Monday, October 5, 2009

26.2

St. George Marathon 3 October 2009
It seems everyone has a story, something that drives them.
Something that would inspire them to want to put one foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles.
Some have it printed on a shirt for all to see.
Others carry it inside, although not completely hidden, as it shows in their faces.

My sister is no different.
This is Lisa about 18 months ago.
I stole the picture from her blog so I feel safe in posting it.

This is Lisa last Saturday

white shirt, black pants, hands up in celebration

Last summer Lisa decided it was time to loose weight. She began watching what she ate and working out. When she began to be bored with her workout, her friend Kristal suggested that Lisa should enter the St. George marathon with her and they could train together.
Lisa called me after they submitted their entry.
She was as worried about getting in as not getting in.

She trained during the hot Arizona summer which required her to get up in the wee hours of the morning to place water and food along the way in order to complete her longer runs before it got too excessively hot.

She put together an awesome T-shirt for her fans.
the early morning crowd in Veyo
Relatives other than her children got one and personalized it.
She was a little concerned about her youngest two wandering off during the race.

It says "Dad" and his phone number
Lisa did this the night before while the children slept.

Her fans prepared signs to cheer her along the way.

Then Lisa ran.

And we cheered!

It was quite emotional for me to watch runners going by.
You see pain in some faces and joy in others.
Great determination and many tears...
and I felt it with them.
They inspired me...
young and old, hot pink zebra prints to very plain shorts and T-shirts...
moving in front of me, always moving
some flew by while others walked or limped.
Often they would pick up their pace as we cheered them.
High fives, waves, a fist clenched above the head in determination...
some would look up and smile
and then put their head down and continue on.

At first I tried to think of different things to say as the runners passed by but I found the most powerful moments where when I would make eye contact with a runner and shout,
"You're amazing" because quite simply
THEY ARE

We waited at mile 21 for Lisa to come over the ridge.
We waited and waited cheering other runners but wondered where Lisa was and if everything was all right. I headed up the road to look for her and join her.

Lisa was fine, we actually at mile 23.

I ran the last 4 miles or so with Lisa and Meadow.
My dad jumped in too for a short segment.

Meadow is Lisa's internet buddy.
Edited for accuracy* Lisa and Meadow met briefly a few years ago.
For 26.2 miles they shared music, tears, inspiration, pain, stories,
and sports beans.
Near the end they were both exhausted but would tell each other,
"Five blocks, we can do five blocks, anyone can do five blocks."
"See walker guy, we can't let him beat us, let's chick him".
Six plus hours later they had a bond that not many do.

For some this is a once in a lifetime experience.
Lisa assures me it was for her.
She says she will stick to half marathons in the future.
(although I've heard that, like childbirth, one often forgets the pain of the moment
long enough to decide to do it again)


I feel blessed to be married to a wonderful athlete who trains hard
and puts himself to the test on a regular basis.
I have so much admiration for them.
To Lisa and Mark
and Meadow and all who work hard to reach a goal:

YOU ARE AMAZING!

thanks for inspiring me.

...and now I think a nap is in order.

7 comments:

Amy said...

Wow....what an incredible accomplishment.

celisamz said...

Great post! Your pictures and commentary made me feel like I was there. :) Good job Lisa!

QueenMeadow said...

Thank you for this, Karen. I know that both Lisa and I were pretty depleted by mile 25 and it was so hard to keep each other going, but with you there we were able to finish. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

LISA said...

Wow! I totally wish I could write like that because that is how I feel!

One small thing, I actually met Meadow a few years ago for maybe 45 min. But this was quite the "bonding" time!

Thanks for going the "extra" miles with us! And I totally want some of those pictures!

Flutterbug said...

That was beautiful!

Karen said...

Thanks Lisa - taken care of.

Kristal said...

I was so happy Lisa had so much family support there. She definately deserved it!

Actually, Meadow convinced her to register. Then Lisa dragged me back into the marathon scene (I thought I was out!) so she could have someone in AZ to train with. I'm so glad she did! I think...