Today I ran my 20th marathon.
It’s always surreal to me when my words are the words that help me the most. It’s why I blog. I love inspiring others but most of all I write every word for myself. To document my journey. To give me STRONG when I don’t have any. To learn. To remember. To never forget.
In this Saucony video – I said – how can I quit if I want to teach my children not to.
I arrived at athlete’s village at 7am. It was empty. I set up my stuff under a tree – lied down on a mat and covered myself with a blanket. It was cold. I went to sleep.
As I walked to drop off my bag – I started to sweat. It was insanely hot for April and it was only 9:15.
I drank more water in the hours before this race than I ever have. I still felt thirsty.
I started out at a comfortable pace. I let people pass me. I passed no one in the first 3 miles. I felt that I was running a smart race. By mile 8 my pace slowed into the 8′s. You don’t hit the wall at the 8 mile mark. I knew it was the heat. I did not go back into the 7′s again.
By mile 18 – I moved into the 9′s. You don’t hit the wall at mile 18. It was the heat.
Mile 21 was my first mile in the 10′s. I’m not sure the last time I saw a number in the 10′s. Maybe Boston last year?
By Mile 22 – I was sick. Sicker than sick – but I kept smiling convincing myself that *i run this body*
I had stopped at almost every water station. I filled my water bottle not once, not twice – but three times. I dumped water on my body every chance I could. I stuffed ice in my sports bra. I went through every BAA misting station. I ran through water hoses and fire hydrants. My feet were sopping wet – my body dry. The evaporation rate was insane.
By Mile 23 I had started vomiting.
By Mile 24 - I knew I was in bad shape. I wasn’t sure if I would finish. But reminded myself that I indeed *run this body* even if that means walking. Walking during the Boston Marathon – SUCKS. It takes a lot to suck up your pride and walk – to walk even when people are chanting your number trying to get you to run.
I wanted to run – my legs wanted to run – my legs could run.
When I tried to run I started to dry heave. I WOULD WALK. I wanted #20 bad and no one would take it away from me. I didn’t care about my time. I wanted the medal. I wanted to finish.
By Mile 25 – I had stopped to cry. I sat on the side of the road with my head between my legs – crying. Asking God WHY? Why today? Why did he make it hot? Why was my body not handling the heat when others seemed to be okay. Why?
Then I remembered that he is EVER faithful. He does not promise that every thing will be perfect. He does not promise that it will be easy. He does not promise fast times. What HE does promise is that he will always be there.
I picked myself up. I would walk the entire rest of the way if I had to. I would get medal. I would FIND MY STRONG.
If I quit how can I tell others not to?
I don’t quit. Not ever. I am not too proud to have a bad [for me] time. I don’t walk off the course when the going gets tough. When you quit – it becomes a habit.
Mile 26 – I ran walked through waves of nausea. I cried to myself. I gave myself pep talks. BUT mostly I reminded myself that there was GLORY in the finish today.
I started to run before I made the turn onto Hereford. I would run to the finish even if it meant I got sick. I looked at my watch and realized that if I ran the entire way – I would tie my time from my first marathon. It made me smile.
I’ve come along way since #1 – #20 taught me to appreciate all my body does for me. To appreciate my 3:11. Not every race is about pr’ing. You don’t have to be fast or run fast every day to inspire others or yourself.
I inspired myself today. #21 will come sooner rather than later. I plan on finding my strong and knowing that NOTHING will break me. NOTHING. I do not give up. I do not quit. I am a fighter.
I’m a Boston Finisher x 3 and a Marathoner x 20!
Look I’m even still smiling. THIS – THIS is how much I love marathons.
- Mile 1: 7:34
- Mile 2: 7:34
- Mile 3: 7:25
- Mile 4: 7:28
- Mile 5: 7:39
- Mile 6: 7:41
- Mile 7: 7:37
- Mile 8: 8:02
- Mile 9: 8:04
- Mile 10: 8:07
- Mile 11: 8:07
- Mile 12: 8:19
- Mile 13: 8:18
- Mile 14: 8:11
- Mile 15: 8:27
- Mile 16: 8:20
- Mile 17: 8:57
- Mile 18: 9:05
- Mile 19: 8:38
- Mile 20: 8:54
- Mile 21: 10:18
- Mile 22: 11:23
- Mile 23: 17:23
- Mile 24: 21:11
- Mile 25: 15:14
- Mile 26: 17:40
- Mile 26.2: 4:12 – 8:59/avg for .47 miles [note Garmin said 26.47 - pretty sure this is from all my weaving from water station to water station!]