At any rate, we decide to press on to our first water break (of five...hey, we like to stop every once in a while). As we approached, we couldn't help but notice a rather sketchy looking man holding a rather Cujo-esque looking mutt (we guessed Pitbull so if that makes the story more interesting, go with it). The couple was right next to where our water was hidden and wouldn't you know that Cujo mutt lifted his hind leg up and took a tinkle frighteningly close to our hydration? Since we didn't have Peg the Dog Whisperer on this venture, Lisa and I decided Sara should get the water for us. Hey, she placed it there...she knew where it was, right? The man held Cujo tight on his leash and we (well, Sara) got our water, hoping there wasn't a little extra on our bottles. Sara offered Cujo the rest of her water and we were on our way.
The next stretch was up Turner Road in a not so pretty part of town. Let's just say certain areas made us run a little faster, for example when we saw 2 brothas in sideways tilted hats dancing and hooting across the street from us. Definitely put a little pep in my step. And there were a few cat calls from an apartment complex further down the road. But, the smell of bacon and pancakes from a hole-in-the-wall joint called "Golden Harvest" almost stopped us dead in our tracks. Come to find out this place is the best breakfast place in Lansing...there was a line out the door when we passed. May have to be a post-marathon Diva excursion. We dealt with some pretty nasty wind gusts as we left our 2nd water stop around mile 9 but all and all the weather was cooperating. Well, maybe it was a tad warmer than I would have liked. (picky, picky). We pressed through and weaved into Staci's subdivision for water stop #3 (around 13 miles). She and Peg hammered 12 out earlier but Staci left us a cooler full of hydration goodies. Never was I so excited to see water and a bit of Gatorade...although I could have done without seeing Staci happily sipping on her Diet Coke, all finished running, when I still had 7 to go.
As we pulled out of her sub, I started day dreaming about the big foamy Oberon I'd be drinking in about an hour. We continued on and came to our only official cheering section (besides the cat callers on Turner). Sara's co-worker Phyllis and her husband were outside their house cheering us on. Phyllis's husband even ran with us for a few steps. And they made a sign in the window that said "GO SARA GO". It definitely gave us a push to keep going.
We chugged some water at the second to last stop and it was pretty quiet. No laughing, no joking. Not even a smile. I was just ready to get "the bitch done" as Lisa would say. And, I knew Cutler Road was coming up, which is a 2 mile stretch of country road where there is no protection from the weather. The wind was to our back on Turner, so we'd be running into it on Cutler. What's more fun than running into 20 mph wind gusts after running 16 miles? Hm. Perhaps scratching your eyeballs out?
I ran that stretch alone. I got a second wind and just wanted to be done. I was cranky. My knees hurt. My feet hurt. I wanted beer and pizza. My house was the last water stop and I realized that we would be running too far if went there. So we decided to cut into town and stop off at our favorite unofficial water stop, Sweetie Pie, and then pick up extra by Rellis, where our journey would end in mozzarella bliss. Sweetie Pie couldn't come soon enough so we detoured into St. Jude Catholic Church. Yes, church. Thankfully there was a water fountain there or else I would have been sticking my head in the holy water (sign of the cross). We made a brief potty stop (why not? Not the bushes...), had a quick prayer with Jesus for strength, and we were on our way. Can't call me a Christmas/Easter Catholic anymore...
Anyway, the last couple of miles were rough, I'm not going to lie. Amazingly I started to feel pretty good around 19.5 and picked it up a little bit. Some people say a mantra like "I AM STRONG" or "I AM SPEED" to get them through the last bit of a run or race. My mantra for this 20 miler was "GET THE BITCH DONE". Peg cheered us on from her car right around that point and I gave a 2 fist pump in the air and a "whoo hooo!". I turned around and Lisa and Sara weren't looking so happy. I am not sure, but I may have seen an obscene finger gesture coming from Sara. So, I put on my coach Kim hat because I knew if I was struggling, they'd do the same for me. We got through the last 1/2 mile until all of our Garmins chimed for 20 miles. We got the bitch done.
And then we stumbled into Relli's where a big, cold pitcher of Oberon was waiting for us.
cheers! we did it!
We sat our sweaty smelly behinds down (hopefully Relli's cleaned those seats after we left!) and relived every moment of our epic run. We inhaled our bread sticks and pizza and beer, relishing every bite. And why not? According to my Garmin I burned 2,020 calories!
The "piece de resistance": warm, doughy, buttery breadsticks
Looking pretty good after 20 (and 12) miles ladies. Chicago and Baltimore, here we come!
Now I know why Hal Higdon and every marathon trainer makes you run a 20 mile run. Yeah, I guess it is for the endurance and to teach your body how to deal with the physical and mental stress of running over 3 hours. And I am sure it is to practice your nutrition, hydration, and what you will wear for race day: a dress rehearsal if you will.
But for me, it gave me the confidence to finally say, "I am running a marathon in October and I know I am going to be able to finish it". We can do it ladies! It's all downhill from here...