Marathoning for Miracles: the full report

I debated for a couple days about whether I should go into full detail or just give the highlights and a few pics. But I eventually decided that I will give a full, detailed report of this race. Not usually my style but I need to record it all so that I can remember it later (since I have such a terrible memory as you all know).  So just feel free to skip over any parts you find mundane.

Friday November 2

7:30pm
Dinner at Jason’s Deli. So glad my sister was with me to help distract me from my nervous tummy.

Saturday November 3

4:59am
Yeah, I couldn’t wait for the alarm. I was already awake. I got up, managed some breakfast. My stomach was in knots. I was able to eat a handful of granola and half a thing of yogurt. Not as much as I needed but it was all I could handle.

6:30am
Say pee!! I lost count of the number of times I peed before the race. They had actual restroom facilities so I had to take advantage!

7:30am
The race starts. I was so scared. I just couldn’t really wrap my mind around the work I had in front of me at this point. So I just focused on the music and pretended like it was an easy 5 miler.

8am Mile 3
Feeling pretty good at this point. It was still a little dark, the temperature was in the high 50’s or low 60’s I am not sure. It felt good though. The viewing sites for this race were a little weird, but ended up working out ok. Josh was at 3 of them waiting for me! The first one was at mile 3, the second at mile 18, the third at mile 18.5 and the fourth at mile 25 (approximately).

This was my favorite part of the race. As much as I loved having Josh there, I needed to just get in the zone. So from mile 3-18 I just ran. I just did what I knew I could do. (My favorite part about running and the reason I keep doing it.)

I wore my newest pair of shoes. I broke them in the best I could but with being sick and tapering I didn’t get as many miles on them as I should have. But the older pair weren’t gonna cut it either. I ended up with numb feet at mile 13. I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing. When I took my shoes off after the race I realized it was a good thing. I wasn’t able to feel these blisters. I am pretty sure that the several miles of caliche road didn’t help.  (If you don’t want to see nasty pictures…just scroll down really fast with your eyes closed!)

Ok, it’s safe! No more nasty pictures!
Josh’s first message to me on my ipod was so sweet and exactly what I needed to hear so I kept going. At mile 16 I was starting to really feel it in my hips. They were tired and aching. My feet were aching. But I just thought of that popular quote “Your feet are hurting because you’re kicking so much ass” and just kept going. I caught up with some really sweet women at this point. We complained about our hips together and just kept running. I also knew I was about to see Josh and my nephews so I ran pretty hard at this point. My garmin was showing me 9-9:30 minute per mile pace.

Mile 18
I was so happy to see Josh! I had plenty of fuel with me but I had packed a backpack for him to bring. It had a snickers bar and extra sweat bands. Mine were soaked in snot because I am still having sinus issues which were aggravated by the crisp breeze that day. (I will spare you the details of this, it was NOT pretty people). I am not complaining though because I would much rather it have been cold than hot.

I wasted a couple minutes here resting and kissing on my nephew but it was worth it! It gave me a boost to keep going.

11 am Mile 20
This was the turning point. I knew I could go 20 miles. I had done that before. I was actually 15 minutes ahead of my 20 mile training run 2 weeks ago and wondering why it had been so easy up to this point. I was so pleased!

Then something happened. I passed the 20 mile sign. At that very moment, everything started to ache. The pain in my hips and feet and legs got instantly worse. Pretty sure they call this “The Wall”. The next 6 miles were the most grueling, difficult, testing time in my entire life. The only time I have ever been more miserable was when I had guillain-barre.

God knows what time…Mile 25
I was in trouble at this point. I had a twinge in my lower back every time my left leg moved forward. It was actually causing numbness down my leg and I got really scared. But it hurt to walk too.  So I just decided to run as much as I could to make it end sooner. I think it was more of a shuffle…

I looked over to my right and saw Josh, my sisters, my nephews and my mom. And I broke. I just started crying. I wanted it to be over. I had one more freakin mile to go and I just couldn’t muster the will power. I wanted to run over to my mom and hug her. Yep…I wanted my mommy.

But I didn’t run to her. I waved and blew a kiss and just kept going. Josh ran with me the last few hundred feet to the finish line. I was on the verge of tears again.

I was crying for so many reasons.
I was crying because I was in pain. My whole body hurt, not just my legs.
I was crying because it meant so much to have my family and two honorary family members waiting for me at the finish line. I got to hug my mom.
I was crying because I was so proud and relieved.
I was crying because it was over. This thing I’ve obsessed over for 5 months just ended.

This was a pretty small event. I ended up finishing 12/20 and 2nd in my age division. Which I was really surprised about because I don’t remember passing anyone? Maybe they were in the porta potties…

My dream was to finish under 4:30 but my goal was to finish under 4:45 so I am pleased. I went home and took an ice bath. It felt so terrible and so awesome at the same time. We went to lunch and I demolished a Royal Red Robin burger and most of this mint chocolate chip milk shake.

I was very sore on Saturday night. I kept asking Josh to get me things. I just couldn’t move my legs and my feet were so tender. I went to bed early and got lots of rest. Sunday I moved pretty much all day keeping up with my nephews. I felt so much better! By Monday I was walking almost normally. My feet were still pretty tender but my thighs weren’t so sore. Today I feel awesome! I am already itching for another run…

I still have so much to talk about. So many things that I want to share about completing a marathon. Too many things to fit into this one post. I will have to include a few follow up posts to get it all out.

Tonight I am going to get my 26.2 tattoo. I think it is going to hurt worse than the marathon. Smiley

“You don’t have to be fast, but you better be fearless.” In the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

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