Sunday, May 04, 2008

Finishing Well...(Ok, maybe not well but finishing)

This morning my college roommate Sarah and I completed our first (but hopefully not last) marathon. I want to share a few of the thoughts that were running through my mind during the day.

5:00 am- "Wow! Race day is actually here. I am just going to concentrate on running and not allow the distance to cause me unnecessary anxiety. I'm going to lace up my sneakers, do a little stretching, and hit the trail as if it were any other daily run."

6:00 am- "Seeing all the other runners makes me less nervous. I can and will do this."

6:18am- "And we're off!"

6.6 miles- "This is a piece of cake. Nothing to worry about. Oh look, there's a Kenyan. Technically I am ahead of him (never mind that I started 40 minutes before he did)."

8 miles- "Maybe I shouldn't of eaten those 4 rolls last night at the restaurant."

9 miles- "The Baskin Robbins ice cream may have been a bad idea as well."

10 miles- "Ok, my feet are beginning to ache and my upper thighs kind of burn. Run through the pain, run through the pain."

13.1 miles- "Why did I agree to do a full marathon before doing a half? Maybe I'll just do a half today and sign up later for another full marathon. No, I gotta keep going. Lord, give me strength."

15 miles- "The burning pain has become more intense. Do I even have upper thighs anymore? I can't feel them. This is also incredibly boring. I need some more excitement to keep me going."

19.7 miles- "Alright, 3/4 of the way done and I feel a little better. That last 6.6 miles was complete torture. Hopefully the last leg of this will be much better."

21 miles- "I'm actually doing this. I didn't know if I could finish, but I will. The end is in sight. Uh oh, getting a littel choked up. This is no time for crying, just run."

24 miles- "2 more mile, 2 more miles. My heels are numb and my calves burn, although my thighs feel a little better. I think my toenail is falling off."

26 miles -"Sarah's telling me to run faster. SPRINT! There's the finish line, go go go!"

26.2 miles(and beyond)- "Sitting down has never felt so great. Chairs totally rock!"

This experience was seriously one of the most rewarding yet difficult tasks I have ever completed. The race itself was challenging, but the 3 months of training were just as difficult. For anyone who has ever wanted to run a marathon, you need to do it. You will be so proud of yourself afterwards. But train appropriately. That was my biggest mistake. There were so many days that I chose not to train simply because I didn't feel like running and I felt every one of those days today. Also, do a half-marathon first. That way you will have a better idea of what to expect and it won't be as overwhelming when you do a full marathon.

I've always heard that people who run a marathon are either completely hooked or vow to never do one again. The verdict is still out for me. Sarah and I might try to do the NYC marathon together next, but I may need to wait a week before I decide if this is something I want to attempt again in the future. Thank you to everybody who has supported me throughout the past 3 months. Your support and encouragement really helped me today when I didn't know if I could keep going. I appreciate it more than you could ever know!