Monday, October 14, 2013
I did it! I did it!
I finished my first FULL MARATHON! 26.2 miles done in one go! I finished in 5:55:33, so I am not any kind of speed demon, but I finished! I FINISHED! I set a goal to complete a full marathon in 2013 and I did it!
It was crazy. It was fun. It was awful. And it was amazing!
I woke up at 4:30 AM. I drank a coffee, ate an English Muffin and egg. I got dressed. I woke my hubby up and the kids at 5:30 then we drove the hour to Baltimore. They dropped me off and I spent about an hour and a half just twiddling my thumbs. I was so anxious I went to the bathroom 3 times in that hour and a half! But, then it was time to line up. This marathon is self seeding, so I set myself up behind the last pace group of 5:15 finishers. I set off just after 8AM.
The first half of the marathon was easy peasy. Really, it was. I'm pretty experienced at half marathons and so I was trying to just really pace myself and keep it slow and steady. I did a bit of walking to keep my pace down and yet, I still found myself in front of the 5:15 pace group, but after the 5:00 group. I knew that this was probably a bad idea, but I struggled to bring myself back behind the 5:15ers. I stayed in front of them until mile 12. They passed me and I was okay with it, because I knew I still had 14.2 miles to go and I needed to save some gas. I wanted to keep with them in my sights though and I managed to do that until mile 16.
Mile 16 was a landmark for me. My training had been very haphazard and 16 miles was the longest I had ever run in one run. So, every step was a victory after that point. At mile 17 I was "all out of run". There was no more run in me. I was walking. At this point I was texting my good Sparkbuddy, 4EVERADONEGIRL. She was giving me encouragement and pushing me through. She kept checking in on me and told me it was okay to crawl if I needed to! (Thanks so much Kristen!!!) She asked me at one point if my body hurt or if my mind hurt. In that moment, I didn't have the strength to text back, but I was really thinking, "Its all my body. I'm determined to finish. My mind is strong!"
Mile 20 was awful. It was around a lake and it took me nearly 20 minutes. I was limping and dragging myself around. I was in so much pain. But, guess what? It really was my brain, not my body that hurt the most.
Mile 21, this gal taps me on the shoulder. "I'm Heather and this is Chuck! We picked each other up at mile 16 and have been running together since then, want to join us?" Oh my! How I needed that! I was so much in my head and fully focused on how much I hurt that I am not sure I would have finished with out them. We talked each other through it. "Look, here's a down hill. We can run to the end of the hill, to the far side of that traffic light, right?!" "YEAH! we can do that!!" "Let's run to the mile marker." "Where the *bleep*is that mile marker?" "Okay, guys, we can do this!" And so on and so forth to the finish line.
Heather finished a bit before me, Chuck a bit behind me. But, we finished and while I will never see them or likely have any communication with them... Chuck and Heather are my marathon heroes!
Sunday, I was amazed at how not sore I was. I had planned on skipping church, but I woke up energized and got up and went to church. My little boy had a birthday party for a friend at the bouncy castle place and he asked that I take him, so I did. I felt good enough I chased him through the bouncy castle obstacle course a few times. I've got a bit of shin splints in my right leg and my back hurts, but my plantar fasciitis doesn't hurt and my ankles feel fine and I went for a walk this morning after walking my son to school.
I really couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Despite some rain and bad weather, I finished. I finished before the 7 hour finish limit.
Thanks to all who encouraged me, answered my questions, and tolerated my anxiety. You mean the world to me. Thank you.