Saturday, February 14, 2015

2015 Myrtle Beach Marathon

February 14, 2015 6:30 AM
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Time Pace Division Division
Bib #
Malissa 5:49:33 13:20 F30-34 83/90 537/604 1334/1450 1589
Owen 5:49:33 13:20 M40-44 154/157 798/846 1335/1450 1590

Written by Malissa:

First off I would like to thank Zach and Lu for bringing our kids to the finish line to cheer Owen and me on but most importantly thank you for bringing them to the finish line so they could see me complete the hardest thing both physically and mentally I have ever COMPLETED.
I know a lot of people don’t understand why it was so important for me to run this marathon especially because I’m no speedy Gonzales, but I will do my best to explain why.

I’m a dreamer, the girl that loves to start projects but as soon as they get hard, I stop and move on to something else.

When I first started training for this race I was in really great running shape and my race times were getting faster and faster. It was starting to look like I might be able to shave an hour off my Big Sur Marathon time of 5:44. I was looking forward to having my marathon time start with 4 and being considered a “normal” runner.

That’s when “life” happened, I broke my toe and had to sit the first few weeks of my training out. I suffered a few more setbacks during my training and was beginning to give up. It was about this time that Owen surprised me with an early Valentines present and offered to run the whole 26.2 miles with me. I will forever be grateful for this selfless gift Owen gave to me.

The rest of my training was a little rough but I was happy to get a really strong 20 mile run in a few weeks before race day that helped calm my nerves a little.

When I woke up on race morning my right IT band was hurting so I stretched it out a bunch and then headed to the start line with Owen.

The first 9 miles were awesome; I felt great, I had my own personal water boy, and awesome company. Around mile 10 I noticed my left hamstring was tight and hurting a little. By mile 11 I was in a lot of pain; my hamstring, foot, and IT band were killing me. It was also about this time that those running the half marathon split off from the rest of us running the full marathon. I desperately wanted to go with the half marathon runners and if it wasn't for Owen running with me, I totally would have.  

Early on in the race
I tried my hardest to not focus on the pain instead I prayed. I prayed a lot for healing for sweet baby Tori. I also prayed for friends and family struggling with illness and hard times right now. Praying helped for a while but there came a point, around mile 18 or 19, where the pain was so bad that I couldn't think anymore. This was also about the time that the wind picked up. 

Mile 17, my "what was I thinking?" face
The pain reminded me of early labor and all I wanted was to have someone give me an epidural and let me lay down.  The closest thing to an epidural that we had was ibuprofen, so I took that around mile 19. It helped with my lower back pain but not much with my foot, IT band, and hamstring.
There were several times that I wanted to walk throughout the second half of the marathon but I knew that if we walked, we wouldn't make it in time to check out of our hotel so I had to keep jogging. I remember thinking around the 20 mile mark, “why did I tell everyone that I was running this marathon? If I would have kept it to myself then I could just bow out right now”. But that is exactly why I told everyone; I knew that if others knew, then I would be more likely to finish the marathon.

Finishing this race was extremely important to me because I wanted to prove to myself that no matter the difficulty and pain, I can finish something that I start. I also wanted to show my kids that even when things don’t go like we had hoped and planned for, it’s ok to ask for help but we should never give up! I’m so thankful that Owen was there to help me achieve my goal of completing another marathon. He was amazing throughout the whole race; always encouraging me, especially the last 6 miles. Those last 6 miles were my slowest and I could tell that it was uncomfortable for Owen to run that slow but every time that I apologized, he was so quick to say, “You don’t need to apologize, I’m having fun. You are doing a great job.”

I am extremely thankful that Owen was there to help me push through the pain so that I was able to cross the finish line. One of my favorite moments of the race was when Owen grabbed my hand and we ran (really he dragged me) the last .2 miles, crossing the finish line together! 

At the finish