9 months of training. 62 miles a week. You can imagine how everything can feel like it’s on the line when the day is finally here. And to the line I went. I thought the first few miles would be uneventful but by mile 4 I had to pee. C’mon, can’t a mom catch a break around here without feeling the need to pee all the time? The sun felt hot and I was a bit worried about how warm it was but there is nothing I can do. Just keep running. Thankfully the clouds came in within an hour and the sun was no longer beating on my skin for the entire rest of the race. At mile 9 we got to see the fam. The genuine cheering and pride on their faces made me swell inside. I tucked the little flowers I received into my hat. Mile 12 came along, my legs were getting normal sore from a longer run and as we approached the Half-marathon mark, I had a fleeting thought of how good a half-marathon sounded. I mean, I still have to double what I already ran. Ack, push it out Randi. Can’t focus on that. Break it out smaller. Almost to 15, that’s better.
Then the 16 mile mark came and I saw the first medical tent/drop-out point and, for how I was feeling, it felt fitting. I wasn’t bad, but I could tell I was starting to tire. I think this is the point where Erin and I stopped talking. We did have our eye on relaxed guy. Relaxed guy seemed to be going our pace, we just need to keep our eye on him in case we start falling behind. Or we need to pass relaxed guy. Why did relaxed guy look like he is jogging? I don’t feel like I’m jogging. Okay, 3 more miles to see the fam again at mile 19.
Mile 21 came and I knew I was fading. Relaxed guy was gone, in front of me or behind me I wouldn’t have known. I didn’t see Erin anymore when I turned my head. I was so tired. My legs hurt. My left quad had pain shooting through it. I didn’t want to eat anymore stupid gels and I threw them away. The water stations became meaningless. I didn’t want to move lateral at all, just run straight and keep my legs going. I could see all the hills coming. I could see people starting to drop, but I could also see the people who still seemed to be running strong. I told myself I just had to get past the hills and then I could try and go faster. Although, faster seemed really hard. I was just hanging on as it was. I kept looking for my Dad and Rhonda, it turned out to be a good thing they weren’t at mile 21 and were at 24. It got me through those miles. I tried fishing, I picked out the weakest links and went after them but that only lasted a mile or so. I kept trying to move my legs faster after mile 23. I could feel myself slow down. I kept trying for that faster pace. Sometimes it would come and sometimes it just wouldn’t. I asked myself why the hell am I am doing this? Why do I run marathons? You know why Randi. Yeah, but running for fun sounds really nice right now. And then I heard a voice on the side of me, “I’m here. I’m hurting, but I’m here.” Erin had come up alongside me again and I was thankful. Thankful for a friend. Thankful for the motivation. I could feel my pace start to quicken a bit. I really would have done anything for a giant red slushie at that point. The end seemed to take forever, all I could do was search and search for the end. And then I saw it, the beautiful and amazing finish line. We had done it. 3:34 finish time. I got my BQ. And I didn’t even stop to pee.