I will never forget my forget my first marathon. June 4, 2010. San Diego Rock N Roll. I remember waking up around 4 in the morning and slipping these babies on. Flat and fast. I loved these shoes. They carried me through a 5k PR and a 10K PR. They would certainly be perfect for the marathon right?
Racing flats. Why I made the last-minute decision to wear them that day is beyond me. It must have been the light as a feather reasoning.
I remember the gun going off and sailing through the first half with ease. I think I crossed 13.1 at 1:44. Man, I thought, I am going to crush my goal. This is awesome. I continued to feel pretty good through 17 and around 18 I started to feel fatigued. Want to know what stinks about getting tired? My form fails a little. Failing form in racing flats is not a good combo.
It was at 18 or maybe 18.5, I can’t quite remember, I felt a sharp pain in my knee. It was so bad that I didn’t think I would finish. What could be wrong? Mentally I felt fine. Yes, it was hot but I would survive. I pressed on to 20 and wanted so badly to sprout wings. By now the pain was shooting down through my foot. Only 10k left.
My early cruising pace turned to what felt like a shuffle. I walked through the water stations and considered bailing out. No!! I am almost done. There is no turning back. I remember getting to mile 25 and wondering what the heck happened? I was doing great and now this?! And then there it was. The finish line. FINALLY! It took every last ounce of energy to get my legs to go. And then I crossed it and I think I cried a little.
I finished my first marathon in 3:59. Barely broke 4 hours but I did it. And I didn’t celebrate. THAT SUCKS. The last 10k took me more than an hour. And I beat myself up about it. SO LAME. SO SO LAME.
I was ticked. Ticked. I was ahead of the 3:30 pace group through 17 and at 19 they passed me. That feeling was horrible. Yes, I finished and I was proud of that. But the feeling of defeat still lingered. Who beat me you ask? I did. I beat myself. That, friends, is the worst.
A week after that marathon I couldn’t walk. That pain I told you about? Plantar Fasciitis. And bad. So bad that I was out of running for 3 months. I was able to start again about 4 weeks before the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. Lesson learned after my first 26.2? Don’t do anything new on race day. Oh, and don’t try to run a marathon in minimalist shoes without slowly building up mileage.
Why am I talking about this now? Because I still have my shoes with the d-tag attached that stare me in the face every time I open the closet. They are a reminder of what I accomplished that day. A day I will never forget. And a day I really didn’t get to properly celebrate. Maybe I will do that tonight!
#4 is 7 weeks away!