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.
A Few Good Swims
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