok?", then "Answer me! I am worried about you!", then "Please text me now! I am serious!", and then "Call me now!" I walked the entire last two miles. I decided it just wasn't worth it to cry to the end when I could walk without the stabbing pain. I tried to jog when I saw the finish line, but it HURT too bad, so I decided to cross the finish line without tears, which meant walking. 5 hours and 45 minutes. What a bummer! But I received my finisher's medal, foil blanket, free beer and food. I picked up my gear bag and grabbed a bag of ice and exited the finish chute. At this point I saw the last few texts from Kyra and then I wrote "Finished". She responded with "You scared me. You wouldn't answer my call and all of my texts." I wrote back, "Sorry. Didn't hear it ring/beep. Am ok." Then Lisa called as I was about to call her/Ty. They were waiting for me and when I told her where I was, they came over to meet me. They had finished in 5 hours and 3 minutes; awesome! I was sitting on the ground with an ice-pack on my knee. Gary asked me to describe my knee problems and then said he thought it was my IT band, which is a common runner's injury.
We slowly made our way back to the hotel. We tried to catch a taxi numerous times, but it was just too crowded. We kept walking and eventually caught a taxi a few blocks from the hotel. Ty was weaving as she walked, I could barely walk, and Lisa was the glue that held us together. The little girls and Ty's mom met us in the hotel lobby and then we went directly to the next door restaurant, Joe's Seafood, Steak and Stone Crab. It was a very nice restaurant and we were in our running clothes, sweatpants, hats and foil blankets. They let us in anyway. The food was delicious but I was in a daze. I sat at the head of the table between Will and Gary. Kyra was at the opposite end of the table with the rest of the little girls. I ate delicious bacon wrapped scallops with clam chowder and creamed corn. YUM!!!
After our mid-afternoon lunch, Gary and Will left to go to the airport. Ty, Lisa and I went back to our respective rooms and took showers. Then we all met at the hotel pool which is located on the top floor. The little girls swam while the big girls collapsed on the lounge chairs. Ty's mom said we looked wiped out. We were zombie-like. Ty and I were definitely still in a haze. Lisa somehow had it more together than we did. An hour later, we called the girls out of the pool and went our separate ways back to our separate hotel rooms. We'll meet for breakfast in the morning.
Kyra didn't eat much lunch because it was fancy macaroni and cheese, not the processed box kind that she loves. She was hungry after swimming and said that the hotel had a shop that sells microwavable food. So we walked down and picked out microwave mac-n-cheese, cup-o-soup for me, and ice cream. I'm too tired to go out to eat again. Kyra was so sweet! She made my soup for me! And later she brought my ice pack to me in bed. I was totally exhausted! I set the alarm clock for early in the morning and told her I was going to sleep and that she shouldn't stay up too late. Night night!