So here are some more memories and thoughts from the marathon:
Mile 1-Why did my brother just run the same first mile that I did.
Mile 2-I knew I'd want to take my long sleeve off quickly. Look at all these wussies with hats, gloves and multiple layers.
Mile 3-To poop or not to poop, how long will that be the question?
Mile 4-There's a pace group, how fast am I running to have caught the 3:35... oh shit, that's 4:00, oh well, better now than at the finish. I'll beat 4:00, but 3:45 is probably out the door.
Mile 5-Where's my Uncle? (This as the fast 6:00-7:15/mi marathoners and half marathoners go flying by on the other side of the street)
Mile 6-There's my mom and brother's family, yeah I can give them my shirt.
Shortly after at 10K: That's slow but I've made up some time and I feel good.
Mile 7-Shut up Chatty Kathy's and who cares how Sarah is looking good, move!
Mile 8-Why are so many others breathing that hard, there's so much oxygen here?!
Mile 9-No one is running past you for marathon or half marathon, you must be flying.
Mile 10-"Only a 5k to go!" Oh you fucking wussy half marathoners, shut up! I have a 10k and 10 mile still left. (Keep in mind I felt strong but these are things you don't say next to a whole bunch of others that are running twice the distance you are and aren't even at the halfway point.
Mile 11-Bye-Bye Half Marathoners, oh this is peaceful and much more quiet and where is everybody.
Mile 12-I keep passing people, other than these two guys that keep run-walking. I'll say hi.
Mile 13.1-Halfway there and holy shit, you are under pace and are close to what you ran your GTIS. Way to go!
Mile 14-I rule, here's some more people to catch'
Mile 15-Oh the longest ocean view. Awesome! Why are there Canadians waving a flag here?
Mile 16-Damn you wind and oh finally a hill that these sea level people are struggling on, haha.
Mile 17-Yeah a downhill and that lady I just blew past still has 9 miles and she's cussing at herself for doing this, ouch!!!
Mile 18-This is a long turnaround point, where's my mom and brother's family and WTF was that?!?! (Calf cramp tweak)
Mile 19-Oh there's my family and I am still passing more people than are passing me. I feel good!
At least a 1/3 mile to maybe a 1/2 from Mile 20. The entire group of spectators. You're almost there, only 6 miles to go! Are you fucking kidding me? You just went there! You just broke the cardinal sin. I don't see no 20 mile flag, do you?! I have 20/10 vision still don't see it. Have your ran 6 miles, let alone the 20 I still haven't reached.
After another 100 yards, if I didn't have to run another 10k and 1/4mile I would turn around and kick your asses. I can barely see a flag now.
Mile 20-I am fucking tired of Powerade and damn it, another calf tweak. Shit! That's like the 4th one. Oh well, it hasn't set. Yes, only 6 miles to go now, can you go kick those peoples asses for telling me I had 6 miles to go a half mile ago?!
Mile 21-Oh a church group and another hill. I can't stand these energy chews I took from my mom. Hey, that guy on the bike better not say anything to me. Oh he just asked that guy if he was okay instead. Yep, that guy looks bad but at least he has that guy to watch over him. I'll take this last church persons gatorade. Barely tasted it and blah, I thought that was gatorade and is it deer piss?!
Oooh, look the mile along the path. Nice. Peaceful and I passed those damn run/walkers for the 10th damn time. You ain't beating me with that shit.
Mile 22-FUCK! First full cramp. Nice of that guy to ask if I was alright. Oh shit I have to drink more Powerade! I was going to skip it and just do water. A GU or banana? I could probably use it but I don't want to puke or choke right now.
Mile 23-Fuck again. That's the 3rd cramp and more Powerade. No! Okay, yes. Gulp.
Mile 24-Ah both calves!!! Man almost went down. Holy shit I am still on pace if I run
Mile 25-I may vomit this Powerade. My calves are shot. A mile is nothing. If I don't cramp, I am going to kick ass this mile because the run-walkers haven't passed me and most of the other people I've been running with I keep passing when I work my cramps out.
Every 1/4 mile to 1/8 mile after that. Cramp. Cramp. Cramp.
Mile 25.9-Tall, big guy "You are right there. Don't stop buddy!" What I said "Yeah, I know but I keep freaking cramping!" Him: "Oh I understand, been there!" I didn't reply. What I wanted to say, "Have you ever fucking had this much pain going through your legs?! I ain't afraid of you biggun, I ran 26 miles, what's a few more minutes to kick your ass with just my arms?!"
Mile 26: Fuck, the clock says 3:47. Didn't make it but finish as strong as you can. Cramp right as I make the turn! Stretching it out against the wall. A few people, "You're almost there, don't stop!" You are kidding me right?! You don't think I see the damn finish line 100 meters down there?! Damn you people.
Mile 26.2: Just over a 3:47 with the clock showing around 3:48:30. Damn it, I missed my goal. Disappointment.
I look back at it my last 4 miles after thinking about it for a week and a half and after my first post marathon run and I say thank God for a strong brain with mental fortitude. I could have started walking, I could have let my bodies signals take over my mind but instead when I wasn't cramping I was still running a good pace. Unfortunately the cramps became more prevelant as I continued and ate up that time, but I am proud and realize finishing in the Top 400 timewise in my first marathon and still having enough in the mind shows I busted my ass to get where I did and it was a huge success beyond just running a marathon, I did a GREAT job. I was top 20% overall and top 1/3 of my age group. That is nothing but good things.
A few things I think about in general regarding this trip and my mindset:
- I didn't know a marathon was 26.2 miles and what that bumper sticker meant when this challenge started. It is funny how most people don't know a marathon is 26.2 miles but I knew less than they did about it, so I can't blame them for not knowing.
- I didn't see a damn 4-ton elephant at the start?!
- It was awesome sharing this experience with my Uncle, Brother, his family and my mom. I really hope Andi, Sophie, my Kunkel family and other members of my Ventura/Harrington family get to see my next one.
- We went into a store called Run For Your Life. It is a catchy freaking phrase and I should have bought a shirt from there. It is a great play on words and I have learned that this is so true. Not just for a zombie apocolypse, but to be healthy, to be active, to be happy, to gain some peace of mind, to find some peace with God, to solve issues in my life, to LIVE.
- I learned that my calves need some TLC. Some more stretchg, sodium, electrolytes and either Tommie Copper's or some other Compression Calve Socks will be worn by me come my next marathon.
- I want to keep running marathons. I want to get better and I know what it takes to break 3:45 and it's not much more than what I have done but I will continue my OCD ways and try to beat that time. Still discussing my next marathon with the family, but a June 2nd marathon in the mountains where my Uncle first qualified for Boston sounds like a good idea one week before my 32nd birthday seems like good timing.
- The term CAN'T wasn't okay when I coached and is not okay as a father or a husband. I taught myself and hopefully someone who may come across this that you can be healthy, you can choose a better life and you can become a better person. If I can run a marathon after not being able to run a mile less than a year ago, you can as well.