I've been staring at this blank screen and flashing cursor for a while. I start to tear up when I think about what I've accomplished. During the race, I watched the marathoners pass by and while I was very proud of them, I was completely content and proud of what I was about to accomplish. There are people that are born to run. Their bodies just seem to know what to do. They go fast. They move with ease. I am not that person. One of my favorite signs during the race read:
"Today you are all Kenyans"
Nope, not from Kenya, but I did give it my all. There is so much that I want to talk about: the people on the course, the signs I saw, the highs of the course, my amazing friend Julia who ran the full marathon and inspired me in more ways than she will ever know, not meeting my time goal and being totally OK with that, after the race, and what in the world am I suppose to do now....
Before the race
Julia and I had agreed to meet at her house at 4:30 AM to head up to Seattle. I HATE driving in Seattle and thankfully she was willing to drive. My alarm went off at 3:45. When my alarm went off, I check Facebook ( of course!) and saw lots of encouraging messages from the night before and even one from someone the East coast who had started C25K a few weeks ago. Those messages meant the world to me. I ate some oatmeal and a banana. The race wasn't starting until 7 and my corral wouldn't start until 7:50, so I knew that I had to eat something in preparation. We made good time up to Seattle, found parking in a very empty parking garage, and hopped on the Monorail. Seattle Center was a quick 5 minute trip away and then we were there. As soon as I stepped off the Monorail, I knew that this is where I was meant to be. I was suppose to run that race. It was all exciting and terrifying at the same time.
It wasn't even 6 o'clock yet. We sat for a while and sized up the competition. Everyone was so tiny. I don't mean tiny like skinny, but tiny like small and toothpick looking. The doubts started to sneak in. Is this what "real" runners look like? Where are all of the "bigger" runners? Julia helped me put the tracker on my shoe. I didn't want to mess it up and thankfully she knew what she was doing. Next we headed to the gear check. (That sounds so official!). After dropping off my bag, we decided to look for the starting line. We found the starting line and the row of Port-a-Pottys. Next we decided to look at the 1st corral and the elite runners. We only got as far as the 3rd corral and then turned around. Holy smokes! All I saw were men and they were definitely men that were born to run.
We started the long walk back to our corrals. Julia was in 30 and I was in 33. We got to 30, found a spot to sit and waited for another 20 minutes. There wasn't a lot of conversation. I think that we were both too busy taking it all in to visit much. When the first gun sounded, we hugged and headed to our areas. Looking back, I wish that I would have just stayed with Julia because it would be another 49 minutes before my corral would be released. I didn't know a soul in my corral and felt like the only person there that wasn't running *with* someone (besides the other 25,999 people that were running!). The next 49 minutes was spent people watching. The guy and his wife that were arguing about everything you can imagine. The girl wearing her veil that was getting married the next day. The rather large gentleman that was running with no shirt, belly hanging over his belt and a giant orange wig (he beat me to the finish line!!!). The man two groups ahead that was juggling 4 balls and continued to juggle them throughout the 1/2. The people late for the race and trying to run to catch up with their group. There was so much to see.
Finally, the start line is in front of me. I had no doubts that I could do this. I had trained. I was ready. The race began....