Well that was painful.
I think I may have underestimated the 42.2. I knew 32km hurt. But that extra 10km was excruciating.
All went well up until the 30km mark. I had run a solid half at 1:49 and was keeping up my 5:00 pace until about the 23km mark. I felt my calves get tighter and less willing to move, so I did a run-walk combination until the 30km mark. I was taking a walk break when Dave, the videographer, caught up with me and made me run again so it could at least LOOK like I was trying.
He stayed with me until the 32km mark then rode off, and that’s when my left calf cinched up so tight I thought I heard a pop. I hobbled up the hill at Clover Point, tried to start jogging again and couldn’t get my legs to move. I felt two huge blisters under the pads of my feet just waiting to burst. That, coupled with the pain, changed my focus from sub-4:00 to just finishing.
But I didn’t care. As much as it hurt to even walk, I was happy to be out in the sun and excited that in a few hours time I’d be sitting down to a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with 15 of my family members, who would all be excited to hear stories about my first marathon.
Tyler was waiting for me with 3km to go. I was walking still, and he ran over to me and tried to get me to jog. I couldn’t do it. Thankfully, he had a bottle of painkillers with him and some water, so I down a few pills and continued walking. He stayed with me until I was coming up on the last 800 metres and the Tylenol kicked in. I started a pathetic jog, ignoring my pulled calf muscle.
I saw Katie near the finish line. When she saw me she waved, and I think I yelled out something like “Kill me now”. I have never been so happy to cross the finish line.
Numb from the pain killers and feeling pretty good since I had just been walking, not running, for the last 12km, I grabbed some post-race eats and met up with Tyler, Katie and Dave. Dave filmed me for a post-race recap, and I think all I said was “I get to go eat 2500 calories worth of Thanksgiving dinner right now, so I’m feeling pretty good.”
Yes, I’m disappointed. But that was my first marathon. I had no idea what to expect. I could go on about how I didn’t train enough and should have done more long runs, but I was just happy to finish. Now that I know, next time will be different. At least my time of 4:36 will be pretty easy to beat, so a new marathon PB is almost guaranteed.