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2017 Marine Corps Marathon – Team Logan & The Swim Bike Mom Race Report

Well, we did it.

Team Logan crossed the finish line at “the People’s Marathon” — Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. — on Sunday, October 22, 2017 as a part of the Kyle Pease Foundation. We “beat the bridge” at Mile 20 by the cutoff, we crossed “the gauntlet” (Mile 22), and we made it up the last big hill lined with Marines.

As with all the big races I participate in, here’s the full-length recap.  I am sorry that most of this report appears to be about me peeing… but honestly, it was a big part of this adventure.

The Race: Patriotism and Gratitude

I am writing this as a standard Swim Bike Mom race report, which means there is certain level of irreverence, candor and humor per usual.

[I have already mentioned peeing, for the love.]

However, I want to give this race, our Nation’s Capital, and this experience the respect, reverence and honor that it deserves.

The best way to do that is in a separate paragraph, right here and right now.

The race was graced with amazing people, amazing stories and patriotism.

The course was lined with flags, with runners wearing their “I am running in memory/honor of…” shirts.  The Blue Mile—mile 11 (I think) of the race marked with countless photos of those who lost their lives during service. A silent tribute to heroes, the mile which ends with dozens of flags and cheering volunteers, cheering for the runners, celebrating our country.

Mile after mile, person after person—service-members, heroes, memories, family members all impacted by the journey of our country and military and service. Joy and tears. Runners breaking down from the pain of a hard and warm marathon run, but from also the memories of their loved ones who were lost.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be in this race. Without being a team with Logan, I don’t know that I would have been a part of this race.

For this reason (among so very many others), I am grateful to Logan for bringing me into his first marathon experience, and for taking me to the finish line of “my first marathon.”

Friday: Travel & Sights Day

The Swim Bike Family blew into Washington, D.C. around lunchtime on Friday.

We decided to go to the Lincoln Memorial. This was the first opportunity for my parents to visit DC, so I was excited for them to see all the things.

The Lincoln Memorial is my favorite landmark. I love the sheer size and magnificence of the monument. I love the Gettysburg Address carved into the walls. I love Abe and everything he stands for.

We had dinner at a waaaaay overpriced little café a few blocks from the Vietnam Memorial, and Ubered back to the hotel.

When we got back, we saw Dana (Logan’s mom), Logan, and his grandma before calling it a night.

I asked Logan, “We have a big task on Sunday, are you ready?”

Saturday: Day Before the Race

The Expert woke up to run 10 miles with the male half of our new bestie couple, Shawna and Bowie. I didn’t even hear him wake up. I slept like a rock.

I spent the morning in a Battle Royale with the kids.

We were simply trying to meet my parents for coffee. It wasn’t a big deal—you would have thought we were preparing to meet Taylor Swift in person for tea.

If you’re a parent, you know what these mornings are like. EVERYTHING was a big deal. “Stop looking at me” and a refusal to wear any clothes that were brought on the trip (or only agreeing to wear the dirty clothes—what is this phase?), coupled with some good old-fashioned sibling brawling.  It took me an hour to get dressed and made-up…something that takes me usually 7 minutes—because I was coming in and out of the bathroom every 15 seconds to scream, “You stop that” and “If you hit your sister again” and “you are both getting put on a midnight train to Georgia”…

Truly, the kids were being terrible. I lost my temper. As a result, the Expert received a proper slew of “YOUR children are ____” text messages while he was on his run.  [I hear men love that.]

By the time he met me in Starbucks, I was pooped, the kids had sprouted full-fledged demon horns, and I swear my fever was back (more on that later). I was wiped out.

Then as we sat at Starbucks in our lovely hotel in our country’s capital, athletes and pushers with the Kyle Pease Foundation rolled in (literally and figuratively).  Family and kids, individuals who had zillion-times more challenging morning than I did, just by sheer daily routine, came in… smiling, happy and laughing.

[Translation: I am a whiny entitled ass.]

Perspective and gratitude are everything. Man, I am the first to swallow, take a step back and say, I am an idiot. Being a part of the race weekend with these incredible families and friends, sitting in Starbucks with my two healthy and able-bodied kids, my wonderful parents and a husband who tolerates me?  And I am feeling mad at the kids because they were being siblings?

[Wake. Up. Call.]

The Expert and one of our favorite kiddos, Naomi… this girl can light up a room:

The truth of the matter is that I hadn’t felt well for the days leading up. I didn’t enjoy the Battle with the kids. But in the grand scheme of things? I was an idiot. I can admit that. I can admit that I am grateful when course-corrections happen to me and I am knocked back to the right place. That’s called growth—and while it’s hard to grow, I am usually okay to yield to it, see the lesson, and most importantly—never  forget it.

#MissionAccomplished

My Team SBM Tri athletes had a surprise planned for me.  Jan (my podcast producer’s mom and my athlete) had arranged to receive letters and gifts from our team athletes–and her husband delivered the amazing package to me at the hotel.  I sat in the Starbucks after everyone left and read through card and letter–one after another–so much gratitude.

I planned to do some writing and then lay down for a few hours before an afternoon obligation, but that didn’t happen. The parents went off on a tour of the city, the Expert took the kids to museums, and I tried to stay off my feet.

I was really starting to worry about how I felt.  [But I also knew that there was no time for that.]

Since Tuesday, I had been fighting off something—not a cold per se, but I hadn’t felt right. I had a slight fever on Thursday and ended up sleeping about 12 hours, but by evening I felt much, much better.  By Friday, I had no signs of sick, but was exhausted.

I slept amazing Friday night.  But I woke up and I felt like poo, and I looked like poo.  James said, “Mom. Your eyes. You have underneath black eyes.”  Ugh, thanks kiddo.  He was right, though.

Me and this Pease making this same face through the years. Same smiles, different hair.

By the time they all left, I had a massive headache. After the on-camera interview (ugh, my underneath black eyes) in the afternoon, I thought, this is NOT good.

But then, I was feeling okay again by the time the Expert and I attended the KFP and Ability Experience Team dinner in the evening.  

The room was full of people, friends, and amazing cake. So much good cake (did I mention the cake)?  I ordered a gluten-free plate of food, piled high the salad and veggies, avoid the pasta–and then sampled all three cakes.  To me, it’s about simple gluten and carb priorities.

We received our race bibs and bags, race-day tee, and maps for the spectators. The dinner was lovely. The company was wonderful. It was great to hear that the joint effort of everyone raised well over $100,000 for the organization. The Ability Experience also awarded KPF with a grant of $10,000.

I was yammering about something to the Expert and I heard my name called, and called again. I stood up, and Kyle and Brent called me up to the podium where they introduced me as “Google-able,” presented me with a Go Pro for being the top fundraiser for this event, and made me laugh from deep in my belly (as usual).

Team Logan SBM raised over $12,200—which we couldn’t have done without all of YOUR help—so thank you who donated.  A Go Pro is SO awesome in itself, sure, BUT I was so excited because I knew that I would be able to put that to great use on race day to record the experience for Logan to keep and for his mom to have… and I did! I had three batteries for my iPhone, but it’s clunky to use when on the move.  The Go Pro was amazing for this event.  The video I captured at the end with the Marine’s “medaling” Logan was so great—so thanks to KPF for that unexpected gift that will continue to be a part of all my social media meddling for years to come. (If you don’t watch anything else—watch that video at the end!)

We were all tucked in around 10:30, knowing we had a 4am wake-up call.

They See Me Rollin’

Here’s a little bit on pushing. It’s a challenge to push another human being on a course, sure.  But it’s an amazing (and important) experience like you wouldn’t believe.

I have seen a few people indirectly post or ask, “What’s the point of her pushing someone on a course?”

I have to stop for a minute and assume that’s a honest question and not snarky. After all, until I really started to get involved with KFP, I didn’t fully grasp the idea either.

So here’s my summary of why this is important:

  • Traditionally, individuals with disabilities are not included in popular, “standard” sporting events.
  • Sure, there are special organizations and events for disabled individuals (and these are important and amazing), but there are barriers to those with disabilities being able to experience the same event that an able-bodied athlete can—like Marine Corps Marathon, an IRONMAN, the Peachtree Road Race, or New York City Marathon.
  • The Kyle Pease Foundation was created to include individuals in these events (as well as smaller events), so the disabled individuals and their families have the experience of being an athlete in an epic event—just like others of us can.
  • Because the disabled individuals may not be capable of propelling themselves through an event, pushers (like myself) are enlisted to assist the athletes through the course.
  • We offer up our legs for the day and take the athlete through the course—but they are the athlete for the day—we are just a way to help get them there.
  • This is the heart and soul of inclusion. It says, truly #TogetherWEWheel—the KPF mantra.

The other Pease. I heart them both, but I really heart this one. 🙂

It’s often said in these circles that we (the pushers) borrow the  athlete’s spirit and determination, and they simply borrow our legs—but together WE wheel—all the way to the finish.

In other words, “my first marathon” was really and truly about Logan’s first marathon.  I was just the legs to get him from start to finish.

The stroller, many may not know, is not like a traditional jogger. The front wheel does not turn. To maneuver a race stroller, you have to actually pick up the front end and move it the direction you want to go. While it’s not hard, it is tiring on the back, triceps and shoulders. You have to be paying attention. You have to be awake and watching the heels and positions of the runners in front of you—hoping they don’t make a sudden stop or move, or you could be running up on them in no time.

People running with headphones are especially oblivious to a stroller coming from behind.

I had been warned to scream, “Wheels back!” or “Wheelchair back!” to get folks to move out of the way.  However, I didn’t want to waste the energy or scare runners. I also didn’t feel that this was the course to be impatient, to get snappy with runners who jumped in front of wheels, who missed the memo to run right, or who caused me to end up actually running a race of 27.6 miles instead of 26.2. That’s also because I don’t run fast enough to really be a danger to runners.

I tried to be careful and courteous. I took the respect of this course very seriously, only got snappy with one zig-zag, arguably drunk runner (who literally almost got his Achilles sliced off four times in the matter of 30 seconds (“Dude. PLEASE be careful. I’m back here!”).  I never once yelled because I was impatient—only when I thought a runner might get accidentally hit by me when I couldn’t get out of the way in time.

I nicked one lady who went from a run to a walk and said, “Wheels! I’m sorry!” and she said, “Which way do I go to get out of the way!?” We tangled a bit; I felt badly because I was texting Logan’s mom and strolling at the same time. I tried to wait to communicate with home base only when it was clear—mostly because it’s hard to stop 200 rolling pounds. [Honestly, I am proud that I only tangled with 2 or 3 people for that many miles.]  … but more on this later, I am getting ahead of myself.

Race Day

I hadn’t slept but a few hours.

From about 10:30-1:30am, I was so hot and my legs kept falling asleep when I lay on my sides. I usually don’t have a hard time sleeping before a race, but I did. I think I went to sleep around 2:30, but around 3:30, I pushed the covers back and I was drenched in sweat.  But I suddenly felt better. Whatever had been plaguing me appeared to be gone.

But I was also wide awake.

Best Tri Club Ever friend, Kim Handley… also a pusher for MCM!

I tip-toed around the hotel room at 3:50 trying to get ready without waking the kids and Expert, who I knew would be waking up not long after.

I took my Tailwind and Camelbak into the bathroom to mix.  I filled it up and shook it all, then I saw I had grabbed the wrong bladder for the Camelbak… it was completely green and mold-filled on the inside of the straw.  I couldn’t do it. I knew I wouldn’t drink it. I tried to transport the Tailwind from the wiggly-wobbly bag back into the flimsy empty water bottles… as I did it, I knew that wouldn’t go well—I just didn’t have enough hands. I was able to fill a bottle about halfway full, then I knocked it over into the sink.  The second bottle tipped over and I lost the more. I finally submerged the bottle in the bladder and scooped up as much as I could.  Needless to say, my 6 scoops of Tailwind in 72 ounces of water was probably about 1 scoop in 8 ounces.

Really stupid rookie mistake. I should have just woken the Expert to assist. He would have been cranky, but at least I would have had my planned race nutrition.

Bus and ride assignments were handed down at the dinner the night before, and we were all to meet in the lobby at 4:30 in the morning to be ready to leave by 4:45.  Once we got to the race site, we would have a tent in Charity Village with the Ability Experience to rest and get the athletes ready in their chairs.

The morning was chilly and I could not seem to get warm—I was seriously cold. I had not planned to eat much, since I had the Tailwind and hadn’t been eating a ton before long runs anyway—but now I didn’t have the Tailwind and I knew I needed something. I don’t usually eat until I am down the road in a run—I found it works for me. But I had a half of a muffin in the tent, called it good and hoped for the best.

I met up with Logan and Dana in the tent, and watched in awe as Dana put Logan in his race chair.  Logan is 140 pounds and she picked him up as if he was 15 pounds. Logan is 17 years-old and Dana told me that she has not spent more than an hour or so away from him—his entire life.

Race day would be the longest time she had been away from Logan—ever.

I wanted to make sure that I would make this a good time for Logan, and that Dana would be comfortable with me having him under my care for the long and slow 26.2 miles that I could promise.

Logan is non-verbal which makes something like this a little more challenging, since he cannot tell me what he needs or wants, that he needs a break, to stop talking, etc.  That made me and the mom in me worry—just to know that he was okay would require some intuition and skills. He also “stims”– repeated behaviors with holding a ball or a belt, where he taps it or stretches it, over and over again—it’s a self-regulation and calming mechanism which brings him comfort and a sense of control with his surroundings.  Another concern with having Logan for the 6+ hours was making sure that he had the necessities for stimming—so he would be comfortable and happy during the ride—especially since it was a long day under unusual conditions.

I had purchased a pack of 100 blue tourniquets—because after spending time with Logan, I knew he also liked to drop his stim toys when he wasn’t using them.  His mom said he was a fan of belts, and someone at Augusta suggested we try this. I didn’t particularly think that stopping every 100 yards to retrieve something was a good use of our time, so I was ready to give him the new toys as needed.

At the tent in the morning, Logan had his big leather belt.

I showed him the new, bright blue tourniquets that I had, and held one out for him.  He turned his head away like, You have to be kidding me, and he reached for his belt.

I thought, Oh no.

But then I remembered that this race truly was about what Logan experienced and what he needed—and if I was stopping to pick up a belt every 100 yards, so be it.  I was just glad it wasn’t a small bouncy ball. : )

Before we went down to the start, we all gathered together for a team picture.

As usual, I was in last place for the team picture, rolling up and navigating the new race stroller and learning how to go reverse very quickly, on the fly.  Shawna and I took turns holding each other’s strollers and made quick runs for the porta-potties, and then it was off to the race start.

My hands and feet were frozen. It was surprisingly cold.  I received a text from the Expert that he, the kids and my parents weren’t going to make it to the start line in time, so they would see us at Mile 5.  I told him that sounded like a smart plan, and I’d see him then.

After a little wheelchair Tetris, all the teams lined up and we waited for the start.

The National Anthem played, and I stood there Logan and Dana, and the waterworks started.  I looked at her and then she started crying.

This is standard pre-race MO for me (to lose it right before a big race start), but the two of us were a sight to see, I’m sure.

Dana said goodbye and kissed Logan.

[Sidebar:  I really don’t know of a mother’s love that extends deeper than Dana’s for Logan. She is an incredible mother who loves her sweet boy beyond words. I was honored to get to know her better over the weekend. As she said after it was over, “We are family now.”  I feel the same.]

And then… it was just me and Logan.

Despite having just gone 20 minutes prior, I nevertheless had to pee. My friend Fred (also a pusher) said the same thing out loud at the same time I thought it. That was not a good sign. I mean, it was good, because I was hydrated. It was not good, because: 1) I am not a man—I had serious envy as I watched dude after dude just wander into the bushes and turn their backs to the crowd on the course; 2) I couldn’t just dodge into a porta-potty and leave Logan; and 3) it was way too early in the race to commit to peeing in my pants and soaking my shoes.

Well, just wait and see what happens, I thought. I didn’t know what else to do or think, but just keep moving forward and don’t wet your pants—not yet, at least.

Logan had his thick brown belt to hold at the start. He also had on a helmet, which was required. He was very agitated by it, and I knew that was not going to last long with him.

And just like that, we were off!

I had my run-walk plan, and I stuck with that immediately for the first 1/4 mile. Then the hills started, and I knew that the plan was now run down—hold on to the stroller for dear life—then walk and push fast uphill.

I realized that the run/walk intervals set in stone wasn’t going to happen. Between Logan and the stroller, I had 200 pounds to push up—not counting my own 192 pounds to carry. Running wasn’t really an option up the hills with all the weight.

I ran into my friend and Women for Tri fellow board member, Cris, around Mile 4.5.  She took time to run with us for a little while, offering to hold Logan when I found a porta-potty. The bummer was that we didn’t come upon one, and I told her to go on—she wasn’t quite used to running at Meredith pace.

Despite the hills and the stroller, the first 13 miles, I had a moving pace of 12:15 which was exciting.

Every ¼-½ mile, I slowed and sidled up to the side of the stroller to check on Logan—see if he needed anything.  I’d wipe his face, talk to him a little, see if he needed to sit up a little more, etc. The main concern was checking his trach and making sure he was good, in general.  The morning was cold, so we started with a blanket.

I saw my family a bunch of times, which lifted my spirits. Each time, I saw Dad first. He is one focused Sherpa who stands and watches like a hawk. I always see him first. He basically says the “be strong” and “keep going” things.

I don’t have really any pictures of the Expert from this day. But he is always the steadfast glue that holds the large Sherpa missions together. He says the “you need X, Y and Z” and “you cannot ever quit” and “suck it up” things.

Of course, my mom and kids are the light-hearted smiles and joys on the course saying “yay, honey” (Mom) and “Mom, you are awesome!” (kids).

[I have the perfect Sherpa package, for sure.]

By the time we met Dana around Mile 10, the day had warmed up a lot.  There Dana unbuckled him, and picked him up, giving his back and bottom a chance to stretch and de-pressure… I scratched his back while she did that, thinking that’s what would have felt good to me about then.  I often feel at a loss for what to do, how to be helpful to Logan.  When I would have moments of cluelessness, I just do whatever I think would feel good to me at the time. I would have loved a back scratch, so he got a scratch.

We were back on the road quickly after 4-5 minutes. I chugged a full Gatorade at this stop, realizing that I hadn’t eaten or drank anything in over two hours (hello, wake up Meredith!).

And we were on our way. (I still had to pee, by the way).

I had my phone with me the whole time and was communicating with the Expert, Logan’s mom, a tv producer (another story another day), and with Brent with KPF.

(This race was a multi-tasking mission like never before!)

I texted Brent and send him my location on the iPhone:  Is anyone anywhere near me and also near a potty?

He wrote back: No, but I’m up ahead and there are bushes.

Good enough, I wrote.

Brent waited with Logan while I scouted out a place to potty. Turns out there was no “safe” place to drop trou that I wasn’t sure wouldn’t end up on Twitter, so I just sat down. It was good I chose tri shorts as my bottoms of the day. I almost went with running capris in the morning. So, as I have done a few times before, I just sat in the grass, took a minute, patted myself on the back for our wonderful Tri*Fe shorts and went on my way.

Off we went again. At this point, we had made two stops and they were about 6 minutes total.  I had stopped two more brief moments to hug my family, but we were still trucking along, and Logan seemed happy.

I loved seeing Logan hold his belt, because at any time, I could look down and see his hands and belt, and could sort of surmise if he was happy or nervous or aggravated by the way he was working the belt.

I also knew that he would likely start dropping the belt on the ground at some point, and I would need to give him something new to work.

I was ready with the trusty blue tourniquets, hoping that maybe he wouldn’t turn his nose at them in a crunch.

This was a mom moment where I lost it… Stella came up to Logan, and touched his head and said, “You are doing great, buddy!” #waterworks

Around Mile 16, I sort of fell apart.

Not in a bratty way, either.

My exhaustion from the week obviously was calling in its debt. My fueling had been horrific. My run/walk plan was nothing of the sort. I walked the hills, but I ran almost every other moment save the stops—which I think impacted my mental place. The back of my legs and glutes (from the hills, I surmised) were cramping, and I was just shaky. The Expert found me and walked along with me, feeding me salty veggie chips.

The next stop around 17 was with many of the KPF folks and Logan’s family.

This was a very long stop, as Logan needed some extra care.  Frankly, so did Meredith.  Mike let me lay down on the grass and he stretched my hamstrings.  Brent shoved granola bars and Gatorade in my face.  Kyle and Ian offered words of encouragement and telling me I had 1:20 to beat the bridge (interpretation: I had 1:20 to go 4 miles which seemed like plenty of time. BUT, if I didn’t make it, Logan wouldn’t have his finish.)

And all four guys stood over, staring at me, smiling.

I said, “I can’t pee with you all watching me.”

They all were like, “Uhhhh….oh” and they hustled away.

Turns out, I don’t pee well in public even with my pants on.  We had been stopped about 20-25 minutes when Logan all set to continue on…  I hadn’t been able to go, but I thought I’d be ok.

As we took off, I realized that I was wrong, I needed to go and bad.

Logan and I ran off down the road… the course was slowing down a little and less crowded. I found a place and we pulled over. I told Logan, “Hold on. I need just a minute,” and he smiled at me in his rare and precious way. I sat on the curb just behind the stroller for a minute, and was good.

I grabbed the handles of the stroller, and said, “Let’s go beat the bridge!’  He gave me two shakes of the belt, and we were off.

The Expert texted me: Please make sure you are going a 20-minute mile.

I voice-texted him back: My average overall pace on Garmin is showing 14:30, what’s the issue?

Then I realized that he saw my pace just stop since we didn’t go anywhere for 25 minutes, plus a pee stop.  Maybe I did need to hustle. Regardless, I knew that when we were moving, we were in the 12:30-13:30 range, so as long as we moved for the next four miles, we were okay.

As much as I appreciate the Expert always giving me cutoff times in races, I thought we were way more than okay on time, so this added a layer of anxiety to me that I hadn’t had.  Everyone said, “You have more than enough time!” I knew that I had to do about a 14-minute mile to make all the cutoffs, and we did have a little buffer starting first.

But there were firm cutoffs at Mile 17 (“the Gauntlet”), Mile 20 (the Bridge – “Beat the Bridge”) and Mile 22 (the “Crystal City Gauntlet”) and I wasn’t really in a frame of mind to know where was what and how long I had at each.

I trusted the Expert, so I didn’t stop. I thought they were heading to the hotel or the finish, so I didn’t think I would see him again.

He texted: We’re still here. I’ll see you at the bridge.

My family was once again around 19.5, before the bridge, and I knew we had made it. We had 50 minutes to go 2 miles to beat the Crystal City Gauntlet, and then we could take as much time as we needed to finish the rest (within reason, I guessed).

Took this one as we “beat the bridge”!

I was glad because once we hit the second Gauntlet and we were going to finish within 4.2 miles, I hit the wall.

The W-A-L-L.

The W-A-L-L.

The W-A-L-L.

The W-A-L-L.

The W-A-L-L.

The W-A-L-L.

Something about knowing we could let up a little, made me lose it.  My heinous nutrition caught up with me and running was making me have all sorts of rib stitches. But for some reason, I could walk, and faster than I was running, so we did that. Now every 10 minutes I would check on Logan. It was getting really hot in the sun, and everywhere there was ice, I would wrap it in a towel—then at the check, I would wipe his face and neck.  I would put ice in my hands, and then hold my hands against his face.

He liked that. I could see his face say, ahhhhhhhhh.

I gave Logan my visor to see if it would help with the sun. He wore it for a little while… then he threw it down and I ran over it with the stroller before I put it back on my head.

At Mile 23, he was still holding on to his belt – he had not dropped it, not even once.

I could see him start to shift, lean back and move around a lot around Mile 23.5, and it was getting hotter and hotter. I would push through shade and on sidewalks, even though it was out of the way so we could stay a little cooler. I stopped a little more often and wiped his face with the cold towel.

(Total race distance for us?  27.8 miles, says Garmin.  #allthedetours!)

At Mile 25, he dropped his belt.  Uh-oh.

I stopped, picked it up and looked at him.

He folded his arms across his chest, and put out a good, forceful huffing sound that I could read loud and clear.

I always wish I was a faster runner. But on this day, I have never wished it more. Tears filled my eyes, and I apologized to him for my slowness. His sound and the belt dropping said, I have had enough.

I nodded in solidarity and told him, “Me too, buddy. Me too. Let’s get home to momma.”

I just wanted to get Logan to the finish line as fast as I could. I ran more even though it hurt probably more than any run has ever hurt.

I cooled his face a little as we went.

I got really close and gave him a pep talk, and also unbuckled and lifted his legs and bottom a little like I had seen Dana do at Mile 10 to give him a brief relief from the pressure. I didn’t want to try and pick him up like Dana did… I didn’t want to do anything wrong.

But I did again what I thought might feel good, one leg at a time. I don’t know if he liked it, but when we started again, he took his belt and didn’t shift around as much.

I don’t remember much about the last 1.2, except the hordes of people that we walked by, and those many, many people who offered their support.  People during the run would repeatedly gesture towards Logan and ask, “What’s his name?” And I would tell them, and they would cheer, “Go Logan!” and “Nice work Logan!”

I loved that, and I think Logan did too.

At this part, most of the racers were walking at this juncture, and so were we—but I was pushing and walking as hard and fast as I could, wanting to just get him back.  The moving pace was still in the high 13:00s on my Garmin, and my legs were burning harder than almost any race.

With less than .2 of a mile to go, we could hear the finish line and the last uphill was definitely noticeable. I stretched and pushed, and cried, just for a minute. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the hills at the start of the race, but the timing of it was noted.

I was glad to know that I brought Logan safely to his marathon finish line.

Also, noted was the number of Marines cheering, volunteering and serving on the course. While the many handsome young male Marines on the course did not go unnoticed, I was empowered seeing the large number of female Marines as well.

The End

We finished!

As we pushed through the crowd, I didn’t see the medals. They ushered us to the left.

No one was to the left. We kept going, and then I could see.

There were two Marines standing holding medals.  Just me and Logan were rolling towards them.

I turned on the Go Pro.

[Get out your tissues, and press ‘play.’]

We finished, and that was what it was about. But not only that, we placed 2nd in the Duo Division for my age group.  2 out of 3, at that.  Our first marathon and a podium at that.  #HowBoutThat

We headed back to Charity Village, met by the Expert, Shawna and Bowie who wheeled Logan to the tent, and I found my kidlets and parents.

Shortly after, Dana made it and that was a moment I will never forget.

She pulled him out of his chair and into her lap.  He was so glad to see momma. And there was so much love right there.

I felt honored to be a part of the moment. And I felt sad that I had to say goodbye to Logan. It was inexplicable the feelings going through me—from exhaustion to sadness.

As we loaded onto the bus to leave the race site, I saw Logan holding the blue tourniquet that I had offered him in the morning.  I had to laugh at the timing.

But I thought of it as a peace offering—that he trusted me, implicitly now, after our big adventure together. A few shakes of the tourniquet, and I knew that we were forever bonded by this journey.

I saw Logan and Dana at the hotel for the casual group dinner after we all were cleaned up and rested. I walked up to Logan and said, “We did it!” and I put my face towards his.

He leaned right into me and pressed his head against my forehead.

If you know Logan, you know that’s a big ole sign of trust and friendship. I almost lost it. But I knew that I had probably cried enough for one day.

I will be forever grateful to Brent and Kyle Pease for bringing me into the wonderful family of the Kyle Pease Foundation, for introducing me to Logan and Dana, and for pushing me outside of myself, my running limitations and the arbitrary goals that I had started to put on myself. I am grateful to my family for coming along to DC for this event. And I am thankful to all of you who donated and encouraged us on this journey.

This experience is one of intense grounding, humility and incredible joy.

I am forever oohrah grateful.

#SemperFi #TogetherWEWheel


If you enjoyed this report, please consider a final donation of $26.20 in honor of Logan’s marathon finish.  The DC trip for these amazing athletes is a once in a lifetime experience—an experience that doesn’t cost the athletes anything because of people like you!  (You can donate here.)

Learn more about Team KPeasey at www.KylePeaseFoundation.org

The next KPeasey event is the Bowling Party in the ATL on Sunday, November 12th.  Go here to learn more and purchase tickets.

The Ability Experience: http://www.abilityexperience.org


Learn more about the Pease brothers on Episodes 4 and 26 of the Same 24 Hours Podcast!


Thanks to these amazing Sponsors for helping get Team Logan to the finish line!

6 Comments

  • Seth

    October 24, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Great recap! A whole of bunch of friends (and tri-club teammates) also participated in the PC division. They were pushing for Team Kevin Strive, a local charity that gets physically challenged individuals involved in races. They pushed in teams. Great Job!

    Reply
  • Angela

    October 24, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Congratulations Logan and Meredith! What an accomplishment! You both handled the challenges of the day with grace, and clearly received so many blessings in return. Thank you for sharing the experience with us. I loved the video of you receiving the medals!

    Reply
  • Mary Noonan

    October 24, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Many Congratulations to you both! Having run MCM and finding it incredibly emotional I cannot even imagine how you got through this amazing adventure without crying every step of the way. Thank you for doing this and sharing the day with us. This recap should be required reading for any whiners out there!

    Reply
  • EWalls

    October 24, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing your day with us. We were cheering on Team Logan and the KP team all weekend long. You had me laughing and crying while reading this. How amazing it is that your bond with Logan and Dana has created life long memories for you and your family. Congratulations to Logan and you!

    Reply

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