ME?!? I can’t believe it. I did it! It was hard. It was wonderful. It was torturous. It was emotional. It was crampy. It was freakin’ FANTASTIC.

NOT because I had the best time or the fastest run but because I did it. I did the best I could. I set a goal and I achieved it. Was I perfect? Nope. My training schedule fell apart. Geesh I only ran 4 times in the last month!


I didn’t use my new job, or moving or the death of my Dad as an excuse. I could have, believe me, I thought about it. But that’s what “Old Roni” would have done. You know, the “Oh, I had a piece of cake, might as well give up on eating healthy” mentality. Yeah, that was “Old Roni”. “New Roni” knows there is no such thing as perfection. There are just goals, choices and experiences.

Sorry I didn’t mean to get all preachy there. You know me, I’m always over analyzing. Let me get to this Marathon! I did tweet the entire race. So I have a great pictorial journal. I’m gonna post some of those in order and mix in a few other memories in between. 🙂

Here’s the little guy and I walking from the parking lot. We got there, parked and enough time for a nice stroll to the start.

Walking to Marathon

It’s a little blurry but here I am at the starting line.

Me at marathon start line

This is when I realized my Nike+ was not working. I was, of course pissed, but hey, what am I gonna do? I had a marathon to run! So I put on the music and set off!

A few seconds in I saw the family and they snapped this great shot.

Me at the starting line!

The first 5 miles I was feeling pretty good. It was all uphill and my time was spot on.

Mile 8 and still feeling great! 🙂

Around mile 11.5 I took a pee break.

Between 8 and 12 a few things happened. My iPod went wacky. First the Nike+ and then the iPod. All my gadgets totally failed me.

I also took a short walk break around 10 and saw the jump roper. Yes, you heard me, the jump rope marathoner. He was on 9 when I was on 12, I think. I love the people who do crazy stuff during races. They make it so much FUN!

Soon I saw this…

HALFWAY WHOOO HOO! and time to see the family. I knew they would be around somewhere and they were.

2019 update – photo lost. 🙁

My Step Father snapped that. I gave everyone a big hug and a kiss. A few steps later I saw my friend and her Fiance. It was AWESOME to have so much support (not to mention you guys!)

Around mile 15.5 I was starting to get REALLY crampy. I stopped a few times to stretch and snapped a few photos. I was in a very familiar part of the city and it was a nice, relatively flat part of the run.

Mile 17 my legs were failing. That’s really what I mean when I say crampy. To be honest I felt fantastic. I had loads of energy. I was hydrated. I was loving it (even without the music) but my legs were just not prepared for the distance. I mean I knew this was going to happen. I really wasn’t physically prepared for the milage. This is when I wished I did have more time to train.

Then I saw a woman walking backwards after a water stop and I thought that was genius! It gave my hamstrings a much-needed rest while still making forward progress. Well.. backward progress… well… I mean progress! Anyway, that’s when I snapped this…

Around mile 18 I saw this and I just had to say.. DUH?!?

Mile 19 I was feeling good. My legs were shot but I was ecstatic as I approached the last quarter of the run.

Here’s my time at 20.

At this point, I knew most of the big hills were behind me so I was feeling really good even though my legs were NOT liking me at all. I don’t think I’ve ever been as sore during a run as I was the last 6 miles of this race.

The next 5 miles were pretty much hell. I trotted when I could then walked stretched and tried to trot again. I found energy in cheering others on and getting cheered on. Let me tell you if you EVER run in a race, ANY race. Wear your name on your shirt. People are AMAZINGLY supportive. People I didn’t know cheering me on with encouraging words made a HUGE difference. I would get motivated and give a few encouraging words to those around me that were also struggling. This is when I started to get emotional. And let me tell you, holding back tears while running your 22-24 mile is not fun. It was the only time I felt out of breath. So I had to hold it back.

Then I saw this..

OMG the LAST mile. All of a sudden I wasn’t emotional. I was in a state of shock. I was going to do this.

I was REALLY going to do this!

That whole last mile I ran. Well, I “trotted” not stopping to walk once. Then I saw my friend again and she gave me a TOTALY boost. Then I saw the family…

…and I was ecstatic. I almost broke down again and the family had to remind me to keep running to the finish line.

To be honest, crossing the actual finish was a little anticlimactic. Maybe I was a little late but no one seemed to be cheering and since I already passed my family and friends I sort of just crossed alone and then tried to find them. But not without grabbing my medal and asking someone to snap a quick photo…

Afterwards, I hooked back up with the family all I wanted to do was sit. So sit I did.

Then I did quite possibly the smartest thing ever. I put on the comfy slippers I asked the husband to keep in his bag.

2019 update – another photo lost 🙁

Besides putting your name on your shirt this is my second biggest piece of advice… bring comfy flip flops or slippers. You have no idea how many people stopped me on the way back to the car wishing they did the same.

As a celebratory meal, I had to pay homage to Baltimore and choose a crab cake. Not only any crab cake but the best crab cake in Baltimore. Seriously if you are ever in Baltimore you must try a Koco’s crab cake. It’s a bit pricey but totally worth it!

All in all, it was an AWESOME day. I did what I set out to do. I got to celebrate with my family. I came home and took the most awesome bubble bath ever. Even watched a cheesy horror flick with mom after putting the kids to bed. A perfect ending to a perfect day. Now I’m off to get some sleep. Tomorrow is Maize Quest day. A long-standing family tradition! 🙂

OK, I got to go. Good night and thank you ALL for the kind words and encouragement. You have NO idea how much they mean to me and seriously how much they helped me get across that finish line. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Published by Roni

A 40ish - wait, what?! - Mom who loves to try new things, share her adventures, and inspire people to reach their goals.

111 replies on “I’m a Marathoner!”

  1. CONGRATULATIONS! I am soooo amazed! I really want to try a 1/2 or maybe a full marathon next year (December 2010) and reading your story really makes me think that I might could do it.
    Love the pictures!

  2. You Rock Roni! Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration!
    Your favorite Wisconsin Cheesehead ~ Kel

  3. CONGRATS RONI!!! I LOVED reading your tweets as you went along with your full recap. You are totally right – nobody ever asks how fast you ran your marathon, just that you ran it! WTG. You are such an inspiration – way to push through it and meet that goal no matter what life threw your way! As always you are my idol in every way – 1st WW, then, Blogging, and now as a marathoner 🙂

  4. Great job! Thank you for sharing your amazing day and thank you for being such an inspiration.

  5. Congradulations, I knew you would do great. As always your account of your race made me cry. I love the photo of you about to hug Ryan. My sons cheers at my races have ment more than any others. Loved seeing the pictures along the way. I was cheering for you from my computer at home. Did other runners take those pictures for you or race volunteers?

  6. NICE WORK!!!! That’s so exciting. I’ve been following your blog for about 9 months now so it’s so neat to see your dream come to fruition! You now have some serious bragging rights for the rest of your life. :0) I hope your legs return to normal soon too…yieee…

  7. Very Inspiring! 26 miles!!!WOW!!! You are really accomplishing great things-so happy and proud for you!

  8. Congratulations! And I’m glad you had a great time. I’m training for my first marathon, the LA Marathon 3/21/10. I’m super excited. I signed up as a 30th birthday gift for myself. Reading your race recap was very inspiring. Keep up the great work. You ROCK!!

  9. Congratulations, Roni! I prayed for you this morning. I am so glad you achieved your goal. You did great!!!!

  10. Ugh! You make me cry!!! I am so freaking proud of you!!! You are so amazing and such a beautiful inspiration to so many – keep on keeping on 😉 YOU ROCK! YOU ROCK! YOU ROCK!

  11. Roni, you are such an inspiration. You’ve an amazing way of describing events around you that make us feel as though we are alongside you. Congratulations on completing the marathon (wow, a marathon!!!), such an incredible acheivement. Well done, well done, well done!!!

  12. Hi Roni, Your tweets and pics had me hooked all day yesterday and I was actually getting goosebumps at one point. What a wonderful gift you have given yourself. You are SO, SO inspirational. I loved every word of this recap!

  13. Dear Roni,
    I’ve never commented before but silently I’ve been following your entries for a year know. I just wanted to say what a huge inspiration you are for many people and congratulate on your marathon running! Thank you again sharing your moments, I can learn a lot from them. Cheers,
    a girl from Hungary

  14. Roni, you’ve got me crying, now, too. I think the last thing you pinned to your shirt was the last straw. lol So proud of you! You make it look easy, and though all I’ve ever done was run on my own, you’ve got me wondering if I can’t go out there and do the same thing one day. Your family must be SO proud of you. (They also take great shots at the right moments.) Have a great Sunday!

  15. OMG! I’m so proud of you. I sit here reading this with tears streaming down my face (yes, I’m a sap too–maybe even a bigger sap than you! :)) It’s so awesome that you did this. I loved reading your tweets yesterday. You have inspired me SO MUCH! I went out yesterday and did a 30 minute run and I thought of you the whole time (Roni’s been running for 2 hours and she’s got at least 3 left to go…WOW!) I’m setting my sights on 2 half marathons next year. The one I’ve done before but I walked it–I want to RUN it this time. Thanks to you–I know I can!

    I have to ask…WHERE did you stash your cell phone during the run?? Or do I even want to know…LOL!!! 🙂

  16. Congratulations! And thank you SO much for posting all about this. I have a half marathon next month, and my work schedule has made it impossible to keep up with my training program. It is so exciting and reassuring to read that you did a whole freakin’ marathon with similar time constraints. Thank you!

  17. Congratulations Roni! What an awesome accomplishment. I checked in at Twitter throughout the morning. Loved the photos. Your spirit is contagious.

  18. Yay, Roni!! I knew you could do it! You continue to be an inspiration to me. I’m getting ready to run my first 5K in a few weeks – and as you know, I would never be doing it if it weren’t for you! Congratulations!!!!

  19. hey roni. you’ve done something pretty awesome here. not only have you done this amazing transformation in your mind and your body, but you have helped a lot of us see that we are only people. you have helped us realize that we will never be perfect and that is A-OK. You have shown us in so many ways that we can achieve any goal we set as long as we are willing to work for it. Congratulations Roni. You ran a friggin marathon. I think I might have to see if I can do it too!

  20. CONGRATULATIONS on your marathon! I was following via twitter, and thought you did amazing! I love your photos, and I’m sure you’ll be so glad you have them in the future.

    Will you be doing another marathon? (I keep reading people who say they did one just to do it and got hooked… LOL!)

    But as always, you are an inspiration. I was looking at the snow outside giving myself excuses not to run today… but now I’m going to lace up my shoes and head out the door!

  21. Roni… thanks for the early morning tears! The photo of you running up to hug the little guy is what gets me every time! Thank you for sharing your life with so many people. You are a rock star!

  22. Oh, again, I’m so proud of you! I wanted to tweet back to every one of your tweets, but I restrained myself to just a few (LesleyG on Twitter, by the way). I love, love, LOVE that you let nothing hold you back. I have been in that place of leg fail during a 5+ hour marathon and while it’s not fun, it is quite emotional. You really get to know your own strength in a new way.

    You are amazing! Congratulations!

  23. Oh Roni! SOOOOO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!
    YOU’RE A MARATHONER!!!!!!!!!!! you did it! you can do anything!!!!!
    CONGRATULATIONS – thanks for taking us along, not only are you a marathoner, but you are such an inspiration to us all!!! Thank YOU!!!

  24. I thought I was the only one, but everyone is emotional here about this awesome experience of yours. I have said this before and I’ll say it again, Roni, you are an inspiration. WTG on the Marathon!!!!

  25. C O N G R A T S Roni! What a great recap! You are so inspiring to sooooooooooooooo many of us women 🙂 Congrats again, Marathoner!

  26. Wow that is wonderful – congratulations. I have just signed up for something out of my comfort zone and all afternoon I’ve been telling myself that I made a huge mistake -I cannot do this. I should just have been happy to stay home and stay comfortable. You are giving me inspiration, but I’m still scared.

  27. Long time reader first time commenter—
    YOU RULE!!! It’s when life throws those curveballs that we find out what we are made of and girl, you are tenacious!!!! Congrats!

  28. I don’t even really know you and I am so flippin PROUD of you! I teared up reading this post. Good job!!!

  29. Roni, I have never been so happy for and so worried about a person I have never met before. I would read your blogs and really wonder if you were up for the task. I am so glad you were able to do it and not hurt yourself in the process. Congratulations on a fabulous complete marathon. You are a role model and an HUGE INSPIRATION to so many of us out here on a life long weight loss journey. In a year and a half, I can only hope to do as well as you did on your marathon.

    AMAZING GIRL you are… just purely and simply AMAZING!

  30. wow – you look great from beginning to end and SO SO happy regardless of how your legs felt… you are an inspiration. I signed up for a 5K today… not a marathon but baby steps!

  31. I have no idea why I want to cry for (or with) you Roni. This is such a great accomplishment and we were with you all the way. I am so proud of you.

    However, now I have questions about running races. I thought you were suppose to run the entire time. I guess that is what is giving me a mental block to even consider something like this. I did not know you could stop and walk and what not. It seems so much more manageble now. I think I need to get a running magazine or something to dispel some of my myths. 😉

    So Roni, what is your next run? I am so excited… (and I am not even running it – duh!)

  32. Great post, Roni! YOU DID IT! Wow! You’ve inspired me to want to do a HALF marathon (ya, I’m not quite as crazy as you)!

    Love that you took pictures the whole way!

  33. Roni you are the bomb. You had THREE things on that list of Most Stressful Things That A Person Can Do happen to you all at once (new job, moving, losing a loved one) but still you kicked on and did it. You are truly a superstar. Congratulations comrade 🙂

  34. Congrats!!!!
    I wanna do one too!!!!

    Great idea on the slippers, will use that at my next half marathon!!!

  35. I’ve been following for a few years and just love what you have done with your passion… Whenever I feel like I need a boost or take a minute to refocus the Roni site always does the trick! Thank you thank you thank you so much!

  36. WOOT WOOT RONI!!!! AWESOME JOB!!! SO PROUD OF YOU!!! I hate that the finish line wasn’t what I told you it would be. BUMMER!! You still did a marathon even though the crowd wasn’t there to let you know about it. You will always know in your mind that you are a MARATHON runner. Very few people can say that about themselves. BE PROUD AND STAND TALL…YOU ARE THE BOMP SHA BOMP BOMP!!!

  37. Wow, I cried reading this entry. I have several health issues, and tons of meds that have caused me to gain a ton of weight. thankfully, I’m stable now. My company is an official charity of an upcoming marathon, and I’ve been debating whether or not to join. You’ve completely inspired me – not to lose weight, but to do what I want and no longer be defined by weight or health issues. Thanks.

  38. AMAZING! Be proud of yourself! Thanks for sharing every step of your marathon. I sent it to all my lady friends. I am training for a marathon and this really inspires me too that I can do it! THANK YOU!

  39. Congratulations! What a huge accomplishment! You should be SO proud of yourself – and heaven knows you should be able to brag about it on your blog.

    You are an inspiration to me – although I’m not sure that I ever want to run a marathon. I’m going to tackle my first 10K later this month though, and that’s going to be very exciting for me. 🙂

  40. “There are just goals, choices and experiences.”

    Free muffins in the breakroom … I was on my way when I thought about what I just read and decided to say “No thanks” this time because I have goals, choices and experiences. Thanks so much for writing this and inspriing me to make a different chioce today.

  41. Congratulations Ronnie! I am a long time lurker, but this post inspired me to come out of hiding. I am so happy for you and got totally choked up by your journey…congratulations on such an amazing accomplishment. You’ve got me thinking about training for a half! 🙂

  42. CONGRATULATIONS!!! You made me cry as well. It really gives me motivation to read about your experience and see your pictures. AWESOME JOB!!! Thank you for being an inspiration 🙂

  43. Roni congratulations!!! You had me all teared up, that is such an amazing post and I was totally right there with you 🙂

  44. You’re amazing!!

    I love your play-by-play with pictures. Looks like you had a great race and even greater support. I love the first pic of you waving to your family, your expression is priceless.


    Oh, and I am a huge fan of Operation Beautiful!

  45. Roni, I’ve never commented before but have been following you for over a year – all the way from Taiwan! You are such a great example of determination and doing what it takes to accomplish your goals. At the same time, I love that you don’t expect perfection and you allow yourself to enjoy the journey. I have learned a lot from your attitude of not letting one bad choice end up in throwing in the towel and not reaching your goals. You’ve shown that success is in making consistent choices overall and look what you’ve accomplished!!

  46. Roni–Have to tell you I was weeping through most of this post! What a fantastic life accomplishment! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with so many of us!

  47. Hey, Roni! Congrats on the marathon! I’ve been following your blog for a while and was really excited to see we were both training for our first marathons. My training didn’t go as well as it could have either, but reading about your progress was very motivating. I finished my first marathon on Sunday. I think the moral is, “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

  48. Hi Roni, WOW, congradulations, you done awsom, I’m sooooooo proud of you,,,,as busy as you have been, you managed to stick with your goal of doing a full Marathon……I’m doing a half on the 25th,,,,my first,,,you have been my insparation,,,,,I never thought I could run……Well I’m winning races…..I won a 5k race (2nd, in my age group, 50-54), and ran on a relay team with the running group I have joined. We won 2nd in Womans and the Sportsmanship award. It has opened up a whole new world for me. Thank you for all the Insparation…Eileen

  49. I hope it’s ok, I’m doing my first 5k next month and I am going to steal your operation beautiful idea! I think that is a wonderful time (when isn’t really?) to share such a positive movement. 🙂

  50. Hi Roni,

    I’ve lurked for a LONG time but I just have to tell you how much I appreciate your blog and recipes, and how AWESOME I think your marathon story is! I did one a few years ago and I’ve been liking me some half marathons a little more since, but it is an amazing accomplishment! You’ve got me thinking I need to do another one…

    Keep up the good work!

    Sarah from Seattle

  51. Hi Roni,

    I am a long time lurker but I have never been compelled to comment before. Just wanted to say well done! What an achievement, you have come so far and done so well. I totally subscribe to the just do what you can mentality when real life gets in the way of training.


  52. Nice time Roni!!!

    I am so proud of you!! And I think its so funny that you took so many pictures along the way, I wish I had done that, it wasn’t like I was going to win when I ran the two marathons I did!

    You looked great the whole way, and I definitely agree that the last 6 miles are THE WORST!! I did cry when I got to the finish line.

    Great great job!!!

  53. I love the idea of running one race a month……I’m planning on doing the same ,,,,,great idea. Thanks Eileen… I also done the resalution run in my area,,,,,Toronto Can.

  54. Great Job Roni! My first marathon was in 2008 and I finished in about your time. It really opened my eyes to a whole new level of running and I haven’t stopped since. Just finished my 6th full in Florida and getting ready to do San Diego in June!

  55. As long as I’ve been visiting your blog, I never read this post until now. I am totally in tears. What an amazing experience! I love that you were able to document it in pictures! I’m currently training for my first half and would love to eventually do a marathon one day. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  56. I know you completed this 7 years ago, but I stumbled upon your post today and it actually made me tear up. I have completed two halves but never a full. It is on my bucket list. Your story is so similar to mine (we are both 39, with kids, lost 70 pounds, among other things) and I read your blog often, but I rarely comment. I am proud of you, Roni and feel inspired!

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