You remember that scene in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles where Steve Martin just starts firing the F-word like he is speaking in tongues? Enjoy.
I didn't get to run my marathon. But of course, on Thursday night before the race I made our Christmas cards on Shutterfly. I picked a tri-fold card and listed the top 10 moments of 2013. I added "Holly completed the St. Jude Memphis Marathon." Of course. Because it would have been completed before the cards even arrived at my house. Now I get to strike out that line or what a big 'ol NOT next to it on 65 cards.
Now remember while you are reading this, the kind of person I am... under-medicated and over-anxious. It's always a fine line between wanting to cry and yelling the F-word at everyone I see.
What went wrong...
Woke up Friday morning to news that Chris's grandpa passed. Immense guilt set in that my kids were at my in-laws for the weekend while I went to Memphis. Not only are they juggling Haven and Olive, but they are also grieving and making funeral arrangements. It was a toss if I should even go to Memphis or drive to IL to be with our family. People had donated almost $3,000 to my campaign and I am such a whore of a people-pleaser. I thought not going would be taking the easy way out.
On top of not being with Olive on her birthday and leaving my family during a difficult death, the weather was horrendous. There was snow and ice storms on the entire path of our route from St. Louis to Memphis. What ended up happening is that Melanie, Laura, and I trotted to Memphis anyway. In what normally is a 3 1/2 hour trip turned into 8 hours. Driving 35 mph through snow, ice, and sleet. Seeing dozens and dozens of cars in ditches, tipped over, and even on fire.
At one point about 5 hours in, we talked about how much further we were going to drive before we decided to try and find a hotel and turn around. But we didn't want to quit. As we got closer to Memphis, the roads were so much better. The snow and ice stopped. And as we pulled into Memphis, we didn't think the race would be cancelled. However, during the voyage to Memphis, I did suffer a puncture to my tire from the ice. But we had finally made it, and were mentally prepared to run in temperatures 30 degrees below what we had been training in.
While we were picking up our race packets, everything started setting in. Seeing the kids and hearing their stories made my problems getting there so petty. But as soon as we left the pasta dinner around 7pm, we were notified that the race had been canceled. We were all very upset for different reasons. Melanie and Laura have trained and prepared more than anyone I know. And I was upset that I didn't listen to my gut and stay with my family.
In the end, we know that St. Jude made the right call. On top of running in wind-chill in the single digits, many people in the Memphis area were without power. The city didn't want to take away emergency services from them to support runners in the race. Also, most of the volunteers said that they would not be attending and I don't think the organization could support 20k runners in the circumstances.
I wish we could say that we went out and lived it up. But really, we had two beers, room service cheese cake, and then went to bed. On Saturday, we met LB for brunch before making the 6 1/2 drive home, on a tire we had to fill up five times along the way. Poor Vivian did a marathon.
Before the race, I was adamant that this would be my retirement run. I don't love it. I want my weekends back. I want to fall in love with the elliptical again. My knees ache from my expensive running shoes and my toenails look like Lord of the Rings. I joked that instead of retiring, I really just got my layoff papers.
Thanks to everyone for the support and "good luck's." You made me feel like this was no thang, even when I was cussing myself out for ever signing up. In the end, it's been real. It's been fun. But it hasn't real fun. I don't even get to keep it on my damn Christmas card. I don't know when I will do a marathon, if I do one. In my head, I am done. In my heart, I think I will try again for St. Jude next year. Either way, the rodeo is over for awhile.