Mile 2: Bertha!!
Mile 4 (Rock Creek Park): Mahasin and a drunk girl. I was standing on the side of the road waiting for my friend to use the bathroom and she stopped and asked if I was peeing (yes, you read that correctly). She then asked if I needed some vodka to get me going again and then said, "WAIT, do I have vodka or tequila today?". She explained that she can only run marathons with vodka or tequila and that she went out drinking last night and only spent $42. Her eyes were glazed over, her speech was slurred, she told me bye and ran along... Yes. That happened.
Mile 8 (Rock Creek Park): “Oops, I waited too long to eat my Bonk Breaker. I hope this doesn’t ruin my day! Where is Teresa with those peanut M&M’s??!!” For some reason, if I eat something by an hour and a half of running, I am good for the rest of the race, if not I bonk.
Mile 9( Rock Creek Park): “I needed that hug from Teresa and those peanut M&M’s and coke were life-saving! Thank God for great friends!”
Mile 9.5 (Kennedy Center): “Oh yeah! I’m feeling good again!” I saw Sissy and Erin and took this photo like I was having way too much fun for this to be a marathon!
Mile 12 (Hains Point): “This is stupid and boring. Who thought of this?! I prefer the mix of triathlons. This continuous running is for the birds! Wait, is he stopping for so many pee breaks because he is hurting and/or tired?”. The pictures of the fallen soldiers and the people holding the American flags brought me to tears and a major attitude adjustment.
Mile 14 (Hains Point): “Okay, I have to focus. I’m not even 1/2way there. I’m not tired… I’m NOT tired”
Mile 15(leaving Hains Point): "Okay, my plan to run 2 miles and walk the water station is working. Pick up the pace. Run to the third tree and then just a short walk break. Angie is supposed to be at mile 16 by Lincoln. Just run to Angie!"
Mile 16 (Lincoln): No Angie, but I saw Ericka!! She was walking and complaining that her uterus felt like it was about to fall out. I gave her a hug and some Aleeve then kept it moving. He was really hurting and needed to walk. We stopped to use the bathroom and after stepping off the curb, he was in major pain. Done. “Uh oh, this may not have been a good idea!”. I didn’t want to leave him, as he is only out here to support me. "What’s a girl to do???” I know... I am too kind.
Mile 17 (14th and Madison): Erin and Sissy were there and the entire Moshiman cheer crew with signs too! They were SO loud and all gave me high fives. I was feeling the love!!.... and then, I was so surprised to see Edwidge and Gladys there that I think I was feeling the love a little too much. I came to a screeching halt, put my hands over my face and started to cry. I just felt overwhelmed by the love and support. They pretty much told me to just suck it up and keep it moving… and I did. Ha!
Mile 18 (National Mall): Terri and Cass!!
Mile 19.5 (The turn to Beat the Bridge): Megan, Edwige, Gladys, Sissy and Erin!!
Mile 20(14th St bridge): Lisa!! We chatted for a few and I kept it moving. My feet were hurting when I walked and his IT band and calf hurt to run. “What’s a girl to do? I’m ready to finish this thing. I would hate to leave him!”
Mile 22 (Crystal City): Ieesha!!! She tried to run with us, but he couldn’t run and my bladder felt like it was about to fall out. We found a porta potty and walked a bit more. She took off and by mile 22.5, I could no longer walk and he could no longer run, so I took off and left him.
Mile 24: My watch died and I missed him singing cadence songs to me, so I made up my own…out LOUD . I tried to keep it moving to try to get my mind off my dang feet hurting so bad! I had never had my feet to hurt like that! I walked, ran, skipped, made up songs, danced, made friends and finally... I heard the announcers at the finish line!
Mile 26.1: Gladys, Edwidge, Sissy and Erin again!! These ladies were making their way around the course like professional spectathletes! Gladys ran out and gave me a big ‘ol hug and I ran to the finish line!
Finish line fiasco: I DID IT!! I never had any doubt that I would, but I was SO very proud! I snapped a photo and headed off to have a Marine place a medal around my neck… only to be told that they ran out of medals. Big, hot, crocodile tears immediately started to roll down my face. I never knew that getting a medal meant so much to me, but I was so very disappointed. I had dreamed of running up to the Iwo Jima and having a Marine say, “Good job, Ma’am” while donning me with my well-deserved medal… but that dream was shattered. I had questions, I refused a 10k medal, I called bullshit on the two stories that they told me and pretty much made a big scene. I was so hurt. A staff member walked up to me and gave me a medal. That simmered me down. I stayed there for an hour to let other finishers take an official finisher photo with my medal.
Post-race: I took an ice bath and walked the stairs a few times that evening. Other than some quad pain and being sleepy all week, I felt fine. My ankle never bothered me. In the week after I sprained it, I had acupuncture twice, electrical stimulation 3 times and plenty of RICE. On race day, a popped a prescribed pain pill and slapped a lidocaine patch on it, so the ankle was in lala land. I will run another marathon during training for Ironman Chattanooga. My greatest lesson is to not accept the offer from someone to run with me for support again. It was an extremely kind thing for him to do, but he was untrained and injured and should have realized that he could jeopardize my race. My predicted finish time was 5-5.5 hours, but it took me an hour longer. I never hit a wall or had any pain. Looking on the bright side, my marathon in March will be a PR of over an hour!!
Special thanks to James for running with me and trying to hang in there through the pain, Brook for doing Physical Therapy on the ankle, all of the FB folks and friends who gave me 1st timer tips and suggestions on how to get the ankle race ready. I am eternally grateful for all those who cheered me on virtually and in person. Please know that without you, my accomplishment would have been tougher. I am extremely proud to add a marathon to my list of accomplishments!
Next up: March marathon and whatever else my Coach tells me to do in preparation for Ironman Chattanooga! I will be an Ironman on September 28, 2014. I'm writing it down and will make it happen. I hope you come along for the journey...