The week of the race I was nervous. I wanted him to survive and meet his goal, but mostly to just survive. Then...the stomach flu hit our house. In the night, Tuesday night, Annie threw up a little. We weren't sure if it was from coughing or what. We gave her a throw-up bowl and we all went back to bed. Wednesday morning, after I got back from taking the girls to school, I went in to wake Annie up (don't fret - Ryan had been home with Leta and Annie) and found that she had thrown up more in her throw-up bowl in the night but never let us know and just went back to bed. It was a babysitting day and preschool day, so Annie stayed secluded in my bedroom. I was already having a difficult day and felt a little pitty for myself, but then, after picking up all the kids from school, without warning, the boy I babysit threw up all over the kitchen. Oh, it was bad and everywhere. I had to work hard not to vomit myself. Then, as I'm cleaning that up, his little sister was in our living room playing and without warning, she threw up everywhere too. All over the carpet and my couches. I about lost it. It was one of my most disgusting moments ever, especially because the throw-up was not from my own children. I learned not to throw myself a pitty party because things can always get worse and I called Ryan and told him not to come home. We couldn't afford for him to get the stomach flu right before his race!
Somehow, I survived that Wednesday. I also called our carpet cleaner and he came out Thursday morning (such a tender mercy) and I practically bleached the whole house. We hadn't had our carpets cleaned in years - but I couldn't go another day after that fateful Wednesday. We also instituted the rule that no one was to touch dad until his race was over. For 3 days - no contact. It was sad.
Then Friday hit. I usually babysit, but the kids I watch were still sick. That worked out because I ended up getting sick Friday as well. My neighbor and I had a little ward get together at her house and I while there I just kept getting more and more sick. By Friday evening I just wanted to die (it is pretty sad that I loose my will to live pretty easily once you throw in nauseousness and dizziness.) Thankfully all my girls got to go spend the night at the Melzer's and all I had to do was lay there and try my hardest to breath deep so that I wouldn't throw-up. And I cried because I didn't think I would be well enough to make it to support Ryan on his race. I went to bed at about 9 and just prayed and prayed that I would get better.
I didn't sleep the best but 3:00 AM rolled around and I could actually stand up! My pleading prayers had been answered. Ryan wasn't sick and I could go see him race. I dropped him off at Riverview shortly after 4:00 in the morning. Then I came home for a bit and then drove all over Mesa to kill time before his race. Because the girls were sleeping at the Melzers, I was able to support Ryan at 2 different spots on the course before joining up with the girls at about mile 17. For the first part of the race, Ryan was doing awesome with his time, but at about mile 16 - he hit a wall. His stomach was cramping and he wasn't feeling the best (he probably had some of our sickness). He ended up needing to walk for a bit, which put his finish time 1/2 hour after his goal time. Of course I didn't know any of his troubles, until the race was over. So when he didn't come to the finish line at his project time, I began to worry. I checked my phone a million times to make sure no one called to say he died on the course. Our girls were hot and crying, I was sick and still worrying. Thankfully we had aunt Lilly there to help. Finally he made it and we were all so proud! (And I could stop worrying) He actually ran 26.2 miles in about 4 1/2 hours. He had fun giving kids high 5's all along the route and although he wished he could have made his goal, he felt good about his work and would like to run it again next year so he can get a better time. Although I'll probably never run a marathon, it's nice to be able to say that my husband ran one.
So these are the pictures I took of my girls on Thursday and had planned to enlarge and post them throughout Mesa during Ryan's race. Sickness prevented that, so I posted them on Facebook for the world to see. Second best I suppose.
The morning of the race. It seemed as though there were miles of buses.
Ah- I finally got to hug Ryan before he left on the bus. You would never know I wanted to die the night before from stomach flu :)
Mesa before dawn
There is Ryan - the spec in the gray shirt. This was in Las Sendas.
The girls and family cheering on Ryan!
Leta sees her daddy coming down the line (this is about mile 17 - right by the Melzer's house.)
These girls love the free loot at races.
These girls do not like waiting.
Also, I wrote this thought down on Facebook after the race was over:
After Ryan finished the race, Lucy wanted to know what he would have received if he would have won. (She likes awards). It made me stop to think and really appreciate marrying a man whose goals do not take over our family. For him to win the girls would have received a lot less of his special breakfasts, a lot less of his "the curious boy" bedtime stories, and a lot less awesome dad time. I hope these girls always remember that they are his grand prize. (And I'm done with my sappy Sunday post)
The girls got their face painted.
Leta has been a cat almost every day since Halloween. This was the moment that she saw that she actually had turned into a cat. It was priceless. Even the lady doing the face paint got out her phone to take a picture of how happy and cute Leta was.
Lucy matches her favorite stuffed animal "kitty" that she got at Disneyland and can't part with (her blankie "purple" and "kitty" are her constants in life).
After the race my sister Katie kindly watched the girls so that Ryan and I could go out to eat and enjoy a huge meal. It was a great day and many prayers of safety and healing were heard and we enjoyed the support of our wonderful family. Many cheered Ryan on from home with phone calls and encouragement, from the roads and by watching our girls. We are truly blessed.