So, I ran a marathon yesterday. My legs are killing me today.
This was made possible thanks to Staci Bewick and her running expertise and unending (sometimes SERIOUSLY MISLEADING) optimism and enthusiasm for the sport.
I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but for some unknown reason I decided this was the year to run a marathon. Then Staci was all, “let’s run the Windermere marathon!” and I was all, “ok!” not realizing that I’d just picked a running buddy who is exceptionally faster and so much more tenacious than me. This is why you should never choose your running buddies based on age. Or, you know, I could’ve done a better job facebook-stalking and realized beforehand she’d already done a million marathons and a freaking IRONMAN. Yeah, Ironman. You know, the one where you swim 2.4 miles, ride a bike 112 miles, and then run a marathon? Good grief.
I’m so glad I didn’t do any research beforehand, and blindly walked (ran?) into this training because these last four months have been incredibly entertaining (and somewhat painful, but totally worth it!). Here are some moments that make my short-list of most entertaining memories from this whole marathon training process:
1. Going to a crab feed the night before running 15 miles in the morning (my longest run at that point). I spent the rest of that Friday after the run on the toilet or if I wasn’t then I was telling everyone how much I wished I was on the toilet.
2. Tripping at mile 15 of an 18 mile run on some uneven asphalt, tucking, rolling, and bounding back up. Staci: “Did you just fall??” Me: “YES! Keep going!” Staci: “No wait, stop! Brush yourself off!” Me: “NO! Keep going!” Staci: “Are you sure?? No seriously, stop, brush that dirt off and compose yourself!” Me: “No, I’m fine!” Staci: “Ok then.” Five seconds later… Me: “Ok stop, I can’t breathe.” Then I hyperventilated and we had to walk a little. But I never dropped my pepper spray!
3. Standing at a curb at the bottom of a hill, ready to sprint up it, trying to kick a stick out of my way and missing it completely… Staci: “Don’t trip on that.”
4. Getting out of my car and walking up to Staci’s front steps just before starting a hill workout… Staci: “I was really hoping you weren’t going to show up today.” Then, about a half hour later into the workout where each successive hill set got faster… Staci: “Okay, lets do a couple extra!!!” I was busy trying not to faint.
5. At the start line of Race for the Cure… Staci: “Okay, who let these little girls in here? Lets get around them so we don’t have to see them get trampled.” Staci beat me by three seconds, those little girls (one of whom FELL during the race) beat me by two seconds.
6. Approaching mile 17 and Doomsday hill during a 20 mile run… Staci: “Ok, I’m just gonna go and I’ll meet you at the top.” Me: “Bleughhhhahhh.” At the top of Doomsday, into West Central where I had tripped a few weeks previously… Staci: “Pick up your feet!” Five seconds later after NOT falling… Staci: “Good girl.”
7. Somewhere near Canada on the Centennial Trail… Staci: “LOOK OUT FOR THE POOP!”
I think the point of running a marathon, like anything else worth doing, is in the getting there. Like, you don’t just decide one day, “Hey, I think I’ll run a marathon!” then go out and do it. Well, maybe you do if you’re clinically insane, but I’m talking about mostly normal people like me. If left to my own devices, I’d probably have given up around February 1st and settled for 20 minute treadmill sessions four times a week followed by three hours of 30 Rock every night.
Instead, I got to wake up at the butt crack of dawn three times a week for strength workouts, sets of hills, and long runs taking up two or more hours. The other nights of the week I’d go to the gym and sprint on a treadmill for seven to ten miles just so I’d get used to running so damn fast all the time and not embarrass myself whenever I’d meet Staci to go running. Actually, I was just practicing so that when we’d do long runs on the Centennial Trail I wouldn’t fall behind and get attacked by creepers.
What I’m saying is, there was a lot of work that went into yesterday’s race. Not by me, obviously. I mostly just sat around and waited for Staci to email me and tell me what to do. And I have to say, the end result was pretty fantastic. This is what yesterday looked like:
Wake up too early (as most of you don’t care to know, I have an issue doing the number two without the aid of coffee in the mornings) and spent two hours panicking about what to wear (even though I’d laid it all out the night before). Staci and Chris picked me up just before 6:00 and we headed out to Post Falls. That’s in Idaho. So, we literally ran from one state to another.
After a brief encounter with the Porta-Potty, Staci’s all, “want to jog around for a bit?” Why, YES! There is nothing I love more than running before a marathon! Running down a side street between some warehouse building and an open field, Staci decides she needs to go again. “Do you think anyone can see me?” “Uhhh…” “Oh man, I really had to go!” “…” “Seriously, look at how much I just went!” “You know I’m putting this on my blog later, right?”
Back at the starting line we wait for those weird bike thingies where they pedal with their arms to go by, then gather at the start line and wait for the gun. Except, I don’t remember there being a gun. Maybe it was some guy yelling “GO!” All I know is that I was freaking out and there was no time to pay attention to the start.
Not to worry though, at mile two I settled into my pace and spent the next 18 miles smiling for the camera. They better post those pics on the Windermere website. At mile six’s water station I heard someone ask out loud, “what’s the Brown Club??” At mile ten I passed an old man who said, “well you’re just nice and steady aren’t ya?!” At mile 13 I thought I heard a gun shot, but didn’t look around. There was nothing in the news today so I’m sure everyone’s fine. At mile 20 I was dead on pace and felt great. At mile 21 I about died and started wondering on a scale of one to ten how embarrassing it’d be to crawl across the finish line. I decided it would be an eleven and kept running. Approaching the finish line I could hear people yelling my name and there was my whole small group PLUS Keri Barker! I finished smiling and with a time of 3:49:35.
Even better than finishing under four hours? Staci won the whole thing. So, that’s basically awesome. Next time I’ll try harder to keep up.
So what I’m saying is, it’s been a great four months. Even the dehydration and hours spent on the toilet. It was totally worth it. I ran a marathon!
Thank you Staci, for everything.