NERVOUS, excited, and ready to do this dang thing! The unveil day had arrived and they had a competitor rep there on stage to introduce me. That competitor rep ended up being John "the PENGUIN" Bingham! I told him before the interview that it was an honor for me to meet him and that I've read many of his articles and always see his quotes on Facebook which have inspired me and many others. We then get on stage and start the unveiling which all went by in a blur. I was nervous but I was settled by seeing the support of my friends in the crowd which included members from my Golden Triangle Strutter group and members from Team REFUEL. I unveiled the ad and seeing myself in a 5 foot poster was pretty amazing. The ad looked great and it's still surreal that I'll be opening a magazine, seeing myself in it representing the great athletes of Team REFUEL.
|The "Penguin" asking me a few questions on stage.|
|My awesome friends and Team REFUEL teammates.|
|Meant the world to me to have these Strutters here!|
I get up in the morning and head over to the start line and again meet up with some more of my Team REFUEL teammates at the VIP tent. Team REFUEL is a big supporter of the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). This is CAF's mission statement:
"It is the mission of the Challenged Athletes Foundation® to provide opportunities and support to people with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CAF believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life."
I've run other races but haven't really met too many of the Team REFUEL/CAF athletes and before the race I was honored to have met Bryan Solberg and Jeff Schmidt. These guys are the epitome of greatness and such down to earth welcoming people. When I first met Jeff he had told me he recognized me from the team page and also said thank you to me for what I do for CAF. I was taken aback by his gratitude. He told me that what Got Chocolate Milk Team REFUEL does for CAF really does help athletes like himself achieve their goals. I've never been more proud to be wearing my Team REFUEL gear than at that moment. (Go to my CAF page here to donate and help more athletes achieve whatever they want to achieve. link to donate)
I wasn't fully trained for this marathon but the day had come for me conquer 26.2 miles for the 11th time!
Weather: 60's with an overcast all day long. They call it the June GLOOM but I call it great weather for running!
I was feeling good through these miles. The marathon and half marathon had separate start times so the corral you started with was pretty much the people around you the whole race. I had latched on to the 4:25 pace leader and figured the pace they were running was doable.
These miles got a little iffy as we ran through Mission Bay Park. The park was nice but they had led us onto the park path which was a narrow path with thousands of runners. Passing was not easy and the pace group got away from me at times.
I had caught back up with the pace group and was taking in Gu's routinely every 45 minutes as if I actually enjoyed the stuff. Around mile 18 the lady in front of me took a bad fall when she tripped over one of the reflective road markings. I stopped to help her up and make sure she was OK and then went back to my race but my 4:25 pace leader was long gone by then. I quickened my pace to catch up with them but I probably expended too much energy doing so. When I did catch up I was able to stay with them for a bit before falling off at mile 19.
If you hadn't hit the "wall" by mile 20 this marathon sure as heck made sure you hit it with this dreadful hill that never ended. I slowed down to a walk at times and then a zombie strut at others. This hill had a pretty good grade to it and the road was slanted so to put it into other words "that hill sucked" :)
I'm almost done. I had actually believed people when they said that after that crazy hill it was all downhill. It was a few more painful rolling hills and then a big downhill into downtown San Diego to the finish line. Boston was on my mind during these last miles. I had worn the "Run Boston" bracelet that day and as I crossed I raised my arm for Boston.
Finished in 4:37:23! For the most part I executed a good race for myself and I'm really proud of my time. At the finish line you know I enjoyed some low-fat chocolate milk to REFUEL my body with the right balance of carbs to protein and its pure yumminess :)
If you love low-fat chocolate milk as your AFTER go get yourself on Team REFUEL! They are now accepting Team applications along with individual applications. click here to apply