I am a marathoner.
I've never considered myself a "runner." I used to hate running which is why I decided to play soccer, but wait...isn't soccer just running with a ball (most of the time without a ball for that matter). The more I played soccer, the less I hated running. I soon found myself running outside of soccer and actually really enjoying it!
So, let me begin to tell you the three reasons why I decided to run a marathon. (1) Early summer I set the goal to run a marathon because I wanted to challenge myself. I LOVE challenges. (2) Run for those who can't. In this hectic world, it is easy to take such a simple thing like running for granted. The pain of not being able to run is far greater than a 26.2 mile run. (3) I ain't getting any younger. At the moment I am healthy and young, so why wait? I couldn't find a good enough reason to not run a marathon. Once I set the goal, there was no stopping me (I'm stubborn like that).
November 5, 2017: The weather was perfect for running— mostly overcast with a little sunshine peaking through. I was so excited when the race started I quickly got to the front of the pack. Running next to me for awhile was this older gentleman. He told me that this marathon was his 70th one! At mile 3, I couldn’t keep up with the pace he was running at. He gave me one of his energy packs then I soon fell behind.
Mile 6 was about the time I saw my boyfriend, Ryan Baur and my mom. Overall, I was still feeling good. I gave them both hugs and continued at my pace (which was still pretty good). The next time I saw them was mile 8.75. I stopped briefly to stuff my face with grapes. At this time I could feel my hips getting tighter and my strides becoming shorter. When I saw my mom and Ryan at mile 12, I told them other runners kept passing me and that my feet were hurting. I got to mile 13.1 in about 2 hours. AND I WAS ONLY HALF WAY DONE! The next 3 miles after this felt never-ending. The more I ran, the more my body was trying to tell me to stop. It was rough on my hips, knees, ankles, feet...just everything. Everything was telling me to stop but my mind. I knew I had to keep going— I wanted to keep going.
Mile 16.5 I saw my mom and Ryan and I broke into tears. I "hit the wall.” Ryan knew that if I stopped now I would be very upset with myself, so he took my hand and continued the marathon with me. I cried another 2 miles or so after that…at one point I was trying so hard to run, then I look to my right and see Ryan just walking! I cried some more but Ryan assured me that it was okay and I was still ahead of schedule. He made it better because I was no longer alone in this.
Mile 19.5-22.75 I had little burst of energy, although my body was still in pain. At one of the water stations a volunteer shouted, “true love!” Yes—indeed it is true love when your boyfriend/best friend is still by your side holding your hand and making you run when you don’t want to. Mile 24.5 we see my mom and brother. My brother Tony joins us as we continue running the longest last mile. The last 0.2 mile, I ran as fast as I could…I look at the timer as I pass the finish line…05:23:00. I became a marathoner.
I’m so lucky to have an amazing family who shared this experience with me.