The Friday before the Columbus Marathon, we drove down to the expo to grab our packets. I LOVE the expo! It is like a runners shopping dream. I didn't plan on buying ANYTHING, but I did buy a jacket ( thanks CERC!), a new tank top and a running buff. We were there for way too long; being on our feet was not a good idea. We snapped a picture and then we left to go home and rest.
Race day Sunday rolls around and I set the alarm for 4:30am. I actually was able to sleep that night, which was great because I don't tend to sleep before race day..not sure if many people do! We got dressed and grabbed an Uber ride downtown. I don't like dealing with traffic and there were going to be at least 18,000 other people looking for a parking spot.
We got downtown in plenty of time; found our running club's tent and met up with both of our running clubs. We trained with Columbus East Side Running Club (CERC) and we have our own that we head; Columbus Westside Running Club (CWRC). Some were doing the half and some were doing the full. It's awesome to have such a great group of people to have around for support and motivation!
I had plans to run with a friend, Katie so Carl and I headed to our corral to find her. I wasn't sure what I was going to do if I didn't find her other than just run by myself, which was ok but I really wanted a running buddy! We found her a few minutes before our corral took off. The fireworks went off and we were running our FIRST marathon!
I felt amazing! The atmosphere was awesome and the crowd support was outstanding! I looked at Katie around mile 8 and told her I was feeling good! We passed the halfway mark and she turned to me and said, "This is where the race really starts." Around mile 14-15 I was having a hard time catching my breath and my left shoe was rubbing the outside of my foot. I have worn the shoes before so I wasn't happy that they were doing that. Luckily, Katie had some body glide in her pack that she let me use. I applied some to my foot and was good to go. Another mile in, I was still having a hard time catching my breath and had to slow it down. Katie stayed with me for a while longer and then I told her to go and I would be ok-I didn't want to ruin her race day.
Around mile 20 or so is where I really started to struggle. It had REALLY warmed up by then and I just couldn't catch my breath. I was walking by this point. UGH! Really? Walking? I was so frustrated and didn't know if I had another 6 miles in me or not. I could feel my stomach turning and I was going downhill. Damn, it was HOT! Why was it this hot in October? By then, I was running then walking. I was going to finish dammit!
At mile 22 I received a text from one of my girlfriends that said-'You have this. You have pushed this far. Keep going. I am counting on seeing your smiling face. Tears or not.' I was getting so nauseous and only had 4 miles to go. I ended up stopping at a port a potty ( TMI?!) and lost some minutes there. I didn't really care at this point. I kept going. At mile 23, I stopped by a medic as I was so thirsty and the hydration station was another half a mile. I sat down and the EMS gave me an ice pack to put on my neck. He kept talking to me as he could tell I was STRUGGLING! I wanted to give up but I pulled myself together and went another block or so.
I was going downhill fast. I sat on a curb and called Carl. I wanted to cry but didn't have any tears. He had been done for awhile now and was waiting for me at the end, along with my parents, nephew and friends. A runner saw me and gave me some of her pretzels. I had NO saliva left and they tasted like chalk. She offered my some of her water and told me she has been where I was before. Runners are awesome-they just get you.
By this time, I was at mile 24ish and was getting delirious. I actually layed down behind a bush in Goodale Park. I thought I was going to die...I wanted to give up SO bad but I made it that far. I HAD to finish! I got up and the hydration station was right around the corner. I grabbed 2 cups of water and kept going.
At mile 25, I threw up. Yep, right in front of about 5 First Aid guys. I kept apologizing to them and they didn't care! I'm sure they have seen a lot worse. Whew! I felt SO much better! I texted Carl that I just threw up and I was on my way to the finish! I walked most of that last mile until I saw Carl. I couldn't have my finishing picture of me walking in!! By this time, the crowd was gone as it was past 1:30pm.
I finished an hour and 30 minutes after my goal time, but you know what? Who cares!
I RAN A MARATHON!! I AM A MARATHONER!