07 October 2007

"It is finished."

Not trying to compare myself to Jesus here. I'm just glad it's done. The marathon was today and boy what a day it was.

The day started not so good – it should have been a sign. First I had to wear my purple shirt because my long-sleeve, pretty, light blue top would have been too hot. I hate purple though (at one point someone cheered me on and said, Way to go Periwinkle! - yeah, that helped. Not.) But I got in my car to head to the Park-n-Ride and my power steering was out. I didn't see a puddle so I'm a little confused and annoyed because now that's one more thing I have to take care of tomorrow before I head home. At least it happened while I was in the cities instead of back home.

JB and I met at the Park-n-Ride and took the light rail to the Dome. We met up with some others, peed, and walked to the starting gate for a picture. Probably a good thing since I doubt any of my pictures will show up anywhere...more on that in a minute.

We were in Wave 2. And let me tell you it really does feel like a wave. You hear the starting gun but you don't really start to move until a few seconds later, then it's this mass of people slowly moving forward trying to not trip over anyone until they get over the start pad. Then it's running.

The first 5 miles were okay. We were pretty close to on pace – 62 minutes at mile 5. But then the heat really started to get to me. I walked way more than I thought I would have. I'm sure JB was annoyed though she was gracious enough not to say anything. Finally I pushed her ahead because I knew she could do better.

The heat was just overwhelming. A lot of people were pulling out and pulling out early. Hindsight – I probably should have too, but I didn't – mostly because I'm stupid, insane, crazy, idiotic, whatever adjective you'd like here.

Long story short, I ended up walking most of the race, was passed by the sweep bus at mile 18, hit the last chip time I could at mile 20 and finished at 6:27:36 off of my watch (estimated time was 6:29:18 – fairly accurate I would say). I walked most of it, but ran in the finish.

I now have a better knowledge of what it takes to run a marathon. I admired those who did it before but now I really do. It takes a lot of endurance, stamina, guts, and just a bit of craziness. My next one will be better. I really do feel I could have been an “official” finisher (under 6 hours) if it hadn't been so blazing humid and hot. If it had actually been what TC usually is this time of year, I would have kicked ass and taken name...or at the very least finished under 6. :)

The rest of the day has been ups and downs of emotion. At times I'm elated I finished and just amazed I actually finished even though it wasn't official. Other times I break down crying for no reason, just overwhelmed with it all – especially when friends and loved ones tell me how proud they are of me.

That's the tough part – the latter there. I'm proud I finished. I did complete a marathon. But I didn't RUN a marathon. Not that I would have run the whole way anyway, but I would have ran more than maybe 13 miles total. And I would have run it faster. That's part of the emotions – I feel in some ways like a fraud, then I step on my feet and feel the blisters and feel the intense pain in both ankles and think – well this stuff came from doing something! So then I start bawling again. It's crazy...I don't know what to do. God bless my brother who was so concerned when I started crying on the phone but I couldn't really explain how it was just emotions, not anything he did.

Tonight my friends and Debbie went out for a celebratory supper – Bonfire Grill which is so yummy – they have the best veggies and a Drunk & Dirty Sirloin that was like butter. *sigh* I had my Guinness, which was on my list to do tonight, and made it through the evening without falling apart. Until now.

So I'm done. I have finished the marathon. I have no medal to prove my progress. But I do have this link from the web and pic (below) to go with it. (Click the photo to see it bigger) The blue line is where I made it on the chip marker. The red is the rest of the race which I did finish, just not officially.

Hugs and love to all who were there and weren't there to support me. I couldn't have done it without you.


Amy said...

Way to go!

Mtanga said...

Hi Sara - you don't know me, but I'm a childhood friend of Megan. I've been following your running journal and cheering you on from afar this whole summer. I've never been a runner either, but this summer I did my first 5k. This weekend, I biked my first 100k. I thought about you all day yesterday and checked your blog like six times. You have been an inspiration to me this summer, and we've never even met! Keep going! You're touching more people than you know.

Karen Elizabeth said...

Sara, more than once I went running just because I knew that you were running at some point on that same day. crazy, huh? Oh, and by the way, You did run a marathon. What you went through? That is the marathon. How fast you move your legs means nothing. A marathon is a mental game and you did it. And if it makes you feel any better, heat wipes out the best of us. Check out when Deana Kastor was running in what was supposed to be her gold medal finish at the Olympics and she dropped out early on because she couldn't handle the heat. How do you think she felt? Yeah. That was much, much worse. And she still holds her head high...and better yet, she is still a runner...because runners aren't times, they are people.
You rock! I get to run the next one with you!! And we'll run it in early spring so that we'll be so cold we won't even feel our legs!
miss you too.

beege said...

Are you kidding?! You are so my hero for even ATTEMPTING anything like this. I don't have the strength, grit, or fortitude to even WALK a freaking marathon, muchless run one.

I thought of you so often on Sunday--thinking how miserable the weather was for running, and hoping you were OK and not getting sick or anything like that.

You did it. You fucking rock.

Megan said...

Are you proud of yourself? Because you should be. Just setting out on this is huge. Sticking with it in spite of the weather is huge. Inspiring as many people as you have is huge. I am proud of you. You can be proud of you, too.

And let me tell you, I'm still too pansy to try one myself. You've totally got me beat, lady. :)

erik g said...

you totally did it. you finished the marathon under the worst possible conditions. I was there, I saw it and I saw you finish.

the purple shirt was in fact a little periwinkle, but hey, better than long sleeves.

you should feel totally proud of yourself for gutting it out on such a day. You could have justifiably bagged it in, said it just is to hot to do today and you would have been right. But you wanted to finish and whether you walk/run whatever, you finished the distance.

this whole thing about how much you "run" during the marathon is really pretty stupid. there is a distance perscribed and you need to cover the distance on your two feet. It may be faster to run, but as I found out, you run to fast at the start and you might have to walk a lot of the rest.

be happy, be proud of your accomplishment and if you ever want to do this again, call someone else.;-)