Yes, I’m alive and well. I know you were all so worried. I know, I know. Miss Social Media hasn’t blogged in over a month. And it would have been longer if Emily hadn’t reminded me. So this post is for you, Wank.
But why haven’t I been blogging? Because I haven’t been running…much. Yes, I finished my marathon. And yes, I forgot to post about it. So here I am, finally remembering that miserable but successful day. The Madison Marathon was a month ago yesterday, so I’ve forgotten details except for these:
- It was freezing at the start…absolutely freezing!
- I was terrified at the start. I had the worst attitude ever and wanted to get these miserable hours over with. My friend Jen and I huddled in Starbucks until minutes before the gun went off and I ran into my running friends Cindy and Mike who gave me a brief pep talk.
- Once I got going, I started feeling great. Miles 1-10 were awesome. I remember seeing my family around 5 and I jumped and ran towards them, hugging them all. Hugs subsided after that point.
- Jen ran with me up until mile 8. We said our goodbyes right by Camp Randall where she told me she’d meet me at mile 22 to finish the last 4 miles with me. She, unfortunately, had to drop out of the run due to a IT band injury.
- I saw so many of my wonderful Neckerman coworkers at mile 10. There was a long stretch of them on University Ave, waiting to take my picture. I remember I stopped and gave my friend Mel (the one I do most of my half marathons and training runs with) a hug here.
- The rolling hills on Gorham (miles 11 & 12) were NOT fun.
- My knee started killing me at mile 13. I saw my family around this time and asked for Ibuprofen. A few minutes later, my awesome brother comes running up to me with a bottle of pills and asks how many I want. Those were clutch. Pain went away within minutes.
- I started really feeling the pain at mile 17ish. This was through the Maple Bluff neighborhood. The wonderful people of the Madison Marathon decided to put the largest hill in Madison at mile 17.5. I forever hold a grudge against them for that.
- I saw my friend Mike at mile 19ish and told him I hated life. And that I was never doing a marathon again.
- Miles 19-22 were a challenge. I wanted the run to be over, I was bored and knew I wasn’t going to see family or friends for awhile. I was aching to find Jen at 22.
- Jen joins me at mile 22. The first thing I said? “You can talk to me…but I’m not talking back. I hurt. I hate this. I want to cry.” Jen was such a trooper. SUCH a trooper. She encouraged me, pushed me, motivated me, put up with my bad attitude, put up with me snapping at her (“YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH I HURT JEN!!!”) Good God I owe her. So seriously, J, I love you. I could not have finished the way I did without you there.
- We see my family again at 22.5. I yell at Lauren to stop taking pictures of me while running. (“SERIOUSLY…STOP. YOU HAVE ENOUGH.”)
- I see Mel right after my parents. I stop. “Mel…I hurt.” She wouldn’t let me stop…and pushed me onward.
- 23-26 were agony. My quads were pulsating. Jen was amazing. The view was gorgeous on John Nolan Drive. I hated life. Everything in the world was terrible.
- My friend Amanda joined Jen and I for about .3 miles around 24. She’s a gem.
- As we are coming up West Wash at mile 25ish (another HILL), I tell Jen I need to walk. WHO walks with .7 left of a marathon?! Well, me. A stranger and spectator (his name was Kevin) comes up and starts motivating me. He gets me running again. What an encouraging guy he was. He left with .2 miles to go. I saw him again at the finish and thanked and hugged him.
- I crossed the finish line in 4:32. 2 minutes after my goal. 12 minutes after my stretch goal. Did I care? No. Because I was done.
- The most important thing I remember? My family. They were EVERYWHERE. I think I saw them 14 times on the course. They would drive by me cheering, park the car up ahead of me, jump out, cheer me on again until I passed them, and repeat. It was so amazing. Before the marathon, I was not looking forward to seeing people I knew on the course. Once I was running, I couldn’t have been more thankful for anything else. So to my mom, dad, Lauren, Jeremy and Bennet: you guys were amazing. You kept me going.
- On the topic of amazing support, I was overwhelmed by all the texts, phone calls, Facebook posts, tweets and verbal “good luck” wishes I received. Before, DURING, and after the marathon. I don’t know what else to say other than I am incredibly fortunate to have the people in my life that I do. I could not reiterate that enough.
Woah, now that I think about it…I remembered a lot. Phew. That’s a lot to post in my first blog back. I’ll be back more often, I promise. For now, here are some pics from my marathon…