Monday, July 19, 2010
So I finished the Napa to Sonoma half marathon on Sunday in 3 hrs & 22 minutes, just shy of my goal, but still happy as a clam. Our weekend started off on Friday and my husband and I headed up to Oakland to see an old friend from high school. Her & her husband were incredibly gracious, cooking us up a nice steak dinner and letting stay at their house. We had a nice breakfast in the morning and headed up to Santa Rosa to meet the Team. Saturday didn't feel like we got much accomplished, but we went to the expo and picked up my bib #2492. The anticipation of the race definitely kicked in at that moment. We walked around a bit and soaked in the art around us.
Later that afternoon we were off to the pasta party where all the Team Challenge chapters from across the US and some overseas, met up to cheer eachother on and really get pumped up for the big event.
4am alarm and I was up and raring to go. We all met up the lobby and the pictures started snapping and everyone was getting excited. Off on the bus at 5am and headed to Napa. The race started at the Cuvaison winery. What a beautiful piece of property! The "walkers" were able to leave a half hour before the "runners" so we could have some extra time to make it the 13.1 miles. My teammate Dayna and I were off and going. Her and I walk the same pace so it was perfect to have someone along the course with me. At every mile marker, started with 1, we would raise our hands above our heads and scream. We walked through the most beautiful areas...through vineyards, rolling meadows, tree covered streets..it could not have been a more incredible course.
Before we knew it we were half way through the course and still had plenty of energy. By mile 9 my legs started tightening up and I was definitely fighting through the pain. We had some great encouragement along the way which helped out tremedously.
As we rounded the corner just after mile 12 we could see the finish line. Done the long main highway to the town square. We were so happy and kept saying "we are going to do it" ...it was an amazing feeling. I started to get a little emotional and had to fight off the tears. Just before mile 13 we started to jog. Our plan was to jog as often as we could (and we did throughout the course), but to finish running past the finish line instead of walking it in and that's exactly what we did. We ran in, arms in the air screaming one last time. With a high five and a big hug, Dayna and I had completed the challenge we had set forth for months.
I ran for myself and my fellow koch pouchers. I had my jersey all decorated in their honor. Dayna ran for her her daughter who has UC and had recently had her j-pouch. Everyone on the course had their own story and their own personal accomplishments. For me just having raised over $3000 towards CCFA and having completed a half marathon just 7 months after my koch pouch surgery was an amazing accomplishment for me. This is a moment I will never forget and I am grateful to be healthy and to have such love and support around me.
Thank you to my family & friends...to Dayna for being my walking partner I would have not made it through all the pain without your support.