The Kiawah Island Marathon and Half Marathon weekend has been on my schedule since July before my diagnosis. A flat course to attempt to PR at sounded like a great idea! Plus a getaway for Conrad and I in the midst of the Holiday season sounded amazing as well. Last year people were running in 70 degree temps even- that sounded amazing.
Although the temperatures weren’t that nice and warm, and I was 9 days out from my 3rd chemo treatment, it was a great weekend!
Arriving Friday afternoon, I signed up to work at the expo with our Asheville marathon booth.
Conrad and I arrived to the Expo around 4pm which was held at the Kiawah Island East Beach Conference Center. You walked in the back door to be welcomed by information for the Race including a map. Taking a left led you down a hallway filled with booths and areas to purchase items. After bib pick-up we went to find our booth to work from 4-8pm. There were a few other booths in the same room we were set up, including the pacers and Fleet feet.
We rented a house on the island with friends that was within walking distance of the start/finish line. This was a great idea!
The following morning was a 6am wake time. My morning start included half a bagel with cream cheese, Imodium, and ibuprofen. Yes, magic pills for me now, especially as I’m trying to stay hydrated while on my poisons.
Temperatures were 37 degrees and sunny. Out the door to walk to the start line by 7:05am. Its approximately a .7m walk from our door to the start line.
And we got to see Santa!
We lined up in corrals where we thought we might finish. Conrad was up in the front. his goal was to PR and run under 2 hours. I lined up between 2:15 and 2:30. I was just being hopeful. My goal was just to finish. I really couldn’t tell you if I’d walk more or run more as I started. I knew I felt good enough to run at the start, but how I’d feel after a mile or 2… my training run Thursday was only 2 miles and my legs were heavy and fatigued the entire time.
Getting started I felt good. The vibe of the crowd was positive. I stayed with Steele for a little bit , knowing we had run a training run together 2 weeks ago, I knew our pace might be similar. But I didn’t want to hold anyone back if I felt bad. After 2 miles I let him get ahead. The views were beautiful. The race runs by and through neighborhoods so people were coming out to the streets to cheer you on. Some of the neatest signs as well. I loved how the spectators would call you by the name on your bib to cheer you on.
At mile 4 I decided to start working on a plan. 45 second walk at the beginning of each mile marker. I grabbed water at each water station (my doctor strictly told me to stay hydrated on the course). The views, the bridges, the trees were gorgeous. At mile 8 I decided that walking 45 second intervals was needed at the half mile marks as well. So that began.
We did get to run over a view of the beach at the end of mile 9, which was nice! There were at least 2 small hills in this run. I somehow reached mile 12… but it motivated me. I picked up a little more energy at the start as we were now running down small greenway like trails. I did more walk/run alternating in this mile. Around 12.5 I saw Daphne walking back from the finish line and she jumped in and motivated me to push the last little bit. I knew I was close. It was so hard. My legs were like lead bricks. But finally I see the 13m marker and turn the corner for the finish line!
The after race included a mylar blanket, medal, an amazing meal, entertainment, hot chocolate, free Natalie’s Lemonade, and of course the new normal post race beer. We hung around for a few hours enjoying the festivities.
And Conrad even got his PR well under 2 hours!!
After going back home, and an amazing bath, we went back down to walk on the beach. It was chilly and sunny. Beautiful.
Thank you to my best friend Shannon who reminded me of this verse today… again why I have learned to love 1 Peter
1 Peter 5:10
10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.