......revelations of one woman's reality of life, love, and all things hopeful...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh! My bones!!!

It's Monday morning. I think maybe I'm about to OD on ibuprofen because I feel like I've been hit by an 18-wheeler. I hear the bathtub full of Epsom Salt calling my name, so I've gotta make this quick ya'll...

Ok, here's the low-down on the race weekend....
I left for Nashville Friday morning, stopping in South Pittsburg, TN to meet up with my friends Miriam and Nicole (both former coworkers, physical therapists). This is the farm where they have a therapeutic horseback riding program in the summer for handicapped children. Neat, huh?

This is Miriam with one of her many horses...

We finally made it to Nashville around 2p.m. where we headed straight for the Nashville Convention Center where I was to pick up my registration materials. They had the registration process flowing like clockwork, so that was really fast. Next we went through the "Expo"...vendors were set up to advertise and sell their products. I spent some money...hat and sunglasses (which came in handy for the race) and guess what else...yep, you guessed it! A little purse. I need a new purse...

Oh, I forgot to mention...just so you know, it cost us $12 to park at the expo. And yes, we still had to walk a little piece to get there. Gee-wiz!

We left the expo and decided to eat supper before checking in to our hotel. We at at Applebee's. I had a difficult time finding something on the menu that had a moderate amount of protein and carbs without too much grease or too much fiber (ahem, prevention of any possible stomach problems on race day...). I ordered the chicken fajita roll-ups with a baked potato.

Finished supper....off to find the Music City Sheraton. We drove and drove. We suspected Jerry had given us wrong directions to our hotel...called the hotel...and guess what....yep, you guessed it again....Jerry gave us wrong directions...bless his heart.

Finally made it to the hotel.

Here's me modeling my new hat and glasses while Nicole fixed my time-tracker-thing onto my shoes...will get to that in a minute...

The little orange sticker on my shoe is what they used to track your time. It has a little metal sensor inside of it. It marks your time at the start line, 5K, 10K, 10 miles I think, and finally at the finish line. You can see my race number 31176. I believe there were more than 32,000 participants in the race.

I got out of bed at 4 a.m. on Saturday after a night of tossing and turning. Got ready. Miriam and Nicole drove me over to the Opryland Hotel where I met up with friends Jerry and Shelly. I had purchased a ticket at the Expo to ride the shuttle from Opryland to the start line. When I was sitting on the bus at 5:15 a.m. and noticed the temperature was already 68 degrees, I knew it was going to be a long, hot day. I was a little nervous, a little excited. Just tried to sit there and remain calm.

Here is Shelly, Jerry, and me outside of the Opryland hotel about to board the shuttle. Shelly lives in Bridgeport. Jerry lives in Rainsville.
We got off the bus at the start line. Don't ask me where the start line was. I have no clue.

Made the trek up to the starting area. Visited the porta-potty. Long lines at all porta-potties. Long lines. Already stinky at 6a.m.

Visited with Jerry and Shelly for a little while. Watch all the people. Whole lotta people. All shapes and sizes of people. All ages. Did I mention there were a lotta people???

We said our goodbyes and headed for our corrals (roped off areas with assigned numbers). They were in 13, I was in 31. Corrals were based up the predicted finish time that you wrote down on your registration. Thus, the longer the time, the higher the corral. There were 32 corrals in all. I had predicted my finish time to be 3 hours 45 minutes.

The race started with wheel chair racers, elite women, and elite men (they started before 7 a.m. I think). I could not see nor hear the start of these races, but Miriam took some excellent pics for me. I would like to share them with you...

Intense, right?
Corrals were released about every 2 minutes. As one corral crossed the start line, all the others moved forward toward the start. My corral was finally released about 8:10 a.m.

The race was on. And it went on. And on. And on.
...and on...
And it was hot.
About mile 2, there was an incline as the racers say. In my dictionary, it's called a "big hill". In fact, the big hill was about 1 mile long. My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. Just before mile 3 my heel began to sting and burn like crazy.
I prayed.

Lord, please let the lortab kick in. Please let the lortab kick in. Please let the lortab kick in.

I was afraid that I wasn't going to make it.

The lortab kicked in. Thank you, Jesus. My feet never gave me any more trouble.

I paced myself with the hoola-hoopers. Yes, that's right. Hoola-hoopers.

There were a group of about 20 or so ladies (looked like college-age girls) who hoola-hooped and walked at the same time. They were just ahead of me. Surely, I thought, I can keep up with the hoola-hoopers.

I did keep up with them. For about 5 miles. Then they were gone. They were hoola-hoopin' it on down the line, I tell ya!
I don't remember a whole lot about the actual route, to be honest. The main points were...it was hot. Really hot. It was very hilly. Really hilly. They had water and sorts drink stops about every mile or so, but I was really thirsty most of the time.
I talked to a few people along the way. One was a lady who was about to graduate with her doctorate in nursing. It was her first half-marathon too.

I talked to a lady named Annie. Her real name was Amelia Ann, but in the past few years people had started calling her Annie. She was 77 years old and from California. She had 6 children. Some of her children were running both the half- and full marathons. She was really nice. This was her second half-marathon.
At some point along the way...maybe mile 9...I was just soooo mad. Why on earth did I pay to do this? It hurt sooo bad! My legs and hips and shoulders! I was holding ice on my neck and shoulders because the muscles were cramping up. Ug! I was just soooo mad!
Then I got over it.

I just had to think....It's just walking. Just walk. One step at a time. I am not going to die. And if I do die I will get to see Jesus and my mother. But I'm not going to die. Just get finished.

Mile 10. Only 3.1 to go.
Will we ever see 11? Yes, we did.
Mile 12. Will we ever see 13?

It took a while to get there, but we did.

Mile 13. The finish line must be just around the corner.

Made it around the corner...

No finish line. UGH!!! It's gotta be here somewhere!

Then I hear Nicole calling out to me. She's about 10 yards ahead on the sidewalk. Keep going! Keep going! The finish line is just around the next corner!!!

When I got to Nicole, I took off the elastic belt/pouch thing I was wearing to hold my phone and other essentials, and I handed it off to her. That thing felt like it was smothering me!

I finally turned the last curve, and there it was! About 50 yards away. Miriam jumped out in the road and started taking pictures. I jogged the last little stretch, giving fake smiles to the race photographers at the finish line.

I don't suppose the smiles were completely fake. I was thrilled to have finished the race and proud of myself. But boy oh boy was I tired!

I got the finisher's medal. I took me 4 hours and 26 minutes.

But I finished.

And not last.
Here's me approaching the finish line and getting the medal.
By the way, the finish line was at the stadium where the Tennessee Titan play.
Walked on to the refreshment area. Found a shade tree and got under it.

Drank some water. And some more water. Ate a bagel. And and oreo cookie.
Started the trek to the car. Here is Miriam, Nicole and me on the walking bridge over the Tennesse River. It was so windy, we had to hold on to our caps.

Stopped somewhere at a Longhorn Steakhouse and had the yummiest salad, steak, and baked potato. We also ordered a dessert with 3 forks. CHOCOLATE!!!!! I think I had burned off the calories. I brought more than half of the steak and potato home with me and finished it off Saturday night.
Look at this...
Will I do it again? We'll see...
Ok, that took longer than I meant for it to. Now where's that Epsom salt...


Chris said...

I am so proud of you!! - CUZ

by-HIS-Grace said...

Proud and amazed how well you are doing! - PRAYERS! Take care of them there bones, etc.

AUNT KATHY said...

Looks like you had a fun time after all. It won't seem so bad when your bones quit hurting.


Anonymous said...

WAY TO GO THEIA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

YOU look GREAT! I am so proud of you! Get some rest! Take care of yourself! love Shay

Anonymous said...




Bethy said...

GO THEIA!!!!!!!! You are simply amazing you know that?

Deedra said...

I am just in awe of you!! You look amazing! I'm hoping by now that you're back to feeling amazing to!

You totally rock, Theia!!