Well, it wasn’t a good day. No, that’s not right. I had a great deal of fun with parts of the marathon, but I didn’t make it to the finish line. I’m ok…well, sore in places that make no sense to be sore after running, dehydrated, and exhausted…but after what I’ve just been through, I believe that qualifies as an “ok.” 🙂
The good news first:
- 13 miles has never felt that easy!
- Winter Warrior may have qualified for Boston…on his first try! Wowee!
- Husband Extraordinaire has logged another impressive marathon finish.
- Running Buddy finished right around 4:15…a little over our goal time, but a finish! Yay! She was so strong.
Now, for the bad news. I was doing very well for the first half of the race. They had tiny water bottles at the aid stations, so my practice became to snag a bottle and sip from it for the next mile or so. I felt that I was being conscientious about getting in water and shot blocks, and I enjoyed running around Churchill Downs. We actually got to see some horses. We also saw 3 Elvises, the devil, and a go-go dancer jamming to a stereo that one Elvis was pushing in a baby stroller. Additionally, we saw some ladies dressed as jockeys (whips included, grrrrowl) and a fella in a polyester suit for no discernible reason whatsoever.
At mile 12, the “mini marathoners” left us, and we were suddenly all alone. Running with a south breeze. Completely exposed to the sun for the first time in the course. Miles 12-14 were the beginning of the end for me. I was starting to feel the effects of the heat, and I told RB that I felt I was on the edge of something really bad. Three miles later in second hilly park of the course, I was really struggling. RB stuck along with me, encouraging me and walking with me until I finally begged her to not sacrifice her time for me. She made me promise that I would finish somehow, and then she was gone.
I really tried, folks. At the point I stopped (mile 20), I had walked a solid mile and couldn’t even fathom the last 4 miles of the race. There would be no cover from the sun and stronger wind to contend with. I jogged along, trying to think happy thoughts, when a giant cramp that extended from my back, down my hamstrings, and into my calves sidelined me. After a minute or so, an officer approached. All I could say was, “I think I’m done.”
I’m disappointed, but I don’t think (although I said as much to my brother in a more emotional moment) that this journey has been a waste of time. Training for the marathon has helped me lose 5 pounds and get back to the best shape I’ve been in since college. I got to see an old friend from Kansas and visit a city I’ve never been to before. This only shows how much respect the marathon truly requires. The earliest casualty I saw to the race was at mile 6…it was a tough, tough day. I hope she’s doing ok.