Here we go, Marathon #7. Up at the crack of dawn early Saturday morning, to catch a plane to Portland, then hop on a prop jet to Spokane (I guess I can sleep in next year). On our flight to Spokane, we flew over Mt. Hood. Home of the famous Hood to Coast Relay.
Enter Kevin, a great guy we met at Portland Airport. Leave it to us runners to spot out another runner. Well the fact that he was wearing a Portland ½ marathon shirt helped. “Hi, How was the marathon last week?” I shout out from across the room. Instant friendship, and there you have it. I love the common bond that runners share across the globe. We are all comrades, connected through a mutual bond. Sharing the highs, the lows, the battles, the exhilaration, that amazing thing we call running. It’s like we we’re all in combat together. It turns out Kevin is staying the same hotel as us and offered to give us a ride. What a gift. He and his wife even drove us to the expo, if you could call it that. But it was awesome, easy in, easy out and back to the hotel to rest for race day.
The hotel was gorgeous. We had a beautiful room overlooking the CDA lake. David was like a little boy, he was so excited to be back at his old IRONMAN stomping grounds. As I fight to keep my eyes open, David is telling me stories of two of his three IRONMAN experiences here in CDA. He even brought his wetsuit and flippers so that he could swim in the lake like old times. Burrrr.
(David IRONMAN 2005, Go David)
Room service, a hot bath and we are asleep by 9:30 for another early morning wake up. The bed was so comfy, it was as if I slept on a cloud. I don’t know about you, but some say the sleep the night before a marathon isn’t that important as is the one prior. I need at least 6 hours before a marathon or I am in trouble. Saturday I got 8. Yay.
We drove with Kevin, his wife and his friend Chad to the start. Chad and Kevin are both on a mission to BQ and me on a mission to BBQ when I get home for Memorial Day (and at the moment I am doing just that).
David films the start of the race and he is off for a swim. This was a beautiful course, running lakeside for a lot of it. It was an out and back couse,very well supported with Hammer Gel, Heed and great people.
This one didn’t feel easy like Pasadena. I ran a 4:47, my fastest out of the 7. Silly me decided I didn’t like gel anymore and ended up having a total of one, so by the time I finished I couldn’t walk and my legs felt like lead. Ouch!
It still was an amazing finish. They announced me as I headed for the finish line and I felt like I was on top of the world. I even met Cowboy Jeff who ran the Rome Marathon with me in March Love my runing friends.
I told David I needed to go in the lake ASAP so I stumble around to find an entrance to the lake but no entrance. We had to walk 1 ¾ miles back to the hotel to get to the lake and David basically held me up the whole time and I held on to him for dear life.
On the way back to the hotel we were stopped twice, once by a lady on a bike who noticed how bad off I was and made sure we didn’t need any support. Then a police car stopped, took one look at me and asked if we needed medical attention. A wheel chair may have been nice.
At last we make it to the lake. David runs up to the room to get me mineral pills, bananas, strawberries, a towel and so much love I couldn’t believe it. Aww David. I pop a few mineral pills, inhaled ALL of the food and I am starting to feel better. We get in the FRIDGED cold lake, David films a video of me, which I am afraid to see and we head back to the room for a HOT bath. I think I was in the bath for almost an hour defrosting.
We pack up, meet our new awesome friends down on the deck, and toast to our accomplishment. Kevin did not BQ today, his friend did and I was just happy to be alive. I owe it to David. He saved me.
I am reminded on the way to the race. Kevin’s friend Chad asked me what I was going to do after the 52, a good question. At the moment he asked me, I recall saying maybe write a book, sleep in on weekends, but then at about mile 3 I remembered. David can’t wait for me to IRONMAN with him and I can’t wait to BQ again, then you throw in a wedding and you have got yourself another adventure. So with that, we have a book and three pretty awesome goals to plan for. Even though the 52 will be done, my journey to spread hope and raise money to find a cure for Pancreatic Cancer will not end until it ends!
I am glad that at 38, I finally decided to wake up and really live life. Now 42, I am on a mission of the heart. To run for those who can’t, to reinforce, regenerate and show how strong the spirit can be. I am running to put an end to Pancreatic Cancer. To run for life and wellness means so much to me. I love to show people that their dreams are possible, to never stop fighting, never give up and always always remember “YOU GOT THIS!!
Sending love from 22,000 feet somewhere between Spokane and Seattle.