My friend Christi and I were sitting in her family room drinking a bottle of wine on an early summer evening when we committed ourselves to a "great idea" - running the Monumental Marathon. The FULL marathon. We were apprehensive, but thought we could probably do it. After all, I've completed eight minis (and Christi a few more than that) and thought it was reasonable to take the next challenge. Moreover, I figured that we would get into the training program and either decide it was too time-consuming or one of us would get some nagging running injury preventing this "great idea" from happening.
What DID happen was 18 weeks of good solid running - resulting in getting to eat whatever I wanted and further cultivating a great friendship. Our efforts led us to yesterday, Marathon Day. I was very nervous about it all week, but not because I didn't think I could finish. I was nervous because I remember all too clearly what it's like to be at mile 11 of a mini marathon praying for it to end. I had no idea what that experience would be like times two.
We did our best to do everything right this week in preparation - getting lots of sleep, eating well (minus the potato skins I had on Thursday night as my entree at Champps...that was just a moment of insanity), and carbing up on Friday night at Bravo:
Candy and Ariel - Candy ran her first mini yesterday at a time of 1:59 - WOW!
Race Day -
Buddy Bear gets ready to shave 40 minutes from his first marathon and come in at a time of 3:47:31. Simply amazing to me.
The weather was a little bit of a worrisome factor for us and we all stocked up on some new Under Armor last week before the race. Christi and I wore matching UA tops and Brent, Christ's husband Jay, and Jay's friend bought these matching yellow singlets. Turns out we were just fine in our outfits and ear warmers and stayed plenty warm while not getting too warm. Such a finicky combination to hit.
Jay, a seasoned marathoner, says that Miles 1-13 are all legs, no problem. Miles 13-20 are mental. And Miles 20-26 are run with your heart. I wholeheartedly agree.
Christi and I were doing pretty well through the halfway point. Here we are at about Mile 9. We had stopped to eat a few of our Chomps, and I was able to make some room for a camera in my fanny pack so I could document the day and blog about it - of course.
From miles 13-20 we set little goals for ourselves. "Okay, let's just get to Butler (mile 17)" and "At the IMA (mile 18) we get to eat our peanut butter sandwiches". Our longest training run was 18 miles, so every step past mile 18 was our self-proclaimed "No-Man's Land" where we really didn't know what would happen or how our bodies would react to the strain.
I remember looking at the Mile 20 sign and just saying over and over to myself - "Does that say Mile 20? Is that a 2 - 0? WOW!"
For me, Miles 20-26 were absolutely brutal. Around 21.5, we came to a busy intersection and a race organizer yelled to us that they would stop traffic when we got close to the intersection. I told him there was no need...I didn't think I minded crossing without a police escort at that point.
Our men and Christi's peanut Peyton met us around 10th and Meridian. It was great to see them cheering for us on the sidewalk! Getting a hug from Brent made me cry, which made it hard to breathe, so I had to keep rolling.
Here's a picture Brent took at that point - Mile 23.5
Hatin' me some life.
I got out my camera and took a picture of the last three mile signs as we passed. Unless I momentarily lose my mind, this is probably the last time I'll see these numbers on race signs again.
Around 25.7, I felt what can only be described as "an explosion in my shoe". I really don't know what else to call it. There was a scream, followed by some profanity (sorry spectators with kids :/ ) and then some theatrical hobbling. My right pinky toe had been hurting for miles, but something happened and it just had had enough, I guess! I still haven't really figured it out. My sock was bloody, there's a crack down the top of the toe, and the entire thing is swollen. All I know is that I'm thankful it happened at 25.7 and not 18, because that would have been a challenge.
What a sweet, sweet sight. The Indiana Historical Society - our wedding reception site - is in the background.
WE DID IT!
I am beyond proud of us for hanging in there through all the training and doing the best we could yesterday. Our final time was 5:36:57. I've already started with the "I bet we can shave a good 20 minutes off that next time" thoughts...but all in all I think it's safe to say that I'll be sticking to minis from now on. The goal was to complete a full marathon - and we definitely were successful.