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.
- Goal: Run a marathon
- Choices: Set a training schedule. Did what I could when I could.
- Experience: I ran a FREAKIN’ MARATHON!!!
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.
It’s a little blurry but here I am at the starting 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.
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.