Monday, March 16, 2015

26.2... That'll do!

Chris Runs The Woodlands Marathon
Saturday, February 28, 2015

After weeks, months, years or rather a lifetime of training for this moment, the time had finally come. It was "Race Weekend" and Chris was ready. He took Friday off from teaching as a personal day so he could go to the Health and Fitness Expo that went alongside The Woodlands Marathon as well as mentally and physically prepare for his big day. While at the Expo he was able to get several questions answered and even talk with many of the race coordinators. On Friday evening I prepared his favorite meal of spaghetti alongside green-bean casserole to help the "Carbing Up" process. We took the kids over to his parents house to spend the night since we would be getting up very early to get to the race site. Chris's sister, D'Ann, was in town to help motivate and cheer Chris along so it was an even more special event for the kids as "Aunt D" was there to play with them. We left my in-laws house around 8pm and got home to go right to bed.

RING.... RING... (I guess it would be BEEP BEEP with the iPhones) it was 4:15AM and our alarm was ringing to get up for the day. Unfortunately, Chris did not have as good as a night's sleep as he had hoped for but he was still ready to face the day and the race. We each got ready and Chris got all of his gear into place and we were out the door by 5:20AM. The race site was only a few miles/ exits from our house and at this hour there was not any traffic but Chris wanted to get there in plenty of time to not only stretch but also go to the restroom. At this point the temperature outside was 37* but it felt MUCH COLDER.

I HAD to drink my Plexus slim or I would have NEVER made it!

It was COLD!

After about 20 minutes of pep-talking in the car we got out to put Chris's "BIB" on him for the race. We got so cold from this 5 minute ordeal that we decided to get back in the car and turn the heat up to warm up a bit. Around 6:00AM we meandered our way over to the massive line of "porta-potty"s for Chris to use the restroom; with nearly 10,000 racers in 3 different events this was a good idea because just moments later it was completely chaos. Chris was still really cold and wanted to go back to the car to warm-up some more. It was here that he discovered he had lost his ear-buds for his iPhone. These were really expensive athletic headphones that stayed in place during long races. I told him I would re-trace his steps to try to find them but after nearly 20 minutes of looking I still didn't have any luck finding them. He went back to the car and by the grace of God he found some old ones in my glove compartment. He was able to use those and they worked out just fine but I could tell he was bothered and upset about this whole ordeal.

At 6:30AM he went to get in line at his corral, Corral B. He began his stretching and I gave him one last kiss for good luck as only racers were allowed in the corral. I watched him stretch and prayed for him before I ventured down closer to the starting line to see him start this life changing race. It was still about 10 minutes before the shot-gun start but during that time a pastor came and said a prayer as well as the singing of the National Anthem. At 7:00AM on the dot the shot-gun blew and they were off with a bunch of Kenyans in the front of the pack (No surprise there... these guys are SERIOUS about their races). I saw Chris and waved as he passed and said another prayer. Then I immediately took off to get to my 1st pit-stop location which was Mile Marker 6.

Stretching before the Corral closed... 6:40AM!

Stretching and praying!

At Corral B right before it closed...
even though MANY people came into the corral after it closed. 

My view location for the start line!

The Woodlands Marathon start line gangway!

Just seconds before the shot gun start...
The Kenyans were ready to go!

Chris passing me as he began his crazy long and COLD journey to the other line...
The finish line!

While I was driving to my 1st stop I noticed that there were people parked on the side of an overpass cheering people on around Mile Marker 2... I will remember this for next year! I got to my stop and decided that I would get some coffee and some breakfast of a convenience store fruit and muffin (Not the best breakfast but I needed some energy at this point). I saw the very 1st runner come by (A white guy at that) at 7:28AM and the 1st female runner around 7:34AM. It was freezing cold and I just kept bouncing around trying to keep warm. Chris came by and wanted some "GU" of which I had to reach into the bag for... he was a little upset as that process "slowed him down". I learned my lesson and had not only "GU" but water ready at my next stop at Mile Marker 9.

The Convenience store I stopped at for Mile Marker 6. 

Chris passing Mile Marker 6...
He was looking and seemed to be feeling GREAT!

I was able to get to Mile Marker 9 without any trouble and before the rain started to come down. Again, I saw Chris and told him I loved him as he passed by. I then tried to meet up with my In-laws and the kids at Mile Marker 14 but by this time traffic was becoming an issue.
Coming up the hill on Mile Marker 9. He was in desperate need of water. 

Approaching me at Mile Marker 9!

My pit-stop location at Mile Marker 12.5

Mile Marker 12.5!

Looking good Chris!

Most of the roads were open in the direction I would have been traveling but I did come across a stand still and decided I would take my SUV on the shoulder and even the grass to get to my location. It was not my proudest moment to say the least but I got there. (It makes me think about Rachel from "Brenden and Rachel" off of Big Brother... "No one gets between me and my man"! I certainly had that mind frame at this time). It was at Mile Marker 14 that I got to stand by a police officer who was directing traffic and get him some water and thank him for helping with this event. It was also at this point that a guy who was running with Chris told me "You better get him some water... he is looking bad". He looked the same to me as he had at Miles 6 & 9 but I took the guys word and got him a large bottle of water. Then I left to go to Mile Marker 17 and see the kids.

Terramont and Woodlands Parkway... Mile Marker 14 pit-stop location!

It had started to rain at this point and you could tell Chris was uncomfortable!

The nice policeman that gave up his Saturday to keep my hubby and the other racers safe! 

I was able to maneuver the back roads to get to this location and with time to use the restroom myself. The kids, D'Ann and my in-laws were there with signs and everything. Natalie was such a GREAT cheerleader and I could tell by the look on Chris's face as he passed that them being there really lifted his spirits. We all then got back in the car to get to our next and FINAL stop before the finish line... Mile Marker 21.

Terramont Park and Mile Marker 17 pit-stop location.

Daddy's cheering section arrived and they were ready to go!

The LARGE cheering section!
Thank you Dan and Jackie for not only helping out with the kids but for
 being there to support Chris too! 

Me and my little cheerleader!

This time we put the kids in the wagon and loaded them up with snacks so they could try to forget how cold it was. At this stop Chris now looked tired and needed to stop and stretch out a cramp in his hamstring. It was also at this stop that he decided to take his "Fuel Belt" full of water. I had not planned on stopping anymore before the finish line in worries of not making it to the finish line due to traffic and the other 10,000 family members who were observing as spectators. Because of this we ventured over to the finish line which was near Market Street in The Woodlands.

Our pit-stop location for Mile Marker 21!

We came prepared this time with a wagon full of signs and SNACKS!

D'Ann jogging alongside Chris to help push and motivate him at Mile Marker 21!

Stretching out his hamstring at Mile Marker 21. 

He still took a second to be a GREAT Daddy and wave at Luke!

We were at the finish line about 45 minutes before Chris came in which gave us plenty of time to use the bathroom, get some Starbucks, thank you Marriot, and grab some seats to watch Chris cross over the finish line. Natalie, Jackie and I got right along the fence line about 10 feet prior official timer. We saw Chris come around the corner and we were ecstatic. I think it was the loudest and most excited screaming Natalie, I and even Jackie had done. The look on Chris's face was PRICELESS and I will never forget it. Chris crossed the line at 5:00:21 but after looking at his official chip time it was 4:59:05. He wanted to finish UNDER 5 hours and thanks to his chip time he did! I was SO VERY PROUD of him!

At the exit of the Marriot and the beginning of the end!

Jackie and Natalie (A proud mom and daughter) cheering for Chris at the Finish Line!

He did it... He made it 26.2 miles! I am so impressed and inspired!

Just steps to go...

Officially a marathon FINISHER!

 With his finisher's medal in tow!
A proud moment for us all!

He went with his sister to the food area to get some nourishment but unfortunately he was so dehydrated that he was nauseous and didn't want to eat. He felt like that the remainder of the day and barely ate anything, which seemed unusual since he ran 26.2 miles and burned on average 3,700 calories. We went to a birthday lunch for his mom later that day at Olive Garden and he still was not feeling 100% and didn't eat much at all. By Sunday afternoon he was eating normal and then some and was feeling much better BUT his legs were SO STIFF!

I could not be any more proud of my hubby! He has wanted to run a marathon since before we got married and I am so glad he FINALLY got to do it! With 1 week before we board the beautiful Serenade of the Seas for our 9th anniversary cruise, he will make up those 3,700 calories... TRUST ME! 

I love you Chris Davis and I am SO PROUD of you! Way to go Chris! 

God is good... ALL THE TIME!

No comments:

Post a Comment