This post is long overdue. I mean, come on.
The marathon was over a month ago.
But it's been here, sitting and rolling around in my head.
You see, the marathon was awesome, and great, and not at all what I wanted.
It was so different.
I was not happy about the temp, but there's nothing you can do. So I tried to put it out of my mind and knew I would need to slow it down a bit for the race. No big deal.
The plan was for me to run the first 16 miles by myself, and then meet up with my dad for the last 10. Mile 8 I start getting back spasms. Think: lower back muscles contracting and relaxing in complete and utter chaos.
I'd had back spasms on my 23 mile training run, but they started at mile 20. I was able to push through them and didn't think much of it.
Now, we're at mile 8 and I've got so far to go. They're getting stronger and claiming all of my attention. My pace slows to nearing a crawl. Finally, I find Dad at mile 12. He was watching the text alerts he had been getting about my time, and knew something was going on. For the first 8, I was holding the pace I told him to count on, and then there was the steep drop.
Dad decides to stay with me from 12 on instead of 16. Hallelujah. At this point, I'm hurting but just thinking about getting to each mile. Just the next one. Just 13.
At mile 14, I lose it. The spams are so big at this point I can't walk through them. I'm on the ground, and I just lose it. I'm crying, Dad's asking what's wrong, and the cop is coming over. I'm embarassed, frustrated and just at an utter loss.
After 5 minutes on the ground we start walking. Dad calls to our group at 16 (Mom, Sam, Forrest and Rachel) and let's them know what's going on. My sweet, sweet husband starts running toward us with all the pain meds he can find. At 15, I get meds and we find the nearest medic tent.
Immediately the medics load me up on salted gatoratde and potatoes. Yes, that does mean adding SALT to gatorade. It's disuisting. I don't reccomend it. The Dr at the tent says "I don't reccomend you finishing this race." Tears.
This is not how this was supposed to go. I had trained so hard. I thought I had earned this race. It was going to be fun. So after a quick calculation from Dad we knew we could do an 18 minute mile for each remaining mile and still make it under the cutoff time.
That brought hope. I was up and determined, even if we walked the whole remainder. After a few miles of walking, we starting doing some walk/jogging.
And eventually, we made it. It was long, and so different than I wanted. But I did it. 26 hard miles, but they're mine. The medal is mine, and it counts.
For the longest time I haven't wanted to talk about the race. I've quickly changed the subject when friends ask, not wanting to face the shame of what happened again. But now, I'm ready. It's not shameful. I did it. It looked different than I ever dreamed, but it's still my marathon.