Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Columbus Marathon: Part 2, The Race

After staying up later than I had wanted, and tossing and turning with nerves all night, my alarm went off at 5:30. Of course I can’t get by without a snooze so I reset but ended up getting up 5 minutes later because I just couldn’t lay there. I had layed out all my gear the night before and triple checked so everything was waiting for me.
Packed up all the stuff, woke the husband up, deflated the air mattress he slept on, and headed down for a bit of breakfast. I didn’t want to eat but knew I had to so I had half an apple with some peanut butter and some Powerade Zero. I’ll know next time to just stick with a piece of toast or bagel. Either the apple didn’t sit well, or I was so nervous I wanted to throw up because the drive to downtown I was nauseous the whole way.
We followed Josh and Brian downtown and Mr. Buckeye dropped me off about a block away from the starting line. We were early- about 6:30 but I left my coat in the car so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. (thank goodness too because the corrals were a mess!) I had butterflies and was giddy the entire walk to the area. Luckily there was a race photog on the corner who took our picture right away. Great shot of the 3 of us- especially considering it was about 40* and 6:30 in the morning!
The starting line was between a bunch of buildings and the corral area was a giant wind tunnel. We huddled near the state building to stay out of the wind and stretched and talked and people watched. Josh and Brian gave me some tips, told me where our crew would be along the race, and kept me calm. A little after 7 we decided to start heading to our corral, number 4, since it had gotten incredibly busy. Unfortunately we waited too long because it literally took us 20 minutes to go half a block. The corrals were fenced in, but there was a small entry point and it was kind of a wreck. We didn’t even make it to the drop off point so the poor guys had to run with their sweatshirts and swooshy pants in their arms until they reached the 3.5 mark to throw them at our crew. (good thing I left my jacket!)
The gun went off at 7:30 sharp and I didn’t cross till 7:38. The fireworks were really neat and I was just in awe the entire time. Just before crossing the start line I looked back at Josh and Brian, fist bumped and said “5 months. For this right here. Good luck!”
And we were off. I hung to the right side and started passing people. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. I told myself to keep it slow and keep my pace. Little did I realize but I was running faster than ever before (which would burn me later). But I passed people, they passed me, and all the while I was watching the spectators and trying to keep from crying. I don’t know what it was, but I literally had a pit in my stomach and teared up for the first 2 miles because I couldn’t believe I was actually doing in. Somewhere along mile 1.5 there were sirens and escorts coming through the right side back up broad… it was the lead hand cyclist! All the runners started cheering and yelling and clapping. It was a cool moment- he was FLYING! 
The first 5k kind of flew by. I almost didn’t go to the first water station since it was backed up but at the last minute ran over to grab Gatorade. BIG MISTAKE! I won’t do that again. For the next 2 miles I was burping and gagging Gatorade and it was highly uncomfortable.  I saw the crew for the first time around mile 3.5. I was so happy to see that they were cheering me on and smiling and waving and yelling. Britt even got up early and came down to cheer me on! It was so awesome seeing her there since I didn’t know if she would make it. Going through the Franklin Conservatory area was really nice, I don’t know I had ever been there while living in CBus. One point of hilarity: Shortly after seeing the crew, There was a huge section of trees along the park next to the porta-pottys and I couldn’t help but laugh at the row of GUYS sporadically placed in the trees using the restroom. I was funny and gross and unfair at the same time.
The 2nd 5k was still going really well for me. I saw the crew again around mile 6.5 and I was still going strong. I made a point to grab water at the stations, walk quickly so I could drink without throwing it up my nose, and then continue to run. Later, I found out that I had a new PR for both the 5k and 10k. I think that means I can step up my training for the next one.  I saw a sign around mile 8 that made me laugh. It said "13.1 puts the F-U in fun!".
Shortly before mile 10 I started to hit a wall. A big brick wall. I saw one half of the crew and they caught me walking. But when I saw them it picked me back up. I was starting to get side cramps and my left shoulder was aching. I kept trying to stretch it out but it just would let loose. Mile 10 and 11 might have been the longest miles of the entire race. I had my phone and Britt let me know she would be waiting after the park in German Village. I saw the park, and was ecstatic to see that I was coming to the end… until the road turned and I was still running but no Britt. Then I came to the next end… and turned again! I didn’t realize that I was literally running AROUND the park to find her. But there she was smiling and cheering and clapping at the end, and right after her was the 11 mile mark. She let me know I was ALMOST THERE. (Uh…. 2 miles almost there!) I am so thankful that she came, and went above and beyond and saw me in GV. I’m not sure what would have happened had she not been there. It’s amazing what seeing a face you recognize will do to your motivation. I expected to see them the first 2 times, the 2nd 2 were surprises.
The last 2.1 miles were kind of a blur for me. Somewhere along mile 13 there was a hill I believe. It was a small hill, but a hill nonetheless. And it pretty much looked like a mountain. I made the decision as I was running towards it that I would run till I reached a certain street sign and then power walk. I did that and made it through but it was really an emotional blow to me that I had been walking so much. I made it up to the half/full split and saw the flags and balloons. Adrenaline and joy in it’s purest form took over. As I was running faster and faster to the finish line I saw Mr. Buckeye with the camera. It lifted me even more and I ran as fast as I could to the line.
I did it.
2 hours, 40 minutes, and 9 seconds from when I started, I was a half marathoner.


  1. yay!!! if you were struggling those last miles, i couldn't tell! i even texted Pat and was like, she looks great! what an awesome accomplishment!


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