Two Lives, One Lifestyle

All You Want To Know and More: Marathon Recap by Katie
June 13, 2010, 11:58 am
Filed under: Katie, Marathon, Team in Training

A week later, I return!  Right before I got on a plane, I learned that my thesis defense would be 3 weeks away (less than 2 now!!) and then there was no free internet at the hotel.  Bye bye world!

I arrived in San Diego on Thursday afternoon and spent time walking around with my family.


On Friday my cousin, cousin’s girlfriend, aunt, and Kelli arrived and we all saw the sights and had dinner together.   Kelli and I also went to the expo and got even more pumped up!  Note: Should have done less walking around the days before!

Saturday was spent eating, hydrating, relaxing, and sitting by the pool (in the shade though!).  Here we have Kelli modeling the hotel gear and munching some swag bag granola.



I started to gather my stuff together because I was getting a little antsy and anxious.  I even did thesis work to try to make the time pass!


Finally, at 4:00 we headed to dinner- early bird special for us.   We both fundraised with Team in Training and arriving at the Inspiration Dinner with the thousands of other runners and lots of people cheering us in brought tears to everyone’s eyes.  Joyful tears!

IMG_1821 IMG_1823


Sorry for the blurry pictures, there was so much going on and so many people everywhere.  The dinner brought everything to a head that we had done so far- the fundraising and the impact we had and all the people that appreciated it.  $12 million, people!  Just this race!

One of THREE dinners necessary to feed all the great Team in Training participants, families and friends.


Ready to GO!


There was a great motivational speaker between some more heavy stories.  It was a perfect balance- a few tears here, a light story to break up that lump in your throat.  He told us that 2 things would happen starting the night before.

  • We would have the emotional capacity of a 4 year old
  • Brain melt would begin- meaning we would lose the ability to keep a train of thought. This was so true.

The wonderful people I’ve spent countless hours with running and fundraising and sharing way more than usual when you first meet someone.  [I’m the floating head laughing on the right].


After dinner, we stopped at the grocery store for bagels and bananas.  Tip: Bring food or buy it before the night before! There were only blueberry or onion bagels left. We tried to gather our gear together and the brain melt was clearly starting.  It took me about 15 minutes and help from Kelli to put my shoe tag on. “WAIT, Kelli! What is this piece for?!?!  I think I did it wrong! OMG What if I can’t run the race now!?”

Seriously? It was a piece of plastic with a removable adhesive piece.

Finally we got to bed and Kelli was out like there was nothing to it. It took me longer to sleep but I tried to focus on breathing and counting backwards from 500 or something ridiculous.  No matter, we popped out of bed at 3:15 AM when all three alarms went off simultaneously.

I thought I would be normal but “they” (coaches, TNT alumni, the speaker at the previous night’s dinner) were all correct and based on the way I was getting ready, I wasn’t sure I would have the coordination to run a marathon.


After that picture= bus ride, port-o-potties, gear check, hugs and weird noises conveying excitement, splitting up into our corrals, anxious conversation with everyone around me, FINALLY starting. I found two girls I trained with just in time and we ran together for the first 15 miles or so.

The party of 6 cheerleaders in tie-dye we had rooting for us unfortunately NEVER found us on the course.  It was a little discouraging at first  but I figured they must have under- or over- estimated my start time/ running speed.

Miles 1-15 I ran with the 2 ladies I trained with.  They wanted to pick up their pace after that but I hung back at a still good-for-me pace.

Miles 15-19 I could see a winding trail of runners ALL over the place.  It was a bit discouraging to look out, see people the size of ants, miles and miles away and realize how far I still had to go.

Miles 20-25 were the toughest, as I was told they would be. The fact they happened on “Fiesta” Island did not help.  Call me crazy, but this island was not the party the name implied: covered in sand (reflects sunlight), no trees or shade of any type, on a thin blacktop path, with no spectators, one band, and the sun beating down.

Miles 25-26.2 we finally made it back into civilization and as Kelli said “I wish I could have been voted off that island sooner.”  Seeing the finish line and my family/friends gave me a boost I didn’t think I still had in me!  I crossed the finish at a 7:30 pace. Um, shoulda used some of that energy during the Fiesta!


I borrowed this picture from the official photo site and I’m clearly tired and ready to be done.. good thing it was at mile 26.1! Shoulders are tense, hands are clenched, arms are crossing my body, hips are very uneven (favoring my right leg per usual).

And FINALLY!!!! I felt like I was about to sob and a big huffy breath came out and then the pain of my body overtook any emotions other than relief.


Then I tried to figure out where to go next.  Spectators were blocked out of this area, there were no bathrooms, and I couldn’t see where there was food and water… so I just limped along with the crowd to the picture area.


Finally, there was food and water and then I started to follow signs to the Team in Training check-out.  Halfway there I realized the gear check (where my phone was) was in the other direction and I started crying because I was having to walk so much.  Tip: If the race has info about the finish line, read it! I ignored it because I figured I would just see my family. There was a family meet-up area but it was so crowded and far, far away from the finish line.

After what seemed like eternity, I found my mom and sobbed for 30 seconds on her shoulder.  I was so happy to see everyone and finally sat down to stretch and eat something. I started to feel better and less emotionally instable 🙂 .

I looked through my texts and saw one from Kelli that made me know I would make it back to the finish line to see her: “I fell and twisted my ankle but I’m finishing the damn thing.”

We made our way back (I had no grasp on time at this point) and I cheered for every TNT participant that went by.  Writing your name on your race shirt is the best idea ever!! I’m positive I cheered for blog bud Maura because she had the same exact outfit as Kelli!


And soon we could see her! There she is!!! Do you see Kelli?  My mom leaned over and said “You’re going to jump in and run to the finish with her, right?”  I said “ARE YOU CRAZY??!”  But then I saw Kelli with the coaches and the obvious pain she was in so I did it- no idea where my ability to run came from.


I said lots of positive things, which I had really needed at that point too, and I wasn’t running 11 miles with an injury!!

After some ice and ibuprofen, we headed through the picture line and asked for one with both of us- we did it!  As Kelli said over and over that night: “OMG WE DID IT!!!!!”


After some hobbling and stretching, we parted ways with the excellent supporters we had.


Group shot!


And immediately went to the hotel, popped champagne, took ice baths, and ate an entire pizza.

By “immediately” I mean, it took us a few tries and 30 minutes to order pizza.  Brain melt.


Later, we met up for a drink with Joe, another Bucknell alum that ran the marathon!  Oh yeah, and my sunburn became very evident.


Celebrating with drinks and nachos with three of my favorite ladies.  Mom, Kel, and ex-common-law-step Aunt Jen 😉 .  Hey Madelyn and Aunt Laurie, we missed you!


Tip: Don’t constantly wipe the sweat (and sunscreen, obviously) off of your head.  And maybe wear a hat!


And then we went to bed really, really early, the end.  Will I do another one?  YES. (But it took me 5 days to be sure about that).

PS: Delicious belated birthday dessert the next day: