Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Race is Done!!

And how did it go? Well, I finished and really that was the goal, I didn't get pulled at the gauntlet, I beat the bridge, and I got the the end without passing out, puking, or crying... much. 

It was an amazing experience, with highs and lows, it's amazing how many emotions you go through in 6 hours. I was extra nervous at the start, feeling pretty wobbly through the first 4 miles then hit my stride for a few miles, I was with my friend Jess and we decided to go without walking as long as we could, we got to mile 12. I was feeling good and wanted to keep going, but there was no way I was leaving her. She motivated me to keep running as long as we had and it was my turn to keep her going. 

We suffered through 13-17, it was slow going but I was feeling strong and having fun and trying to keep her spirits up with the knowledge that we were more than half through. We just made the cut off at the gauntlet, we didn't realize it at the time, but I remember noticing them starting to move traffic cones, it was to reroute the runners directly behind us to the bridge, so they missed miles 18 and 19. 

It was just before 18 that I saw my family, I ran ahead so I could give them all hugs and it was a huge boost, that I really needed because just after that they said we had 35 minutes to make the bridge... and 2 miles to go, so we sucked it up and ran our little hearts out for two miles to the base of the bridge. At that point I lost Jess, she told me to go ahead and I did. I don't think either of us would have made the cut off without each other, and I'm so grateful that we had this experience together. 

After I was secure in the knowledge that I had in fact made the cut (and after asking about 10 people to be sure) I started mixing in more walking, miles 20-22 were slow, but I kept up some pretty strong running in there as well. Miles 23 and 24 were freaking brutal, hearing "Only two more miles" at that point, was not incredibly helpful. I saw two friends just before mile 25 and they ran with me for about a quarter mile, then at the last water stop I saw someone I was in NROTC with who could not have looked more shocked to see me running a marathon, that bolstered my spirits even more, yeah I was going slow, but I was doing it. I saw two more friends just after that and they ran me in to mile 26, gave me a slap on the ass to get up the hill for the last .2. My time was 6:18:31, not breaking any land speed records, but I ran my own race and I proved I could finish. 

I'm not going to lie, I expected to feel differently at the finish line, but I think I also had unreal expectations of who would be there and the cheering crowds, etc. It could have also been that I was so physically and emotionally drained that I was numb. I got my medal, got some pictures, got a tyvek coat, and set off to find my family and friends. 

I have to say the worst part of the race was the mile walk to the next metro station to get home. I was so very done. But again, pushed through and made it home. I had some great cake that my cousin made for me, took a shower, and headed off to get a tattoo with my friend. I can honestly say that the marathon hurt more than the tattoo. And it has tons of meaning to me, not just because I really like what I chose to put on my body forever, but because I did it with my friend immediately after we ran a marathon together. It'll be a great story for the rest of my life. 

It's been two days and after hunkering down for Hurricane Sandy and healing up a little I'm ready for what's next. I'm not sure I'll run a marathon again, a half might be as far as I go, but I do want to get faster again. Through this whole process I haven't pushed my speed because I knew I wanted to have a 12 min/mile pace for the race, so even when I was doing short runs I was keeping that pace. I want to get back to where I was when I returned from Iraq, I did a 10K with 9 min/miles. I think know I can do it again. 

I'm also going to get serious about my weight loss again. Starting with a 21 Day Sugar Detox from 1-21 November. Yay.... not so much. 

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