Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Run Like A Girl

My day on Sunday, October 19:

2:30am - Wake up in a hotel in San Francisco to the sound of a major fight going on in the street below. SCREAMING! YELLING! CUSSING! CRYING! HITTING! Emily is on the phone with 911 reporting it. I feel dazed. Where am I? What am I doing here? We look out the window to see two groups of people pitted against each other ready to go at it. Soon enough I will have to wake up again and put on my running clothes. Quick! I have to go back to sleep...

5:00am - Three obnoxious cell phone alarms pierce the silence that cloaks me in so comfortingly. I am too nervous to fall asleep again. I lay with my eyes wide open, my head on the pillow. I sigh. I get up. Put on my running clothes. Put on my tennis shoes. Put my hair in a ponytail. Pin back the strays. Pop four ibuprofen. Stretch a little. Eat some fruit and granola. Mentally prepare for what I'm about to do. (What am I thinking?)

6:00am - Leave the hotel with Carla and the girls. The city is dark. There are people everywhere, just like it is the middle of the day. Thousands of women are flooding to Union Square, preparing to run their race. Music is playing, there is free water and gatorade. I drink some. "Are you ready for this, KK?" Carla asks me. I smile and nod. "Yeah, I guess so," I say. We sit down to stretch and pray. Mom and dad call. "One step at a time, one stride at a time, ok Kakes?" my dad encourages me.

- Carla and I make our way into the masses of women standing in the street. At least there is body heat - we're standing shoulder to shoulder among thousands - because it is cold! We talk to a nice lady from Arizona who tells us she drove the course the day before and that the course is beautiful! She encourages us to not just look at the road, but to focus on the scenery.

6:57am - The National Anthem is sung. We look at the flag. Take it all in.

7:00am - The race starts. We move with the crowd to begin the 13.1 mile run...

The first six miles were awesome. At mile six I had to work hard to push through for a while. My chest hurt from breathing deep because I had a cold. My sinus headache was getting to me. My blood sugar was high and my blood felt like pudding in my veins. I walked for a bit and it helped. I started running again. Drank some water at a water station. There were some pretty sweet downhills to make up for the San Francisco uphills on the course. At about mile 11.5 my body felt stiff and my skin felt numb and tingly. I wasn't sure that was normal, so I asked Carla. She said she didn't think so. I walked a bit there, but then decided I might as well run. I only had 1.5 miles to go.

Somehow I missed the mile marker for mile 12, so when I turned a corner and was running through the cheering section and saw the finish line right in front of me, I thought I still had over a mile to run. What a relief! I looked at Carla and said "I thought we still had to pass mile 12!!" "No, we're here, run!" she said. I crossed the finish line, and it was great. A San Francisco firefighter handed me a necklace from Tiffany & Co and congratulated me. We were handed a bunch of free stuff. We met up with Emily and Ellie and Tim and Autie who were waiting for us at the finish. We ate granola and smoothies by the beach with them for breakfast...

Then I drove home from San Francisco. I went to bed at 8pm and slept like a rock. Today my shoulders are very sore. Tomorrow I have a midterm.

It's early and cold. Getting ready to run!

Lots of people.

Mile 11 on the course.


Jill said...

That's awesome, Kakes! I didn't know you guys were doing a half marathon. Good job!

Carla said...

Karen, I like that you've recorded the day...I haven't journaled yet about our trip, but this is so accurate! I am glad you aren't feeling tingly anymore. I know I've said this before, but you did awesome girl!

Heidi Jensen said...

Keggs, simply brilliant. Seriously, nice work!