Seattle Marathon 2012
I love the start of a race - when all the runners are facing the same direction in anticipation of a collective mission. But compared to the half marathons I've been to, these marathon runners mean serious business. I slid in somewhere between the 4:10 pacer and the 4:40 pacer and pretended to be serious too.
They played the star spangled banner and I felt un-derserving and inspired and ready to go. I got my armband and iphone set and pressed play so Tina Fey could talk me through the next 5 hours of my life. The first 6 miles felt great - they flew by! My toes went numb but I tied my shoes a little tighter at the I-90 turnaround and it actually helped. Good choice on the half size bigger for the new shoes I said to myself!
I remember looking at the water in the fog and zoning out except for the excitement of seeing mile markers. And because we double back I remember these amazing "true" marathoners flying past us pretty early on and just staring in awe. They are made from a different mould for sure. It was pretty cold being right off the water. I made it down Lake Washington blvd and heard that dang Ganghim style song blaring from Seward Park. Dare I say I was invigorated!? The 4:10 pacer passed me around the 12th mile and I stayed with a girl with striped socks that was running her FOURTH marathon in FOUR days. Every time I felt tired, I would read the back of her leg which said FOUR marathons in FOUR days. And I would think, well this is nothing.
I hit 13.1 miles at 2:15. I drank my Eric's Sport Ade and felt fantastic. I remember the beautiful trees and fog and repeating, I love you. I guess I was talking to myself. I kept running. I loved seeing the water stations, it was such a symbol of progression. I kept trying to calculate my times since I didn't load the pacing app because I didn't want my phone to die. But mostly I enjoyed the run until.... about mile 20.
And then the hills started, and the saying "what the hell are you doing!?" started and it was suddenly a different beast. So instead of zoning out, I had to zone in to physically, consciously, mentally make myself run. And if I didn't my body would just start walking and sometimes just stop. Like really just stop! I downed my last Eric's Sport Shot for some extra encouragement and was so thankful a friend met me at 21 miles to run with me. It was still hard and at times my body was begging me to just walk but I pushed through. I love running over the bridge and seeing downtown Seattle, but the last and longest 2 miles are still left. Thankfully two friends that ran the half marathon caught me right over the bridge and cheered me through as I ran down the hills toward the last quarter mile. Knowing my boys were waiting at the top of Mercer kept me running and I was so excited to see them all. It was sunny and beautiful and I felt bright and shiny as I crossed that finish line running hard. I had done it, and done it well.
I'm not sure what to say about the accomplishment. I'm proud of how I did, but its not pride I feel. I'm happy I did it, but its not joy I feel either. I think it must be love.
I didn't cry after the race. I wanted to, but just didn't. I might have been in too much pain to get tears out. But later, while laid up on the couch I saw a quote on a commercial:
everyone else is already taken
and thats when the tears came. Dear self - look what we did, I love you!