I did it!! I completed my first marathon Sunday in Chicago!!! An accomplishment in itself, but my story has a bit of a twist
Keep in mind that I did the marathon training, but I did it back in the months of February though May- It was on May 19th, 2013 that I was pulled from my first marathon attempt with a compression reaction of the left femoral neck. I ‘broke my hip’. So after 17 weeks off, I was released for all normal activity on September 6th. 5 weeks later, here we are.
It was decided on Wednesday of this week that I would go ahead and give it a go. My sponsor at Team Up! With Autism Speaks had never canceled my registration, so I had a bib, t-shirt and a reservation for the run, all I had to do is show up!! I don’t think that left me much time to “freak out”, instead I had to go to planning travel arrangements, child care, and “OMG!!! What am I doing?!?!?” Two weeks ago I just ran my longest run of 10k since my injury, and now I am going to quadruple that?!?!? Don’t anyone tell my PT!!!
My plan was to “Jeff Galloway”, as I call it, or walk/run. How else would I even consider this feat?! I would run 3 minutes and walk one for the first ¼, and bump that up if I felt good. But most importantly I would have fun, and listen to my body. I promised my son Aaron, that if I felt ‘any hurt at all’ that I would stop, versus risk further injury.
The excitement got the best of me, and I started at 5/1 ratio. It felt great!! The first 4 miles I ticked off at 44:17. Shortly thereafter it got tougher – feeling my old joints and non-worked muscles, but I made it to10k at 1:11. At that time, I knew I could not keep up the pace I was at; then the 4:55 pacer passed me by. I had made it farther than I expected at that point! I was surprised and amazed and the power of the human mind and body that I own. I am 45 years old, ‘forpete’ssake’!!! THEN, this gal ran in front of me with a shirt saying “my 60th birthday is next week”. Hell to the no! I was pressing on.
Mile 8 was tough. Mile 11 even tougher. I had seen no friends up to this point, but I knew someone would be at 13.5, so I pushed and pushed, alternating running and walking. Folks are moving to the side to stretch their tight and cramping muscles, but I was NOT going to stop for fear I may not be able to keep going. I am feeling the hamstrings now, the calf where the huge man stepped on me as he took a beeline to the first set of portapotties is green, blue and purple and really stings (another time for this!), the top of my left foot and my right knee are crying out…THEN I saw the 20 mile marker and I knew I was going to finish come hellorhighwater by God!
I had so much left in me with regards to my stamina that I was shocked! Now I am with the folks truly like myself who “just want to finish”, so mile 23 I ran! Well, I trudged, but I was not walking. For the first time in my short running ‘career’, I was picking people off by the dozens. Man was that a runner’s high!! Of course, as soon as I stopped trudging and started waking they passed me back up, but still
I walked every “hill” or incline. I just know that my PT would frown on my doing any of that. Have I mentioned that she has no idea to my knowledge of what I did yesterday?!?!? SSHhhhhhhh. Don’t tell So the last bridge that everyone says run up because the photographers are there and there is about 800 meters left thereafter…that hill…I walked. I ran/walked what I could, but I was hurting. Most importantly, I ran the battery to my iphone out at mile 17, so I had no contact with the outside world!!! Kidding, but how the hell am I going to drive home the 3 ½ hours without GPS!?!?!
Then the FINISH line is in sight and I ‘took off’. I made it. I did it. I am so SO happy