I can't believe I've gone from thinking all people who run marathons are crazy (no offense intended to my dear friends) to running a marathon myself in a period of three years. But contagion is real, and I sleep next to a multi-marathoner every night, so I suppose it was inevitable. Also, after spectating a few marathons, I just could not accept that I was incapable. Old people, fat people, short people, juggling people are out running on marathon day. Why not me? And what would it take to complete the thing with minimal negative impact on my family, my body, and my schedule? When I found Jeff Galloway's book and training schedules, I determined that if I trained "to the finish," not worrying about a time goal, I could do it, it would be fun, and I would come out unscathed, or without any additonal injury. And I did! Hooray for me!
Marathon day I awoke at 3 AM. The Warlock took over tending poor, sick Bardo and finished off the bedtime routine with Boo and Pippi so I could go to bed at 8:30 PM. I was nervous and woke up every couple of hours throughout the night. I laid out clothes the night before, but ended up changing my running top three times before walking out the door. I discovered pockets in the back of my tank so I would have a place for Jelly Bean Elecrolyte storage. (My jelly beans and I provided a steady maraca rhythm to all runners within ear shot.) I kind of ate a bowl of oatmeal and a banana for my marathon breakfast. The Warlock pulled all of the other kids out of bed, promising them that he would buy them breakfast after he dropped me off. He told me the weather was good and that I wouldn't need my long-sleeved top. But I brought it anyway. I hate to be cold. I walked out the door without my Garmin (but with my sunglasses, number and running essentials) at about 4:15 AM. I arrived way too early to the Woodlands Pavilion, so I read from my phone in the bathroom, out of the wind, and warmed myself with the hand dryers for an hour or so.
Julianne, my training buddy, and her hubby, Michael arrived after awhile. We identified our pace runners, and talked with some other fellow runners. When Julianne and I lined up we met Melissa, with whom we ended up running 4 hours of our 5 hour marathon. She provided us with lots of compliments and some fresh conversation. It was delightful. She also reminded me to follow my jelly bean regimen. No runner was as hydrated and electrolyte balanced as me, I guarantee it. I had a great time! My muscles did begin to spasm and behave strangely during the last 6 miles, but when I explained it to Melissa she just said, "Oh, the usual..." And I carried on. The Warlock's signs were hilarious. He got the best reaction from the "Worst. Parade. Ever." sign held by Boo. I loved seeing him and my kids several times on the course. I know how much work spectating can be, especially since they got up so early to drive me, and they did a great job.
The course had water stops every 1.5 miles. I wished it had been every mile, but it was fine and the volunteers did a good job. One neighborhood had a Oreo stop with all of the kids wearing latex gloves passing out Oreos. I thought that was cute, though I just wasn't in the mood for an Oreo. A group made a bunch of running signs ripe with innuendo. I picked up my pace through that section, running to get away.
We saw lots of friends on the course. Kenna, Chris, Jared, Tamany. It was a blast. I'll probably run another someday. I wish they had more Saturday marathons.
I was sore until Tuesday. Monday was the worst day of soreness. Today I ran a little. It was weird.