26.2, Done and Done
October 4, 2010 § 1 Comment
The marathon is over! I am glad to have ran it, and I’m glad that it’s over.
I woke up at 6am to my sister shaking me, “You’re alarm is going off!” Apparently, my ear plugs worked better than great! I roused myself, took a shower, dressed in my color coordinating outfit, and ate oatmeal, a hard-boiled egg and half of a banana. My friend Shannon picked me up, and we met my running group at the metrodome, but I still wasn’t feeling too nervous. Shannon and I decided to start at the very back of the pack so that we could pass lots of people. The gun went off, and I got the jitters and I had to pee. After about 2 miles, we made a portapotty stop. That took 5 minutes, so now we were really in the back! There weren’t too many people behind us, and I was starting to feel frantic. We picked up our pace, but I could hear my coaches and friends in my head saying, “Don’t start out too fast!” For about five miles, I was stressed out about being in the back, not being with a pace group, and also for going too fast. My friend took off, and around mile six, I settled into a pace a little slower than a 10 minute mile. I saw my friend Tseganesh, and fellow running partner, at mile 6, my family cheered me on at mile 8.5, my coach Ryan at mile 11, a co-worker Scott at about 14, then my family again at mile 17. This stretch in the middle went pretty quickly. Also, it helped that there were so many people cheering on the side lines (I’m glad I wrote RUTH in marker on my arm), and there was lots of loud music and live bands that made me dance and pick up the pace. Love love LOVED all of the music.
I crossed the Franklin bridge ready for the hills. Bring ’em on! I was ready to get into the zone. I did pretty good going up the hills, but by the time I got to the top, I was beat. We were at about mile 22 here, and I wanted to book it on home, but I slowed down a bit. But not for long. Mile 24, I did a quick stretch and got into a good zone or runner’s high. Mile 25, I picked it up a bit more. With a half mile to go, I started sprinting. I thought I might get emotional, but I didn’t cry. I sprinting, and pumped my fists in the air, and made motions for the crowds to cheer. Come on, people, bring me home! I was ready to be done with this thing, but felt exuberant. I waved at my family one more time, and crossed the finish line in exactly 4:34:52, with an overall pace of 10:21. My Garmin said I ran 26.55 miles, not 26.2, but oh well. I’m still really happy with my time.
My first goal was to finish. My second goal was to enjoy myself. My third goal was to not walk. My fourth goal was to finish in 4:45. My fifth, and very ambitious goal was to run it in 4:30. Considering I spent about 5 minutes in the bathroom, I consider that I actually ran it in about 4:30. I’m happy to say I met all of my goals, even if I didn’t enjoy every minute of it.
Will I do this again? I don’t know. It was an intense summer of training, but I met some cool, new people. I feel like I’m in great shape, although I didn’t lose a lot of weight. I accomplished a huge goal–something I thought I’d never do–and consider it my greatest accomplishment to date. Ask me again in three months.
Thanks to everyone for your encouragement along the way, and all of your cheers.