My first marathon is in exactly:
18 hours 31 minutes and 20 seconds!!!!
I am running the TOP OF UTAH MARATHON with my friend Heather. This is her third or fourth marathon so I am glad I have someone to share this with that knows the ropes! It starts at Hardware Ranch and ends in the city of Logan.
I have had a great three months of training since I decided to do it and haven't had any real problems or injuries until this week! As they say, "timing IS everything!".
I started to feel some pain during my long runs and after, but nothing that wouldn't go away in a couple of days, so I wasn't at all concerned. EVERYTHING pretty much hurts after running 20 miles! So I didn't worry too much about it. Then as I began to taper and run much shorter "long" runs, I began to notice it more and more. On my last long run of 12 miles, the pain started at mile two and continued until about mile nine. I felt great at mile 12 and wanted to run even farther but didn't want to go against the training plan I was following and risk an injury. But when I stopped, it started. It didn't go away after a couple of days like usual and so at the advice of professionals, I took it easy and didn't even get in my last long run of eight miles. The past 10 days I have done ZERO running! If you want to psych a runner out, then tell them not to run at ALL for 10 days BEFORE they have to run 26.2 miles! VERY tough mentally!
To rule out anything serious, my "doctor" scheduled me for an ultrasound last week. They found nothing serious. Whew.... that was a relief! But on Wednesday, of this week, I walked four miles and the pain continued to intensify...A LOT! I had been taking it very easy and taking anti-inflammatory meds and doing everything right, BUT something was still not healing. I experienced my first marathon tears that day. Tears of frustration and anxiety. The "doc" got me in for an x-ray to rule out a stress fracture (which was not likely but "just in case"). The x-ray came back normal. We have ruled out what it is not, but still not sure what it is. A pulled muscle possibly?
With only hours before D-day, I am trying to mentally focus and think positive even though I am literally FREAKING OUT inside because the last thing I wanted was to run 26 POINT TWO (those last point two are the meanest I hear!) in pain the whole way. I had totally prepared and expected to be hurting by mile 17 or 18, but NOT at mile one! I am just going to rely on prayers and hope for a miracle when that gun goes off so I can do what I trained to do.
Even though everyone has told me to NOT SET A TIME GOAL for a first marathon and just set the goal to FINISH, the competitive side of me has set a goal to finish in 4:30. I figure that is a very respectable time for someone my age for a first marathon. Besides, the faster you run, the sooner you're done. But now with things the way they are, I am trying to resolve to just adapt the new motto:
ALIVE AT FIVE!
I am TRYING to change my mindset to be totally fine and happy if I finish within five hours. I did read that Katie Holmes (Tom Cruise's wife) ran the NYC Marathon and finished in 5:29 and the media continually wrote that 5:29 was a respectable time for a non-competitive runner. So I guess I will just go with the media this time and go for a "respectable" time.
Actually the way I am feeling, I think I am just going for anything but a DNF!!! (Did Not Finish)
I am going to go price wheelchairs this afternoon though, just in case.
Today is also my 28th Anniversary. Dave's too...lol. We will be celebrating it at the marathon packet pick up and at the high school Homecoming game. How romantic! ♥ Taylor is starting Varsity and so at least we will be together watching the offspring of our union play football.
I have a long list of things to do to get ready for the big day tomorrow including finding a jacket from the DI that I can chuck on the side of the road when I no longer need it. We get bused to the start about 5 a.m. and it will be about 35 degrees. We will have to wait (and FREEZE) for two hours before the gun goes off and so I am taking a blanket from the DI as well that I can just leave there. My alarm will go off at 3:15 a.m., but I am pretty sure I won't need it, as I am positive I won't sleep one wink all night.
I am supposed to be CARB LOADING, but the nerves have led to some serious CHOCOLATE LOADING instead! Not good! Technically though, chocolate is a carb right?
I am so nervous, I am FREAKING OUT! I keep thinking of all the possible things that can go wrong... ~What if I have to run in excruciating pain for 26.2 miles? ~What if I don't GU enough? ~ What if I GU too much and get sick? ~ What if I don't make it in time to the porta potty? ~ What if I sleep in and miss the bus? ~ What if I can't make it those last six miles and need a wheelchair or a stretcher? ~ What if I can't find a wheelchair or stretcher!? ~ Oh the list goes on and on.
I MUST begin to focus on the fact that I have trained well, and now it is up to fate to determine the outcome, and besides I have no control over most of the things I am worrying about anyway.
One last thing. Many people have asked me WHY I am running a marathon. Besides the fact that I am doing it because I CAN, I guess to me I am also doing it because of the fact that it is something very challenging that most people can't do and I want to see if I really can do it. I also believe that if I do finish, that it will empower me with a strength that can come in no other way. There are many reasons, too numerous to mention WHY I am doing it besides the most obvious one...
I AM INSANE!
But I am also running it in memory of my son Tyson, who couldn't run a marathon. He physically could not do it. I physically can and therefore I want to dedicate it to him in honor of his amazing strength for dealing with his limitations with such dignity and courage. This one is for you Tyson!
Here are some signs seen at other marathons:
*"In our minds, you're all Kenyans."
•"Your feet hurt because you are kicking so much butt!"
•"Your legs will forgive you...eventually."
•"Don't stop -- people are watching."
•"That's not sweat, it's your fat cells crying."
•"If it was easy, I would do it."
•"Run like you stole something."
•"This is easier than labor and delivery."
•"You're not slow. You're just enjoying the course."
•"Don't worry, toenails are overrated."
•"Run like someone's chasing you."
•"It'll feel better when it stops hurting."
•"Mortuary ahead....look alive!"
*“Hello complete stranger, I’m proud of you.”
*“You’re not slow, you’re just enjoying the course.”
*On back of t-shirt: "If found on ground please drag across finish line.”
*“Chafe now. Brag forever.”
*“Hurry up! We’re cold!”
*“You’ve done worse things for longer.”
* “This seemed like a good idea three months ago.”
And some of my favorite running quotes:
"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired...You've always got to make the mind take over and keep going."- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General and 1912 Olympian
"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"- Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian and sub-2:12 marathoner"
"Dream barriers look very high until someone climbs them. They are not barriers anymore."- Lasse Viren
"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ
[Scientific testing] can't determine how the mind will tolerate pain in a race. Sometimes, I say, "Today I can die.'"- Gelindo Bordin"
"There are people who have no bodies, only heads. And many athletes have no heads, only bodies. A champion is a man who has trained his body and his mind, who has learned to conquer pain for his own purposes. A great athlete is at peace with himself and at peace with the world; he has fulfilled himself. He envies nobody. Wars are caused by people who have not fulfilled themselves."- Coach Sam Dee The Olympian
"Marathoning is a state of mind."It's called insanity"
"Your Pace or Mine?"
"That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger.Today I got a little stronger."-
"Apart we stand invisable, United we stand invincible"-Excellence is never an accident."
"Fartlek...It's a running thing you wouldn't understand."
"This sport would be fun if it wasn't for all the running."
"If I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't be here."
"Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit."
"If running were any easier, it would be FOOTBALL."
"Blood Sweat and Tears. If I have experienced all three I know I have run a good run."