Sunday, April 27, 2008


Well it's over.

All the training, all the thinking, all the planning culminated in one of the most challenging mornings of my life on Saturday.

There is so much to say so I'll probably be posting about this for days. First, I'll give you a step-by-step (literally) but still reader's digest recap of the weekend.

Eighteen of my friends and I met up for dinner at Carrabba's on Friday. Long story short, it took forEVER to get seated, we got free appetizers and I was so glad to see all my friends. It was really hard not to be able to drink a glass of wine with them or order my favorite dish, but nothing new on race day so I ordered plain jane spaghetti and controlled myself.

Afterward, I hopped in my mom's car and showed her how to get where she needed to be during the race. With dinner taking forever and then an hour to show her how to get to where she needed to be, I didn't get back to my house until almost 11:45. After some last minute words of encouragement, I got in bed.

Saturday morning came pretty quickly, especially after waking up at 4 to use the restroom and then not being able to sleep afterward. When my alarm went off at 5:15, the first thing I did was look out the window. Drizzle. I got dressed, ate some cornflakes and left my house at 5:45. I drove as close as I could to Centennial Park and parked my car. I debated about taking my ibuprofen then or later, but realizing I didn't have anything to carry it in, I bit the bullet and took it, even though it was too early.

I walked straight to gear check and gave them my bag, then I got in line to use the portapotties. While I was waiting, the rain really started to come down, so I put on my garbage bag/rainjacket while I waited. Then I met my team at the TNT tent. It was 6:45 by then so after listening to the bagpiper, we headed to the corrals. My TNT mentor (Jarrod), another TNTer and I decided to start together. But first we all needed to pee again. Trying to avoid the rain/drizzle, we walked to Panera and stood in their line for a while. After at least 15 minutes in Panera, we looked out the window to see people walking very briskly. The gun had fired and the race was starting. Panicked, we ditched Panera because the people outside didn't look to be stopping or slowing down. But of course once we found our corral and jumped in, everyone stopped. We hopped back out of our corral to find some more portapotties to use and finally got settled to start the race. At some point during all of that, the drizzle and rain went away.

We inched toward the start. It was getting to be 7:45 or so by the time our corral was finally next. A man on the PA system told us it was almost time, then we joined him in counting down from five until we all took off.

I had been told to start slower than felt normal because I didn't want to lose my adrenaline and exhaust myself. What I didn't realize was I'd be exhausted either way. So we took off up West End. My family was waiting near mile 1.5, and I was so excited to see them that I started jumping up and down while running, if you can picture that. We headed up Demonbreun and got to our first water stop. Then we just kept running. To the roundabout, down Music Row, up to Portland and onto Belmont. That was a neat part of the race because you are running on the same street as people that are on the return path, so I saw a few familiar faces. Near mile 4, I saw a jumping bean named Evan in his front yard with a giant sign that said GO LJ! We shouted at each other across the sea of runners and I told him I'd be right back! Ha.

We turned off Belmont into a neighborhood and rounded the block, where I knew a group of coworkers would be waiting. Sure enough, when I came up the street and saw a dozen or so of them with a giant GO LINDSAY! banner (courtesy of Sarah), I started to cry. It was so encouraging and humbling that they'd be out there to cheer for me. I pulled it together, gave some high fives, and managed to escape without being handed any live animals or hot beverages (as previously threatened). They were so loud and proud that when we took off again, a girl behind me (whom I'd never met) said "Hey, Lindsay - that was awesome. Quite a support group you had there." I was so proud.

We were coming up on mile 6 so I took my Accel Gel at the water stop. I started to feel like I need to use a portapotty again, so once we got back on Belmont, I waited in line to do just that. We got moving again and I was happy to see Evan again, who may or may not have given me an inspirational smack on the butt.

We were passing a lot of walkers as we were running back down Belmont, and once we turned onto Portland, we passed sweeper cars slowly inching forward, signaling the end of the race. We were offered a PBR around mile 7.5. Up to 16th Avenue, where I saw my family again. After a quick picture, my mom took off with us, and even ran a block or two with me! We came to the Roundabout again and headed off for the last 4 miles. We stopped at a water stop near mile 9.5 and as I was walking, sipping my water, I realized that my legs were in some bad, bad pain. And not just my legs. My back and neck were hurting too. In fact, it hurt more to walk than it did to run. That was when it got really really hard for me. Later, I realized that is because my ibuprofen had long worn off.

But we picked it back up again and made it to the split. THAT is the best feeling in the world: some man dressed as Elvis, holding a bullhorn, reminding participants that marathoners go to the left, halfers to the right. As if I needed reminding. I was so far to the right that I almost jumped the sidewalk. We headed up a small incline into Bicentennial Park, which was nice and flat, then got to make a Uturn. After a water stop, I saw the 12 mile sign. I walked a little bit longer, then gave it my best through downtown and to the finish (listening to "You Can't Stop The Beat" the whole way). As the crowd thickened, and people were cheering, I started to get misty-eyed. I was one mile away from accomplishing my goal. I actually looked at Jarrod and said "Can you believe this is almost over?"

We saw my coach on the Woodland Street bridge, so she ran with us for a few minutes until we were on the homestretch and about one minute away from the finish. There were people everywhere. I turned off my iPod and tucked it in my shorts so that I could hear the cheers and be able to throw my arms up when I finished.

The thirty seconds before, during, and after the finish are a blur. I was crying hard because I was just so overwhelmed with pride and exhaustion and glee and all at the same time. I was handed a medal, which I placed on Jarrod, and he medaled me in return. I took the water bottle that was handed to me and slowly gulped it all as we headed into the finisher village. I got my chip clipped then posed for a commemorative photo (which I am sure will be red-carpet quality), then pretty much raped the Publix free food tents. That was my other problem: I was starving. My stomach started grumbling near mile 2 or 3. It's hard to run when you have no nourishment. So I had two mini bagels, a bag of pretzels and a cookie. I went to gear check, where I saw my roommate, and we took some great pictures. I found my family, took more pictures and then we left downtown.

So all in all, a wonderful experience, from beginning to end. Did I have my best run on Saturday? Unfortunately, not even close. Would I do it again? Probably, but we'll see. Am I glad it's over with? In soooo many ways.

So there are the nitty gritty details. Tomorrow I will give you the more exciting, color commentary version of the race, such as getting passed by an amputee, all the funny signs and many more interesting sights and memories. That is, as long as I'm not too relaxed to blog tomorrow. After all, I will be spending four hours at the spa...


  1. you rock. hope you are enjoying your spa day! you deserve it!

  2. Lindsay-you've got the most determination of anyone I know! Super proud of you, Poo.

    Love you!

  3. You made me cry with your story. I am so proud of you. You better be enjoying the spa; I bet it's wonderful.

  4. Congrats again Miss Lindsay, I ran across this piece on You Tube,, thought you might enjoy it if you haven't seen it. I could relate to the last guy until I discovered these miracle devices called Nip Guards.
    Don't slip up now, keep that training up. Sign up for one of those wimpy 10ks. It'll be a snap now.
    War Eagle, Larry Anderson

  5. WOW! What an incredible weekend! I have never seen such a huge production and I want to do it again next year--as a volunteer!
    I saw and heard so many inspirational stories! I want to write a book on each participant! My best moment was around mile 8 when we were waiting with our AU shakers and posters for Lindsay to come by. I began chatting with another mom who held poster photos of her 3 adult children who had come from NY, Chicago, and Minnesota for the race. As we watched for them to run by, I told her my daughter would be wearing purple for the lymphoma/leukemia foundation. She began to cry and told me that her middle son on the poster had been diagnosed 2 years ago, and due to treatment, was now well enough to run this race!! "Thank your daughter for running for the cure" she told me as we hugged and shared a "Mommy" moment together! It doesn't get any better than this! (Except maybe Karoake with Lindsay later that night!)
    Thanks for allowing me to be a part of all this! I love you,my Cabbage!
    Yo' Mama


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