I ran my first marathon this weekend! I ran a marathon!! It was unlike anything that I have ever experienced. Just like training was, this race was a roller coaster of emotions. The good news is that I finished! The beginning was great, the ending was awesome, but the middle part was absolute hell! This was the hardest thing I have ever done, and I struggled more than I could have ever imagined. But, I crossed the finish line.
The beginning was a lot of fun. We lined up in our corral around 6:00 and listened to all of the announcements, the National Anthem, and there was 168 seconds of silence. (For the 168 victims.)
There were 24,818 people from 48 states and 12 countries that ran. The atmosphere at the start line was exciting! Beach balls were bouncing through the air. There were tons of spectators ready to cheer us on.
I was ready. I thought I would be anxious or really nervous, but I wasn’t. I was excited and just ready to do it! When the gun went off, it took us 6 minutes to get from our corral to the actual starting line. I ran past where Jeremy was waiting to take my picture, and he wished me luck, and we were off.
We started out strong, set into a good pace, and the first half of the race was great! The first 12 miles all had a 9:20-9:30 pace. I wasn’t tired, nothing hurt, and I felt awesome! I took in the sights and all of the people lining the course. There is such a huge support from Oklahoma City for the runners. People were cheering for us, policemen and the course marshalls were thanking us for running. My adrenaline was pumping! I loved the music playing from houses, cars, and bands. I laughed at the signs and costumes. First we ran past the capital building.
Then we ran up Gorilla Hill. On one side of the road they are handing out bananas, and on the other side of the road, everyone is dressed as bananas.
Around Mile 11 was the first time I saw Jeremy and his aunt and uncle.
We were having a great time! ( I don’t know what mile this was, but I’m still smiling!)
And we saw this. This absolutely blew my mind! I am amazed at how anyone could run a marathon barefoot. That is awesome!
Right before mile 13 is where the good part ends for while. A long while! I think at this mile, I “hit the wall”. I would assume that’s what you would call this. All of the sudden, somewhere right before mile 13, something hit me and I got so sick. I’m talking stomach cramps, nausea, and the big D! (Sorry people! Probably more than you want to know, but it happens, and it really sucks!!) We had to make several stops at the lovely port-a-potties. I was so thankful that they were there! On top of that, the wind was a holy terror! Somewhere during mile 15-16, we were down around the lake. I had really been looking forward to running around the lake before the race.
Once we got there though I changed my mind. We ran for 4-5 miles straight into the wind. It was literally blowing so hard that it was knocking me over. I was in one of the port-a-potties down there, and the wind was blowing so hard that one side of it kept lifting off the ground. I was thinking that would be my luck that the whole thing just blew over with me in it.
At this point, I was so mad at myself, and at my friend who even suggested doing this marathon…and then backed out on me! I told her that I was mad at her and she laughed at me. She said, “you finished didn’t ya?” I thought that this stomach stuff would pass, and I would get a second wind and feel well enough to finish the race strong. But, that never happened. I kept drinking water at every station hoping that would settle my stomach. It didn’t help, it actually seemed to make it worse, but I was just so thirsty. I could run for a little while, but it wasn’t long before I would get nauseous again. Then we would have to walk to let it settle. Plus, my knee was hurting so, so bad; worse than it ever did in training. I wondered if the pain wasn’t what was making me so nauseous. I taped it for the race, but somewhere in the first half the tape fell off.
At mile 19, I finally hit rock bottom. I made it into the bathroom and I threw up. When I came out, I was seriously ready to quit. I told my dad and he wouldn’t let me. We walked down the block, and Jeremy was there and I told him and he wouldn’t let me quit either. If it wasn’t for them, I really think in that moment I would have quit. I would have never forgiven myself either. We continued to walk and try to run the rest of the race. The second half of the race is the hardest thing I have ever done. I kept pushing myself to run and try to finish, but my body was fighting me on everything. During the second half, there wasn’t much to see and there weren’t a lot of spectators on the course either. It made it kind of boring, but in a way it made me feel better – almost like there weren’t a lot of people there to see me failing. <– I know that’s not true, but that’s what I felt like at the time.
What helped me more than anything during this race was having my dad with me. I tried to tell him to go on and leave me, but he wouldn’t. He said we started this together, and we’re going to finish it together. It made me tear up when he wouldn’t go. After that I was pretty emotional for the rest of the race. I was mad at myself for not being able to perform how I knew I could, I was upset for wanting to quit, and I felt bad that I was holding my dad back. Jeremy helped me so much too. Jeremy and his aunt and uncle were tracking me with my watch. So, they kept popping up all over the course. He’s never done that before, and I had no idea that he was going to, so when I would see them, I would get all emotional. It gave me a boost to see Jeremy waiting there for me and hearing him cheer me on. It made me so happy that they were there on the course supporting me.
My mind was in the right place the entire time, well except for the split second that I thought about quitting, but my body just wouldn’t cooperate at all! I wanted more than anything to finish this race, and I really wanted to finish with a good time. I was so disappointed with my time, and to be honest I don’t even know what my official time was. I haven’t looked it up because I know it’s not good. My watch said 5 hours and 26 minutes. I think that was part of why I was so emotional too. I knew that I wasn’t going to finish how I wanted to.
I held myself together until I crossed the finish line, and then the flood gates opened. I cried and cried and cried! When I saw my family and some friends all waiting for us at the finish line, that’s when I lost it.
I could not stop crying! My dad and I went and got our t-shirts and had our picture taken.
Then we went and got my knee iced.
When we finally went out of the fence to where everyone was waiting, I lost it again. And my dad teared up too!
I am so glad I did this race, and I’m so glad I finished it! The months of training were worth it when I crossed that finish line. Even though I’m disappointed with my time, I am so proud of just doing it! This was a huge accomplishment, and one that I honestly (even during the training) never thought I would do.
After the race, all I wanted to do was shower and take a nap! I did get to shower, but I didn’t get a nap. I drank 2 bottles of water on the way back to Norman. I knew I needed to eat something, but I just couldn’t get anything down. After my shower, I finally forced down a granola bar. Then we went to our cousin C’s baseball game. I drank another bottle of water and ate some French fries. During the game, I talked to one of the mom’s who ran the half. She said that she and her running partner both got sick like I did. She asked me if I drank the water and said that’s what she thinks made her sick. She said that she watched one station fill up their water with a hose from a fire hydrant. I don’t know if that’s what it was or not, but that would explain why I felt worse after I drank water. I also found out that one of my parent’s friends was running the half, and he got sick like that too during the race. I don’t know what was going on?!
After the game, we went to Louie’s to eat. I felt a little hungry, but nothing sounded good. So, Jeremy decided that we would order hot wings for an appetizer and a burger and pizza to share. I think he was just trying to get me to eat something. I ate two of the wings, but they were burning my wind burned lips. I was able to get down two pieces of pizza and a few fries.
But, on the way home I got sick again. At this point, I really started wondering if I had a bug or something. When we got home, I took some pepto, foam rolled for a minute, and went to bed. When we got home, I found these tied to my front porch. They’re from my grandparents, they’re so sweet!
And, later that night, this is what my dad wrote on Facebook. It made me cry…again! lol
I was not as sore as I thought I would be when I got up on Monday morning, and that really surprised me. My knee still hurt bad, and the side of one of my feet was pretty sore. But, I got around really well. I had really thought that I wouldn’t be able to walk very well on Monday. The only thing that hurt was trying to sit down. I stayed on my feet most of the day to try and walk off some of the soreness, and it seemed to help. My stomach was still queasy. Maybe I do have a bug, but I don’t feel bad. I tried a granola bar for breakfast, and that didn’t sit well. By lunch time I was feeling a little hungry, so I had a colleague pick me up a turkey sandwich at Subway. I did eat most of it, but within about 30 minutes, my stomach was hurting again. Since I was having such a hard time eating anything, I made sure to drink a ton of water and I drank a huge bottle of Gatorade. I figured that would at least help. I ate a half of a bowl of cereal for dinner and drank some more Gatorade. I went to bed early and slept all night!
My dad asked me what I thought about doing another marathon. If he would have asked me on Sunday, I would have said never again. But, now I think I would like to do it again! This will definitely be something we talk about in the future.
I did it!! Thank you to all of you for the support throughout this training. Your encouragement was definitely on my mind during the race. You all helped me get to that finish line!