We are still alive

We did it. We survived. I don't know if I would've said we'd survive the marathon the night before (we got to DC around 10:30pm), but we did. I absolutely loved it and want to run more. Ryan said "it was a good experience" and checked it off his to-do list. Here's a quick break down of events.
Like I said, we got a late start on Friday. Ryan didn't get back to Staten Island until 3pm, so I went with the boys to pick up Hasini (our wonderful babysitter) and then went to get Ryan. Due to traffic, we didn't leave the city until 4 something. It was not fun. We were traveling with our friends the Rasmussens, and after many many pit stops (mainly due to us) a late night dinner at Subway (we spent 40min trying to find an Olive Garden) and a venture through city roads (hoping it would be faster than the highway....it wasn't), we pulled into the hotel, more nervous than when we had started.I slept pretty well, all things considered, but Ryan was tossing and turning. We got up early, headed down to the lobby to meet up with our two friends (Ian and Conrad) a bit late....and headed out on the subway. By the time we got to the start line, Ryan, Ian, and I wanted to use the facilities. Conrad went ahead and we waited in line. By the time we were finished, the race had already been going for about 8 minutes. Then Ryan wanted to put his Nike chip in his shoe....I was going crazy. We were at the very very end of the race. In fact, all the marathoners were gone and we were with the half marathoners. I was already nervous about being slow and even finishing due to my sore hip and knee, so being at the back wasn't sitting well with me. It turned out to be great, though, because there were people slower than me, imagine that! We passed people most of the race, which felt really good. :)Ryan had talked me into running with him for at least until the half-way point (he wanted to go at a slower pace so he could finish...since he had only run up to 15 miles in training...should I be offended?), but we ended up running 21 miles together. The whole time we were talking, well mainly me to him, and I couldn't get over how great I felt. He kept me from going too quickly (he kept saying "calm down, calm down"), and my knee and hip weren't bothering me at all really. I was so surprised that I was feeling great and enjoying myself, that it made it all the more enjoyable. I guess if you go in with low expectations, anything better seems great! There were a lot of spectators cheering us on, times when loud music kept us going, and nice runners there to talk and laugh with. The weather was perfect. It started out in the high 40s and there was a slight breeze the whole time. It only started to get warm during the last 5 miles or so. Anyway, at mile 17, we were able to see our friends and babies. I tell you what, nothing is better than seeing your kids watching for you. We had to wait a minute or two because Josh was at the bathroom, but it was worth it to me.
Waiting for Josh. Look at that excitement!
We're so fast you could only get our back sides...:)

Around mile 20, Ryan started slowing a bit (remember he had only trained up to 15 miles), but I was still feeling good. I kept trying to urge him on, but I couldn't tell if he was annoyed (yes), if he'd rather me stay or go or what....so eventually I decided to keep up my pace and leave him at mile 21. Afterward he told me he was fine with it, so that's a relief! Once I left him, it got a bit harder. I no longer had anyone talk to, so I tried to force myself not to think. I felt great until about mile 24. There were some cruel race planners who placed hills at the end of the race. I was fine on the hills, but they looked intimidating. By mile 25 I was stuffed full of gel packs and powerade, but I still had a drink because of the advice to drink at every aide station....they probably didn't mean to do it if you were still full from the last station, but oh well. So the last mile, I trudged on, full of fluids, to my destination. Everyone always says the last mile is the hardest, and I've always felt that way too, so I kept telling myself that the finish line was really far away and to not think about it....should've rethought that strategy. It's really dumb to try and make yourself think you're really far away if you're actually pretty close...I came to mile 26 and thought, "Oh man, this next .2 miles is going to be so far". I thought I had to run into the stadium (why, I don't know), but around the curve was the finish line, so I was able to pick up some gusto for the end. It wasn't quite the Rudy experience I was expecting, but it felt great to finish.
I finished at 4:43 and Ryan came in at 4:52. We went back with our friends (Conrad was 3:48 and Ian 3:56 I believe) to the hotel, ate, and drove home that day. We were a bit sore that day and the next (and my knee was feeling it), but it wasn't anything like I thought it would be.
A big thanks goes to Hasini for watching our boys (she was awesome), and to the Packs and Rasmussens for helping out with the boys and praying for and supporting all of us.
I loved the experience. I never thought I would run a marathon, and I never thought I'd enjoy a marathon. I'm sure this all wouldn't have been so monumental for me if I had always been a runner, but I just feel good to have accomplished this goal at this point in my life. I never would have done this in high school (wouldn't have wanted to), but I've changed enough to become a person who would do such a thing now. It's kind of refreshing.

Help the poor girl!

The marathon is a few days away and I'm starting to get a bit nervous. Nervous about the fact that I'm actually running a marathon, nervous that we're having a a young woman from church watch the boys for us at the hotel until she meets up with our runner-friends' wives (she'll be fine, I know), nervous that Ryan wants us to drive back that same day, nervous because my knee started hurting a couple weeks ago and it still hurts when I jog, nervous because Carter just came down with a gunky cold and isn't sleeping at night, and nervous because I have a sore throat that's lasted since last night....I'm beginning to wonder how many chips can be stacked against a normal non-marathon runner person before they back out....I'm sure true blue marathoners would not see these things as much of an obstacle, but to be honest, I'm not even a marathon runner yet!

Now I'm not backing out yet (I might just save that for tomorrow), but I need help if anyone has advice. I'm going to get a knee brace and take ibuprofen...anything else I can do for the knee? Any other last minute advice?

We'll get back to you to let you know if we survived the weekend. I'm betting 50/50 that we make it....

A few random smatterings....

Ryan always laughs at my word choice, because a lot of the time I use big words in the wrong context. Smatterings is one of those words I'm not sure about, so just let it work, even if it doesn't.
In two short weeks Ryan and I will be running in a marathon.....that's a scary thought, believe me! I'm pretty sure I'll finish, but I don't know about my other goals: finish in 5 hrs; finish in 4.5 hrs (the 4.5 hr time is my ultimate goal). Sounds slow, yes, but I have short legs. It'll be great running in DC, though. We get to run past the Washington Monument and through the center of town. We're going down with our friends the Rasmussens and the Packs. They're all planning on going back home the same day, so Ryan wants to drive back to Staten Island the same day too (it's 3.5 hours away), and I'm thinking he's probably crazy. The others all have non-running drivers....actually, he probably will try and make me drive, but either way I think we're in trouble!
Life is good right now. It's pretty busy with church callings and school, but like my grandma always said, it's better to have too much to do than not enough.
I'm really grateful for my life. I'm not perfect (neither is my life) but I am so blessed. I've got an amazing husband who is fun and funny, I've got two sweet boys who make me smile and laugh each day, I've got wonderful parents [friends] who give great advice and support, I've got siblings who [hopefully] have forgiven me for my past sins :) and help me learn from their lives now, I've got an awesome family on Ryan's side who are giving and accepting, and I've got great friends, past and present. I'm also so grateful for the gospel. It gives my life purpose and understanding, and I am able to learn and grow in ways I couldn't on my own. We have a picture/quote thing :) that says: The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time. It reminds me to be grateful for what I have today and to not worry about being perfect just yet. That's a good feeling to have.
And now for some things that make me very happy:

Carter sporting some 3D shades that Ryan and I got from "Alice in Wonderland". I liked the movie. I was expecting it to be really weird, so when it was simply weird I wasn't weirded out. Ha.

Josh's smile just makes me laugh. He's so good at smiling for the camera, and this was I think the third or fourth take for this pose. He's really trying to hang on to it. On a different note, we had spring break (end of February is a bit crazy) but didn't go anywhere. We broke out our tent and ate camping food. It was a lot of fun.

Carter's smile lights up his whole face.

Josh made this lion for our "craft day". He didn't like it at first until I showed him how to shake his mane.

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