Today I ran a marathon with my best friend. 26.2 miles. I don't have the official time, but it was somewhere around 4hrs and 20 minutes. It was the hardest thing I have ever done! The first eight miles started out great. My friend Aimee Wilde Carver and I ran it together. Our first eight miles we were booking it. We were under 7:50 min miles the whole time. I couldn't believe how fast we were going. It didn't even feel like we were going that fast though. So, we stuck with it and we held the pace until the wind started kicking up. The wind was so bad. I had to turn my head a lot of the time to prevent the sand and dust from getting into my eyes. We were running into gusts of wind the rest of the time. That would be 18 more miles of running into the wind. It-was-brutal!!! There were a couple of spots where the hills were high and between larger hills, so the wind wasn't as bad but like I said, a couple of spots. The saddest thing was when we were actually going down a hill, it felt like we were going up a hill because of the wind. Es no bueno! The course had quite a bit of "rolling hills" Aimee and I like to say they were more like rolling mountains hehehehe. The wind sure made them feel like mountains. I am so glad I had Aimee to run with. We stuck together and helped each other pull through. Around mile 16 or so, some of the other runners near us starting trying to draft. We joined in on the drafting for a mile or two, but either they were going to fast or too slow for us, so we ended up running just the two of us again. By the time we hit mile 22 or so, the wind was unbearable. We had to do a little bit of walking here and there.
Aimee and I at the Marathon drop off
After all we went through, I am proud to say we finished. Wahooo!!!! You don't even know how grateful I was to see that finish line. Oh I could just see it and see myself being done!
When I signed up for the marathon, I had one goal in mind; To finish. Then as I trained, I would see my times getting faster and I thought, "I want to finish under 4 hours." So then that became my goal. Then I thought, "How cool would it be if I could qualify for Boston on my first marathon!" I didn't want to get too deep into these goals, because quite frankly I didn't even know if I could meet the first goal I had set(seriously I had my doubts if I could even finish a few times during my training), let alone attaining these two other lofty goals as well. But, there is no crime in aiming high right? I heard a quote by some general authority(I think) who said something like, "Aim high and you will surpass your goals always." To me aiming to qualify for Boston was just about unreachable, but it was an aim high kind of goal and a neat thought...heck, who knows, maybe...just maybe I could do it. My coach Steve used to always say something like, "Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right." So I shared this idea with my good friend Aimee and she was on board as well. We were determined. Our first eight miles, we thought we had it in the bag. The time we needed to qualify for Boston was 3hrs 40 min. All we had to do is run 8:38 min miles and we would qualify. I didn't tell anyone else about this goal except for Dave, because I guess I was just worried about what people would think. Anyway, here we were the first eight miles running under 8min miles. Little did we know Mother Nature had another plan in store for us. That wind was brutal...more unforgiving really. Just when it seemed it was letting up, we were able to pick up the pace a bit and it would start up just as powerful as ever and push us right back down. The downhill never felt like downhill after mile eight. It felt like a constant uphill battle. I said my fair share of shit, damn, and hell throughout the course of blasts of sand in my eyes, whispies of my hair flailing all over the place, occasional sprinkles of rain falling on us, and experiencing some excruciating knee pain here and there. It was THE hardest thing I have ever done, and even though we didn't meet two of our goals, we finished. We did meet the goal to finish! WE FINISHED!!!!! I am so satisfied. I am so glad I did it. During our run I said, "As soon as I get home, my facebook update will be: NEVER AGAIN!!!" Hahaha...I didn't even have the energy to sit down at the computer to check my email, let alone check Facebook. So here I am now that I have had my 60 min soak in the tub, four hours of just laying in my bed, and another three to four hours of laying on the couch, and now this last hour and a half on my laptop laying in bed documenting my lovely experience.
Oh my gosh I cannot even tell you how exhilarating it was to be so close to being done. We crossed the finish line together arms linked and all. I love you Aims!
Dave, Sissy, and Cory were there to watch Aimee and I finish.
This was me after I crossed. Completely and utterly exhausted.
Sissy wrapped herself around me right after I crossed the finish line. I could barely hold myself up at that point because my muscles were tightening up on me and my legs were so shaky. I just about fell over while she was hanging on me.
Sure love this girl! So glad we are friends and so glad we were able to run together the whole time.
I am extremely sore. My body literally feels like it has been hit by a moving vehicle. My feet hurt, my back and upper body is sore, my butt kills, it feels like I have buns of steel though... My legs feel like blocks, and my eyes are sore from the dust(at least I think that is why they are sore). But I have had a thought of doing another cross my mind(just a thought though). I am in no way shape or form saying or committing to another one at this point, but I keep thinking, "What if the wind hadn't been so bad? What could I have done it in? How fast could I have gone?" Those thoughts can be dangerous. Why on earth would I want to do that again!?!? I am telling you while I was at...oh mile 22ish Aimee and I both were saying, "I am never, never doing this to my body again! Kill me now please. I just want to be DONE!!!" As I was thinking those thoughts, another little side thought popped around in my head, "Take note: Remember this feeling when you even think about wanting to do another one of these, because you know you will think it. Think twice before you do another run yourself through the ringer, feels like you've been hit by a train kind of race...just remember how you feel right now and never do it again!" So that is why I say those thoughts of wondering if I could do better are dangerous, because I am the type that would want to try again. Talk me out if it if I do say that though okay. Someone please talk me out of it:)
Oh, I am tired and I am going to go to bed now. Good nighty night...
**Update: I talked with the guy in charge of the marathon and he said the wind gusts were between 20-25 miles per hour and up to 40 miles per hour!! Wickedness I tell you!! He also said a lot of the aid stations were blowing over during the race. Oh how that makes me want to go out and try again with good weather conditions;)