Yesterday, I shared about the first 20 miles of my first marathon. If you missed that post, you should definitely check it out here. We left off with me just reaching mile 20 and feeling pretty wiped out but still moving. I actually got kind of motivated because I realized that if I just kept running I could get in under five hours. Or so I thought. Around mile 21 or so, my running buddy from DC caught up to me and I was SO happy to see her. We ran together for about a mile or so and then I had to let her go. I knew I had to walk and wanted her to finish strong. As she ran past me, I just felt SO DONE. Oh, and by the way, the 5 hour pacer passed me shortly after this as well. By the time I got to mile 22, I was walking almost as much as I was jogging and tweeted what I thought might be my last tweet ever because I was sure I was dying. I was SO grateful to all my sweet runner friends who quickly chimed in with support.
Speaking of support…I encountered an angel on that race course last Saturday. Right when I was struggling the most, a very kind man came up behind me and commented on my tutu. We started chatting and when he heard it was my first marathon, he told everyone around us that it was my first and proceeded to cheer loudly. He pumped me up and encouraged me and was absolutely amazing. I was able to deduce that he was a training team’s coach and he did an awesome job of staying with his athletes over the race. I wasn’t on his team but at least 5 different times between miles 20-26.2, he coached me too. It was such a blessing and I wish I had been coherent enough to remember his name so I could try and track him down to thank him. I saw him right after I crossed the finish and nearly burst into tears (ahem, yes again) when I hugged him. People are amazing.
Back to the race. I slowly took it mile by mile. I made it to 23. Then 24. Then finally, I made it to mile 25. At this point, I knew I would finish. I guess I knew all along, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t contemplate calling a cab at mile 22. For real. I just kept telling myself to make it to the downhill. See, the Richmond marathon ends on a long downhill slope. I knew if I could just make it to the downhill, I’d be there. Every single fiber in my body was screaming at me – I have seriously never felt pain like this. I totally underestimated what those last 6.2 miles would do to me!
But…I made it. And now – I’m a marathoner! The best feeling ever was crossing that finish line. Of course, I cried (yes, again).
I don’t think I will ever tire of discussing the Richmond Marathon 2013. Ever. I also may not be able to ever walk down steps again. Ever. 🙂
Y’all…in short, the race was amazing. It hurt, I gave it everything I had and I’m pretty dang sure I’m gonna do it again next year. Loved every painful minute of it!
If you’ve not run a marathon, have I convinced you yet?? If you have, what is your favorite course and why?