Monday, July 17, 2006

11 more miles...

Only 11 more miles before the big day. 3 tonight, 5 on Wednesday and then 3 on Thursday. Hard to believe that this journey is almost over! I guess that's why I've already signed up to do another marathon in November. I love running too much to take much of a break. Though it will be nice to be crossing a finish line again. There's something very emotional and moving about crossing a finish line.
On my Saturday long run, I was talking to a fellow AIDS Marathoner about what running a marathon felt like. It goes something like this:
The first 2-3 miles are spent weaving in and out of people. Or trying not to get run over! Lots of excitement and lots of restraint from going out too fast is needed.
By mile 7, a rhythm is found and the miles start to go by effortlessly. At Mile 13, you hear the inevitable, "You're halfway done!" Now, 13 miles maybe mathematically halfway, but when running 26.2, 13 miles is far from halfway.
Enter mile 18. This is where the weeks of training start to pay off. I start to realize that I only have 8 miles to go...or is that I still have 8 more miles to go? Mile 20, only 6 more miles (a mere 10k) but seems like forever. I start to calculate finishing times in my head. Doing math after running 3 hours is nearly impossible!
Mile 22, it hits me that the marathon is almost over, and I feel like crying. It's like realizing that you only have one more day of a great vacation and you still have a long list of things you want to do. Mile 24, it hits me that the marathon is not over, that I still have 2.2 miles to go...and I start to question myself whether I will be able to finish. Walk breaks become mandatory and running feels impossible. The water stop is always a welcomed sight, especially because it gives me an excuse to slowdown. Mile 25, almost done. This is where the crowds of people give me my energy. Without someone cheering, I don't know how much running I could do. I keep thinking I should hit mile 26, but it never seems to come.
Mile 26, I think I'm done, but realize that I still have .2 to go. The crowds are cheering and somehow my legs turnover even faster, my stride lengthens. I sprint the last bit to the finish line. Whizzing by runners in the last few hundred yards is quite the energizer, which makes me go even faster.
Once I cross the finish line, I'm ready to sit down and cry. Amazing how something like running can bring on such emotions. After the Napa Valley marathon, the only person I wanted to see was Johan. After Miami, I walked up to a few AIDS Marathon program reps and gave them big hugs. I didn't even know half of them, I just wanted someone to hug.
Now for another marathon. It's going to be the warmest and most humid marathon I'll have run. It will be the first time a family member will be there. I'm nervous and excited. With the past two weeks of tapering, my legs are starting to feel better.

Another experience, another story is waiting for me at the end of the finish line on Saturday. May all of the runners out there have the run of their life (I just hope mine is just a few seconds faster!)

Weather update:
High 79
low 66
Partly Cloudy!

Cross your fingers!

3 Comments:

Anonymous mercurial runner said...

ryc: Ain't that the truth!

Amazing how you only have 11 MILES LEFT!!! i'm so excited for you and can't wait to know that feeling myself...

Just FYI, another AIDS runner. It's his first though, like me. Drop by to wish him luck!

12:51 PM  
Blogger jkrunning--Just Keep Running said...

Your recount brought back a lot of memories.
Good luck on your race. I look forward to reading your recap.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

It's hard to believe that 18 weeks have already gone by!

Thanks for your support & I'll have a report ready next Tuesday!

4:46 PM  

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