I did it! I am officially a marathon runner! Words cannot express how proud and accomplished I feel. And sore, don’t forget sore. My first marathon went exactly how I wanted it to go. I saw my friends and family along the way, cheering me on in the rain and cold. I ran the majority of the time, finished way ahead of where I thought I was going to be, and truly felt great the whole time. I feel blessed that I have the ability to do this, to run, and to enjoy it. A day later it feels just like any other day, but I know I accomplished something amazing that I have worked towards for months. It was a great journey, and to close this series, I want to share my 26.2 mile experience.
Mile 1: Let’s do this. I. am. ready.
Mile 2: Did I run a mile yet? Maybe I should be paying better attention to my splits… I already lost the pace group somewhere behind me, am I going too fast? I hope I don’t run out of energy.
Mile 3: Hmm… my parents should be somewhere around here… I hope they figured out Uber since I took my car.
Mile 4: They made it! Awe look at them standing in the rain cheering me on, hi mom and dad! Ah! There’s Kirsten and Henry (Kirsten’s dog)! Hi guys!
Mile 5: Still feeling great! I should eat some shot blocks to prepare for the rest of the race. I only have to do this distance 5 more times and I’ll be almost done. Oh that’s good Kasey, start counting down at mile 5, it won’t feel like 4 more hours at all if you do that…
Mile 6: Aren’t there supposed to be hills somewhere around here? Maybe I already ran them and didn’t notice.
Mile 7: Its so weird to be running across the highway. It’s nice of the city to shut down the roads for us!
Mile 8: There’s Moira! Hi Moira! I’m really jealous that you had sunshine last week for your race while I’m wet and cold!
Mile 9: Awe how cute mom and dad found matching hats. Hi again!
Mile 10: Oh good, there’s the full/half split. I thought I missed it and went the wrong way! No turning back now, and I know I won’t see anyone else until the 20s, but I’m heading towards the lake, I’m used to running there, it’ll be like a Sunday morning workout.
Mile 11: I wonder if I wave to the elite people finishing up if they’ll wave back… nope, didn’t even notice me. Wow they are fast!
Mile 12: Found the hills. I was really hoping I blacked out and passed them already.
Mile 13 (and 13.1): Woo! half way there. Cue the mental math of the time the 13.1 mile marker was clocking minus the time my corral started, plus me factoring in where my pace group was now located. I didn’t figure much out, but it kept my mind busy for a while.
Mile 14: Oh look, there are all the people ahead of me I get to run past before the turnaround for another 2 miles.
Mile 15: Why is it still cold? I thought the sun was coming out. I really wish I wore pants. What was that announcer saying about hypothermia earlier? Shouldn’t I be on my way back yet? Mental math ensues again.
Mile 16: Found it! The turnaround! I’m in the home stretch only… 10 more miles… 10.2 more miles. No rounding here, it all counts.
Mile 17: Sudden burst of energy gone. That’s a big hill, is this a hill? Why am I so tired? I should walk a little. I’ll power walk, which to the bystanders probably looks like normal walking, but feels a little like running at this point. (This was my longest mile.)
Mile 18: In my mind: No, I do not want a beer unless you want to clean up my puke right over there. What actually happened: “No thank you” *smiles and waves*
Mile 19: Almost there! Only… oh I still have about an hour left. Make that an hour and a half. I really need to stop counting down, it’s not helping at all.
Mile 20: When will I get out of this neighborhood and back to the city? I like it better there, fewer hills. I wish I had my inhaler. Mom! Dad! You have my inhaler! Quick pit stop to breathe and a wave to my lovely parents (thanks for holding my inhaler and not taking pictures of me using it).
Mile 21: Finally, I’m back where I first saw the elite runners passing me! They’re probably warm, showered, and napping by now. Moira! I wasn’t expecting to see you again! Hello again and thanks for giving me a sweaty hug.
Mile 22: Woo, I’m heading back to the city! Wow I’ve been passing a lot of people, am I going too fast? No, at this point I just want to finish, no more conserving energy. Ow my legs hurt. Hey! There’s Kale!
Mile 23: Speaking of energy, didn’t I grab one of those gooey energy things a few miles ago? Yes! I’ll just eat this and run the last few miles!
Mile 24: Ok, maybe it doesn’t work that fast. I’ll run a little more then walk after I get to that light. How did Kale get over here that fast?
Mile 25: Ok, let’s do this, last 2.2, I’m going to run it all! Maybe I’ll just walk under this bridge and through the water station. My legs hurt a lot, why does it feel like my muscle is un-attaching itself and I’m going to leave it behind?
Mile 26: Yesyesyesyesyes I’m finishing a marathon! All I have to do is not trip and injure myself for 1.2 miles and I’m golden. Ow my legs. Never mind, I’ll pay attention to the pain after I finish, I’m so close! Hi mom and dad! See you at the finish line!
Mile 26.2: I’m at an all out sprint, how do I have any energy left for this? Uh oh, slowing down.. No, I just need to finish and I can stop then. Kick it in! Kick what in? That’s all I have left! Al-most-there- DONE.
The Finish Line: Confusion ensues. Lots of people yelling my name. I guess I’m supposed to keep moving forward. It’s a little insensitive that they don’t have a ride waiting for me. I did just run 26.2 miles. Oh! My medal!
Thank you to everyone who came out to support me and to all of you who followed my journey from home! It means so much to have such amazing people in my life!