SO BUSY! SO MANY THINGS TO WRITE ABOUT! I have had more free time (relatively speaking) since clinics started, but I've been filling it with things other than sitting at the computer :) The last three years have been filled with hours upon hours of staring at a computer screen and I just haven't been able to bring myself to sit down at the computer and collect my thoughts. But here, on this rainy Sunday night while doing laundry/watching the Bulls game/organizing my life in clinics, I thought I would try to start writing again.
First off - I finished my first marathon! I'm a marathoner! I wasn't nearly as prepared as I should have been - I'm pretty convinced that my body is invincible and that I can "power through" just about anything. However, this would not be the case for 26.2 miles of running. I missed a few long runs when I was really sick before finals and crammed in a 20 miler in the middle of finals which nearly killed me... as in, it took 30 minutes to walk 3 or 4 blocks home after I was done running because my muscles were so tight. YIKES. Anyway, I ran the 5K the night before the marathon so that I could get the extra medals (I LOVE bling) and t-shirts - plus, it was the first year that they offered the "i-challenge" and I wanted to support it because I think it is such a neat idea. I ended up running with some friends who had trained for the 5K (they just started running this year) and I had a good time chatting with my other friend who ran with us just for fun - we held a pace that was about 3 and a half minutes slower than I would normally run a 5K, so it was awesome :) I rarely do fun runs with people, so it was a really great change!
Marathon morning started at 5 am with my traditional Thomas blueberry bagel (has to be Thomas!) and peanut butter and a banana. I loaded up my bag for my parents to hold on to with Gu gels, bananas, cliff bars, water, and powerade and headed out with Kyle. He was on call all day, but since the race was in town, he could be anywhere on the course and still be able to get back to school if needed! My parents and friend C met up with us before I wedged myself into the pack at the starting line. C was on a bike so that she really could go all over town to watch the race, which was an awesome idea. Our friend JW was meeting her with her bike too later on. I put my headphones on, started my running playlist and headed out once they started us. I put myself into the 4:00 pace group (wishful thinking) and started the long journey that would eventually end right where we started. I felt pretty good initially, legs felt strong, weather was cool and getting warmer, sun peeked out behind the clouds and thus started another beautiful Illinois marathon morning (every year has had perfect weather so far... *knock on wood*). Just before mile 5, we got to our house where my parents were with C, JW, and Kyle along with many awesome signs (JW's said, "It's not 26.2 miles, it's 10 water stops!"). I nearly ran into 30 people trying to cross to the other side of the road just to say hi :)
I continued on with the 4:00 group, seeing many friends and faculty from school along the way. One of the doctors at school always has a table outside her house with water and signs cheering for the vet-med runners - so cute and awesome, I look forward to seeing it :) Around mile 10, I felt a twinge in my right butt cheek... which happens sometimes when I run longer distances, and I usually slow down or stretch it out - but this was a race! I couldn't stop or slow down on purpose!
I approached the cut-off for the half-marathon course and marathon course around mile 11 or 12 - for a tenth of a second, I considered just doing the half-marathon... my butt was aching so badly and the thought of running 15 more miles was really depressing and ominous - but I couldn't. I wanted to be a marathoner, and damn it, I was going to turn into one that day.
I call miles 16-19 my "dark miles". At different times, I actually tried punching my butt cheek with my fist which was completely ineffective - and just my luck, my biker gang (C, JW, and Kyle) showed up at mile 18 as a surprise. I cannot share the pictures that they took of my face because I looked MISERABLE! HA! I shoved a banana down my throat and threw my ipod at them - because my brand new nano that I won in the raffle started skipping in the middle of songs! And then it started playing christmas carols in the middle of my running playlist... it was totally possessed and creeping me out. Once it started skipping during the Christmas songs, I just turned the stupid thing off - you can only listen to first line of "Frosty the snowman" so many times before you want to throw your ipod into the garbage. FAIL. I shuffled through the next few miles after my little dark period and finally, FINALLY, got to mile 23 where C joined me on the course and pushed me to finish the race. If not for her, I would not have broken 4:15 - she was totally awesome and a fantastic supporter. Thank God for friends like her. She ran with me all the way to the 26 mile mark where she branched off to head into the stadium from the spectator entrance and I ran into the stadium to the finish at the 50 yard line.
I DID IT! As soon as I crossed the line, a volunteer looked at me which a majorly concerned look on his face and asked if I was okay. Hell no, I wasn't okay, but I FINISHED! I could barely walk or put most of my body weight on my right leg because of my messed up butt, but at that point, I didn't care at all. I got my medals and water and just enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and the energy in the stadium. It is so neat to run races like this because everyone is encouraging everybody and supporting everybody and it is an all around amazing feeling. I found my family and friends right away and slowly made my way up the stadium steps to their spot. My people are amazing - I am so lucky to have such incredibly supportive parents (and brother, even though he was in Colorado and couldn't be there) and friends - I'm a very lucky, lucky girl. My final time was 4:14.41 and I'm pleased with that for my first marathon - and I know I can break 4:00 eventually. Plus, I beat Chris O'Donnell and Oprah Winfrey's marathon times, which was pretty much my goal anyway :)
On to clinics!
I started clinics on Monday in Orthopedic surgery and I LOVE it. I've had a few patients, one of which underwent surgery on Friday, which I got to scrub in on and close the incision myself (super awesome, and the resident said it looked great).
Oops, its movie time now that the Bulls WON - more on clinics soon!