A mile by mile account of my experience in the Memphis Marathon.
5:15am: I wake up. Get dressed, eat a bowl of cheerios with some honey and milk.
7:42am: Start glaring at all the people breaking the rules with their headphones.
7:51am: Glare some more at those wearing headphones. Punks.
Mile 19: It’s a catch-22. I know that the water will just make me sicker. But, I just threw up! I have a horrible taste in my mouth, so I drink some powerade at the next stop. It seems to help and perk me up a little bit.
My Cheering Section:Mile 20: Just in time to see April and Greg cheering for me with their awesome posters! I was starting to feel like I might have overcome the whole bad stomach issue. My 20 mile time was 3:28:12 (10:25 pace). If I finished the last 6 miles at 10 minute miles, I could make it around 4:30. The 4:30 pace team sidles right up next to me. I try to keep up.
Mile 21: I puke again, this time, barely getting out of the way of the other runners, but lucky for them, it was mostly dry heaves. I have to start back again with the walk for a little bit, then run as far as I can. At
this point during the race, there is a
ton of traffic. And now I know why they have a no headphones policy. Because, there are cars driving RIGHT beside you! Seriously. The course isn’t closed to traffic, there is traffic all over the place and the car exhaust fumes are killing me. (In case you’ve never heard me complain before, car exhaust makes me sick while I’m running… it’s the worst smell during a run).
Mile 22: I find God. I realize that I’ve just got about 40 minutes left and I will be all done. Everyone around me is using the same technique as I am, running a little and then walking a little, but they are all stopping to stretch various body parts out. I, on the otherhand, feel great body-wise. No aches, just some soreness in my feet (to be expected), but no where near the pain that I experienced with my first. Just my stomach. Arrgggg my stomach.
Mile 23: I am miserable and start considering if I could actually run the Huntsville marathon this upcoming weekend anyway. Especially since I’m
having to walk so much.
Mile 24: Only 2 miles to go and yet those 2 miles seem so far. We pass by St. Jude Hospital and it’s windy as hell. Have I mentioned that yet? This whole race was very windy.
Mile 25: Now, when people yell at me, only one more mile to go, I yell back, “Thank god!” or “Just a little bit further” I am jubilant that I am actually going to make it and with my fuzzy math, I feel like I can still make it in under 5 hours.
Mile 26: Rounding the corner and into the ball park for my finish, I can hear that the announcer is actually
announcing the names of the
finishers! How exciting! I hear the announcer call out my name just before I cross the finish line.
Mile 26.2: I start crying from utter relief at having this all behind and at the fact that I crossed the line at 5:03, which, when you subtract 9 minute from that, it had to be under 5, right??? I have my chip cut off, get my medal placed around my head and still fighting back the tears I see April and Greg waving at me, I make my way up through the stands (yeah, what genius came up with that? Making marathoners climb up steps after running 26.2 miles?) and see them and its all I can do to keep from just completely breaking down into an embarrassing sobbing situation. I tell them that I need a diet coke, so I go over to the food section, grab a diet coke and a beer to bring back to them and I decided that I wanted to sit down for a few minutes. And then I decide, oh crap, I’m going to puke again. I run in the bathroom and barely get into the bathroom stall and puke my guts out. I come back outside and feel great. We take pictures and then leave for my post marathon celebration lunch.
The rest of the day was much better, I got drunk, hung out with best friends and got to get dressed up. It was lots of fun.
The next day, on my way home… I got a flat tire, though. So, there’s that, too.
I was okay on Saturday, but on Sunday the disappointment set in. And I know, I shouldn’t be disappointed, I did just fine and there will be plenty of marathons left in my life, but ya know… I trained for 16 weeks. I’ve missed every Monday night football game so far this year because I’ve had to be in bed. I’ve skipped alcohol almost completely in those 16 weeks. And my body was in really good shape, I was barely sore or stiff the next day! And my damn stomach screwed it over for me.
But, I am proud of myself… My official finish time: 4:54:25 (11:15 pace). I survived a no headphones, no partner marathon.
And, I’ve already picked out the next one! I’ll let April make that announcement!!