After flying all day, I landed in Lake Placid on Saturday night, with a marathon to run in the morning. Not to mention a flight back to LA immediately following the marathon and to get to work Monday morning. God help me.
I arrived in Boston, I hopped on the scariest plane ever to Saranac airport, a little airport out in the middle of nowhere. I was so scared I closed my eyes like I used to do when my ex- husband would drive me around in his 67 Chevy. Scary.
Then could you believe they made me fly the darn thing? Not really, but I did ride shotgun with the pilot and was practically frozen. I didn’t want to touch the wrong control and send us to timbucktoo.
With God’s grace we landed safely in Saranac where my taxi was waiting and off to Lake Placed we go. Of course I make the taxi driver pull over to take a picture with the sign. Darn tourists.
The hotel is beautiful, I get a quick bite to eat, do a little sight seeing and it’s off to bed with a 5 am wake up, 2am my time. Ouch! But look at that sunrise, this made it all worth it.
Even though the marathon started at 8, I still had to get my bib # by 6:30am. So with some grape nuts, a cup of coffee and a 5 -hour energy I am good to go.
I met the race director Brian, great guy. He set up the announcer with a script of my story for my finish.
Back to the hotel to check out of my room and just enough time to gather my thoughts, prayers and a little pre-race stretching, I missed David but at least I had some company, the ducks.
I arrive at the start line and they announce my arrival, are you kidding? Me, Julie Weiss from Santa Monica? Yes, Julie. You are now a Marathon Goddess. Well, the stage has been set and here we go. Number 9, feeling fine and we’ll see you at the finish line.
And we are off, running free, running happy. A beautiful day, a little hot. But some like it hot, like me. There was a half marathon also. So at mile 1 I call out my old favorite line “less than 25 to go”. Some laugh and some want to slap me I am sure. Many runners heard my introduction and talk with me along the way. One guy said he would write the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network a check when I finish the 52, good motivation and one girl told me I was nuts. I love the haters. It was awesome to meet some facebook friends in realtime too. Like Elizabeth and a new friend Nancy. Love you girls.
It was a beautiful scenic course, out and back and out and back. It was so amazing I didn’t mind. Fly fishing along the way, that’s something you don’t see at every marathon. Also the ski jump from the winter olympics. Very cool!
Mile 14 is my new favorite mile. You see I have a lot of time to think every weekend while I am running. At mile 14 all you have left are two 10k’s. That’s it. Easy! Well mentally it is anyways. It works for me. Next time you run a marathon, try it. It may make you smile, it may make you cry.
But reality sets in at mile 14, my left foot is killing me. Oh no. I fear Achilles, plantar and my mind has its way with me. I keep reminding myself the universe has my back, my Dad is my wings and all signs are pointing to me completing the 52. Just at that moment, Danny Dreyer founder from Chi Running comes on to my iPod to tell me about me running form. Ok, it was an mp3 I downloaded but still. It was like he was talking to me.
I used to listen to him so many times that I couldn’t anymore, but today I did. Two focuses: one your posture. Put one hand on your stomach one on the back of your neck and pull apart. This one corrected my stance.
The next one SAVED my left foot. It was an AHAH moment. I’ve heard my fiancé coach say it a million times. Lift your knees up a little higher, keep your stride short and kick your legs back and your foot is creating a cylindrical flow. Yes, David I know, but I don’t listen. Stubborn Marathon Goddess.
I am a forefoot runner, I run on my toes. I bounce when I run. I thought it was cute, and that is just what I naturally do and have always done. Danny said this: Don’t bounce, and if you run on your toes you are putting the weight of your entire body on your poor little feet and unnecessary stress on your calves. Our calves are not built to carry 140 pounds for 26 miles every weekend, or even once a year. He told me to relax my lower legs, like noodles, make them limp. Lift up from my hip flexor, the top part of my thigh. This part of the leg is strong and can carry the body more efficiently taking the weight off of your feet and calves. It also took the bounce out and made me go faster David says I have been telling you that forever and I have just been “muscling through” these marathons. Within a mile the pain was gone and I was home free and had happy feet. Thank you Chi Running and David too. Now I may not have explained it correctly and for that I refer you to Chi Running and of course the infamous “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Marathon Training”. David co-wrote with Paula Patrella.
I finish the race with a crazy a$% hill at mile 25 and at the Olympic Oval. How do I know I am doing the right thing? How do I know I am not out there killing myself? I’ll tell you…. The female overall winner of the race came up to me after my finish to tell me that I inspired her today, I inspired the winner of the marathon? But how, I run barely a sub 5 marathon these days. She was touched by my story, by my website and she just lost a really good friend to Pancreatic Cancer last month. She thought about me when she was running. WOW. I am on the right track. I know it.
I finish the marathon, jump in the lake and head to the Airport. I did it again. Yay!!! Now, as I sit here on the plane my left foot is still a little mad at me. I did my usual stretching at the airport. But hopefully it will recover and I can be nice to it now. A few photos from Boston Logan airport waiting for my plane to LA.
(From left to right: Rocking chairs and Dunkin Donut coffee only in Boston, Logan. Grateful to find a cart, and of course stretching in the airport. My favorite. Hope to be back in Boston again, but that’s another journey)
Some may call me nuts, some think I have lost my mind, but I have found my calling and it is touching people everywhere. From the flight attendant, to Tommy the TSA guy, to so many kind race directors who have comped me because they lost a loved one to this awful disease, to the winner of today’s marathon and all the friends I meet along the way. Running all around the world, spreading hope, inspiration and love? Hey Dad, I am really doing it. I thank you for your support and love. Together we can create miracles, together we can do anything we set our minds to, together, We Got This!!!!. On to Grandma’s marathon in Minnesota, for number 10, let’s do it again!!!!