Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I've been wearing my new shirt for three days

Thanks Danielle for the intro.

I am a marathoner. I've never felt so amazing strong and humbly weak about my body all in the same day.

I've been sick for two weeks. With a cold. A bad, bad cold with a headache that makes me not want to eat anything. The day before the marathon I was so tired, I slept for 18 hours and only ate twice. I had to struggle to get the food down.

Sunday, marathon day, the day I've been training for for three years came and I could breathe. I was tired, but I could breathe. I was also nervous. Tom sang songs to me to keep me entertained and everyone hugged before we lined up in our respective time slots.

I ran the first ten miles with a nice woman who was also a first timer. It was hot at mile one. Stiffling hot. I decided to walk through every water stop, stretch my knee every five miles and keep at it.

I'm not sure I ever hit "the wall". What I know is that it got hard at mile 14. Way to early for it to get hard. My 20 mile training run was easier than that. At mile 16, Danielle, Craig and Kimberly were there. I almost cried. I was hot and had stopped sweating at this point and was just focused on making it to 20 miles. At 20 miles, Danielle was going to join me.

Starting at mile 19, I had to walk. I got very dizzy when I'd run and my heart rate was too high. I was so glad to see Danielle. She talked to me while I plodded along.

At mile 22, I thought - "this is as bad as it gets. everything hurts and I have no energy and feel like throwing up"

At mile 24, I found out that I was wrong. It can hurt worse. I don't know how to explain it. Some of you have been there. It was a long 6 miles. Those mile markers seemed so far apart.

For the record, I hate powerade. Way to sweet and I drank it 13 times along the course knowing I needed it but yuck.

At mile 26, there were Kimberly, Craig, Sara, Laurie - yeah, that was pretty amazing. They waited more than 5 hours for me. I felt so blessed to have such great friends. And here was Danielle who was being a great sport and walking with me on her injured foot.

I jogged across the finish line. I started to cry, until the lovely Danielle said "Don't cry, cause I'll cry and I hyperventilate when I cry". Okay, no crying. I could do this.

Things I learned:
Amazing friends make all the difference.
It is really about deciding you'll do it and doing it and trusting that the training was enough.
Running while sick sucks.
It'll gross people out when your toenails fall off or when you pull the dead ones off - others (thanks Tom) will show you their feet in return.
You can have post traumatic stress disorder after a marathon (I'm having flashbacks). ha:)
You can never drink too much water - not really.
Ice baths - they hurt - they feel good - it's fabulous. Thanks Danielle for making like 40 trips to the ice machine with a tiny ice bucket just to help me out. Thanks Laurie for sitting in the bathroom with me and talking even though my brain wasn't really working yet.

Today, I'm sick again. It hurts to walk, but not as bad as yesterday. I may have to actually wash my finisher shirt, but it makes me feel so amazing to wear it. I'm gonna go back to bed and get better now. My marathon is done and work and the rest of life is waiting. I can't wait to run for fun without such a large goal looming.

I read about this run where you get a special finisher shirt if you run it naked. Not sure I'm up for it, but hmmmmm. . . .that would be quite the shirt.


Laurie said...

I have happy tears for you! You did such a great job on an incredibly tough day.

Friends really do make all the difference in the world. I'm so happy that even though Danielle couldn't run the race in entirety herself, she took advantage of the opportunity to help you finish. She rocks too!

Congrats again and just keep washing the shirt ;)

Wendy said...

Wear the shirt in good health. You certainly earned it!

peter said...

Yay for you for finishing. Esp. in such oppressive, hot conditions. And running a marathon when SICK is VERY hard. I ran Chicago while on antibiotics and it was dreadful (feeling of fatigue was worse than the stifling heat, which I could compensate for by slowing down and imbibing). I'm impressed that you did it in your first marathon. Congrats.

ShoreTurtle said...

I can't imagine running a marathon while sick. Your taper wasn't exactly by the book, but you did it. Congratulations!

Tea said...

AMAZING! Great write up! I will definitely need your strength for my race tomorrow.

What a great race.

Al Dimond said...

Great job, dude! It really was a tough day for marathoners... Chicago was bedlam according to some co-workers that ran it, though I decided to avoid the whole scene by going on a bike ride with a friend through the quiet, posh north 'burbs that day. Never been happier to be in 5k-training mode :-). And then a few days after the race (at least here in Chicago) the weather got cold, as if to stick out its tongue at all the people that suffered through the race.

You'll always know that you didn't anything for your first marathon... and if you ever put yourself through that distance again it probably won't get much tougher. Awesome job.

Kori said...

You guys are all really awesome. I went back to work and no one there truly understands this running thing. It's so nice to look hear and read all your great, supportive thoughts!

Lani said...

Kori- I'm so happy for you! I didn't realize this was the first one for you, too. Obviously, I wasn't listening very well... you probably told me that when we were running across 190th the day we met out in the middle of nowhere. I was too focused on the heat and my IT band (myself!). Sorry about that. Congratulations! Feel better soon. Mine is this Saturday up in Sioux country. I'm looking forward to taking enjoyable runs, as well. I say... fo for the naked finisher shirt! Hee. You're awesome!

Lani said...

Ooops... I meant to say "go" for the naked finisher shirt! :) If you can finish this last race, you can do anything.

P.O.M. said...

I like the lessons learned adn I totally agree. Friends make a huge difference. So I'm wondering now - when i run my 2nd marathon, I'm sure it wno't be as big a deal to my friends. So without them there, what will it be like? I guess we can make friends on the course. That's fun too.

PS: Waiting for my middle toenail to pop off any second. It hurts.

Audrey said...

i read about this naked run too...and i totally want to do it! i heard that women use cellophane (sp?) wrap or something for their chests in lieu of a sports bra so hopefully that still counts as naked.