This Memorial day weekend was absolutely great. We flew out of Tampa for a great family adventure. I would run the Marathon on Sunday but the days before would be filled with Niagara Falls and sight seeing in Buffalo, NY. The flights were a concern because this would be the first time Rane, our 22 month old, has ever flow. Well turns out he did amazing and we had great flights the entire way. We arrive in Buffalo, rented a Ford Flex, and off we went for our adventure.
First day we awoke to screaming and horns blaring. Seems the local senior class decided to have a graduation parade at 7am. I was a little upset at first but then you actually became entertained by the decorated vehicle and the joy that filled their heart. It threw you back to that graduation day of your own. I think my mother even recorded the parade so we could look back and laugh some more.
Once we were out for day one we headed to Niagara Falls. WOW! Descriptions and photos do not do this place justice. God is an artist for sure. From the beautiful falls to the amazing squirrels and birds, there are no words to get the description just perfect. It was just breath taking.
Day two we had to go to the Runner’s Expo for the Buffalo Marathon and pick up my race packet and get the boys registered for their 5k race. The expo was a bit of a let down. Seems our Runner Expos in Florida are top notch because the runners in Buffalo thought their expo was great. All I can say is they should visit some marathon expos in FLORIDA for sure. Race packets in hand we headed out to drive the route. What a headache. Thinking back I should have let my mother take the kids to the zoo and I should have taken the bus tour of the route and not been so cheap. Lesson Learned!
Day three was MARATHON and 5k day. We got up early and headed out. Parking was a breeze and everything was just perfect for race morning. My son Alex and Husband Tony raced the 5K at 6:45am and I started my Marathon at 7am. I hated the fact that I didn’t get to see them start or finish their 5k. I had to be in my corral, ready to start the marathon. The 5k gun went off , I could hear it from my corral, and I had a rush of adrenaline for them sweep over me. I love having my family run with me in races.
Then it was my turn. The national anthem was sung and the gun went off…WOW, here I was running my 6th marathon in 6 months, and on top of that I was trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon at this one. The route was a mental challenge. The first half went out and back and at mile 13 we had to pass by the finish line and continue on for the last half of the marathon route. That few moments were a bit of a struggle for me. Most of the runners around me fell off to finish their half marathon and here I was all alone to continue for the remaining 13.2 miles. So I started digging deep for the endurance I needed both physically and mentally at that point and I pressed on. My husband met me at mile 13.5 and gave me my fuel for the second half of the race. He also ran about a mile with me which was a nice help with my mental endurance.
The second half of the marathon went up the same road as the first half which was kind of boring but then we split off and the new scenery was a pleasant change. We went by Forest Cemetery and the Buffalo Zoo. During the last 10 miles I struck up conversation with some of the other runners and that helped keep me focused and going. I had a lot of other runners encourage me and even people on bikes passing by gave encouraging words. Around mile 24 I started having some issues with my health and it became a little hard to focus. I grabbed a cup of ice and started eating ice to help. It did for a while and I was able to push through. My husband met me again at mile 25 and ran most of the last of the marathon with me. He broke off just before mile 26 which helped me push harder to have a strong finish.
My goal was to beat 3:40 and I fell short of that and at first I thought I had not qualified for Boston. So I wrote this post on my Facebook page as I knew many of my friends and family were awaiting my results.
Even though I fell short of qualifying for Boston today I am still very proud of my marathon race. My heart is so very full. My sweet husband was there at mile 13 and then ran back to get me at mile 25 and ran me almost all the way to the finish. There was a moment of disappointment as I crossed the finish line but the happy faces and hugs that met me there quickly diminished my sad thoughts and turned them to pure JOY> God has a plan and this was his plan for today and in that I AM BLESSED.
Later I would be notified by a Facebook friend that I did indeed qualify for Boston. It seems that I was mistaken on my time for qualification and she was quick to research and show me that I did indeed qualify. My time for qualification had to be 3:45 or better and I DID IT! Turns out I had already qualified before even starting the Buffalo race as I completed the Five Points Marathon in Gainesville in 3:41:33. Looks like we are headed to Boston, April 2015.
This Memorial Day weekend I was thankful for freedom and for all those that served. I was also so very thankful for my kids, husband, parents, friends and family that continue to support me in all my runs. See, not only did I have support in Buffalo, I had a run group in Florida watching the live feed and cheering me on there. It was very nice to have texts and posts telling me “I just saw you finish”, “You finished like a true champion”, and many many more. WOW! To be loved is the best accomplishment you can ever have, and today I know I am truly LOVED.
PHOTOS coming soon!