My heart is full and so happy that I can celebrate this moment with my twin sister. We knew what we were getting ourselves into… long miles, tiresome days, and glorious days. We ran our first marathon in 2016, at Phoenix Arizona. As many of you know, I prepared for that race 8 weeks prior with no practice executing our goal pace and drinking fluids. This time around for CIM, we knew what we had to do and endure anything that comes our way. The prep for the marathon and build up went perfectly. My coach/boyfriend stated a day before CIM, you 3 are ready to qualify for the OTQ standard, his athlete Lauren, twin sister Regina, and myself. Our plan was to race conservatively and maintain 6:10 pace. The goal was to hit the Olympic Trials B standard and later when we get more experienced, try to hit the A standard.
Before the race, I was prepared and ready for the mental battle. My coach/ boyfriend, friend Daman, sister’s boyfriend Mathew, and twin sister drove to CIM on Friday evening. We spent the whole day chattering while my boyfriend and twin sisters boyfriend tried to see who can make the best jokes. While they both tried, my boyfriend won with the most laughs this time around. Lol While it was all fun, the next day, I became focused and started day dreaming to how much I would need to fight in the end of the race. I prayed that night to give my friends and I strength and to race confidently. Lights were off at 9pm exactly!
The morning of the race
I knew the race would be painful when I got to 21 to 26.2 miles. I came in the race with a joyful outlook. My sisters boyfriend paced the elite women, so I knew if I wanted to hit my goal pace, 6:10, I had to run ahead. At the start line, I told my twin sister, no matter what happens, stick with me like glue, do not GIVE UP! She agreed and then the race pressed. We took our bottles and gels throughout the race. I noticed some competitors missed their bottle so I shared my drink with them. At Mile 1 to mile 23 felt amazing, I felt unstoppable until after 23. It was a mental battle to get to the end, legs cramped up and throbbing. Looking down at my watch, I knew a PR would be there and it did. I PR’D, 2:41:16 and exactly 6:10 pace. The pace that I have been training at! The last miles in the race were painful, I prayed and I said my mantra. “I can do all things, through Christ who Strengthens Me.” I also told myself I can do it. I have the Lords strength. When I finished the race, I sat down on a chair, moving back and forth on a chair. Pressing my hands on my legs, hoping that it’ll relieve the pain. The whole time, I kept asking for my twin sister and boyfriend. I then found my sister cross the line at 2:42:06, an OTQ. I then told her, WE did it! I then told her to sit next to me. A few seconds later, my sister wasn’t near me, I greeted my friends, saw close friends crying for their greatest accomplishment, and I was filled with peace and joy. THANK GOODNESS THAT IS DONE AND OVER!” I honestly felt everything was slow motion as I was moving my eyes everywhere hoping the pain will go away. I was then lead by a man, my sisters boyfriend, and my coach’s athlete and friend Grace, to the Stutter Center where I got a massage and was in deep agony/pain during the massage. I told GRACE, please find my sister and my boyfriend Andres. I wanted to cry because all I wanted was to see them BOTH! After the massage and a cup of orange juice, I was back to reality. My sister, Mathew, and Andres then walked to the Stutter Center, I was in complete joy to see them. I told my sister, never to leave my site after the race again. I was worried about her. She started to laugh and responded she was at the medical station getting fed. Seriously, fed! They were spoon feeding her chicken broth soup and pretzels. lol
Many of my competitors qualified today and I am so excited for us all. The marathon humbles you so much. Another PR will come, but I know it will take baby steps to get there. Savoring every moment and finally 2 weeks off, no running. Sleeping in and spending my mornings drinking coffee and eating. The marathon was special and will be planning to race another a year or two.