Sunday, March 27, 2011
I did it! I ran the National Marathon!
My day started at 4am when I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. My friend picked me up at 5:30, we picked up someone else, and we made it to RFK by 6:15. We hung out in the armory until 6:45 since it was about 29 degrees outside and indoor bathrooms were preferred over the hundreds of porta potties. I found the 4 hour pace group and, at 7:03am, we were on our way.
Everyone was in a good mood. The first 13 miles flew by (although, I did lose the 4 hour pace group at mile 10). We were joking and laughing and taking tons of pictures. The crowds were thick and there were bands or djs every few miles. We drank water at every stop and walked for a few seconds each time. At 13 miles, the half marathoners turned right to go to the finish line and the marathoners went straight. My friends were running the half so we said goodbye and I was on my own.
I have run five half marathons but never the full so when I was half way done, I felt like my body was saying "Where are we going? Why aren't we stopping?"Mile 13 was decidedly one of the hardest. Miles 14-19 were easy. I had a good pace, I walked all of the water stops and I felt good. Mile 20 took us to the waterfront in southwest DC and there were hardly any spectators on the course. There was a steel drum band here that sounded awesome but not too many people standing around. Mile 21 took us by the Nationals stadium and across the Anacostia river. We ran along the river in Anacostia park and mile 23 took us across Pennsylvania avenue. We ran down Alabama avenue until mile 25 when we turned and ran down a ramp to East Capitol street and looming in front of us was RFK stadium--the finish line! It was the longest 1.2 miles. It felt like forever and I couldn't run very fast and I had to alternate walking and running. I heard someone yell that it was only half a mile and I started running and was determined not to walk. I ran up the hill and through the finishing corral and people were shouting my name and the announcer said "Hello, Mrs. Walden! We've been waiting for you. Congratulations on your first marathon!" I started crying. I knew I would cry when I finshed. When I ran my long runs, I would often tear up at the end just thinking that I was actually going to run a marathon. I hadn't seen my parents on the course but my mom popped out of the crowd as I crossed the finish line and gave me a hug. I was very emotional and happy and relieved to not be running anymore. My official time for the marathon is 4:31:34. Not too bad considering I wanted to finish between 4 and 4.5 hours.
Afterwards, I had a delicious lunch of pizza with my parents and brother. I didn't feel badly at all except that the bottom of my feet were very sore (they still are.) Today, everything is sore. The tops of my shoulders are even sore.
Now to recover. I was told to walk today so I should probably do that if I can ever get up from the couch. At least I have today to relax before my husband and daughter get home tonight. I can't wait for that! Until then, it's a movie marathon to recover from the running one.