November, 2010 browsing by month


I Did It!!!!

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Never before has that phrase sounded so sweet.  I did it.  26.2 miles.  I. finished. a. marathon. (those periods are there so you read and pause long enough to contemplate the incredible feat I just accomplished! :) )   Also, you may want to cue this up in another window before you continue to read:  There, now you can get a real sense of my accomplishment. :)

I apologize for my extended blog absence, but as you can see from my photo essay below, I’ve been rather busy.  I also think I’m suffering from post-marathon depression.  It’s strange…when I finish a race, I feel incredibly proud.  Afterwards, when I’m in my room putting my stuff away, each time I’ve felt a wave of sadness.  I did a little research on this, and as it turns out, I am not alone.  As with any big life event where you plan many months for something that lasts only minutes or hours, you are disappointed when it ends.  For me, it’s almost a form of loneliness.

I know part of this sadness stems from the fact that TNT is such a social organization.  I will truly miss waking up early on Saturday mornings to meet the team at one of the many beautiful DC trails (except for the W&OD Trail…see the photos below for that story!).  I realize I need to look at the entire experience from a different perspective.  Instead of feeling down, I need to relish the race I just completed.  I must remind myself what it felt like to hear strangers cheering “Go Julie!”…how it felt to walk in the dark before San Francisco woke up…the jolt of energy I got when heading up the hill in the Presidio…the excitement and pride I felt when I saw Katie, my mom and my dad on the sidelines…the laughs Danielle and I had when we saw the girl whose shorts kept drooping to show off her plumber’s crack :)…the strength I felt in my hips and legs while passing mile marker after mile marker…the total body aching that stayed with me from mile twenty onward…yes, even that was a good feeling considering where I might be if it weren’t for Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (oh, and Laura too!).

I found this quote, and it is so appropriate.  I only wish I wrote it myself:  “Savor the pain, you deserve it. The couch potato lives in a body numb world not knowing the feeling of being totally awake, alive and aware. The non-athlete will never experience the true feelings of taking the body to the limit. As an athlete you will also experience true satisfaction when you are at rest or relaxing.” (from a piece in about post-marathon depression)  So from here on out, you must always refer to me as an athlete!  Hmmm…I wonder if other “athletes” eat mounds of Halloween candy and have chips and salsa for dinner sometimes. :)

My photo essay below is the main event for this blog post–hopefully you will feel as though you were right there with me.  I once again carried the names of all my donors in my hip pack, and of course you were all with me in my heart.  You will notice that pride seems to be the theme of this post.  I walked for you because I wanted to make you proud.  I walked for other patients because I want them to feel what it is like to regain strength.  Mostly though, and I’m not ashamed to say it, I walked for myself.  Yes, I needed to prove to myself that I could do it, but more than that, it satisfied an urge to challenge my new self, my JuLaura bone marrow that just recently celebrated its second birthday!

Think on this for a second, folks: “Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.” (Dr. Alexis Carrel)  I love it!  Life is what you make it (wow…my quote is not nearly as eloquent as his!), and I have a long list of goals.  I do not know how long I will be here (hey, no one does!), and this marathon was one way to remind myself of both the challenges and joys that await.  Just to throw in one more quote (because you know I love them, and I want to see if I can fit as many as I can into one post :)), “Sports is human life in microcosm.” (Howard Cosell)  So, with all that said, who wants to join me in doing the Marine Corps Marathon next year?  That’s right!  A hometown race!  I still plan on going out to San Francisco, but I will do the half marathon instead of the full.  I am hoping they have another “Race for an Entry” 10K in Quantico this spring, so I won’t have to worry about making it into the Marine Corps Marathon lottery.  I plan on fundraising for the Nike Women’s Marathon and doing the Marine Corps on my own. I’m already excited to start training in May!

Before I forget, I wanted to include Laura’s text to me after finishing.  I figured you’d all appreciate what the “gift of life” had to say:  “Congrats!!!  Very proud of you & knew you’d do well…you literally couldn’t have done it without me!” hahahahaha  She’s right though!  Thank you, Laura, for giving me the gift of new experiences!

Now, without further ado, I present the many photos from the past month and a half.  Skim if you must, but you might just be missing an important part of the story.  If “Chariots of Fire” is no longer playing, choose one of the songs below…each one played (no pun intended…hahahaha) a key role in keeping my hips swaying and my feet moving along the course.  I created a “San Francisco” playlist–too bad there’s no easy way to just share it with you because it’s darned good, if I do say so myself.

Lots of love and gratitude for your support.


Oh, one more thing!  If you want to see some professional photos, go here and enter bib number 21172…I love that you can hear Mom, Dad and Katie cheering for me throughout the video.

PS I can’t believe I almost forgot to include this!  Are you ready for the final fundraising numbers?  Thanks to all of you, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has $5,067 more to put toward patient services and research.  Also, we learned at the pasta party that 3,800 participants at the Nike Women’s Marathon raised $13 million, yes MILLION!!!!!!!!   Congratulations and THANK YOU!!!