Wednesday, February 01, 2006

it's official . . .

I'm a marathoner!!! Since my first 1/2 marathon years ago, I promised myself that I would never be crazy enough to actually run a full 26.2, I've proven myself wrong and love myself for it!!! Who can complain about the weight loss and stress relief that running offers? I certainly won't ;)

First, let me thank my momma for walking 4, yes FOUR, long and hard miles for me. After calling her between miles 18-20 tired, near tears and complaining about everything from the heat to my blisters, she walked from mile 24 to 22 to encourage me to keep going. She did this only to have me leave her there because my energy gel kicked in and I had a "use it or lose it" energy moment (thank God for Clif Gel and PowerGel) and I kept running when I saw her . . . thanks momma!!!

Now, on to the juicy stuff - me running and finishing the 26.2 miles! I won't get into the details of time and such, just know that unofficially my time was 5:50 some odd minutes . . . give or take a bathroom break or three.

After training for four months in DC's mild, but wintry weather, I was able to overcome mind and body to finish the Miami Marathon in temperatures that reached 76 degrees - definitely not what I trained for or anticipated.

I won't bore you with the minor details of each and every mile of the race, but I will say this - no matter how beautiful Miami is, you could give two darns when you're hot, have baby blisters annoying you at every foot fall and there is no cold ice water in sight. Much love to all of the volunteers giving out warm water and Gatorade, but the random woman at mile 18ish with ice was my best friend during our brief encounter. she could have had e.coli or salmonella on her bare hands and i still would have asked for the handful of ice she provided during my moment of need.

In an effort to provide a balanced look at the marathon for those who haven't run one yet, here are just a few high and low points from my marathon experience . . . its up to you to decide if these are highs or lows:

  • at mile 8 or 9ish i ran an 11 minute mile -- two and a half minutes faster than my usual pace
  • i still have all ten of my toenails and none of them are black
  • at mile 13 i realized that although the 1/2 marathoners were being awarded metals in the very near distance, i, like my full mara counterparts, still had 13.1 miles to go - that was a very sad realization
  • at mile 16 i started dialing numbers of anyone i knew who had ever run in their lives to get any encouraging word possible - thank you A for answering the phone and talking to me, i really needed that
  • at mile 20 i saw an experienced runner fall -- at that moment i knew it was do or die, although the park benches and the air conditioned CVS with ice cold water looked appealing, once you stop you're down for the count
  • at mile 23.6 or so Todd reassured me that mile 24 was right around the corner - there is nothing better than to have someone tell you "right around the corner" and it is really right around the corner. From mile 13 on up people continued to tell us that we were "almost there" ummmm, no we're not, we still have 13 miles to go. Almost there is that last .2 of the 26.2!
  • Mile 25.7ish was a bridge with was looked like a 75% incline -- folks the last thing someone who has been running for hours wants to see in those final moments is an incline, just know that in that moment i highly considered the option of sitting down for five minutes . . . but i remembered the man at mile 20
  • I ran the last .2 miles and smiled as I crossed the finish line -- you must put on a good show for the camera no matter how tired, hot and ready to quit you felt before you saw the camera.
  • Desired time or not, i finished! I'm now addicted to collecting metals
  • I will stick to half marathons from here on out

Tips to those who want to run a marathon from an amateur marathoner:

  1. Never run on a half empty stomach, you will pay for it later . . . but energy gels are your best friend
  2. Always run with your name on you somewhere, you will appreciate hearing it while you run
  3. You can never be too cautious - Bodyglide is your friend, use it, use more than you think you need - i used it and still got two blisters on my right foot, which was the foot that never bothered me during training
  4. Cry pretty when you cross the finish line and don't wait 15 minutes after you cross to start crying, people will think you're crazy . . .

Thanks again for all the well wishes, support, congrats, etc. - I truly appreciated all of it! Two medals down, 100's more to go . . .


Blogger ctoole said...

Congratulations and thanks be to God for your personal accomplishment. I'm proud of you.

8:54 PM  
Blogger VP of Dior said...

that's awesome! insane...but awesome :)

4:26 PM  
Blogger MiLFie (Hot Brownie) said...

Wow! I never think I will be able to do a marathon. I hate running and 10 miles is the furthest I have ever gone...It's a pain, but marvelous to have stumbled on your's really inspiring! Congratulations on your achievements!

3:12 PM  

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