I limped/ran along and thought, “I just want this to be over. I just want this to be over. I just want this to be over.” When running, they talk about having a mantra. Something like, “You are a warrior.” Or, “She believed she could, so she did.” I spent the late hours of last night, the night before my first ever marathon, looking on Pinterest searching for what my mantra would be. I saw 84 different options but never really settled on one, thinking that I would use them all. Here’s the truth, the only mantra I repeated over and over and over was, “I just want this to be over.”
Somewhere in the second half of the race I remembered the conversation that I had with Danny and my mom last night and laughed, actually laughed out loud at myself. My mom was reminding me for the millionth time that 26.2 miles was far, really, really far and that she didn’t want me to hurt myself. She worries about my poor, blistered feet (that these days seem to always be blistered), she worries about my knees and she worries about why I would do something that causes intentional suffering. I looked at my sweet mom and told her that I had read a quote from a runner that I like, Tommy Rivs, and he talked about how when you run long distances there is undoubtedly going to be agony. That you need to accept it and roll around in it. “I’m going to roll around in the agony, mom.” I said to her.
She looked at Danny, Danny looked at her, and I knew they were thinking 2 things: Laura has totally lost it & it is SO TOTALLY Laura to say something like that.
For my part, I both love and hate that I am the person who would say things like that and totally believe it. Alas, it is who I am. So that was my plan for today, to run, be in agony, roll around in the agony and then hopefully come in under 4 hours.
Here’s how it really went. I woke up at 3:30am this morning, watched part of a Hallmark movie, then at 4:30 got dressed and left the house 15 minutes later. I arrived up at Hyak at 5:45 and checked in. It was freezing and I spent most of the next hour just walking around trying to stay warm. The race finally started at 7am and, although I haven’t run for the last 3 weeks due to injury, I felt good. I ran the first 5 miles just as planned, at about 9 minutes a mile. After 5 miles we were handed flashlights before entering the Snoqualmie tunnel. For 2.5 miles we ran in the pitch black, with only little mini flashlights to guide us. It was completely disorienting and I’m pretty sure I actually ran 3 miles because I was zigzagging all over the place, unable to run straight.
The next 11 miles went fine, minus the tiny rocks that were constantly finding their way into my shoe (I just left them because there was no point in taking them out, I should have had gaiters on). Mile 18 came and went and I was starting to hurt but still holding my pace. Ok honestly, I had hurt for a while but I was in the “rolling in it” phase and just trying to keep going. This is the point where I was telling myself, “I just want it to be over. I’m ready for this to be over. Can this please be over?”
I waffled back and forth between caring if I finished under 4 hours and just wanting to finish. Then somewhere in the 20th mile my knee konked out. I walked for a little bit and then tried to run. The pain was bad but I was able to limp along at a slower pace for a while. Then I walked some more. I thought about how much this sucked and how ridiculous this whole thing was and then I remembered a customer telling me to “enjoy it and have fun.” She told me that I had a little girl at home that I needed energy for and she was totally right. So this is what I did. I walked for a few minutes in the sunshine and then dumped out the rest of the gummy bears I had, a huge handful, and ate them all. I thought about how much I loved gummy bears and for a glimmer of a moment this thought crossed my mind, “This is fun.”
I still had 6ish miles to go and had an hour to do it if I wanted to finish under 4 hours. I tried to run, my knee was killing me and there were moments when I actually couldn’t run, so I walked some too. Then I would run 100 yards, and then walk. I was disappointed, and so, so tired and honestly, can I say it again, I just wanted it to be over.
Finally, it was. I ran in at 4 hours and 12 minutes. I turned around and saw my dad, who had surprised me and come to watch and I limped over to him. He hugged me, I smelled horrible, I was soaked (it POURED the last 50 minutes of the race) and waddled in my soggy shoes full of mini pebbles to have my picture taken and then I ate a grilled cheese sandwich and potato chips.
My dad drove me back to my car and told me how proud he was of me, I texted my mom and husband and sisters a picture of my horribly disgusting feet and then drove home, where I have laid on the couch all day with my feet elevated and icy hot on my swollen knee.
So yeah, I rolled around in that agony for a while and this is what I found out……that it is agony. Bottom line, I’m glad I did it, I love running and I wanted to check this off my list , but mark my words…NEVER AGAIN.
Until next time,
Blister Lady with a Handful of Gummy Bears