Surprise! I ran a marathon today! As most of you know, I decided last minute to run a marathon well last week I decided. It was apparent that the inflammation in my shin was not going to go away 100% till I rested it and I was not able to get in 2 important long runs for Jacksonville due iron issues and leg. I had to make the decision not to run Jacksonville but was not ready to give up running a fall marathon. With the go ahead from my coach and under the care of my PT and ART Therapist to keep inflammation to a minimum while I prepared for Kiawah, well tapered and running 63 miles the week before is not really tapering. I had upped the iron supplement and was hoping that with 14 days on the upped iron dose my body would feel good.
At the beginning of the week and after I registered and decisions were made, I starting feeling the affects of this warm weather pattern we have had in the Carolinas. We went from cold AMs and mild afternoons to just plain warm and humid. This caused my body to think it was spring and my body reacted to this weather pattern by giving me bout of spring time allergy fun. Headache, silly tummy, stuff/runny noise, congested chest and overall blah. This gave me pause to even be thinking of running a marathon feeling like this but I knew I was suppose to be there so I kept rolling with the punches and praying for the highest god. I was doing a good job staying positive as I knew I could run through it even though it would not be pleasant. Than Thursday came and I saw the weather forecast. I will be honest it did bum me out of first and put the first bit of fright in me that I would have to work hard to shake off. Yeah starting temps lows 50s with 100% humidity warming to upper 60s and with humidity at 90% by 10AM. Great! Now I get to fight my humidity-induced asthma. By Thursday, I was a ball of nerves - Did I make the right decision to go? I was sure I was following my intuition and had no doubt that I was suppose to go to Kiawah but why did this freak heat wave hit in what is usually my best training month because I can usually count on December to be low humidity and the continual frosts to keep allergens down - no such luck this month.
After I had my initial freak out, I calmed myself down and just worked to accept what is and not what I wanted. I knew there was a reason for this that I may not understand now. I started focusing on the things I could control to have a great day. One being I could go and HAVE FUN! I could go and HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE! Those are things within in my control! I could SMILE, I could encourage others and I can run. So many people have worked so hard to get me to that line I owed it to all of them to be the best me possible on this day!!
I knew I had to start conservative given the weather and drink early and often. I stayed conservative for first 3 miles and than got on a comfortable 7:55-8:05 pace range and was so enjoying myself for the first 18 miles at that range even with the slight wheezing in my chest I was pretty happy but starting coming off that pace a bit and had to focus a bit to stay on pace and it was no longer easy. After 20 miles, the realization that I had only done 2 long runs hit me since September - one 18 & 20. I decided I would take my mind off that being singing with my Ipod Call Me Maybe. That was great fun as I would pass people smiling at them singing Call me Maybe :-) and doing the phone sign. Not only did that help me out of my funk but I was able to bring a few smiles to weary faces. Who knows - they may have lost that smile and thought bitch after I passed but it help distract me from thinking about the distance. Than around mile 23 my glutes starting talking to me big time. Funny how my shin never bothered me but glutes were pretty much screaming what the frick are you doing!!!! You have not run this far in a long time! That is not what got me though in the final 2-3 miles, it was just that I could not breathe at all! My chest had been getting progressively worse as the miles past but especially difficult to breathe in the final 2 miles. I could have pushed though any muscle discomfort but the fact that I needed air was enough to slow me by 30-45 seconds in the final miles. But funny thing all I could think in those final miles is, I am so glad I came and did this!!!
I am super happy and so thankful for all the love and support that everyone gave me. I could not have done this without it.
I am proud of myself for seeing this through even if a PR was not on the line. I had fun and really enjoyed myself. I am happy that I put my fears aside and ran with heart today. I am happy this will not be one of those things in my life that I wonder what would have happen if I would had done that. I did it and it was marvelous! Just marvelous!
I am looking forward to my rest period and catching up with holiday activities that I had been back burning in the last couple of weeks. Oh it does help that we are going on cruise next week and than to Disney World.