My Marathon Experience

I am baaaacckkkk!!! Has everyone missed me and my charming personality? I knew you did! 

I took a long hiatus after my debut into the world of a bikini competitor. I had other goals to complete that required a lot of time. I had a marathon to finish! No not Netflix but a real life, grueling 26.2 mile type of marathon.


I joined a group of like minded individuals to endure the Beat the Blerch marathon this last September in Carnation Washington. This race completes me on a soul deep level as the aid stations actually have tasty snacks like Nutella sandwiches and cake. One of the stations had potato chips! Banana’s be damned!

I put a lot of hours and miles into my marathon training. Two to three days during the week were spent running “short” distances and every weekend a loooong run. I would then spend the other days of the week in the gym cross training or in the pool to give my joints a break. Towards the end of my marathon training the only thing I wanted more than anything was to be done. I had spent so much time doing *something*. I had to be running and before that in the gym or I would not get the results that I wanted. If I didn’t run in the days prior to the race then race day would not be successful. I was tired. I was painful. I was ready to be done.

So, race weekend appears and my mom and I load up the car and drive up to Carnation. It was a fun trip up and we reserved a yurt right on the race course so commute would be quick. It was relatively dry the day before as we tucked into our carb load and then to bed. Nerves and an increasingly loud squeaky mattress kept me up for a while before I was able to drift off into sleep. Race day my eyes pop open and what do my ears hear? Rain. Goody. I get out of bed with hopes it’s my imagination (it’s not) and start dressing in my running gear. Happy that my overpacking nature is serving me well today. I apply my anti-chafing cream (weird with another person in the room by the way), get my rain jacket and lace up my sneakers. It’s time to run.

Like every race, the excitement from the pack mentality is exhilarating! We listen to the opening speech (the monologue from Independence Day) catch some marshmallows that were hurled from the platform and we are off. The rain is still falling but after half a mile I am HOT. So I am now committed to running with a jacket tied around my waste for 26 miles. I really had a difficult time finding my stride for a bit but after a few miles I am able to space out and get into my groove.



Mile 17 arrives and I hate seeing it. Mentally calculating how much further I have to go. If we stopped at 18 I could do this but the thought of 8 MORE miles almost breaks my brain. After 18 I start to fall apart. My body is getting increasingly painful, my feet are soaked and I am so very tired. But I slog on. Once I hit mile 20 I conceded to walking. My knee hurts when I run but my hip hurts when I walk, I find blood and realize I am bleeding on my stomach. That’s what happens after 20 miles of a shirt barely touching moles, they bleed. I have rocks in my shoes and I am an eyelash width away from tears at the thought of 6 more miles. I shuffled and despaired for 4 miles and saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I started to run more. I wasn’t going to make my goal of under 5 hours but I WOULD make it over the finish line under my own power, damn it. I can see the finish line now. I put on the biggest burst of speed I could muster, I had to pass that couple walking after all.

 

I did it! I completed 26.2 miles under my own will power. It took 5 hours and 37 minutes of shambling, shuffling, and determination to make it across that finish line. The endorphin dump and victorious feeling eased my aching joints and raw skin. Would I do it again? Oh gawd NO! Am I happy that I did it? Absolutely! And I plan on bragging about it forever (sorry not sorry).