- May 15th, 2011
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So here it is…the story of my marathon. I know most of you have been waiting with bated breath for this very post, so here it is.
I arrived in Vancouver April 30 at around 7:30ish and we hoPped on the sky train over to downtown. We got to the hotel and went for breakfast. I noticed waiting to be seated that there were a few familiar faces at the tables and it didn’t take me long to figure out that it was the Nashville Predators having their breakfast before they headed to their morning skate.
After breakfast we walked to the Expo to pick up our race packages.
After that we walked back to the hotel and then went for some lunch. After checking in and all that fun stuff I had the pleasure of bumping into Nashville’s head coach (and coach of the year candidate) Barry Trotz. We talked briefly about my marathon and how he thought his playoff game against the Vancouver Canucks would go that night. He’s a super nice guy and it was great to meet him and chat for a bit.
After lunch I finally had a chance to grab a nap and watch a bit of the Yankees game on tv. Then it was time for the inspirational dinner that Team and Traning puts on for all the team and training members from across North America. There were 320 TNT member from all over the States and Canada and it was announced that combined all of us raised 1.2 million dollars. Incredible!
It was an amazing dinner with an amazing speaker telling her own story about her battles with cancer. After the dinner we had our final group meeting before race day.
I went upstairs to my room to watch the Preds beat the Canucks that night and then I fell asleep. It was weird being so calm that night. I used to never have problems sleeping before big baseball games so I think it just came natural to me. Everybody else apparently had trouble sleeping that night.
Race day I was up at 4am to catch the 4:45 bus to the course. We chilled for awhile, did the porter poty stuff and then at 7:30am it was showtime.
I started of hot….maybe too hot. I was weaving and dodging people in front of me. There were 15,000 people in the event and around 4,000 running the marathon. I felt great and was actually enjoying the fact that it was seeming so easy.
I met my coach at around 16km and she was impressed with my pace…and so was I. I ended up running the 21km in 2:10 minutes….AWESOME…this will be easy.
Then…it happened…a massive right quad cramp. I thought…”Fuck….ok….just walk it out then go again.” So that what I did. Once I felt I could run again I did….but literally 200 feet later it came back. I shot a text to my coach about it. The reply, “Take a salt pack.” Awesome, will do….but…OH SHIT…I have none. So I take some gels and some of my sport beans.
Nothing was really working. I battle for a while and just run. At around 25km I need to stop running…it’s just too painful.
I see my girlfriends parents at around 26km (my coach is also my gf by the way). It’s great to see some familiar faces in the crowd. I want to stop and talk, but I fear that if I do then starting again will be impossible. So Sylvia starts walking with me and it seems to talk my mind off of my legs for a while which is GREAT.
After she dropped back I started running to the water station ahead to fill up. Then I got to the bridge at 28km and found Karlee (gf/coach) there and she fills me with about 3 salt packs and walks me down the bridge. Then I”m off again by myself and then it happened again.
At 30km a huge surge of pain just goes from my feet all the was to my back. At this point if someone even slightly hinted to me to walk off the course I probably would have. Instead I pretty much just almost openly wept knowing that 12km is a long way to go and with the pain I was feeling it felt like it would be impossible.
But, I just told myself to keep moving and I did. I battled for the next 9km. Met some people a long the way and pretty much wanted to stab every person who kept yelling at me that I was looking good and that I was ‘almost’ there. “Are you fucking kidding me? I look ‘good’? I’m ‘almost’ there? You guys are fucking liars…ALL OF YOU BASTARDS!”
Needless to say I was in my pure hatred emotion at this point. Thank God at 39km I saw Karlee running towards me. I would have her with me til near the end. We walked for a while as she got to listen to my ‘thoughts’ at the moment and me apparently signing Devils and Dust by Bruce Springsteen at some points. I don’t think I was ‘all there’ at that moment.
People were continueing to give me encouragement and my urge to throw rocks at them got closer and closer to reality, as well. Not to mention my feelings towards the assholes that kept passing me…especially that 70 year old man who was in some obvious pain but was still going faster then me….”asshole”….
At 41km there was an intersection about 300 feet in front of us. Karlee told me that at the intersection we would start running again and continue to the finish line. Sounds good!
About 100 feet away from the intersection Karlee starts running and says, “ok, here we go!”…which was gracefully followed by myself freaking out, yelling, “WE AREN’T AT THE INTERSECTION YET!”
So we continued to walk until we got the intersection and then we were off….she dropped me off with about 300 feet to go and I ran (well…ran/limped) across the finish line at 5:28minutes.
I was allowed to stop…so I did. I then tried to walk…oops…walking was all of a sudden an extremely tough thing to do. I got presented my medal, got some pics taken and then was given some water and food.
I limped for a few days, but I can honestly say that it was one of my greatest accomplishments. If you want a challenge then I would reccomend it for sure. The feeling of accomplishment was amazing and looking back at the 5 months of training through all the cold and snowy weather to get there it was an awesome experience overall.
I would like to thank all the people who helped me get ready and got me through the marathon and also congratulate all my teammates for not only finishing their race but also raising so much money for a great cause. And for the people who donated to me I am extremely grateful for your generosity…it means a lot.
So there it is…my marathon story.
If you ever do want to run a marathon but don’t know how then email me or drop a comment. My coach is the greatest and she can help anybody reach the finish line.
Strive for perfection,