Wednesday, June 06, 2007

san diego marathon: saturday, part 2

after the rest of the speakers, the rest of the team headed back to the hotel to decorate singlets and i hung around to get interviewed for a new TNT recruitment video.

i was super antsy to get back because i knew that after the decorating, we'd be having essentially a big mission moment - one of the most inspiring times of the weekend. i was waiting for a guy to finish getting interviewed, and then i was supposed to be next...but it was not to be. a cute little old lady was waiting with her son to be interviewed, and the producer asked me if i could let her go first. as much as i really didn't want to, of course i said yes.

this would change the course of my weekend.

so it turns out that this woman was the oldest tnt participant. she was here in san diego for her 9th marathon. HER NINTH. she was going to run the first 8 miles and walk the rest. i stood eavesdropping, in awe of her. 83. 9 marathons. and my mind started spinning again.

finally it was my turn. i got interviewed and talked about why i was running. i talked about bouv and my first season. how that marathon was and why i was back. i told them i had auctioned off my butt on ebay and got a good laugh. they asked me what event i was running, and i found the answer coming out of my mouth was "i don't know."

by the time we wrapped, it was late. they arranged a private bus ride back for me, and for those 15 minutes my head was spinning. that little old gal put me to shame. 83. EIGHTY-THREE. jill. coming back from stage 3 lymphoma to run her first marathon. all the other survivors on our team and all the people that were there running to make sure that we could someday find a cure.

i flew off the bus and downstairs in time to hear more of our teammates stories. one gal from brooklyn who has had way too many people in her life be affected by cancer. her dad was in the hospital with pneumonia, run down by chemo. she talked about how she had only run 14 miles, and everyone was telling her she should only do the half. her retort: screw the 1/2, i'm running the full.

there was a pause between speakers, and i stood and took a deep breath.

"hi, i'm roxie, your fundraising captain. in case you were wondering who was was sending you all those annoying emails every week, well, that would be me.

so, i know you guys think all us mentors have it all figured out, but the truth of the matter is that i'm scared as shit about tomorrow. see, i've had really bad shin splints this season, and haven't run much in the last 5 or so weeks, and so i decided to run the 1/2. i figured, you know what? i just ran a marathon in january, i'll just go and run the 1/2 and cheer everyone on.

but then, see, the reason i was late was being interviewed for this recruitment video and the person before me, well, the thing is, she was 83, and this is her ninth marathon. and between her, and you all, especially you first timers. you're such an inspiration to all of us and you know, i started all of this because i lost a dear friend to hodgkins, and in everything i've been doing, there's a piece that's just for bouv...and so, so...i just simply can't *not try* to run the full. so, whatever happens out there, thank you...really. and i'll see you tomorrow."

the rest of the night was now a scramble of making sure i had everything i need and guzzling water. since i missed singlet decoration, i had to go and find markers and white out. i went to the grocery store with the boys and got a roll with peanut butter and a banana on the side for breakfast. we were going to get pasta ordered in, but san diego is no new york, and instead we headed out to forage for take out. on the walk, i called my parents. i didn't want them to worry, so i didn't tell them about my new plan. instead when i got my sister on the phone, i swore her to secrecy.

"do not make any faces, and don't say a word, but i'm going to try to run the full tomorrow."
there was an extended pause, and a high-pitched "why?"
"because i got inspired and i can't not try, but i don't want mom and dad to worry so don't say anything."
she grudginly agreed, and i told her i'd call after the race.

we ended up with thai. i got the most mild and safe thing on the menu: fried rice. the boys ate downstairs and i headed up to multitask. i was so nervous at that point that i wasn't really hungry. it was already 8:45 and we had to be downstairs at i was trying to get to bed by 10, but i knew it probably wasn't going to happen. the rookie came up to use the computer and i ate and decorated. i might have been more nervous than he he finished up and i wished him good luck, and continued decorating. i pinned my number to my shirt, attached my chip to my shoe and put out all my clothing for the race and afterwards.

as i put the finishing touches on my singlet, my roommate finally came up with her stuff. she was about to write out about 20 good luck postcards for her mentees and another mentor who was staying in another hotel. i insisted she give me a stack, and we tore through them. the poor thing had to go downstairs and get the room numbers from the front desk and deliver them, and it was time for me to go to bed. i looked at the clock and felt a moment of panic as i set a wake-up call for 3:30am, and as a back up, the alarm at 3:45am.

it was 11:20pm, and despite all the freaking out, promptly passed out.

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