At dinner Saturday night my friend Jack (see: Savior, Part I) asked me what moments of the marathon stood out for me. He said most runners usually have one moment that sums up the race for them. If I had to pick one moment, it would probably be Jack's appearance on the course. However, I have a couple of additional moments to share:
- As Jack and I were running in I said to him, "This is the hardest thing I've ever done." A woman spectator on the side of the road heard me and yelled, "But it's going to be the best thing you've ever done!"
- Before the race, my friend Michael e-mailed me a list of tips for race day. Tip #11 was: "Don't feel bad when the fat boy passes you." After the halfway point, I noticed a guy about my age in front of me, a good 20-25 pounds overweight. He and I kept trading spots. I'd pass him than have to slow down and he would pass me, then I'd catch up, etc. At mile 22 I watched him jog past me into the distance and I thought of Michael's advice and just grinned.
- After the race, I threw myself into Blair's arms and said, "I'm never doing that again!"
Speaking of Blair, he almost missed my race finish, which was my fault. I wanted to get Blair a gift to thank him for putting up with all the training hours, weekend runs, and time spent talking/complaining/obsessing about running. Blair is a difficult man to buy for. He just doesn't want much. I ended up presenting him with a t-shirt after the race that said, My Wife Ran A Marathon And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.
I told my best friend about the planned gift and she suggested I also have a t-shirt made for me to wear across the finish line. I loved the idea, so I printed up a t-shirt that said, I love my husband and had a friend meet me just before the turn for the finish line.
What I didn't foresee is that Blair was on the lookout for me in a sleeveless t-shirt and was discounting women runners going by in short sleeves. I saw him in the crowd and shouted and waved and pointed at my t-shirt, but he had been planning on getting video of me running in which we missed, because he didn't recognize me until it was too late!
AFTER THE RACE
I collapsed on the ground for a good 15 minutes, waiting for the Advil to kick in. I lay on my back and tried to ignore how much I was hurting. I felt eyes on me and looked up to find a 4-year-old staring at me, finger in her mouth. I smiled and she ran away. I can't say I blame her. I was not a pretty sight.
It took about 35 minutes for me to feel 50-60% better. And within an hour, although I was still hobbling around like I had broken kneecaps, I felt pretty good. We all sat around and talked about which marathon we should run next year.
Jack advised an ice-bath and Royce and I briefly contemplated just going and standing in the ocean. I settled for an ice-pack on the sore parts. Taking a shower was an experience and this is where my empathy for the elderly kicks in. I had to stop and think about the best way to leverage myself over and into the tub. I finally grabbed the towel rack on the back wall and braced myself against the shower door while gingerly lifting one leg and then the other, all the while thinking, "Why do they make these tubs so darn high??"
Below are some pictures for you to enjoy. Click on them to enlarge.
One marathon down... who knows how many to go???