Sunday, October 14, 2007

DENVER MARATHON: 26.2 miles @ Five hours and 14 minutes

5:00am, top of the morning to you... it's raining raining raining. Like nonstop. At this point I am U.P.S.E.T. I felt such despair and that it was UNFAIR! I talked to my mom (love the time change) and suddenly got resolved - this is it. My bags are packed, I'm ready to go, I am running this F*ing marathon today and that's that! The roads on the way down to Denver were so scary. I actually hate driving in rain more than snow.

So I got to Patricia's and she suddenly remembered a lightweight rainproof jacket she had. What a relief. The one I had bought the day before (soooo cute and shown in picture with Josh at the bottom), was heavy and bulky. So off we went towards the starting line. I popped out of the car and there I was - it was 34 degrees out. I had also bought some thin rain pants the day before and wore gloves & a visor to keep the rain off my face. Had to pee by mile two but line @ port-a-potties was tooooo long! Just after I convinced myself to wait until mile 9 I spied a woman run off by these super high private bushes, clearly I have NO qualms about peeing in public, even though no one could really see me. The first part of the course was really awesome, it wove all over the place in downtown Denver, which has some really amazing architecture and sites to see. I was actually pretty warm until about 6 miles and then got really sick of running in the cold plus my gloves were drenching wet. Usually I'm not very warmed up or relaxed about my long run until a 1:45 so being cold & wet so early on really sucked. So here's where the pictures start where I hooked up with my P-Diddy who saved my butt over & over today:

First stop @ 8.5 miles
*FREEZING* ~ put on another layer & a warmer hat!

Mile 9 - 12 BIG MISTAKE: my shoelace on my right upper foot was too tight! I adjusted it not less than 5 times before finally ripping the laces out at mile 12 & re-tying! Big bruise already - ow.

Mile 13: finally ripped off those wet pants, grabbed water bottle & was off!

Mile 14 I already needed some inspiration, so I listened to your sweet messages, oh my god how amazing! Every single one of them, including Jamie from India! (When I got home there were ten new ones!) Thank you thank you everyone.

Mile 18 ~ Incoming! I was SO STOKED to see Becca that the whole half mile before I was wiggling around dancing to my ipod! Seriously funny. Did a full switch - added a new under layer and switched jackets.

And we're off!
I was so happy so happy so happy for so many reasons to swoop up Becca. For one, she's a runner, she totally gets the pacing etc. I was so hyper and excited to have a buddy that I was chatty for about three and a half miles! Also, there's just nothing like having the company of a good friend through something that was so grueling and she took me through it, we did it together and that was so thrilling.

See that water bottle in my hand? I had carried it the whole way. Pretty shortly after this I asked Becca to hold for one sec, which turned into EIGHT MILES yeah, she was my water girl (she didn't tell me until the end how HEAVY it was, thanks Becca you're a trooper!).

19 Miles ~ feeling good (still!)

Mile 21: And here's the funniest shot of them all, I wanted the on-course photographers to catch me but my bib # was covered so booop! I flashed them and they got the shot ;-)
p.s. I'd like to remember how buff I am right now! nice!

Mile 22 we met up with Shira & Patricia I got myself so happy that I was literally skipping with them Shira ran alongside. Towards the end there that extra boost was a great distraction.

Somewhere after my little skipping session, it really dawned on me what "the wall" really is I guess I thought it would be this slap in the face and BOOM I HIT the WALL. It was like huh, my legs are feeling pretty heavy and wow, my feet are kinda like bricks and good GOD I would rather walk please because my legs are burning. For five miles. Ouch. I didn't realize until a few days after how many people were walking those last five miles. But not me! I loved how Becca supported me the last 4 miles (which were really the hardest). I just kept saying what was there - wow, I really want to walk now, my XYZ is burning/hurting/heavy but, no, I'm not going to walk. Then she'd put in these great reminders, like hey are you holding your chest up, breathing deep in your belly, all of this will help your feet ease forward.
And then we were there, just steps away from mile 25!!

Becca got an AMAZING video I bolted for the last .2 miles. It's my favorite thing to sprint and I had taken off my inner shells so I could show my number, and I was cheering myself on so much that the announcer shouted "let it out Helen!".

And... most important, my support team! They were so awesome and look at my medal!

My yoga instructor Ella & fellow yogini Katie, they were standing at 25.75 miles
and Becca notices someone yelling "Helen!". I had forgotten Ella would be there! On her inspirational voicemail, she led me through this little voyage taking my breath into my pelvis and other reminders that saved me that moment.


bruise went from blue to just red, that's good!


  1. Anonymous12:04 PM


    Good Work!!! I am so very proud of you. I acknowledge you for the following - the level of dedication, discipline, and courage to do something that you have never done before. On all levels - Emotionally, Physically & Spiritually you reached deep within yourself and found the strength to complete this. You seriously rock!!

    Did ya get the acknowledgment???

    I love you Sister Goddess!!


  2. Anonymous12:05 PM

    You are so amazing! I can't wait to get home and celebrate, and hear all about the experience!

    I am so unbelievably proud of you. Congratulations again!

    Love, Kate

  3. Subhadra12:05 PM


  4. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Congrats --- you are now a member of an elite group. Your pictures look great. Now get yee back to your yoga.,


  5. Johnny Law12:07 PM


    Kick ass, chicky! You did it! Congratulations. What will you do with yourself now? Is there life after marathon? Will you ever regain the kind of glory that you had in that moment of crossing the finish line, or will you eek out a paltry existence on a rocking chair reflecting back on how great you once were? Okay, I have a sneaking suspicion about you, Ms. Kearney, that you will continue kicking NEW kinds of ass once you get your legs back to some semblance of useful.

    Are you at work today, or did you take a day off to recover?

  6. Anonymous12:07 PM

    Hurray for you! Thanks for sharing the great pictures!


  7. Anonymous12:09 PM

    Congratulations Helen. I love looking at these pics and reading about it. I was telling Choli that today was the day and then realized I had your email about leaving you a message in my inbox still as a "to-do". I didn't put two and two together until last night! So sorry. I was there in spirit and heart though :) Congrats again. You rock!

  8. Anonymous12:10 PM

    Wow! :) Congrats, Helen! :)
    So, you'll never do that again?! Let me tell you, I have NEVER in my life ran a marathon... and I likely never ever will. Lol.


  9. Jianna12:12 PM

    YEAH!!! Congrats Helen- you are AWESOME!! I didn't see you yesterday :( I was at 20th and Blake the first cheer station (right by Coors field, in red beanie), but I still thought of you the WHOLE day!! What you accomplished only a handful of people in the world have done- so hats off to you Helen! How was it? So you did hit a wall? We were out there for about 3 hours and decided to leave b/c we were freezing just standing there, but I just can't imagine running a FULL marathon in that weather so again AMAZING job!!

  10. Wahoo!!!!

    I’m so proud of you for making such a challenging goal and completing it. That feeling you had crossing the finish line (relief, pure joy) will stay with you for a very long time.


  11. Anonymous12:13 PM

    Way to go!!! And in pretty crappy conditions, no less. You should be super proud of yourself. Go have a big fat steak and a huge beer today (or whatever indulgence you choose!), you deserve it.

    Congrats – AC

  12. Morgan12:14 PM

    YAY!!!! Thought about you all day yesterday. So happy to log on and see your success - YOU ROCK!!!

    So excited to see you next week - yay again!

  13. Andrea12:15 PM


    Thank you for the play-by-play! So glad they cheered for you when you finished!

    I cheered inside and scared my dad's dog!


  14. Dear Helen,

    You literally rock my world. I cried when I looked at your pictures. I soooo wish that I could have been there for this. I miss you very much.


  15. Anonymous12:16 PM

    Yay Yay Yay. I am proud of you. Wow, I could have never done that. And furthermore, you looked so relaxed and pain free all the while.

  16. Aunt Nini12:16 PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! Hope you felt the good vibes coming your way today from me, Bob, Eduardo and Lisa! We were talking about you, encouraging you, but by the time we all got together you were probably done. I'm proud of you, I hope you are too!

    Love you,

  17. Uncle Bob!12:20 PM

    It's awesome to complete a marathon and in such wet
    conditions,though I hear it's cooler for a runner! Did
    it help you?
    Did you see my attempt to ride across the USA?? It is
    here: and another journal
    for helping some friends finish their ride this

    Other then doing a ton of training,how are you doing??

    and love,
    U. Bob

  18. Michelle12:46 PM

    Congratulations you rock! Now you can check that off of the list and move to the next great feat! ;)

  19. Congratulations...I know you must be proud of such an accomplishment. Great will do it again...I have no doubt!

  20. OH MY GOD!!! Congratulations!!!! Don’t blame you; check it off the list, take care of your knees, and enjoy those half marathons instead

  21. Congratulations!!!

    For someone who says she will NEVER do another marathon you looked sooo happy in the photos I'd be bettin' you would!!

  22. Anonymous12:48 PM

    Helen - Way to go superstar!! Great job!! What a wonderful accomplishment - you are my inspiration:).

    Liza ;)

  23. Anonymous12:50 PM

    Way to go Helen!! I walked the Portland OR Marathon 10/7. It took my friend and I 7hrs + to finsh. We decided it would be better to listen to ipods more next time (the chatting slowed us down, at least that is our exchuse.) I have a killer blister on my right heel (Blood filled still, I couldn't wear shoes until Wednesday.) The funny thing is that I didn't even feel the pain, because my calves cramped up about mile 23.

    Take good care of yourself today!!


  24. JoAnne12:50 PM

    My gosh, I never know how anyone can do this sort of thing, it's so amazing to me. Congratulations, Helen!!!!! What an accomplishment; you'll remember this all your life.

    AND, Folks, don't forget that we're at 5200 feet altitude here....Helen's GOTTA be tough, to run for 5+ hours in such thin (and cold yesterday) air!

    Great job - and thanks for the great pictures! If you're asleep under your desk today by noon, Helen, we'll understand!

  25. You rule!! Nice abs!!

  26. Camille12:52 PM

    Helen - Unbelievable - my 12 year old daughter ran her first cross country race on Saturday-
    It was 2 miles..... she did really well but when she crossed the finish line she started to cry....
    She said " I thought I was going to die". a bit of a drama queen .....

    But running is no small feet - I'm amazed the human body can take it....

    Now you can check this off your list of everything you want to do once :)

  27. You rock! Epic Helen, just Epic! The stuff that stories to the Grandkids are made of....

  28. Anonymous7:30 PM

    You are awesome! I don't think there is nothing you can't do! I wish I could been there to see you run. I miss you!

  29. Mark Klanjac9:58 AM

    Awesome job on the marathon! Let me know how long it takes for you to regain some feeling in your legs.

  30. Shari9:59 AM

    Good for you!!! Yah!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations! Awesome. Totally impressed!!

  31. Laura9:59 AM

    HAHA. You're too funny. Way to GO Helen! WOAH you totally rock. You're my Wonder Woman. Thanks for updating me. I'm going to go online to see pictures now.

  32. CONGRATULATIONS, HELEN! I am so proud of you!! I hope you heard my
    message en route... I left it on your work voicemail as you asked. I'd
    love to take you out and celebrate sometime soon:)


  33. YOU GO GIRL! Wow, Helen that was really awesome! I can never imagine myself running/jogging a marathon like the one you did, but I'd like to have the experience some time in my life. That is a big accomplishment you did.

  34. Hi Sweetie: You go girl, and so sexy. Congrats I know this was tough and would love to hear all about it. Do you come to San Jose? If you do would love to catch up with you. This is something I would love to do and think would be very good for the mind and soul. How are you otherwise? Thanks for including me on this special email, you are very special to me and look forward to seeing you. I am getting together with Susie in the next few weeks. Life is still good and enjoying every moment.