I Did It!!


Wow, what a day. I knew it would be an emotional day and it was. At the starting line, I was more calm than nervous (which is REALLY different for me. Most of the time I have the nervous anxiety at the start). But I didn't this time. But as I crossed the starting line, I felt the emotion well up. I was doing this. I was actually running a marathon. I was running with some friends from the River Runners. For the first few miles or so we stayed together. It was fun to chat back and forth. Around 4ish miles we sort of split off and I found myself solo and off and on running with another friend. At 7 miles (the turn off for the half), we walked through the water stop. I looked at her crying and said "I can do this right?". She assured me I could, and to text her around mile 23 and she would meet me. She turned and I went ahead.
Gulp. There was no turning back down. The course was a very hilly course (or very hilly for me). I passed people. They passed me. I walked through the water breaks. I said hello to the Amish kids along the way. It was a beautiful course. As the miles rolled on, I felt pretty much fine and the miles were ticking by. Around mile 16 I felt a migraine coming on. I was well hydrated. So I'm not sure what that was all about. I passed a guy walking who had got a stomach bug the night before. I passed (and then got passed by and I would pass again) a guy with leg cramps.
Around mile 18, as I was slowing to walk again, an elderly gentleman named Bob came up to me and said "stick with me kid". I said ok. He wanted to know if I was training for an ultra because I was carrying so much stuff. I laughed and said, no sir.. this is my first. He beamed and said "oh another rookie".
After about a quarter mile, maybe a third, I said "Mr. Bob you are going to have to go on. I need to walk.". He looked at me skeptical and said, "Are you sure? Are you going to keep going?". I said, "Oh, yes sir. I'm going to finish. I'm just going to finish way after you do". He said, "I'm calling you Veteran because that's a Veteran's attitude" So off Bob trotted and I played run/walk/pass with stomach flu and leg cramp guy. 
At one point I stopped at a water stop to use the portapotty. It seemed like I stopped sweating and I needed to pee and I mean a lot. I literally had to 'go' every few minutes. At this time stomach flu guy passed me. I couldn't catch him again. 
Another mile or so passed and leg cramp guy passed me also. 
So here I was .... alone... as in miles went by that I saw no one.. only at the water stops. This was hard... talk about one is a lonely number! 
And then around 24ish miles an elderly couple came up behind me. They were power walking. Oh, let me rephrase that...they were power shuffling. Seriously, the gentleman wasn't even lifting his feet off of the ground. He was literally shuffling. I thought, surely I can stay with them. Nope, I watched as the power shufflers left me in their tracks. 
I looked behind me - no one. I looked ahead - no one. So I pulled out my cell phone and called my husband. Hubby: "Hi, where are you?" Me: "I'm at (starts bawling) mile 24". Hubby: "Oh, you've got this. Don't stop. Keep going.". Me: "There is no one out here. I don't see anyone. I think I'm last." Hubby:"There are people still coming in. You aren't last. Just keep going. I'll walk down and meet you". And he did. He and Lil Man came down to mile 25.5ish and met me. What a welcome sight! That meant more to me than I can put into words. They walked with me to the turn off and then I started jogging. 
Come on, you can't walk the last of the race. So I sucked it up and turned the corner and I saw my running friend. Well I saw and heard which was awesome. :)  She hung around after finishing her Half Marathon to see me cross the finish line. She took the pics. Another friend also stayed for almost an hour after he finished his marathon. 
And after I crossed the finish line I still don't think it set in.. until the lady put the medal around my neck. I felt the tears this time knowing that I did it. 
I saw Bob after the finish. He gave me a high five and said "way to go Veteran'. I ran into leg cramp guy at the runner's tent. He said "you finished, congrats!". I could tell he was both very happy for me and a little surprised that I finished. I wasn't a pretty sight :). 
But I did it. I finished my first marathon. My official chip time was 5:55:51. And I know this time to seasoned marathoners is painfully slow. But my goal was to finish - mission accomplished - I did it. I am one proud Marathon Mom. 


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