route 66.

sunday i joined the two percent.  i made it! i did it!  i'm still so tongue tied about the whole experience.  i think i'm still in shock.  i trained for months and now it's gone.  it's shocking.

did i meet my goal?
yes.  and no.  did i run across the finish line.  heck yes!  and i had a great time.  did i meet my goal time?  no.  not by a long shot.  the funny thing is i don't care.  not one bit.  not even the tiniest bit.  this was the hardest thing i've done.  this took willpower and strength and i proved to myself that i have both.  he weather conditions were less than perfect.  i was hoping for nice 40 degree, no wind weather.  did i get that?  no. not even close.  it started humid and in the sixties and ended humid and seventy.  and then there were the winds.  20 to 30 mph winds.  brutal winds.  they kicked my butt. literally.  my butt is so sore.

brutal was the word of the day yesterday.  i think i said "brutal" more in one day than i have in the past 10 years.  i heard runners saying it.  everyone was saying it.  the winds were brutal.  they beat me up.  it's like i was in a five hour fight with them.  in the end, i won, of course, but they put up a hellofa fight. 
i knew that the first 15 miles of course were going to be challenging.  15 miles of consistent hills.  this alone is a big feat.  then add those brutal winds and it changed the whole ballgame.  the first 8 miles were hilly but i've run them many times before.  i knew them.  next up was a loop through downtown.  this was more difficult than i could have even anticipated.  the hills combined with the wind tunnels were torture.  torture only to be followed by 6 miles directly into the 20+ mph winds.  holy smokes.  i've never felt like i was running so hard only to realize that it pushed me backwards.  no, kidding.  but that is exactly how i felt. 

i've trained.  i trust my training.  did it fail me because i didn't meet my time goal?  absolutely not.  there is no way i could have prepared myself for the journey yesterday.  i've run the course in much better conditions and i was exhausted but in such a different form.  i could not have prepared for the weather conditions. 
when i asked an experienced marathoner what she thought about the run, she replied that this kind of run makes her not want to run another.  she said that she usually runs the route 66 and it's nice but this was the hardest one yet and one of the hardest marathons she has ever run.  we also asked several first timers who they were doing and most everyone said that they had missed their time goal.  the most amazing thing is that no one was upset.  no one was disappointed.  we knew we were doing something twice as difficult as we thought and we were doing it.  we were going to cross the finish line.  no matter what.  it was much harder than i anticipated but it was so much more rewarding.  i thoroughly enjoyed the laughs and chatter along the course.  i enjoyed meeting other runners.  once i had realized that i wasn't going to meet my time goal, the pressure was off.  i was going to make the most of it.  i met some great people.  i met people who've run a marathon in every state and they were routing for me.  people twice my age, ladies just like me and veteran marathon maniacs and they were all supportive.  they didn't care about my pace or my time.  it was just a known feeling to enjoy the run.  no one cares about your time but you.  as i was running i knew that i would do another.  i knew that if i could handle a hard marathon, i can handle an "easy" one.  right?

pit crew
oh my goodness.  i had the best pit crew.  i could not have made it without them.  the husbands met us at five places along the course bearing inspiration, gu, water and smiles. at some points, we weren't very nice but we apologized before we left.  it was so nice to see familiar faces and have something to look forward too.  my mom even surprised me and joined in for the stops in between miles 19 and 22.  i had another sweet friend, my sugar momma, waiting at mile 25.  i don't think that i can express my gratitude to everyone who came out to show support.  it means so much to me.  i actually start to cry when i think about it.  mr. h, thank you.  i love you.  thank you for your support for this whole journey and the support you continue to give me so that i can meet my goals.

technical difficulties
did i think this would go off without a hitch?  well, yes but i should know better.  my ipod didn't cooperate.  well, not really my ipod but the earphones that make my shuffle work stopped working.  at first it turned up way too loud.  like ear piercing loud and would not turn down.  so i took out one earbud and tried to make it work even though i thought my right eardrum was going to pop, i made due.  until then it wouldn't let me change songs either.  oh no!  i have a variety of music styles downloaded so that i can play according to my mood.  this was just awful.  now i'm going to have to buy new earbuds.  i hope they aren't too expensive.  i actually should have another pair that came with my iphone but i'm not sure where they're at.  go figure.  anyway, the music that was awful but not as bad as the wind.  i just would have really enjoyed some tunes for the home stretch.

war wounds
i found a new blister yesterday.  how is that possible? it's big too.  so, i've got three total and some painful toes.  i know that toenails are gross and it's not flattering to talk about them but i wouldn't be doing this justice if i left the little, swollen guys out.  four out of ten toes hate me.  one is so mad that she might just take off and leave me.  this has happened before so i'm not shocked.  at least its winter so flip flops aren't a staple item in my wardrobe. 
my hips are sore.  it's more like the saddlebag area but they still hurt.  my husband says i walk like a penguin.  they normally haven't been so sore but i know it was from fighting the wind.  digging in and having to push myself forward.  this also attributed to the toe damage.  my shoulders and back are sore but not like i expected.  i'm not complaining though.  oh, and yesterday my jaw was sore. really?  weird.  but true.
overall, i feel pretty good.  i mean, i don't know how i'm supposed to feel so i'm just going to go with good.  nothing that will detour me from running again.

will i run another?
after the run, my sister asked me how i felt.  she asked if i felt proud and accomplished.  my immediate answer was "yes.  i feel proud and accomplished but i don't feel like i achieved what i set out to do.  i will run another so that i will get that opportunity."  and i meant it.  now, can someone just guarantee me that if i sign up to do another that mother nature will cooperate this time?

i am so happy.  i had so much fun. i had a wonderful experience.  i really think i had so much fun because i didn't worry about my time and enjoyed the moment.  i stopped and hugged family and friends.  i chatted.  i laughed.  i was supportive of other runners.  i received support.  overall i couldn't be more pleased with my first marathon experience.  now, i just have the itch to run (key word being run) another.


  1. Congrats! I was thinking about you and said a little prayer for you. I've never run a marathon...just a half but I can imagine how proud you must feel! I am super impressed!!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I can't even imagine what it was like to run in that wind. And, after 26.2 miles, you looked amazing!!!