Have I ever mentioned that I hate marathons but that I consider myself a ‘marathoner’? It’s true, I really don’t like them that much. However, I do love the satisfaction of working for something, then setting out to achieve it. Thus, I end up signing up and running yet another marathon each year. This is the story (from my personal journal) of my very first marathon. Perhaps it would have been better if I had used a training schedule, not been nursing, or run more than 12 miles at once prior to it. So really, the fact that I was slightly delirious at the end of this beast was no surprise. Since this marathon, I have learned to train smarter and eat better to avoid the pain that this one brought.
Ouch! That is all I have to say! I finished hours ago and I am perfectly content sitting on my couch and not moving for the next 3 days. But you know what? Inside, I feel pretty good. As crazy as it sounds, there is something rewarding about pushing yourself to absolute exhaustion. It is rare in life that you have the ‘opportunity’ to push yourself to your absolute breaking point. I’m glad I did it, but i’m totally content NEVER doing that again.
Just so I can remember how much I hated that, here is the play by play…
3:50 a.m. I’m up and nervously getting ready. Awesome Mitchell gets up with me and fixes me a PB and J and oatmeal for breakfast
4:20 a.m: I leave and pick up Tyler (my brother in law)
5:00 am: get on the bus in Ogden
6:00 am: I begin to pin on my racing number only to realize that my tank top is inside out with the ‘built in bra’ on the outside. What a nerd! I’m glad I realized that before mile 20.
7:00 am: The race begins!
Mile 3- We pull into a comfortable 8 minute/mile pace. I feel pretty good.
Miles 4-18 – We keep an even 8 minute/mile pace as we chat about life and make fun of the guy wearing levi’s. Slowly the miles start to wear on. My legs begin feeling banged up at about mile 18. It’s an awful feeling that I have never felt before. It’s as if they are completely flexed, but I was not flexing.
Mile 18- I go to take a drink of gatorade (while running) and end up tossing it over my shoulder. I thought I knew where my mouth was but for some reason my body is not doing what my brain tells it to do. All I know is that I’m supposed to keep on running.
Mile 19- I decide that it’s okay to swear if you’re in the middle of a marathon.
Mile 20- It’s a mental game now, Tyler (who was pacing me) informs me that I’m going to beat my brother Spencer’s P.R. if I can hold the pace (His was 3:39). . . . I have a new goal. (SIDE NOTE: Something is very fabulous about beating your older brothers at something, just saying… )
Mile 21- I imagine myself crossing the line and start forcing myself to hold back tears. I knew it would throw off my breathing if I let it out, I choked up 3 or 4 times. Tyler is awesome as ever, encouraging me every five minutes or so.
Mile 22- I see the mile marker at 22 and think, “I can run 4 miles, that’s a short run on any other day!”
Mile 23- I start thinking “Good crap, 3 miles is so long!”
Mile 24- I completely hit the wall. I’m pretty sure it’s made out of brick. I basically stopped in my tracks. I lose my ability to think positively (WITH 2 MILES LEFT!) For the first time in the race I have to walk. I told myself “you have 20 steps, then you have to get back on this”. Tyler stopped with me which was good because I was not walking straight. I would say delirium was starting to set in. My body was crashing and things started spinning.
Mile 24 (and 20 walking steps)-I start back to running. I’m in survival shuffle mode. My pace drops off to about 9-9:30 pace. I’m honestly in complete survival mode and my legs were screaming!
Mile 25- Last one! I begin talking to myself…”you got this…you got this…”
Mile 25 1/2- I see the finish line. Tyler yell’s “only 5 more blocks!”. 5 blocks may as well been 20 miles, it seemed like an eternity. I snapped back, “that is not encouraging!” (at least I tried to, it came out, “noot (breath) encour (breath) age (breath) ing)”. I find the middle line on the road and tell myself to stay on it, I was literally having a hard time running straight.
Mile 26-People are on both sides cheering, I see my sister and Mom crying as my husband Mitchell cheered. I barely turn my head to look at them (too much energy at that point).
Mile 26.2- I cross the line and just about tip over. They pull me into the medical tent and start taking my medical stats, lay me on a table, and talk about putting an IV in. After stuffing me with sugars, gatorade etc. My head finally stops spinning, I tell them I’m fine, thank you, and slowly slide my body off the medical table. I felt miserable.
As I shuffle over to the finishing area I found Tyler who tells me my time and I think, “I DID IT! MY FIRST MARATHON! AWESOME! OUCH!” I ran a 3:35.0 and qualified for the BOSTON Marathon! YAHOO!
20 min later- I see Mitch for the first time and break down sobbing. (I started crying just typing about that moment)
1 hour later- I’m sitting on the grass, can’t walk, still wearing the medal.
2 hours later- I’m sitting in the car, never wanting to move, still wearing the medal.
3 hours later- I’m sitting on my front lawn next to the car, still not moving, still wearing the medal.
4 hours later- I’m sitting on the couch, still not moving, yes, with my medal. In fact I might just wear it to church!
etc. etc. etc. …Still not walking.
I’m not to the point of saying “I want to do another one,” but I will say it is an accomplishment that feels pretty dang good to have under my belt. It really is amazing what the human body can do.
By the way, My little girls shirt say’s, “My mom is faster than your dad”
Since then, i’ve run the Top of Utah and the St. George marathon and shaved 25 minutes off. My goal one of these day’s is to break 3 hours. Naturally, I will write the play by play for you on the blog.