My 3rd marathon

I was really anxious the day before the race. I couldn’t describe it as a positive or negative feeling. I was restless, but needed to stay still. Mainly, I felt a nervous excitement. It felt like it was the first time. 

I was hoping that having my cousin come from out of town would keep me distracted from what was before me. But he was injured and cancelled the 10 hour drive to get here. 

I decided to run with Lisa, she is a crazy good runner. She is not quite as disciplined as me but apparently she doesn’t need it. This was her 2nd marathon. She was afraid she was going to be slow because she got a little carried away at a party a few nights before. She hopped on a kid’s bike and crashed it banging up her leg. 

It was raining like crazy the day before the marathon. The original forecast said it would be dry for the marathon, but they were wrong. It rained the first hour and a half of the marathon. I grabbed a couple of garbage bags from home to cover Lisa and I. 

There was a traffic jam near the parking area and it took longer than we thought to get to the event. We even left early. We had to run to the bathroom. We stopped first by some Portapots that were fenced in with a large security guard in front. Apparently they were for the elite and not us. By the time we got out of the bathroom the anthem was playing. There were long lines and I think some people would rather stay in the stinky bathrooms than get soaking wet.

Lisa stayed with me for the first 2 miles. I couldn’t keep up and stayed with the 4:20 pacer group the first half of the race. It was cold (50F), windy, and rainy. My shoes were soaked before the race began. Any loose areas on my wet clothes caused some pretty nasty chafing. But I didn’t feel excessively cold. 

After the halfway point, I had to wait in line for the bathroom. I passed several full ones with lines before I was forced to stop. When I got out, I lost sight of my pacer group. Then I meandered on my own for the next 7 miles without stopping. Then right around the 20 mile mark I lost steam. I did a walking slow jog thing. 

My son texted me that he needed gas in the car. 

Hello, I’m running a marathon here! 

Then my phone died. 

But I couldn’t muster up enough anger to light a fire under my butt.

A man passed me and asked if I was okay. 

I was feeling angry that I didn’t have a big support group. My son was more concerned about the car.  

My husband was there for me every step of he way though. He tried to get me moving. I knew no other spectators. 

I remembered my goal to do a full Ironman. I started to see it slip through my fingers again. 

My arms and legs felt numb. I tried to tell my legs to move faster but they weren’t responding to prompts from my brain. 

My mind felt muddled and I was confused. I kept asking those around me what mile we were on. I felt this strong desire to wander off and lie down in a random person’s yard. 

I smelled bacon frying from an open window of a nearby house. Jerk! I longed for the leftover macaroni and cheese leftover from the night before. I thought bad thoughts towards those who might eat it before I got back. 

I wanted to give up. 

Then I met Hank from Detroit. He seemed kind of mafia to me. We spent the last four miles limping, walking, and running together. 

I finished the marathon beating the times of my first two marathons by over a half an hour. Victory! But still not enough to beat my goal of under 5 hours. I just have to work harder. Lisa finished in a little over 4 hours. 

I had mixed feelings. I majorly beat my old times but I still wanted better.

I went home exhausted. But I had a party to go to. Cindy’s son was getting confirmed. Plus I was flying out in less than 24 hours and didn’t even start to pack. 

After I got home later that evening, I laid in bed feeling feverish. I didn’t want to talk to anyone but didn’t want to be alone. For a few hours, I felt totally relaxed almost delirious. All worried faded from my mind completely. 

I outran my demons that day. 

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