|If you look just below the T in "START" you'll see a lady in red on the platform. That was Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill, who announced the start.|
I am writing from my bed. You know that phrase, "I feel like I ran a marathon yesterday?" Well, I did. And I am hurting. Laying down is good - until I need to switch positions - bending my legs hurts like hell. Standing up is okay and sitting isn't too bad either its just the transition that sucks - a lot. I look like an old lady, slowly bending my knees and wincing as I try to position myself. Now imagine me at Mass last night at 7:30 - stand up, sit down, kneel - ow ow ow!!!
|The many, many runners waiting to start. I crossed the starting line almost a full five minutes after the canons marked the official start of the race.|
Yesterday's weather was absolutely perfect for running. Not much of a breeze, a crisp 40 degrees, sunny. One mile in and I was perfectly comfortable in my capris and short-sleeve "technical" tee. The course was packed! 30,000 people ran the Marine Corps Marathon yesterday and it was pretty hard to maneuver. At some points it got a little frustrating because I wanted to run faster and couldn't get around enough people to break away. I had a fabulous run until about mile 22. At mile 20, I felt great. I'd maintained less than a 9 minute mile and was easily within reaching my goal of finishing in under four hours. Somebody had a sign that said "you own this bridge" and I thought hell yes I own this bridge. I thought only 6 more miles - no big deal - its all mental from here - just keep on going. Then I crossed the huge highway bridge - and it just felt like it was never ending. And people started dropping like flies. Everywhere around me people started walking and I was like, no, I'm good, I'm going to keep on running. Then around mile 21 fatigue started to set in and mile 22 was straight up tough. I passed the 23 mile marker and thought "I'm going to throw up." I kept running and the nausea didn't stop and so I gave in and walked for about 2 minutes. I walked to the water station, had a big sip and then started running again - and that's where the pain started. When I stopped running all that lactic acid caught up to my legs so when I started again it felt like they were on fire. But I ran anyways. For about a mile. And then at about 24 I felt like I was going to puke again and had to walk for another few minutes. I looked at my watch and the four hour mark was starting to creep closer and since the nausea had passed I started running again - holy crap it hurt. I ran - which felt more like stumbling at a brisk pace - all the way to the finish - at 4:02. I missed my time by two minutes but God it felt so good to cross the finish line and I honestly almost started crying I was so proud when the Marine put my medal over my head.
|Exceptionally unflattering picture of my hips. I blame the pants and the photographer (cough, Joey). But I think this was about mile 17 and I was sick of trying to pull my shirt down over my ass. Just beyond the trees in this photo is the Washington Monument.|
So was it worth it? Hell yes! One of the Marines sayings is that "pain is weakness exiting the body." Another sign I read yesterday that I think sums it up perfectly said "Pain is temporary, pride is forever." I am officially a marathoner now and I have to admit, I am pretty proud of myself. Lets be honest here, if I told any of my grade school or high school gym teachers that I was going to run a marathon, they'd never believe it. I mean, I really am not that coordinated. But for some reason, running works and although I won't be going for a run for the next few days, I can't wait for my next marathon.
|Sunday was also Halloween - so quite a few runners dressed up. Now the question is whether the devil chose his costume before or after he was assigned his 666 bib number.|
Thank you again to everyone who donated to St. Jude's to help me run my marathon. My four hours of exertion yesterday definitely doesn't even compare to the months and years of treatment that St. Jude's patients have to endure. I also have to say there is no way I could have done this without my amazingly supportive husband. In addition to all my long runs where he rode his bike behind me, Joey woke up with me at 5:30 am yesterday, rode the Metro with me to the Pentagon, walked the mile to the start line with me and even waited in line with me for 20 minutes for the porta-potty. Then he trekked all across town to cheer me on at as many points along the course as he could. After the race he helped me waddle back home and even went to buy me some Epson salts for my bath.
|Nothing like waiting in line for a porta-potty before dawn|
So where's the next one? Probably in Africa! We had a few of Joey's classmates over for dinner Thursday and two of them had run marathons - one in Ghana and another in Istanbul - so its possible!