There are about 15 billion things that I could express relative to this particular marathon experience – and maybe some time I will write a book. 26.2 miles of running with 20,000 competitive runners each living out their dream and achieving their personal goals is truly a humbling experience. I can say that I had a lifetime of experiences Physically, Menatally, Emotionally, and Spiritually in 26.2 miles. From energetic to exhausted, from determined to broken, from anxious to spiteful to joyful, and from hopeful to grateful – the full range life packed into 3 hours, 17 minutes, and 31 seconds.
I did manage to PR (by 11 whole seconds) and BQ, though I missed my goal of 3:15. Unexpectadly, I made two new friends – Bill from Oregon, and Ahmed from Calgary – and it was great running and pacing with them. I again had a great strategy and horrible execution – my first mile was planned at 7:12 – hit the marker at 6:14 – I was so excited.
Through the long and tedious middle miles I settled in at about 7:15 and had difficulty pulling back – I wish we could have found that happy place at 7:30. By the time I looked down from the peak of Heartbreak Hill, there was little left in my legs; but by drawing on mental, emotional, and spiritual reserves, I hung on to a 3:15 pace for about 2 more miles. Soon thereafter, with the Citgo sign in view and with vivid recollection of the many experienced runners forecasting that I would hate that sign within 8 or so minutes, my heart rate dropped to 83%. Nothing I could draw upon was able to swing my arms faster or lengthen my stride – I would not see higher than 84% the rest of the race. I had formally hit the wall and was now powerless over my performance.
Making the last turn, my goals were now whittled down to just one – to stop running – could that Finish Line be any further away? What if that Blue and Gold thing crossing the road isn't the end? It was so far away – how far? could it be a whole mile? At least nobody is passing me — yet.
Somewhere on that long last leg of the race – the daydream I had fallen into was broken by a voice calling out my name and my city. Instinctively, my right fist pumped in the air once, my legs slowed, I crossed the line, and several pictures were snapped of me stopping and checking my wrist watch.
2 years, 4 months, and 9 days after going for a 30 minute walk – my personal mission was now completed. “Just like that” it was all over.
Ski – thanks for the kudos – I hope that 20 years from now – I can do what you do!