2.01.2009

WE DID IT!

And I do mean we. Second only to natural childbirth, running the marathon was the most difficult thing-- both mentally and physically-- that I've ever done in my life. However, much like childbirth, I didn't do it alone. I couldn't have done it alone. I am overwhelmed with gratitude towards my family for the amazing support system that they were on Saturday.

Little Miss C, for example: best. cheerleader. ever. No surprise, I'm sure. The family met me every few miles to wave and pass me water. Little Miss C would often run a few meters with me. 

E waved from the car. All the children were surprisingly cheerful considering we dragged them out of bed at 4 a.m. in order to get to the race on time.

For the first 6-8 miles, I was full of adrenaline.  I could tell that the uphill climb was taxing my legs, but I was excited and had to keep admonishing myself to pace myself and conserve energy. Between mile 8 and 16, I was in a zone. It was work, but I could comfortably concentrate. I was optamistic, listening to music and popping Swedish Fish and sport jelly beans to refuel. 

Between miles 16 and 20, I hit the wall. I was in major pain, and while I'd been telling myself that the way home would be downhill, it didn't feel that way at all. I used some GU, but was worried that the caffeine it contained was the reason I couldn't feel my hands any longer. J and the family continued to meet me every couple of miles to give me water and urge me on. It was a long, difficult, and lonely run. I don't think I would've been able to bear it if they hadn't been there.

When I had 2.5 miles to go, one of the marathon vans stopped and a volunteer offered to keep me company for the last leg of the race. Although it doesn't show on the map, there is an absolutely evil hill right before the finish line. It prevents you from even seeing the finish line until you're almost on top of it, and when I saw it looming in front of me, I about cried. There was no way I could imagine myself running one more hill. She coached me every step of the way, telling me that "The finish line is there, even if you can't see it! Trust me, just a few more minutes and you will never have to do this again!" I can't even describe how wonderful it was to crest that hill and see J and the kids waiting for me. 

Yeah, I totally started to cry.

I was surprised to receive a finishers medal. To be honest, I was surprised that there was even a finishing line still set up! Back when I thought I would be running the PF Chang's race, I had hoped to have a finish time of about 4:30. But once I decided to run the {uphill both ways} Desert Classic course, all bets were off. By mile 13, I knew I'd be lucky to finish at all. In the end, my official time was 6:14:59. Not last, but pretty close. And you know what? I'm more than fine with that. 

We celebrated with a meal at IHOP, an ice water bath for me, and a day spent alternating between sleep and slow walking to loosen my stiff muscles. I'm not even going to think about whether I'll ever run another marathon for at least a month. I need time to forget how hard it was. Just like childbirth. :)

{Oh, and those cameras behind me? Those are for Dane Patterson, a contestant on The Biggest Loser. He was there with his wife, running the marathon, though J started calling him The Biggest Liar. He and his wife were several miles behind me throughout the entire race, but around mile 17 they got picked up by a van and driven to the end of the course, where they filmed the grand 'crossing the finish line' finale with all the family cheering. I'm hoping that they televise it as a half marathon, since I know he ran at least that far, which is truly a great accomplishment. It'd be a shame if he got coerced into being less than honest, poor guy, especially since he's LDS like us. We googled him and found his before photo, and he looks great right now. I hope he wins. :) }

56 comments:

Janae said...

I've been thinking about you ALL WEEKEND! Congratulations!!! You finished! Seriously, to intentionally put yourself through something as hard as childbirth is incredible. And you look like you didn't even break a sweat. :)

P.S. I'm jealous of AZ weather. I'm living in a world of ice right now, and the sun shining and greenery in the background of your pics looks soooo lovely.

Becky said...

Great job! I hope you recover quickly.

Kristina said...

Congratulations and good job! And I have to say, I really hope I look as great as you after 3 kids.

Amie said...

congratulations!! i'm aiming to run a half marathon in june and this post is so inspirational to me that i'm book marking it!! did you have a specific training program that you followed? any hints and tips would be appreciated! again, congratulations, what an amazing accomplishment!

MegRuth said...

You are amazing. Congratulations!

I'm not sure I could ever do that.

Shawn said...

Great job! No wonder you look so amazing! All that running has paid off---you go, girl!!

Now, rest, rest, rest and recoup...

Colt Hansen said...

Nice work Tosh! "Mother of three children!" Have you seen Spanglish? The only marathon I've ever completed that lasted over six hours was watching the Star Wars trilogy...and I didn't get a medal. :(

Alamodey said...

Amazing! You rock, and have really inspired me!

The Queen said...

You marathon runners are something else!! Congrats on finishing!

Leigh said...

Wow! I'm SO impressed and inspired. You're amazing! Congratulations, and enjoy basking in the knowledge that you did something so incredible! Next stop: NY Marathon?!?!?

liz stanley said...

yeah for you!!! congrats!

kelli(q) said...

WOW you are amazing. Congratulations!

Zach & Hannah Parris said...

Congratulations! Finishing a marathon is a huge deal! I really need to start running again...

Dargan Twins said...

Congrats!! Im so impressed by the marathon first, but also that you ran the entire thing without a ponytail or headband or something - I can't carry laundry up the stairs without a ponytail! Your hair looks fab, by the way :)

Em said...

You did it!!!!

I thought about you, hoping for the best for you. Don't know you, but I'm proud all the same. Way to go!

Lindsay said...

Oh, wowie, you make me sore just reading this! I *accidentally* ran a half marathon in November (whoops, it was cold and dark and I thought I was in the 8K que) and now I'm running a half in May. This post is very inspiring! Thank you!

Stephanie said...

Congrats again! What an accomplishment. And neat how the family could drive right beside you! Way to go!

Spymommy said...

Super big congratulations to you for accomplishing something I will NEVER be able to do (bad knee)! I'm living the marathon experience vicariously through you!

Funny, my YW Board and I just met today to plan our New Beginnings night and decided upon a "Marathon" theme . . . I may draw on your experience for some much needed inspiration.

Congrats again. You did it!

Cam and Bri said...

I am so so proud of you. Reading your post almost makes me emotional. It reminds me of the first race I ran. Not nearly as long as yours or as hard but, hard for me. It left me so proud and somewhat emotional. Reading your experiences reminds me of that. You are so awesome. Someday I want to accomplish a marathon. Good job!

Tek said...

Tosh, You are such a woman!!! You truly inspire me. Any woman who can do natural childbirth and run that far is a hero in my book. I will look to you for inspiration next year when I go to do the 3K run walk here in Boise. This year I am hoping to alot of it since I am in much better physical shape than I was a year ago! Love Ya' Love Tek

miggy said...

HIP HIP HOORAY! Great Job, great great job....I'm so impressed. 6 hours of ANYTHING seems impossible...here's to you for doing the impossible.

LisAway said...

This is just wonderful. I got all tense and almost felt like crying when you described hitting the wall and not being able to believe that the finish line was there, or if it was that you'd be able to cross it.

I ran cross country in high school, and I know there is NO comparison, but on some of those courses I just wanted to die. And I experienced the numb hands pretty often, too.

Your family is great and I'm sure you have set a fantastic example to your kids of working toward a goal and achieving it, even if it's harder than anything you could imagine.

Great job, lady!

3 for girls said...

wow--I am completely impressed!! You must be very proud of yourself..no doubt that your family is proud of you, too! Congratulations!!

Patterson's said...

Hi! I'm Carli Patterson wife to the biggest loser contestant Dane Patterson. I had herd about your post and wanted to give you an explanation of what happened. I am so proud of my husband and his accomplishments. This has been an amazing experience for our family and unfortunatly this marathon has been a little exaggerated. In this industry you are always on a time frame and sometimes it is out of your control. We had stopped along the way to film at a water station and to make up for lost time our producers drove us ONLY 3 miles up the road. I am sorry if this has offended you in any way, but we are still incredibly happy about the 23 miles we ran. We were not listed as completing the marathon. Dane is an honest LDS Dad and I hope that they do say he completed this marathon because had time allowed he would have!

MelancholySmile said...

Thanks for clearing things up, Carli! In this case, I am quite relieved to find that I was misinformed. :) Since the marathon, I've watched a few episodes of The Biggest Loser. We're rooting for Dane and the Black Team!

MelancholySmile said...
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mum2girls said...

Mel - Congratulations on your marathon finish! Especially on what sounds like a grueling course. I'm sure you have that sub-4:30 finish in you.

I just completed my 6th and was finally able to "beat Oprah," which is an unofficial goal of my 10:00 min/pace training group.

So I couldn't believe it when Dane from Biggest Loser (who has worked hard and lost an incredible amount of weight) was promoted as completing a 3:53 marathon (equal to a sub-9:00 pace). I understand that Dane isn't claiming to have run that marathon time, but it's a shame that he and his wife perpetuated the myth by doing the whole finish-line photo thing.

Oh, and that blurb at the end which said he ran a "26-mile marathon." Boo.

lexy said...

I just came across your blog because I was shocked to see that Dane had completed 26.2 miles in less than 4 hours. I'm glad your blog cleared up those questions!

I'm still super proud of Dane for all of his accomplishments on the BL! He did a great job and it's been so fun to see his journey! He represented the church well!

Great Job on your marathon! Sounded like a killer! I've run 2 marathons myself.... fun, fun! ;)

Pat said...

Congrats on finishing all 26.2 miles. I don't care of you crawled the last 3 miles.

I'm really dissappointed in the producer of 'The Biggest Loser'. What can we believe now?

I did the PF Changs a year ago and I'm still recovering. LOL. You should be very proud.

ps - I think this is going to be a well read blog post. You should check google analytics in another week.

marathonmark said...

Congratulations to you Tosh! It looks like you have a supportive family and felt the wonderful emotions that flood over you at the finish line. Cheers to you.

I also came across this site after just having watched the Biggest Loser and was stunned to see the graphic of a 3:53 marathon time by Dane. I commend all his hard work, but this fabrication of his time is a disservice to all those who have trained hard for a marathon and have reached that elusive 4 hour barrier. It also is a disservice to Dane and all the other finishers. 17 or 23 miles run is not a marathon, no matter how you slice it. And for the show to claim he ran it under 4 hours shows no respect for the audience. The winning female time was only 22 minutes faster than the time they claimed for Dane! Very sad.

I wish Dane and his family the best, but hope that this untruth as to the time and details is cleared up publicly. Obviously, losing that amount of weight is a huge challenge, but to minimize what it takes to do a 4 hour marathon doesn't help anyone, and a dishonest presentation of the program many are using as inspiration for their own weight loss.

Clarissa said...

I stumbled across your site and have a question:

What is LDS?

Just curious!

Joel said...

Congrats on 2 things!!!! 1) finishing the marathon and not telling everyone you finished just after Dane (also giving the impression that you ran a 4 hour marathon) 2) clearing up the story.

TAKING THE REAL OUT OF REALITY TV -
Ummm, yeah I lost sleep over The Biggest Loser! Only Hollywood can take a feel-good story and make me sick about it. And I agree that 23 miles is not a marathon. That's like saying I'm a Harvard grad b/c I went to college... The main question is WHY CORRUPT SUCH A GREAT STORY!!!!! I'm pretty sure The Biggest Loser has some pull and could have gotten the marathon extended by an hour... and if not who cares - have a group there to support the fact that he finished b/c he wasn't running it to break an Olympic Record like most of us... he was doing it to prove to himself that he can finish. Unfortunately The Biggest Loser took that away from him b/c the fact is while it's a tremendous accomplishment to run 23 miles, it simply isn't a marathon. I think the tragedy is when other people in his shoes give up b/c they expect to run at a 9:00 pace as the show suggested instead of the 14:00 or 15:00 pace which he truly ran it at - and then they quit out of frustration. What a sad turn of events!!!

MelancholySmile said...

Alright, it's time for clarification. I do not like how nasty things are getting, especially on some boards where they are quoting my blog.

First, the last time I saw Dane and his wife running was mile 17. Then they were at the finish line before me without running past. I mistakenly assumed that they were driven the remainder of the 10 or so miles, but Carli herself has cleared that up and has told everyone why things happened the way they did.

Second, apparently everyone is up in arms because Dane's finish time was reported by NBC as being 3:53 instead of 5:53. I believe this is just a typo on some poor editor's part. Mistakes happen, people. No need to attack a man and his family who have plenty to be proud of.

Bottom line: Dane and Carli Patterson are real people, accomplishing wonderful things, and I believe them to be honest. Please take care with your comments, as I don't think there was any intentional deception going on. Thank you.

Troy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tricia said...

Just wanted to say congratulations on your accomplishment! I'm training for my first marathon (to be run this October) and I don't care how long it takes me...just to get across the finish line will be a fantastic feeling.

=)

Go Mom Go said...

Hi! First of all - Congratulations on your Marathon!

I found this blog via all the Biggest Loser stuff. I have to agree with the other comments you have received. I am extremely dissappointed in NBC for not letting Dane do the race. So what if it didn't fit into their production schedule, you can't say or show him finishing if he really did not finish.

Congratulations to you again! Sounds like a tough course.

Peace!

Joel said...

I agree that we shouldn't bash Dane!!! It's The Biggest Losers credibility that is at stake here. I'm sure Dane will run another marathon - hopefully without a camera crew!

Teechur said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jpnairn said...

Concerning how "nasty" things are getting, is it really surprising? I'm personally amazed at how people are willing to let this be glossed over.
When Carli Patterson says, "We were not listed as completing the marathon...." she means that they were officially disqualified for cheating, not that they asked to be left out of the results because they did not finish.
Dane and Carli did not finish the marathon and were not honest in crossing the finish line and taking medals.
They were not honest about it when they were confronted by other runners after the race.
The fact that some people still think of them as being honest, and are willing to trust them when they now claim they only cheated for three miles, is what I find amazing.
Congratulations to you, Melancholy Smile, on your marathon.
I was out there that day, by the way. I ran a 4:04.
You and I went the distance.

Dan Seifring said...

First of all Congrats to you on finishing the marathon. Some day I hope to be able to say I finished one.

2nd. I can't imagine how many hits your blog is getting today. Mine is getting bombarded today.

Robert López said...

Good for you on finishing the marathon and this is an excellent report. It is unfortunate that your post has been caught up in the hubbub... but keep in mind that you were not the only who saw what went down (or at least pieces of it).

Even if it was a ride of just a few miles, it was reported that they finished the whole enchilada at a time that would have put them near the top.

It is what it is. They broke the rules and were removed from the results. NBC had the opportunity to turn this into a feel-good story, but instead they did a disservice to runners and the fans of BL.

But YOU did what you set out to do... woohoo! And now you have lots of new fans :-).

Matt said...

As a photographer, I can somewhat understand the motivation of the producers of the Biggest Loser. They wanted to get Dane to the end while the finish line was still set up as a background.

I'm reminded of when Lance Armstrong ran the Boston Marathon and they set up a separate finish line for him to run through so they could get a photo of him breaking a tape. It wasn't his fault, and he later said it was a bit of an embarrassment for him to be singled out like this.

The difference, of course, is that Lance finished the race!. And so did you, even though, as you said, you didn't think there would be a finish line marker set up to cross.

I've run 12 marathons and one ultra, and I still cry at mile 22. That's where the race really starts. Your accomplishment is truly wonderful, Tosh!

christines iphone said...

congrats on finishing your marathon! the largest distance i've completed is a 15K, was training for Chicago 2008 but got pregnant. now that i've delivered, i plan on training again soon.

a true shame about Dane. when i saw the show last night, i was truly inspired (ive lost A LOT of weight - more than Dane actually). now, im just disappointed.

kudos to you for FINISHING.

Scott said...

Well done! I just did my 2nd marathon as part of training for another marathon. I went easy on the pace thinking it would be easy, and I was still barely able to walk at the end, and fighting back tears... tears of pain, not joy. You look amazing at the end of yours.

Also, that was nice of Dane's wife to clear up the situation...

Chic Runner said...

WOW! you are too cute of a runner to be running a full! What a great time on a hard course. :) Can't wait to see more of your running! :) Great job! Congrats!

Corey said...

Congratulations on hitting the blogging motherload. I bet NBC really hates you now, but I really appreciate you bringing all this to light.

rochesterrunner said...

Congrats on finishing your marathon! Can you beleive how much attention one blog is getting?

I too am a biggest loser fan,and a runner. I suffered an injury at mile 19 of my first marathon that took me out of the race. I am very proud of my 19 miles and am training again to cross that finishline. Dane and Carli should be proud of their 23 miles, however for NBC to show pictures of them standing at the finish line wearing medals after driving them ahead 3 miles shows a lack of respect for our sport. I am very disappointed.

merathon said...

i just found this post after doing a search to find out if Blaine and Dane were Mormon because i was pretty sure i could just tell! (Clarissa-- LDS means Mormon. It stands for Latter Day Saint, as in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

my husband and i are big fans of BL and i was shocked monday night when i saw his finishing time was 3:53! i have run 3 marathons, all around 3:30, so i was shocked to hear that someone who still had quite a big of weight to lose and hadn't been running for that long had such a great time! i'm glad to know what really happened, and i feel bad for the pattersons for being caught in the middle of this. most race courses do close after 6 hours, so i'm sure that's why they wanted to get them to the finish since they were cutting it pretty close. maybe they really did go back and finish those last 3 miles like you said, just so they could know in their hearts that they really put their 26.2 miles in that day!

congrats on your race, even though i don't know you! sounds like a tough course if the female winner was around 3:30!

healthy ashley said...

Congratulations on your marathon! Your whole post was so inspiring to me. I've been toying with the idea of a marathon and your post (and you tearing up at the end!) pushed me a little closer :)

Julie said...

Congrats to you (and your family!) on finishing your first marathon! That is a HUGE accomplishment! My first marathon took me about 6:07, I'm looking to improve that in April.

It really makes me sad that Dane and his family got drawn into this mess by the producers of BL. Running ANY distance, be it one mile or 23 or 26.2, is something to be very proud of. I hope that the producers' dishonesty doesn't tarnish the experience for him. I'm sure we will see him out there completing a marathon, WITHOUT cameras following him and producers shuffling him into a van, sooner than later.

MelancholySmile said...

Now that NBC has officially issued a response {see here: http://blogs.kansascity.com/tvbarn/2009/02/the-biggest-los.html} I've been asked what I feel about it all.

I think it's safe to say that that the consensus is clear: Dane and Carli Patterson didn't quite finish the marathon. They were disqualified, and removed from the results. I find it all quite sad.

J and I were sad the afternoon of the race as we drove away. We knew -intimately- how difficult it was to complete a marathon and how much of one's life is consumed in preparing for such a feat. We couldn't imagine accepting a finishers medal knowing that one hadn't actually finished. Even if no one ever knew the truth, it would ruin the experience, the accomplishment, the WHOLE POINT of running a marathon in the first place.

I still stand by my previous statements. I don't think they intended to be dishonest. I don't think they had any part in the reported finish time of 3:53. I think it must have been quite difficult to say no to what was going on, and I'm sure they must have been disappointed to have not truly finished what they set out to do. I want to believe the best in people and give them the benefit of the doubt, so no, I'm not angry. No, I won't call them names. I'm just sad for them.

Now, someone hurry and trip on the red carpet so this can be forgotten and everyone has something else to gossip about. :)

gordo said...

Congratulations Melancholy Smile!!! Running a marathon up hill? That takes some commitment. Good Job.

As for the Dane controversy, I am a fan of The Biggest Loser and have watched all the episodes. When I first saw the Dane elimination air, I said there is no way he could run a sub 4 hour marathon (and I was right). I went back and looked at the video and the digit for the "hour" on the timing clock is missing some lines. So I thought, "oh the producers probably didn't understand how hard a 4 hour marathon is and guessed at the time or there was a misprint". Then we find out that he actually got in a van and drove to the finish. That is just plain cheating, no matter the circumstances. It is a shame.

In addition to this dishonest decision, Dane has openly lied to other contestants on the show. Whether the show is a game or not, lying is lying and Dane explicitly lied to the other contestants. There is a pattern here.

Nobody is perfect (self included) and I am sure Dane and his family can try and "justify" all his actions, but I really hope they learn what honesty is really about. In both instances the dishonest decision has come back to haunt him. When he lied about who he was voting for and it got him kicked off the show by his teammates. And when he lied about completing a marathon it got him kicked out of the race and upset a lot of people.

Corey said...

A bright side of all this is because of your post and the Arizona Road Racers doing the right thing, both the race and the club have recieved massive, free publicity. Both will benefit immensely. You have also shown that doing the right thing is ultimately the best thing. Now go ask the ARR for a free membership!

Donald said...

Congrats on your marathon finish! I found you - like thousands of others, probably - from a BL thread, and it's great to get a firsthand account of the story. Hopefully you're enjoying the increased traffic coming your way, too.

Best of luck with your continued running exploits. It's truly a wonderful sport.

Melissa C said...

Congratulations on finishing the marathon! It is a wonderful accomplishment, and I am hoping to do it again sometime. I am LDS too and write on a pregnancy/running/fitness blog called afatlotofgood.blogspot.com that discusses the challenges of fitness and parenting. We would love for you to check it out and give us some comments!

Janice {Run Far} said...

congrats on your marathon finish. There is just nothing like finishing a marathon. I love it, not so much the pain after, but I will take it. I am also LDS, living in Ky, just moved here from Ut 8 months ago. Life is good. I could say alot about the Dane scandal, but I am not... this is your blog and your race. Great job.

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