It’s been just over a week since I ran the marathon and I’m a little bit in mourning and a little bit unsure of what to do with myself now.
Training went so well and I felt so good doing it that I kind of wanted to just keep at it for the rest of my life. But I also promised Elsa that we would take a little break from it because she doesn’t love sitting in the stroller while I run. Not to mention the fact that I’m still feeling a little tight and sore in my hamstrings. I must have really put my legs through a lot . . . .
Okay, I totally put my legs through a lot. This race was downhill. Really steep downhill. It made it really hard to gauge speed or effort. And since I decided not to have my phone alert me of my pace and there were no clocks on the course, I really didn’t have any idea how fast I was going. Somewhere before the half way point, some guy asked me what my goal was. When I said I had no idea, that I just wanted to get to the end, but that I thought I might be able to break 3:20, he told me I was running with the 3:10 group and doing a good job of it. A few miles later, when the hill stopped going down and went slightly up, I left him and the rest of the 3:10 hopefuls behind.
I don’t remember at what point I started feeling leg cramps, but it was early enough that I thought if they kept getting worse, I was going to be in trouble. But at every aid station I poured water on my legs and that seemed to help. My legs were burning for a good chunk of the race, and the water cooled them enough that they felt almost refreshed for a few minutes between aid stations.
After the 20 mile mark, I really started counting down the miles—and people started telling me that I was the 8th woman, 7th woman, top 10—placements I had no idea of even hoping for. It was really encouraging to hear, though I was so taken aback by it that I didn’t know what to do with it.
I had planned to call Micah either right before or right after I crossed the finish line because I was sad that he and the other kids couldn’t come with me. I wanted to share the moment with them. I told myself that I wouldn’t pull my phone out until I hit mile 26, and then I wouldn’t look at the time because I wanted to see it at the finish line. Those last few miles were really long. I know I was slowing down, but I could have sworn the mile markers were getting farther and farther apart
Still, I did wait, and at mile 26 I did call Micah. But he didn’t answer. So all I got out of that was some funny race pictures of me being absorbed in my phone at the most dramatic part of the race. Haha. Oops. When I realized I wasn’t going to talk to Micah, I put my phone away and turned the last corner to the finish line. And I was blown away. It was 3:08, ticking toward 3:09. I put on the gas for the last several yards and crossed at 3:08:49. Taking into account the 30 seconds I waited to cross the start line, my time was 3:08:19.
The first people I saw when I crossed the line were my sisters and Felix, who had arrived just in time to watch me come in. It was practically perfect. And I did get to talk to Micah a bit after that, though the finish line area was really loud and I couldn’t really hear him. Too bad.
After that I had some time to recover and try to eat something while we waited for Abby to come in. She did, of course, make it worth the wait, dancing around the last corner and into the finish line chute.
And now it is over. So quickly. After so many months of training, it is a little strange to not have a schedule or a plan. A little freeing, of course, but a little unnerving too. It certainly was amazing to do what I didn’t think it was possible for me to do. I hope I get the chance to do it again