|My mantra for my first marathon!|
Cilley Girl, as usual, took fabulous care of me, giving me advice and getting us to the start area with time to spare! My nerves were back so eating was hard, but much better than it used to be a year ago. MF and I were able to use a bathroom at the Hilton and avoid lines, plus got a bit of warmth while putting our numbers on our shirts. The bag drop line was crazy long, but really fast. Once we dropped our bags our corral was moving to the start. Both of us were excited, yet a little bit in disbelief that all of this work was about to pay off and soon we'd be able to say we were marathoners!
And soon we were off and beginning a 26.2 mile adventure filled with a complete range of emotions! The plan was to loosely Galloway it and give ourselves walk breaks periodically, but not at any set intervals. We actually ran most of the first 5K, taking one short walk break up a steeper hill just so we could conserve for the remaining 23 miles. Every mile I'd look at the Garmin and Bam! Right on our goal target pace. Seems our training was paying off.
The time just flew by. We were talking, but not non-stop, and just soaking up everything happening around us. Giraffy gave me some great advice before the race, and I was doing my best to listen to her! The course had quite a few bands, some more mellow and sleepy than others. My favorite musicians were the pirates! We saw them on an out and back section in the first half of the race. On the way back I got a photo, high-fived a few of them, debated asking them for rum and was given a pirate medallion! Loved it!!
A once quiet race course suddenly changed. I was now on a highway, a train was flying by as cars were racing in the opposite direction between us. Immediately it all swarmed and I was dizzy. I was determined to battle it and not let Meniere's Disease get the better of me. We walked a bit and calmed me down and soon we were running and I was staring ahead .... staring ahead at the frightening structure of the St. John's Bridge. "The Titanic. It's as gigantic as the Titanic." I was filled with dread. Bridges and water trigger Meniere's attacks. My goal was to survive that bridge, which I was considering the half way point (although it finishes at mile 18).
I joked about somehow skipping the bridge, but I never give up, and I was ready to brave it. I chose to relax by taking a couple of pictures and pausing to take in the view down the Willamette River. At the crest of the bridge I said, "Okay, I've got this, let's run!" And so we did. That bit of running was awesome .... and then my left leg hit funny and buckled under me. Soon it was my ankle and knee hurting because of the buckle. Favoring that side made the right side buckle. *This buckling also happened to me during Tower of Terror's last mile.*
The latter part of the course I really enjoyed. I saw a lovely new neighborhood completely with a fabulous band of older men dressed and playing music that made me feel like I was back on Main Street USA. The cheering spectators were just wonderful! I had two different people ask me if my shirt was still true... "R0nda, do you feel the same? Do you still love to run?" Of course!! There was music at one point playing 2 Legit 2 Quit ... so I named us Team Tew Legit! (Trust me, it makes sense.)
|Dear Adidas ....I'm ready for your call!|
|.3 to go and just dying!!|
And there it was, the last corner. I took a deep breath and forced a run. MF and I crossed together, smiling and actually enjoying what we had just done together! I did a freaking marathon!! Eight miles of excruciating pain couldn't stop me. That title of marathoner was now mine!!
My race goals: don't puke and don't get carried to the med tent. Done and done! It was close on both of them, but I did it!! We got our space blankets, medals, roses, snacks, coins, pendants, shirts and finishers photos before meeting up with Cilley Girl again. Wow! What a freaking day!! We celebrated with food at our favorite post-race restaurant and then showers and a nap.