Monday, June 15, 2009

We Are Finishers!

The first marathon I ever ran was a nightmare. It was in Las Vegas and I was trained by a great runner who wanted to get her PR, personal record for those not of the running world. (Though I think PB would be a better term as it could stand for either peanut butter or personal best.) Anyway, we had trained for quite some time and Melissa was not about not to run it. She had actually put in double the miles as she would run ahead of me, come back, run with me for awhile again, go ahead get the picture. As we were riding the bus to the starting line, I would look out the window and see nothing but blizzard, that's right, in Las Vegas. I'd say something like, "Meliss, this looks pretty bad. Do we really run in this?" Of course her reply was, "Of course. It just looks worse than it is." -5 below with wind chill below that seemed worse than it looked to me!

I trust Melissa with any and everything. She has never lied to me, until that day. We ran it, but 150 smart people never got off the bus. They were not even going to try. This race was in Feb. so we had been used to running in all kinds of weather. BUT, I always refused blizzards! I hate running in strong wind mixed with pelting, not falling snow, and going side-ways get the picture. In fact, I don't think Melissa ran on those days either. But we had trained, and by darn, we were going to run!

Melissa was way off ahead of me. Rules of the road when you train for a marathon. No staying back. You've worked too hard not to do your very best! The only way I knew where to go was to look down and follow the snow trail that the runners before me had made. I couldn't look up at all as my face would have been pelted. I was also running on stumps for the first 6 or so miles as my feet had gone completely numb. I kept wondering what in the hell I was doing. I didn't have to do this. 150 people didn't. I kept thinking "Nobody drops out of a race at 3 miles!"

So I kept going, and going, and going, as slow as a turtle, but I didn't stop. At mile 16 I walked for the first time. The blizzard had stopped but it was still freezing. I thought, just make it to mile 17. Then I "ran" to 18, walked to 19, and so on and so on. I finally finished, the 9th to the last person in. But, I finished and I wanted to die, but burst with joy cause I had done something I never thought I could. I swore I'd never run again. I've run 3 since then and in pretty good time.

I have run many. many races since. When Melissa moved out of state, Connie became my partner. Our moto was, "We are finishers. If we crawl across the tape, we WILL finish." I also had the feelings and thoughts that if I can finish that very first marathon, I can do and accomplish anything!

Time to start remembering again.


  1. You are fabulous in every way. I remember! Step by step

  2. Slow as a turtle. You still finished in 4 1/2 hours. 4:30:51. Amazing!

  3. Shar, I've read through your blog several times a day for the past few days....wanting to comment, but trying to think of the right thing to say....

    And then I realized....there isn't a "right thing" to say. I know all too well that during these crappy times there isn't anything anyone can say to make the pain go away...or to make the reality of the situation disappear.

    But I do want you to know that I love you. That I think the world of you. And that you are in my thoughts and my prayers. If there is anything I DO is that miracles come...moments of peace come...and you are strengthened when you are in the thoughts and prayers of others.