Sorry for the long break, once again. Between classes and my toenail probs, finding the time to post has been tricky! I’m pleased to report however, that the toenail is on the mend, and I was even able to run a nice easy 3-miler this morning! 🙂 But without further ado…
When I was 25 I occasionally ran with a neighbor who was training for the NYC marathon. ..he and I would run about 5 miles together down to Huntington Harbor and back, and then he would take off to do another ten miles –or more. I was a bit in awe of Bill, who was 55 a the time, but I never considered joining him, and I never, EVER thought that, at 55, I would run my first marathon.
So, if you’re out there Bill P. from Huntington NY, and you happen to read this blog, I thank you for being an inspiration, (even if it took me 25 years to act on it) and I hope that wherever you are, you are still running!
And now to pick up where Nora left off:
Somewhere along the canal it began to rain and though it was a pleasant drizzle that cooled me off, the sky to my right – the direction the course would take me – looked very ominous and I was sure this pleasant drizzle would turn into a monsoon before I got to the finish. (It would, but more about that later.)
I am pleased to say, I kept to my plan, of running a mile, and walking a minute, and managed to do this until mile 21. At that point I realized I wasn’t going to be “busting loose” or dropping the walking breaks, in fact, I started to walk a bit more. At first I felt guilty about this, but as I started to see more and more runners on the side of the road (some obviously feeling much worse than me), I decided there was no shame in the walking, and reminded myself that this was my first marathon and that the goal was to finish, and to enjoy the experience, and that was what I decided to do. I started to walk as fast as I could, (my slowest of these last few splits ended up being 12:46 so not too bad), running for short stretches, and taking the time to thank volunteers and spectators alike. Like Nora, I really appreciated the fun signs!
Finally, I was making my way back into the city, relieved to know the end was in sight. I also noticed there were some large puddles and one officer had hung his rain jacket from the window of his patrol car. It flapped as I went by and he smiled and said, “Trying to get it to dry out.” I realized it had rained here, but that somehow, I had been spared. (It was my marathon miracle!)
And then I was crossing the finish line!! Nora was there with her boyfriend and they were a welcome sight. 🙂
I quickly realized I had no fine motor skills left and could not unlock my phone to stop Mapmyrun, (the app I use on my phone to log my miles) so I handed it off to Nora who took care of that. I was pretty excited and wobbly, and a gentleman came over with a wheel chair, just in case I toppled over. I didn’t but it was close!
After walking about and drinking some chocolate milk, Nora and I realized we really didn’t feel like eating anything (never a problem after a half marathon!) and we decided it might be best to get back to our hosts’(my sister and her husband) house, and relax there. (It never occurred to me to check the results in case I had placed in my age division. Later I found out, I PLACED THIRD!) We began to walk to where Nora’s boyfriend had parked his car. And then it hit: a veritable monsoon of wind and rain that moved like a wall of water across the streets, whipping down the fences at the finishing chute, and drenching us, and the runners we saw making their way to the finish! By the time we got to the car we looked like drowned cats and I texted my sister that we would need towels! Now cold and wet, I couldn’t help feeling badly for the runners still on the course, and hoping they would not have far to run.
After hot showers, and a celebratory glass of champagne, we headed to the spa, for our much anticipated, and much needed massages. It seemed somehow inappropriate to take our phones into the relaxing atmosphere, so we left them in the little lockers provided so sadly, we have no pictures of the lovely facilities. 😦 But needless to say, it was the perfect antidote to running 26.2 miles! (Though I did have to jump off the table because of a cramp in my calf, which was slightly embarrassing.) Nevertheless, Nora and I have decided that this will definitely have to be a post marathon tradition.
So a big thank you to our hosts, my sister and her husband, who made their home available, who fed us, and cheered us on; to Nora’s boyfriend for driving out to support us, and shuttling us around; to the city of Rochester, its police force, the volunteers, and the great spectators, who came out despite the rain.
To all of you, thank you for helping Nora and I check off the great state of New York in spectacular fashion!!
P.S. one of those tattoos isn’t real… 😉