Monday, February 20, 2006

The 1%

I woke up at 4:30am to aching knees. I have a blister the size of a Roma tomato on the bottom of my right foot that makes me walk funny. I have four more blisters on my feet to add to that. One of those busted open while running and bled through my socks. The baby toenail on my left foot started falling off after the race. I know ... disgusting.

Every one of us that started the marathon, finished. I remember the morning of our first training way back in August, Stacy asked, "So how long is this Marathon?". We all laughed, "They're all 26.2 miles.". Basically the distance from Austin to Buda. Her jaw dropped in disbelief. But did she drop out? No way. Stacy, Nevie and I, well, we're pretty friggin' stubborn. We don't back down from anything. Except for rollercoasters. I don't do rollercoasters.

Stacy and Nevie both finished strong. And I met my goal of finishing under 5 hours. I won't lie and say it was easy. It was harder than I really anticipated. By mile 17 my left knee was in horrible pain. I even considered stopping. I saw Mark at mile 18 and started crying. I took two Tylenol, limped a little through mile 19 and felt better by mile 20. After that it was just muscles cramping. By mile 21, the crowd, my friends and family along Congress cheered wildly. I kind of forgot about the pain after that. The support of my friends and family kept me going. Seeing how proud they were screaming my name and telling me I was doing good and to keep going, I caught a second wind, maybe even a runner's high.

The last 4 miles kicked my butt. The stretch was quiet, Guadalupe to Mopac and back to First Street. Many of the runners had resorted to walking by that time. It took a few brief conversations with strangers and watching an old man in front of me smiling as he ran his way to the finish line. Coming down the last 1/2 mile stretch with the cheering, screaming faces of my friends, family and strangers, it felt like I'd only been running a few miles. No pain, just a feeling of "Oh my god, I can't believe I actually did this. I can't believe I did this." I laughed and cried and shook my head in disbelief. I wept hard as I crossed the finish line.

So yeah, I'm a marathoner. I ran a marathon. I ran a fucking marathon. I've joined the 1%!

1 comment:

David Lowery said...

You rule.