Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I used beans, not gu & I think I PR'd it.


Happy, cold and nervous before the race... check out my new red racing stripes...


I'm not sure why we're laughing, but I'm laughing right now at Erik's face.


I DID IT!!!


We are hardcore. Well, some of us are...



I did it. I ran more than 13 miles. I didn't walk at all. It was so crazy and so horrible and so fun all at once. I have never scored a goal. I have never shot a basket in a game. I have never spiked a volleyball in someone's face. I am not athletic. Before I got sick, I had never run more than a mile. I tried running for a little before my 10 year reunion, but I never made it past half a mile without walking. I can't say that I love running, but I am so proud of myself I could burst. Yay me!

I was going to go alone and when I arrived at the Charleston airport - there was Jaymeson waiting for me. He's a good boy. Maybe the pets weren't arranged for, lessons might not have been covered and kids didn't have clothes for their stays at friends' houses - but he was there and that was awesome. (Boys!) A few phone calls and all was well. (Thank you Mami and Amy for making that possible - sorry for the unnecessary stresses!) He was so supportive and made me feel so good. I'm so glad he came.

The night before the race I had planned on making a playlist. Unfortunately, I didn't have internet access and couldn't buy the songs I had been thinking of. (No minute like the last minute!) I decided instead to just dump every fastish song I had into a playlist and hit shuffle. Jaymee gave me a blessing the night before and it was answered in part through those songs. At mile four, I was done. D-O-N-E. I had not gone far enough to feel like it would be wasted if I quit. The first couple miles everyone pretty much ran together, but by mile four we had all spread out and I was being passed by everyone. It was very disheartening. I thought, "I knew I wasn't good enough to be here. I should have never tried this. Everyone else makes this look effortless and I'm dying. It's only mile four. I should just go back." I was being a victim. At that same moment "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley was playing.
It said:
And all I remember is thinking, I want to be like them
Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it looked like fun
And it's no coincidence I've come
And I can die when I'm done

Maybe I'm crazy
Maybe you're crazy
Maybe we're crazy
Possibly

I thought - hey, I can die when I'm done - and I kept running. Slow and steady. My pace was very consistent. By mile eight, I was passing people. That felt awesome. Throughout the rest of the race, songs that I needed to hear and others that fit the people I was thinking about came on at just the right time. It was no coincidence. Jaymee promised me that I'd have help and I did.

I love the camaraderie amongst runners - even if you are a slow, slow newbie. My shirt had my name on it and people would cheer me on personally. People would ask if I was a survivor and then pat me on the back and tell me I could do it. I met an older man who was jogging and in obvious pain. (an older man jogging in pain = shelby running at her top speed) We got to talking and he told me it was his 92nd marathon. Seriously? He had pulled his hamstring ("pulled a hammy") and was going to quit at the half. We talked some more and got to know each other better. I told him my story and he was really sweet about it. When we made it to almost thirteen, I was turning to be done and he limped on the other way saying,"I'm going to finish the marathon - if you can do what you did, I can do this. I'm jogging the second half for you, Shelby." Of course, when I was sick - I didn't have a choice. He was crazy. Almost four hours after I finished he came around that same corner. I ran over and gave him a big hug and he said,"You waited for me! I can't believe you waited for me!" I said,"I can't believe you ran thirteen MORE mile on a hurt leg!"

I can't believe people can run full marathons. Or halves, really. During the race I made me promise me that I'd never do something so horrible again. "Look me in the eyes and promise me!!" I said to myself. "What? Of course I'd never do this again, Self!! This is a nightmare!" Ten minutes after the race was over, I was planning my Nashville run. I don't understand it either. When I saw Jaymee cheering at the end of the race, it was all I could do to get to the finish line. The tears started flowing and I couldn't see. (I have pictures of that, too, they're lovely) They announce your name as you come to the end. Everyone cheers! Then I crossed the line and turned into a gooey puddle of crying shelby. Unfortunately for Erik (my brother-in-law), he was there to catch me. I sobbed and sobbed. Partly because I had no physical strength to stop myself, and partly out of total disbelief. I had crossed the finish line. I was healthy and strong and I had proved it. I am now officially done with this whole cancer thing. I will print this blog into a book and physically shut it. (Of course, I'll still blog, but it's not a cancer blog anymore. It's just a boring shelby blog. Boring is good.)

I survived. I thought about that while I was running. No matter what your trial, you can be a survivor or a victim. Divorce, sickness, hard kids, financial troubles - whatever we go through we get to chose - survivor or victim. A person who gets cancer and dies from it can still be a survivor. Another could live and yet be a victim. It's up to us. A survivor uses everything he has to come through to the other side of a trial with his spirit intact. Maybe not even our bodies. Our spirit is what matters and that is the reason we're here. Heavenly Father will give us hardships our whole lives and then tallies up the columns when we are done. (it may be a little more complex than that.) I hope I have most of my check marks in the "survivors" side.

And now with the knowledge that I - the least athletic person ever who was at the weakest I could possibly be less than a year ago - could do this thing, who wants to join me in Nashville in April? If I can do it - anyone can.

32 comments:

Carrie said...

Wow! As always you have inspired me.

Engrained Emotions said...

Shelby, I am a blog stalker. Actually I'm not sure how I stumbled across your blog, but I watched you over the last year. How proud I am of you. A total stranger. But I read with anticipation this entry, tears too in my eyes as I read you finshed! Yay for you. Yay for being a survivor! Yay for running 13 stinkin miles!

Run Shelby Run!

Debbie Peterson

Sara B said...

I have been anxiously awaiting this post. So worth the wait.
SHELBY STROUD I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT AND YOU DID IT!YAY!
Nashville, April, count me in.
And i want a shirt.

Christy said...

You must be a spiritual magnet. People can't help but be drawn to you (even injured, elderly runners) and each person goes away inspired, humbled, and filled with the desire to do better.

Congratualtions!!! You are a true heroine!!

The Castillo's said...

YAY, SHELBY!! We're so proud of you and are here on the other side of the river supporting you every step (now progressed to running step) of the way. Way to go!!

Rolph Family said...

Congrats Shelby! Yay for finishing...that is something I question if I could ever accomplish. That is truly awesome. I won't run in Nashville given what my size will be in April, but I will come cheer you and Erin on. That is something I know I can do. ;)

keri said...

AMAZING Shelby, I too have been waiting for this post! I knew you would do it, and I am soooo impressed. You are an amazing person, both inside and out. Thanks for being such an inspiration to so many and thanks for sharing you story!

stacia said...

way to go shelby! you amaze me. i come from a long line of crazy marathoners and have never run more than a few miles... (and that was a long time ago)...i always love to watch the finish line and see those runners cross...there is a part of me that want to cross that line someday. thanks for sharing your story and being so strong... you really do inspire me to try.

Kathryn Sutton said...

Congrats!!! I remember pushing to run that one mile like it was yesterday. Oh ya, that was yesterday. I am in total aw.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Congrats to you. I would love to run a marathon, but can't seem to get past 5 miles. Maybe you could help with that since you accomplished 13 MILES!

Annette Miller

Jen said...

I'm so proud of you, and so inspired by you. I love your comments about being a survivor, not a victim. I love you so much!

Anonymous said...

Why hello! It's Nikki, Douglas' wife. Shelby, I just wanted to say congradulations on your run!! You should be sooo proud of yourself! That is amazing that you could do that. I was crying as i read your blog. ESPECIALLY the last part about being a survivor or victim. It made me think about some of my trials and I had to re-evaluate whether or not i was being a victim or survivor. I know I have said this before, but I don't think you understand what kind of example you are to me. There are so many times I have read your blog and thought, "If she went through that, I can easily go through this." I just wanted to drop a quick note though and say CONGRADULATIONS!!!
Nikki :)

Melanie said...

I started Monday. I am only going 2 miles a day and walking most of the way. But I'm off my butt and starting. I'm going to Nashville because it's for lymphoma. I'm going to Nashville because you did something really hard and survived. (And I'm not talking about your race.) Today as I was trying to jog and my calves and feet hurt so bad I wanted to stop and cry. Then I thought, "Did Shelby stop when the chemo sucked so much? Did shelby stop when she had to shave her head or throw up all day? Did she stop when her nails turned black or when she was just so sick? " No. You didn't. And neither will I. I am so proud that not even one year out you ran 13 miles. I am amazed. It says so much. But the thing it says the most to me is that you are healthy and you beat cancer and I love you.
I will go Nashville and I will go 13 miles. I am not promising a full on run - but I'm promising to get off my lazy butt every day and try. Thank you for motivating me to be better and healthier and stronger. I love you.

shel7by said...

Wahoo!! I have it in writing! You'll hate me for making you do it, but you'll love me when it's over.

Nik said...

Yeah for you and a big Congrats!

EmLouisa said...

This made me cry. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I have the same feelings about running...it's just amazing!

You are a true warrior. Thank you for being a shining example to the rest of us!

Andrea said...

Congratulations Shel!

Katie Price said...

Yay! That's freaking awesome. The dang family website won't let me comment on ANYTHING, so I wanted to let you know I think you rock.

Anonymous said...

I guess we won't be needing the "special" pass at Disneyland this year. We will just have to wait in line with the rest of the healthy people! Good job, Shelby.
-Lisa B.

Gillian said...

Um, Wow!
First of all, when I grow up I want to be you. And second, thanks for this---I needed to read it today.
Truly inspirational---you're someone who's been through the fire and made it to the other side...stronger, better, smarter.
And I love that injured old man...the Lord literally puts people in our path to help us. I'm so glad he was there for you.
Congratulations----on surviving!

Rod and Kandace said...

I'd been checking since Saturday to see how your run went...way to go. How great is the priesthood and that Heavenly Father cares about the time and songs that come up on your ipod. Yay for Jaymee being there to cheer you on. I am sure you saw that MANY times in the past year. You two are awesome...glad to know you guys! CONGRATULATIONS!

Brewer's Ink said...

Way to Go, Shelby! You may not have been athletic growing up (I can say that because neither was I!), but you have always been a strong person! Still are. Always will be. May you always finish the "good race" no matter what your challenge may be. Life is filled with challenges - everyday, every phase, every person - but a survivor endures to the end with their faith in tact. Congratulations on being a survivor! -Jeanette (Jones)

Karen said...

awesome! i ran with you in spirit that day ;0)....well ran physically here...but with you...;0) hee hee. so glad to be on this earth journey with you....can you imagine the eternities when we get to "watch the movie of our life?" I think we will get to watch reruns of our good moments (all the bad ones will be magically erased.)...and this will be fun to watch with you...that and our girls camp experiences...;0)fo shizzle be dizzle.

Betony said...

Shelby, you are my hero! I remember the first time I ran 8 miles back in high school for cross country. I thought my legs were going to fall off. I am not a runner and only ran to keep a friend company. (Translation: I came in last or next to last at every race) If you can do 13 miles after such an ordeal, then you are not a survivor, you are a conqueror! Cue "Rocky" theme song and a pic of you on top of the stairs! You go girl!

Jennie Taylor said...

Shelby--you should write a book! You are truly one of the most inspirational people I've ever even heard about--and I get to be your wicked red-headed step-sister-in-law!! What comes after Nashville?

Brooke said...

kenny and i want to come play too!! any races coming un close to us?? you rock by the way...but i already knew that.

Natalie said...

I'm motivated. Thank you. I didn't say I am going to Nashville but I will be a little bit better today and even better still tomorrow. Thank you Shelby! Consider yourself hugged!

p.s. I did consider not sanitizing on Ryan's behalf. How did you know? I thought of you the whole time that I had the flu. I just kept thinking "how did she do Cancer? This flu might be the death of me and she did CANCER!" I felt like a wimp. But I felt proud of you.

The Vocalist said...

Shelby,
I'm Jaymee's cousin Heather (on the stroud side) I just want you to know how inspirational you are. I've been reading your blog for a while and never commented, but your strength and wisdom (and sense of humor) inspire me...You are a Survivor! I wish I could afford to go to Nashville...I would run 13 miles for you too!

Marinn said...

Wow Shelby. Wow! I am so glad to read you are healthy! I am speechless on the 13 miles....You rock. Thanks for sharing with all us.
Love,
Marinn

Aunt Runny said...

Shelby, you are truly an inspiration to me personally. Now I want to do the 13 miles. No, I HAVE to do it.

Cheryl said...

So 13 miles without stopping huh? I can't even imagine. I think of the high school tracks where 4 laps is one mile and how i can barely get around one lap. congrats to you! as has already been said on here 30 times...you are amazing. thanks for the words on being a survivor also. i've been having my emotional struggles lately about this economy and our new business and i know i need to stop playing the "poor me, our timing always sucks" victim. i need to have hope and be a survivor of these hard times at least for my kids sakes if nothing else. thanks again for the post.

Tanya said...

Hi, Shelby, I just happened to wander over here to see how you are (since I've moved on from Dr. Bartlett's clinic), and was so happy to read about your race! Congratulations! Glad to hear you've caught the running bug - you captured the insanity of it perfectly! Best wishes for a long, PR-filled running career!