I can officially call myself a Marathoner!
I’m still in total awe of completing my first marathon. I’m sore all over and have been walking funny, yet it is so worth the bone deep pride I feel today. It was great to complete this run with members of Team Philly who over the past four months have trained together for this event. We have shared tears of joy and pain during this training and now we all have accomplished something amazing. I am so proud to be a part of this running family.
It was a cold overcast Sunday which means the running gods are smiling on you. I typically park a mile or so away from the start line. Walking this distance, I begin to warm up my muscles and allow myself some ‘me’ time to review my running plan and relax a bit before joining my running buddies. No matter what distance the run is, I always feel a bit tense before the start of the run, having 10 to 15 minutes of alone time helps me to focus.
Waiting to start in the Orange corral I found myself standing next to the 26 mile marker – I kid you not. I don’t remember seeing it when I actually crossed the marker, so I’m glad I got a look at it before the race.
Tears started welling at the Star Spangled Banner and continued till I crossed the starting line. However, I was soon distracted by a bunch of guys holding ‘Mayor Nutter has to Go’ signs right past the starting line. I love Philly
The awesome miles, even the slight inclines through mile 7-10 (some call hills) were not an issue. The spectators lining the streets were so enthusiastic and their signs cracked me up. One sign ‘ Keep Swimming’ really made me laugh. Since I don’t run with music the cheer station music rocked – seriously – only the cool marathons play ‘Gagnam Style’ during the race.
The route through the city and out onto West River Drive make this a fantastic half marathon course.
This is the point where the marathon becomes an out and back course. I could run this course with my eyes closed and was looking forward to getting to this point as I figured I would be getting close to the finish line. I started to struggle at mile 18 and had to promise myself the moon and stars to just get to mile 20, the turn around point in Manayunk. At that point, every step would be the farthest step I’d run in my training leading up to this marathon. That thought really messed with my head and I felt myself panicking for no good reason.
When I arrived at the Falls Bridge, around mile 22 I felt if I did not stop running I was going to fall down. As I started walking, tears of frustration leaked out; one of the cheer volunteers asked what was wrong and helped me out of my funk. I ate a Gu, walked a half mile, and started the painful process of running again. It was an ugly 5K at this point and I could feel myself get slower with no energy to push out a faster pace. The only thought that pushed me to run was that I started this race running and I will be damned if I don’t finish this race running. So I did and as I passed the finish line cheering section, fresh tears burst out and I heard someone say ‘look she’s crying, lets give her a big cheer’. With those words ringing in my ears, I completed my first marathon with tears of joy and frustration.
Yes, I am walking around today exactly like these folks:
Thanks to all who texted, tweeted, left FB messages of support and wishing me luck – I am so grateful for your support!
Should you consider running a marathon? Yes.
Would I do this again? Yes.