Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Conquer! (updated)


I was going to wait until I had the official race stats before I posted about our run, but evidently, I would be waiting a LONG time! So, here's my run down of the event...

We arrived in beautiful Truckee, CA at about 10:15 p.m. on Thursday night. Our night was nearly sleepless with a 15 month old who doesn't like unfamiliar places. We were thankful the race was not on Friday.
It was perfect, 65 degree weather on Friday as Ryan and I drove the race coarse around the west side of Lake Tahoe. We were really getting nervous and excited now!! As we drove on, we came upon THE hill. We drove. It seemed ok. Kept driving. wow, big hill. CONTINUED driving UP! That is when my mouth was hanging wide open. This hill seemed like it was never going to end! Just when I thought it was over, it got STEEPER! Oh dear...how were we going to run this!? It was then that all of my racing expectations flew out the window (and into the lake below). The ONLY thing I wanted out of this race was to get up this hill without walking a single step. Even if I had to run backwards for a moment (which I did).
We took care of race business in South Lake Tahoe and mingled with fellow racers. We were so excited at this point that I felt like I could conquer just about anything!

RACE DAY: I slept blissfully, and felt great on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Ryan. Nerves got the best of his restful night. I walked out to the kitchen and was SHOCKED to look out the window and see 4 inches of snow, like a blanket, covering the outside world! SNOW!? We never heard anything about this! What a fun surprise...for the kids! Now our racing nerves were really fired up as we tried to figure out what snow attire we were going to need to race comfortably. Hats, gloves, leggings, double socks? Oh dear.

Dad drove Ryan and I to the starting line. We were over an hour early. You can never be too early, right? It was freezing. Literally, the first 100 yards of our race were icy. After trying to simmer down the pre-race jitters, we all gathered in a mob under the starting line banner. Freezing. I could not feel my toes. Really.The race started and we were off! The first two miles were all down hill! I felt great! Cold, but great. Everyone was just getting into their running groove and finding their niche.
Just as I'm feeling elated on the down hill (and finally feeling my toes), I see it. The sign: Welcome to the Hill from He__. Ok, here we go. I turn up the tunes on my ipod as to not get distracted by the hill. I press forward. Not so bad. I see a fellow runner ahead and think "just catch up to her". I did. Head down, ipod blaring, I am fully focussed on the hill I'm defeating. Another sign: Purgatory 100 feet I Ignore it. I recognize the stone wall that Ryan and I pinned as the half-way point of the hill. Yea! I'm Half way!

Then, I see it. Purgatory. It's steep and curvy. Oh no. " I will not walk, I will not walk...well, maybe just a step...that guy's walking, it would feel really nice." So, I turn around and run backwards, just a few steps, you know, to change it up a bit. Forward again, and now body parts are sore. Limbs are burning. Are your forearms supposed to feel like fire in your veins when you run? I've never run something like this before, so maybe they are. My whole body is burning and hurting trying to get to the top of this insane hill. I turn my ipod up a little more. JUST GET THROUGH IT! And finally, after 17 minutes of running UP-HILL I see it! Another sign: Heaven 100 feet. I can see the top, just ahead. I get a new motivation and try to pick up my pace just slightly. I have to do it. Just when I am on the verge of breaking down, I reach the top!!! One last sign: You made it! Fly with the angels! As hard as I try, I cannot keep the tears from falling. I have never felt such a sense of accomplishment in such a magnified way in my life. I threw my arms out and felt like I was flying down the other side!
The rest of the coarse was filled with ups and downs and it was difficult. It was hard to get through, but so glorious at the same time. The rewards of the amazing scenery and feelings of accomplishment far out-weighed the intimidating coarse. Crossing the finish line was the most wonderful, satisfying feeling! I would do it again. I found the results, finally, and a couple of things changed:

Kelly SOUTHWELL
Overall Place: 79 (of 899)
Gender Place: 24
Age: 29
Class Place: 3(of 61)
Net Time: 01:56:18
Pace: 00:08:53.20

Ryan SOUTHWELL
Overall Place: 54 (of 899)
Gender Place: 44
Age: 32
Class Place: 12 (of 59)
Net Time: 01:52:22
Pace: 08:35


I was surprised to see that I made the top 25 overall in womens and I got 3rd in my age division. Bonuses I wasn't expecting. My time was 1 hr. 56 min. I couldn't believe I ran it in under 2 hours. Ryan impressed me so much, especially for his first race longer than 100 meters! He's a trooper to make THIS coarse his first distance race!

We greeted some friends at the finish line. Darren and Hunter also ran the 1/2 and did awesome! Way to go guys! Kim and Kristen are truly my heroes and both ran the full marathon! You inspire me, Ladies! Way to go! It was great to see our friends!

Anything that someone works towards, trains for, or studies for takes so much effort! I know that what you put in, you get out. I think we should all find something to work hard for and accomplish. Whether it's a race, a class, a family goal...whatever it is; do it! The rewards are priceless!

15 comments:

rob*sheena*jonah*lucy said...

I feel like I was running it with you!! TEARS!! I know exactly how you felt. AWESOME results too!!! Next year I'm there!

Hull Family said...

Kelly, I was totally crying at the hill part of the story. What an amazing goal to set and achieve! Good for you!

merideth said...

i am right along there with sheena i felt like i was there with you...great story. it was so fun to get to the top of the hill. you look so great. you are so awesome!

jackman6 said...

so awesome kelly. I wish I was there to see my boys and you guys, I would have been crying like last time. Keep accomplishing those goals and you will keep flying with the angels!!

Anonymous said...

YEAH!!!! We are SO Proud of you and Ryan for setting your goal and GOING FOT IT. You ran a great race and we enjoyed reading your feelings about the entire experience. Love and Hugs, Mom and Dad

cara lou said...

I am so proud of you guys! I know how hard you worked for it -- and you made it! And wow, I'm totally impressed that you got 4th in your age group! That's awesome!

We miss you guys and your awesome-ness.

Anonymous said...

What a perfect feeling you get when you accomplish something you have worked so hard to achieve. We will never forget the feelings and emotions from that day.We love you guys!

Marie - Mother of The Bird Nest said...

Congratulations Kelly! You are awesome! I won't be there with you next year. I'll be carrying a nursing baby around in a sling thinking about getting back into running. Yeah for you!

ali degraff said...

I can't relate to people of your kind...you know...goal-setters and such! I am so proud of you! 4th in your division and placing in the top 25 women is nothing to bawk at! Oh and ryan...you too! Nice job guys.

DebLawson said...

Hi Kelly,
I'm going to come out from lurking and congratulate you on the race! I am so totally impressed with you and Ryan, you guys are AWESOME.
This is Debbie Lawson, from Loomis, by the way. Remember me?!
I was looking at Sheena's blog, after looking at Jeri Call's blog... It's been fun getting updated on your fun life and seeing pictures of your beautiful kids. It seems like yesterday when your mom brought pictures of the newborn twins to a RS activity. How fun. Come peek at my blog if you wanna:
wearethelawsons.blogspot.com
You haven't seen my girls in years! Life is fun with the 4 of them.
Congratulations again on running such a great race...

~Deb Lawson

Ben and Shara said...

Congratulations,
I wish we could have done the race with you. I think my brother might have done that race with you. Anyhow, you look great
Visit our blog
http://welchwhirlblog.blogspot.com/

sheena said...

where's the "official" pics?? any good ones??

Blackburns 18 said...

Wow Kelly! Congratulations that is a great accomplishment. So when is your next marathon?

Amy said...

I am really proud of you both! I wish I would have been there too! I'm going to need some pointers as I begin my training!!

Jadon said...

Hey Kelly, Congratulations. That is really neat to be able to accomplish a marathon. You are stronger than I. it is good to see that you are still in touch with your roots, unlike people like me.. Hope you are doing well.

Jadon