I ran my first marathon yesterday. My ultimate goal, which I thought was a bit elusive, was a 4:30.....but was going to be super happy with anything under 5:00. Well, I ran it in a 4:22!!!!! I have never been so floored by myself in my life!!! I really didn't think I had that in me!!!!! I'm not gonna lie...I cried like a baby at the finish line. Had it not been for my running moms and my bff Tara, it would have never even occurred to me to sign up for a marathon!!! I mean really...who, in their right mind, pays $120 to run 26.2 miles on purpose!!!!
The race from beginning to end was full of laughter and surprises.
Tara (a seasoned marathoner and ultra-marathoner) is running the entire race with me. She is super fast and I am so honored that she would slow down just to encourage me and witness my very first marathon right by my side! She picked me up at 5:15AM so I set my alarm for 4:13 (because, for some reason I always have to have a "3" in my alarm time....I don't know why, so don't ask, that's just the way it is). Anywho, I had some coffee, got dressed for running in 30 degree weather, and right as Tara got to the door, Zane woke up and was crying because he wanted to race too. After leaving him crying with hubby I asked Tara if she would swing by Chick-Fil-A for some chicken minis. She had this incredulous look on her face like I had completely lost my mind. I was like, "what? Will that put us too far behind on our time schedule"? The look of bewilderment on her face was making me a bit uneasy after just chugging about 2.5 cups of coffee. She was completely baffled by the fact I wanted greasy fried food right before a marathon. Ok....I suppose she had a point. I caved. I ate a protein bar instead.
We get to Fair Park in plenty of time. We had time to hit the potties before the other 22,000 racers took their morning deuce in them. awesome.
It took almost an hour from the time the first corral started for our corral to start. We were able to meet up with another friend and we gabbed and jumped up and down trying to forget it was 28 degrees and windy. It took a good two miles before my feet were not hurting from the cold. I was so frozen there were no worries I'd start out too fast! We were at about a 10:20 pace.
At about mile 5 I had to pee. The lines were stupid long at the port-a-potties! There was no way I was going to give up so much time on the clock to be proper about pissing in private! (Guys have it so easy!!! Maybe it's penis envy? ....but what I would give to have that fabulous whip-it-out access on race day)! Anywho, so I just squatted behind the port-o-potties, which really wasn't private at all, not to mention, we were in the nicest neighborhood in Dallas. So I pissed, at an intersection, about 20 feet away from a guy stretching, 40 feet away from cars (with people in them), and on the property of a giant mansion in the background. When I was done, I pulled up my tights as fast as I could and got back on the course, only to realize my shuffle was gone and there was something cold in my ass-crack. Hmmmm......yep you guessed it.....I had to fish my shuffle out of my ass while laughing hysterically and running! good times.
We pick up the pace to about 9:30 and eventually ran out of things to say, so we ran side by side, me listening to everything from Black-Eyed Peas to Johnny Cash, and Tara listening to some sort of educational podcast.
I have to hand it to Tara...she practiced some seriously hysterical dance moves to keep me entertained on the course....she had some Beyonce dance moves, some heel-kicking Cotton-Eyed Joe dance moves, and some fabulously fluid ballet moves for when "Chariots of Fire" came on! It was quite comical, and I'm glad I'm rubbing off on her a bit! I taught her 3 year old daughter how to sling her hair while dancing....I'm sure Tara and her husband appreciate that.
I got really hungry on the course and ate all my food and most of Tara's, so when I saw a man slicing up oranges, I started "tracking" like Edward to a mountain lion. The guy was looking at me like I was crazy as I was picking up oranges and putting them in my mouth before he could slice them all the way. What I couldn't see, since I had my crazy "tracking" tunnel vision, was a man with a tin pan full of them. Tara and the man were yelling at me to take the oranges out the the pan and not off the cutting board, but I couldn't hear because Ricky Martin was singing so loud in my ears. So, that was kind of embarrassing. Oh well. I wanted to get out of there fast, so we kicked it to a 9:15.
About mile 20, my legs really started to hurt, but Tara said not to leave anything on the course or I would regret it. At this point, the race was completely mental. We fluctuated in the 8 and 9 minute miles, then the last two miles kicked it in to the solid 8s!!! It was Tara and the memory of the late Coach Farda (who's funeral I had just been to the day before) that really kept me going. Coach Farda (who was the head football coach and athletic director who hired me when I coached gymnastics at Nimitz HS) always taught his athletes to "play a little bit bigger than you really are, and run a little bit faster than you really can". So, that's what I did. I also thought about all the sick and injured people who can't run....and that's who I run for. I run because God gave me legs and lungs....so I should use them to their fullest in His glory. I started getting choked up several times those last 6 miles and kept having to compose myself, because it's impossible to cry, run and breathe at the same time....so I decided to forgo the crying so I could breathe.
I crossed that finish line and just crumbled into a crying pile of thankfulness. Thankful that I have the health to accomplish such a thing, thankful that I have a supportive family that allows me to run without the double jogging stroller on the weekends, thankful that I have a friend that wants to run 26.2 miles with me, thankful for my running moms group, who without, it would have never crossed my mind to ever do a marathon in the first place.
Which brings us to today......
Oh my gravy!!!! I am SO SORE today!!!! I took an ice bath yesterday for the first time....man did that suck!!! It would be bad enough when it's hot outside....but brrrrr! So, after about 5 minutes of freezing torture, I turned on the hot water and poured in LOTS of Epsom salt. At first it felt great as the water was slowly warming up, but then suddenly, I got this CRAZY burning sensation in my crack!!!!! I went from super relaxed to, my eye-balls popping out of my head and screaming like my grandma's tea kettle!!!! NO ONE TOLD ME YOUR BUTT CHEEKS COULD CHAFE!!!!!! Oh my crap!!! I guess my tights smooshed my ass together? UGH!
Anyway, it was an amazing experience....laughs, tears, chafing and all!!!! ......I will, however, be taking the week off!!!