Sunday, March 9, 2014

My L.A. Marathon Story


I can't believe it finally came and went... 


September 2013: a man named John from Team World Vision came to Sandals Church and gave a short shpeal about running a marathon and raising money to provide clean water in Africa. I'd already ran a 1/2 marathon a few years back with the organization and it was a pleasant experience. I figured, why not? It's a great organization, I'll be helping save lives (Every $50 raised provides clean water for life for 1 person) and I felt the Holy Spirit tugging on my heart to sign up. And I figured the training would help me stay in shape through the holiday season. The training program provided was 26 weeks long, so it would be plenty of time. 

October: I had just completed the running portion of the Canyon Lake 1/2 Ironman relay in September, I ran the Mission Inn 1/2 marathon with my friend Kristen at the beginning of November and then I participated in the Ragnar Trail run in November with Colin and some buddies from the So Cal Ragnar Team as well, so training for LA kicked up at the end of November. A friend of ours from the Canyon Lake Triathlon club, Steven Bustos, was kind enough to provide me with a training plan that would help me beat my previous marathon time from 2010. My goal for that marathon was to break 4 hours, and I missed it by 4 minutes. My goal for this marathon was pretty much the same... The training plan he provided was much more intense than my previous training and I was looking forward to the challenge.

By mid January I had run over 350 miles, and was stoked when I finished an 18 mile long run in under two hours and thirty minutes. I felt strong and confident that the training plan was working and that I would be able to make my goal time a reality. 

January 25th: my period was a few days late and I decided to take a pregnancy test. Colin and I decided to start trying for baby number 2 since we were within two months of being debt free, we figured it would take a little time since I was running so much. Well, it didn't. The pregnancy test was very positive. I had just made an annual check up with my doctor a few days prior, so the appointment was also to confirm my pregnancy. That was February 5th. By this time I was 6 weeks pregnant. I told my doctor about my training and she said it was safe to continue running since I had already been running pretty hard. I set up my next appointment, the 8 week check up and ultra sound to confirm the due date, which had been set for September 26th of this year. At this point, I had only told a handful of people, we decided to wait to announce the pregnancy until we had a photo to show off.

February 19th: my second check up turned out to be much more dramatic than planned. Colin took the day off to go with me to the ultra sound. I had been bleeding a little bit a few days prior, which apparently is normal, even though it never happened when I was pregnant with Kellen. I was very nervous, but continued to pray that God would give me peace. I had run 13 miles the previous weekend and when the bleeding started, I decided to wait until I could confirm everything was ok with the baby before I was planning on running again. We had two appointments that day, first, the ultrasound and second, the check up. When we went in for the Ultra sound, I knew something was wrong when the technician continued to search and search. I did see a very small little baby in my belly. She started with a tummy ultrasound and then did a vaginal ultrasound which seemed weird. When it was all done, the only information she was allowed to give me was that the baby was measuring at 6 weeks (not nine, like it was supposed to) and she could not find a heart beat. Emotion overwhelmed me and I began to cry. She apologized over and over and then left. I was thankful that Colin was with me to hold. I wasn't sure what to think at this point, I just cried a lot. This was all at 11:30am...

My next appointment wasn't until 1:30. We didn't have all the information until that next appointment. We decided to get some lunch and go sit at the park until we could get more answers. Of course while getting our food we saw a very pregnant woman and I began to cry in the restaurant...

After lunch we made our way to the doctors office where she confirmed that the baby did not have a heart beat and was already pulling away from the outer lining of the placenta. (At least I think that was what she said.) Since the baby had not grown for about two weeks, they were concerned of possible infection and suggested I schedule a D & C if I wanted to. We waited at the doctors office for a return phone call from the hospital, and it was taking a little while. As we sat there a brand new baby started to cry in another waiting room, so of course I began to cry. 

We finally left and the hospital was suppose to call us to schedule to procedure. We drove home and picked up Kellen for school, and then I dropped both of them off at lakeside to watch the girls CIF soccer game and I headed home. I had to use the restroom as soon as I got there... And at 3:30pm I miscarried. I was shaking, screaming, and crying. Home alone, with nothing but tears and prayers to Jesus for comfort. My stomach had been bothering me, but the painful cramping came after the miscarriage. I called Colin and picked up the boys and then called the doctors office. We no longer needed to schedule the D & C, just a check up at the doctors office. Once we got home, the bleeding and cramping continued. I called the on call doctor because all the bleeding made me nervous, she suggested going to the emergency room just to be safe. We headed out there around 6pm, and after sitting with all the colds, flus, and other minori injuries, finally made it through. After more blood work, ultrasounds, pelvic exams, and bleeding it was confirmed that my miscarriage was completed. The term used on my discharge papers was, "spontaneous abortion." That sounds so awful... When I think of the term abortion, I think of the word, unwanted. And this little one was very much wanted. 

February 20th: The hardest part, was telling everyone. Reliving the nightmare. I took the rest of the week off from work, (my coworkers are the bomb.) I pretty much just cried and slept for two days. Every time I thought I was ok, I'd hear a song or see something on tv that made me sad. The boys stayed home with me the first day, and I felt so much love from them. Kellen cuddled with me, Colin took care of me and they just let me cry and sleep. 

Our community group- our AMAZING friends from Sandals Church, brought us meals, prayed with me and for us, and I was looking forward to being with them that Sunday at church. Saturday night I started to get a sore throat, achy body and by Sunday morning I had the flu. (I'm sure I got it from someone in the emergency room). So, I stayed home and slept all day. By this time I was getting pretty good at that. Monday morning I wasn't quite ready to go back to work, so I stayed home one more day. By the end of the day Monday I was ready to be around people and distract myself from the events that had happened. I went back to work to my super supportive school family, and life moved on. I was required to take 2 weeks off of running to allow my body to heal... This wasn't helping me get back to normal, but I followed orders. 

March 4th: After two weeks off from running and missing it terribly, and missing at least 70+ miles of training, I ran this passed week, two days. It was hard and I was achy, and nervous about the marathon. Not only was this going to be emotionally hard, it was also a very busy week. Colin's soccer team was doing very well in the CIF playoffs. His missed most of the first round game to stay with me, and the kids rallied and won their first game 4-0. They eventually made it to the semi-finals which were this past Tuesday. He was pleased with the season and ready to rest. My brother and his fianc√© came into town from Reno, and we all went to Disneyland on Friday... Walking all day, two days before the race. We had a blast and I got 7 hours of sleep that night, not bad. 

Saturday: after dropping Kellen off with nana and papa, we headed to Los Angeles. Colin had SAT testing at 5 am. Even though he had a busy morning, he drove us to LA. Traffic was a nightmare, we headed straight for the expo to get my bib. Then, to Pasadena for the Team dinner, and then to our hotel. We set our clocks ahead an hour, set out my racing gear and then turned in for the night. 

Sunday, 4:15am: rise and shine, I got ready for the race, and we headed down to the shuttle around the corner from the hotel. Once I got on the shuttle, I was less nervous. I am always afraid I'm going to miss some sort of transportation and miss the race. Right after I sat down, a familiar face sat next to me! Michelle Henricks, a co-worker of Colin's, was also running, so we were able to chat on the way to the race. 

I had decided to take my phone- since I forgot my headphones- yikes, and it was a huge blessing. Another friend met up with me at the start area, Lily Christensen. After the team rally, about 8 pre-race random photos by "official" race photographers offering to take our picture, we headed to start line, sort of. There were over 25,000 people running, hand wheel chair racing and do regular racing. We lined up outside the start line corral area and waited. After the race officially started we sat there for a while and finally crossed the start line 13 minutes and 30 seconds after the official start of he the race. There was no way to get a good pace going. We ranged from 12 minute pace to 9 minute pace. Lily was running the 1/2 marathon relay, so I stayed with her the entire first half of the race. We crossed the half way point at just over two hours. 

I then picked up Kristen Wild and we ran together until about mile 19. I had a little bit of an energy surge- with sore quads, achy knees and hips. I actually took a small shot of beer at mile 20, and then proceeded to burp really loud. By mile 24 I was really hurting, I got water at every stop and walked though the water stops, and actually walked parts of the race. By this time I felt extremely overwhelmed with emotion. I kept thinking about my missed training, which made me think about the miscarriage and I cried several times during the end of the race. I pushed through the race, thankful for the spectators encouragement, and finished in four hours and twenty six minutes, unofficially. 


After more pictures, I met up with Colin and we headed to the car. I was ready to go home. Our belongings were still at the hotel, (and parking cost $30 every time you leave- nightmare!) so he ran up to our room while I stayed in the waiting area with the car to save some money, lol, and then we headed home. 
My only injury... A bloody toe:


Colin hadn't had anything to eat all day, and I figured since I'd burned over 2800 calories we should head to In N Out burger. We made our way out of LA (that place is not my favorite... Too expensive, busy and uninviting.) I fell asleep in the car and then enjoyed a double double with animall fries and a lemonade.... All of it. 

So, considering the miscarriage, missed training, Disneyland, and the time change, I guess I did ok. I feel like I'm closing a chapter on the beginning of my 2014. My head and heart have been through a lot. I was thankful to be running this race with a purpose. Team world vision raised $700,000 for clean water. 14,000 people will now have clean water for life because of the generosity of those that gave. Pretty amazing. They have decided to leave the donation pages open for another two weeks. If you'd like to donate, you can click here to give: 


Thank you everyone for your support, prayers and encouragement the last few months. They have been a huge blessing. Not sure what adventure I'll be signing up for next, but I'm looking forward to cheering  on my husband on March 29th. He will be racing in the Oceanside 1/2 Ironman. 

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