Sunday, November 11, 2007

Flashing Blue Lights

I only did 14 ... HA!!!!! I ONLY DID 14 MILES!!!!! OK, sure - it was hard, I was sore ... every bone, muscle, ligament, and tendon hurt - oh, and it hurt to breathe. But, I did it! Around mile 7, I was running alone (because no one runs as slowly as I do) and had just gotten to the turnaround point (which is about 1.8 miles from our house) and was greeted by Doug and Dominic, standing on in a parking lot holding a sign that said, "Go Mommy, We love you !" I cried (naturally), gave a few quick hugs, tried desperately not to think about getting in the car and having them take me home ... and then as I began running again, Dominic (in his newly acquired 5 year old wisdom) said, "Mommy, why did you run all the way up here? Why don't you just get in Daddy's car?" Sigh.

I replied, "Mommy is thinking that very same thing, but I have to run back now! Thanks for meeting me!"

So with renewed vigor, I ran back to the water stop (which would be mile 8 for me). Doug and Dominic showed up there again (bless them) ... more hugs, and then I was off, to run down a really big hill (which took me over 18 minutes to run up, but only about 7 minutes to run down). I was feeling good. The base of my left hamstring was a bit sore, but I still felt ok.

Fast forward (because if we stayed with Lisa running time, it would be another 15 mintues), to the next water stop (mile 10). The hamstring was a bit more sore and I was tired and running more slowly, but I still figured that I had "some" left in me. Yes, Jim, at this point, I took the Gel Goo ... a little sweet, had to take it in small doses, but it gave me a quick kick where it was needed.

One more water stop to go - I slowed down to a walk and tried to convince myself there wasn't much more to go ... by the time the discussion was over in my head - I was only .8 miles away from the end ... I kept thinking ... don't stop, don't stop, don't stop. But, because I am who I am, I stopped, and unfortunately realized it hurt more to walk than it did to run, so I started running again. I slogged up the last hill (about .2 miles away now) ... and heard footsteps behind me. Flashing blue lights? No, not yet ... hang with me, I'll get to that.

So, I'm slogging up the hill, I can actually see the parking lot to my car, and the footsteps get closer - they were those of the 20-something(I could be wrong) slender, gazelle visiting from a TNT group in San Francisco ... her legs were at least 5 feet long (give or take an inch) ... and she was doing 20 miles ... so, as she glided by, barely breathing ... she said, "Oh good, you're with TNT, is the stopping point up ahead?" I gasped for a breath and said, "Yes, just a straight shot" ... she said, "Great, thanks ... " but by then, she was already actually there.

I was greeted again by my mentor, Page, and my two team coaches, Yo & Chuck ... hugs and high fives all around ... as we climbed the last few yards to the stopping point. Then Barb, the mentor that was there for me for my 12 mile run provided moral support, hugs, and said ...
"hey, guess who else is here?" Yes, Doug and Dominic, made a third appearance ... more hugs and moral support! It was awesome ... I cried ... it could be a theme ... get ready for the Flashing Blue Lights ...

As I said, minutes ago (if you're still with me), I was sore - very sore ... Everyone there gave me advice - here it is and in this order.

1) Stretch
2) Hydrate (water and sports drink)
3) Ice bath (fill tub with about 8 inches of cold water, stay in running clothes, immerse, add a bucket of ice - stay there at least 8 - 10 minutes & enjoy a beer - which was graciously provided by mentor Barb)
4) Warm shower
5) Eat protein
6) Nap
7) Tell everyone that you "only did 14 today"

So I stretched, managed to somehow drive home (while Doug and Dominic went off in search of the perfect hamburger to bring me for lunch), and I decided to try the ice bath as horrible as it sounded because I figured I couldn't possibly be in any more pain. Here's the funny thing, as I made a few expletives when put my feet in, I realized soon that they were numb (and it was good Dominic was not in the house), but sitting there immersed in cold water really wasn't that bad - I couldn't feel anything after the first few seconds ... and quite frankly, I didn't have enough energy to actually get OUT of the tub, so sitting there for 10 minutes was not a problem. There was no way I could have gotten out sooner. Seriously. The bad news was that I didn't have any strength to open the beer.

The hamburger was good, and I did have the beer to wash it down (I had already hydrated with about 32 oz of water and somewhere close to 12 oz of sports drink). The nap was a bit short, because Doug was busy preparing the backyard for the Pirate Birthday Party and Dominic was in need of a playmate - but we played with things that did not require me to be on my feet (which were completely non-functional).

Fast forward again to about about 5pm Saturday evening (if you're still with me, I promise the end is in sight) ... I started to feel vaguely human and mobile again and forced myself to drive to Trader Joe's. I made some quick purchases (mentioned to the check out clerk that I had run 14 miles that day and felt huge waves of pride) and went to the Chinese restaurant across the street for take out (also mentioning to the host that I had run 14 miles ... I was on a roll). I'm only about 3 miles from home at this point. So I decide to take the same road home that I ran on that morning (but I was in the car and it was dark).

That's when the rush of emotion hit me. As I started down the street, I was thinking about how much my body hurt, and the fact that I had actually managed somehow to run 14 miles ... which took 3.5 hours, but still ... I did it ... and I cried (there's the theme) ... and here's the thing - like I said, it was dark, and I was on a familiar back road, and I wasn't thinking about driving, and I was crying (hard), and that's when I saw ...

The Flashing Blue Lights.

"Pull over at the next street ma'am" (love the bullhorn).

I came to a stop, rolled down the window, got out my driver's license and looked at the officer (tears streaming down my face). He said -

"Are you ok, ma'am?"

"No!", I sobbed, "I ran 14 miles this morning, and I'm so sore, and I had to go the grocery store, and get things ready for my son's birthday party tomorrow, and I still have so many things to do, and I have dinner here for my family, and I actually ran on this road this morning and I can't believe I actually was able to do the 14 miles ... but I'm training for this marathon because a good friend of mine has lymphoma and I'm trying to raise money and ..." (you need to insert alot of sobbing and gasping in between words because I was really over the edge at this point).

He said, "Can I have your license ma'am"?

After what seemed an eternity (and alot more crying), he came back to the car and said,

"Listen ma'am, this stays between us, everyone makes a mistake, and I sincerely believe you know these roads, so I'm not going to write you a ticket (since the stop sign was less than a mile from mile house) and I think you're doing a really good thing with this marathon for your friend, she will definitely be in my prayers, and I hope you get everything done for your son's birthday."

I was still sobbing as I choked out a sincere "Thanks" - and he said, "are you ok to drive home?"

I should have said, "no, but I could walk from here" - but I didn't ... and I kept crying, I don't know why and Doug met me in the garage, because I had been gone longer than expected (but laughed when I told him the story).

It was an exhausting day all around ...

But it makes a good story (and I did 14 miles!)


jim lyle said...

so cool. you ran a half marathon! plus a little! so proud of you. remember that the gels need water to spread out the boost. we'll talk later today. you are such a incredible human being.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, I read your blog today and it brought tears to my eyes. I am very proud of you, I do not think I could ever accomplish must you did>I love you and your family! Your dee dee

Anonymous said...


I am very much impressed at your endurance and moreover, at your sincere love towards your friend. Had we had more people like you on earth what a better place this world would have been. Great job Lisa.