It's the day after my first marathon and my legs are quickly starting to recover from yesterday's self-inflicted torture. Funny, when all is said and done, the one emotion I feel more than anything else is disappointment. Thankfully, the disappointment is coupled with hope. Having never done this before, no matter how many times people told me that the last 6 miles would be killer, I really had no clue just how bad I would feel until about 10am yesterday. Over the past two weeks I had become what turns out to be unrealistically optimistic about what kind of time I could pull off. Somewhere after about mile 15, that optimism started turning to disappointment when the 4 hour pacer slipped away and the 4:10 pacer passed me by, then the 4:20. I began to realize I wouldn't come close to the finishing time I had hoped for.
The great news is that going so slow the first time around means that next time can only be better ;-) I'm starting to see that long distance running is something like childbirth (in more ways that one) in that somehow, after a bit of time has passed, we start to think that no matter how bad it was, we want to go through it again. As quickly as I could get out of the rain after finishing, I sent a text to Carl saying "If I ever tell you I want to do this again, shoot me, right then and there." I felt that way for about an hour before I starting wondering if there was a decent marathon around say...December??
I'm really happy I finished. I'm not at all happy with my 4:31 time. I'm extremely grateful to friends and family that endured the complete crap weather - 20mph wind and sideways dumping rain to see me limp across the finish line (less than a meter ahead of a women that was a foot shorter and easily 2 feet wider then me). Timothy was my knight, driving the course with me the day before, telling me how it was going to feel at particular points, running with me at miles 6 and 12, then going the last 5 miles across the finish line in the worst of the rain and wind....all the while trying to tell me good stories to keep my mind off the pain. Thanks to Paul and Lauren also for braving the weather and screaming like crazy people at the 26 mile mark - what better friends could you ask for then those that would drive 3 hours to stand in the pouring rain and see the last 5 minutes of a long and boring race? And a very special thanks to the best parents in the world who tell me how great I am no matter how badly I do.