Monday, October 26, 2009

This would be fun....if it wasn't for the running :)


So I did it. Yesterday. I ran in my very first marathon. 26.2 miles. I decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon because it ran through Georgetown, DC, around most of the monuments and ended at Iwo Jima. However, the only monument I actually REMEMBER seeing was....Iwo Jima. I was in my own little running world and didn't really notice the sights. With one exception. At mile 25, I remember looking to my right and seeing the Pentagon and the looking to my left and seeing the white stones at Arlington Cemetary. And I started crying. And I don't think I stopped until the Marine handed me my medal that the very end said "Congrats ma'am. You did something I couldn't do. How does it feel?" (Oh and I cried a little bit more when I finally met back up with my parents and saw the tears in my mom's eyes!)

This was definitely the most physically challenging thing I've ever done. Running 26.2 miles is a feat, for sure. But the morning after--and trying to move--is definitely a feat as well! I felt great at the split (half way point...13.1 miles). Honestly, I felt fantastic. I had an awesome frame of mind at that point, I had my fantastic running playlist on my iPod (Party in the USA took me through mile 14.) I felt great. I only wish I could have continued that through the second half. I saw Mom at mile 10. She and Dad had big yellow signs that said "Go Kelby" and I knew when to look for them!! I then saw Mom again at mile 16--by that time I was craving a banana! She knew I'd probably be hungry so she had one ready for me. Dad was just a little bit down the road at mile 17 (Mom camped out at the Lincoln Memorial and Dad ran both sides of the Memorial Mall). Mile 17 was when the trouble started. I had been having some minor back pains starting at mile 9 or so. But it just kept getting worse. Mile 17 was where I met my wall--face first. My back starting going into spasms, tender to the touch and painful with each step of my foot hitting the pavement. I've been an athlete all my life, but have never had pain like this. Needless to say, the next 9 miles were brutal. I saw Dad again at mile 19. He hooked me up with my last Gu, which I took in between mile 20 and 21. And that mile--20 to 21--was the longest mile of the race. It was Beat the Bridge (which I did! OORAH!) and it was the only mile that felt like a mile. After the bridge, and coming off of mile 21, we did the loop in Crystal City. I knew Mom was planning on being at mile 22, but I didn't see her until 23. I was in some serious pain at that point, but there is nothing like knowing that you are only 3 miles from your goal! After Crystal City, we looped around the Pentagon and up through Arlington again. I tried to summon everything I had for the last mile, but knew the last half mile would be crucial. There is something to be said for loud crowds, because they really do carry you through! Oh and right as I was running up the hill, with Iwo Jima in the background, I saw one of the yellow "Go Kelby" signs and saw my dad with his camera out! (the tears were flowing at this point). So I just took off and the best feeling was crossing that finish line.

I didn't have the time I wanted--I was on track for it at the split--but finishing with the top half (I was 14,441 out of 30,000) is good enough for me. Especially for my first marathon. Mom and Dad kept asking me how it felt, and still hasn't hit me yet. I can't believe I just did that. I can't believe I accomplished that. I simply cannot believe it. I know I have the medal to prove it, but I can't believe it. I also cannot wait for the pictures to post online because I tried my darndest to smile everytime I saw one of those photographers.

Would I run this marathon again? Probably. Would I run a marathon again? Definitely.

Semper Fi. Oorah.