Sometimes these people talk me into doing things that I might not otherwise have considered. Kate Matheny is one of these people. She's the mom of a very special little girl named Getty who was born with SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). SMA is the number one genetic killer of children. There is no cure or treatment for SMA. The lifespan with SMA is seldom longer than 2 years.
There were a myriad of things that went wrong that day. Around mile 22, my entire left leg started to seize up like the Tin Man pre-Dorothy. If I walked, I could stretch it out enough that I would be able to run for another half mile or so. Unfortunately, after each time I walked, the running part that felt like my leg was being squeezed by a stabby clamp got worse and worse. Pretty soon I was bargaining with myself to shuffle to the next light post or limp to the guy with the "free hugs" sign. Until I finally dragged myself and my mutinous leg across the finish line.
It was a very long 26.2 miles. Kim and I didn't have tickets for the shuttle to get us back to the starting line (long story), so we dejectedly started walking to find public transportation. My entire body was racked with shivers as we also didn't bring a change of clothes.
Did I mention it was cold? And wet? And not surprisingly, sweaty.
We pep stepped to the first restaurant we could find, a Chinese restaurant. I finally stopped shaking violently after a pot of tea and some hot and sour soup. (Not my usual post marathon food, but exactly what I needed). We asked the restaurant staff the best place to catch the bus back to our car. Because of the marathon, the bus schedule and routes had been greatly modified and we learned we were at least two miles from the nearest stop. And it was still cold. And wet.
When the owner of the restaurant realized the full extent of our pathetic-ness (not to mention we probably stunk and he wanted us out of his restaurant), he took pity on us and told one of his workers to drive us to catch the bus. We were beyond grateful.
Then things got awkward. Kim and I, in all our post-marathon stench, jumped into the back seat and buckled up. The very friendly worker guy put the car into gear and promptly backed into a pole. Ouch. He was embarrassed, and I'm sure was already trying to figure out how he was going to explain to his boss that he'd squished his car.
I'm running with Team Getty to help raise awareness for SMA. This particular marathon will be at the end of July, so I'm hoping that the weather will be less cold and wet. But it's San Francisco, so there's no guarantee. As Mark Twain allegedly exclaimed, "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco."
Most of Team Getty is running the half marathon, so I'm hoping by the time I finish I'll still have a few teammates cheering me on. What I do know is that I WILL be on the shuttle (or not, since it's a loop, but you know what I mean). And I WILL have a drop bag full of fresh, warm clothes.
The Getty Owl Foundation is a great cause. If there's any chance you could donate, volunteer, or help in any way -- I'd personally appreciate it, and I know Getty and her mama would really appreciate it too. Let's spread the word about SMA! Donate Here!