It was almost midnight the day before Roadrunners training was set to began when I decided to join the training program and sign up for the marathon way back in September 2011. The farthest distant I had done prior to this was a half marathon in 10/2010. I knew if I bought the marathon at the same time as the training then I would be guaranteed to show up to the marathon. My first day there I met another person who was just like me, Kristen. She decided it was on her bucket list and signed up that morning. Her and I began out in the same pace group and we eventually fell off with our formal training, but we both showed up on race day. Knowing that we had made it through the six months of training and actually showed up on race day put a smile on my face.
I started the race with a new pace group because my other goal besides making it to the finish line for my medal was to not get carted away by the medical support staff. In my mind I was flying. I hit mile 13 which is almost enough for a half marathon and felt great. I felt so good that I told my mother and sister to hurry up or I was going to pass the designated meet up area. Everything was going well until I hit mile 18. Mile 18 felt like my body put the brakes on the running and damn near put the brakes on walking. I knew after I passed mile 13 that I was in uncharted territory and was nervous about how my body would respond. I think this is the first time that I actually hit that wall that I've heard athletes talk about.
From mile 18-25.0 I officially crossed over to the realm of walking and taking in a leisurely tour of the city, I even decided to finally take a potty break. At about mile 25 I looked over at the medical station and saw the biggest bottle of aspirin I had seen in my life and I felt like my prayers were answered. I immediately made my way there to ask for some pain meds. Even though I only got Advil, it felt like I was given dilaudid, percocet and morphine. After about 15 minutes or so the meds kicked in and I was able to walk like a chick who hadn't already finished 25 miles. I felt so good I decided to sprint my way in. I'm not sure if it was the fact that I knew I was close to the 26 mile mark, the endorphins, or that good ol Advil, but the beast came alive and I once again felt great. As I was coming in I kept myself form crying despite the fact that I was feeling very emotional and for those who know me that means this must have been major.