Our Colorado MM runner Meghan recounts her amazing journey running her first marathon May 1st in Fort Collins. Here is her story in her own words.
Fort Collins, CO
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Colorado Half Marathon #1
Weather—Partly Sunny, Cool (upper 40s)
Well, well, well marathon. We meet at last. As promised, you lasted 26.2 miles (26.35 for me…as I tend to not take the shortest route. Really need to learn to stay on the inside of the road/path), with 1 BIG hill (albeit at mile 19, which was less than pleasant), several challenging miles, and a big fat finish line. You did leave me with a ginormous silver medal, pink t-shirt, some chaffing along my sports bra line, some wicked sunburn on my neck, and hamstrings and calves that feel like little gnomes have been pounding on them with hammers. All in all, though, I think we got along just fine. You showed up Sunday morning with a little 33 degree chill in the pitch black dark at the top of the Poudre Canyon and I showed up in a black jacket, running skirt w/Capri’s, hat, ear warmer, and gloves.
I wasn’t sure how things were going to go, it was kind of like a first blind date. You know, when you think you’re going to like the other person because you really want to and then you go through that silent mental process for the first few minutes, “Do I like him? Can I take him home to meet my mom? What will my dad think? Why is he wearing that shirt? Does he know he has something in his teeth? Do I tell him? Is that weird if I do? What if I don’t and he goes to the bathroom and sees it?” You know, kind of like that.
Luckily, things went well and in the process of covering 26.2 miles together, I think we started to click. That is, until mile 22. It was after my nieces and brother-in-law were MIA at mile 21. The plan was for them to cheer me on at this point. But, I was moving faster than expected and they didn’t get there until I was already past. I sucked it up and I flew effortlessly (insert sarcasm) by, that was when I realized how much pain I was in. It wasn’t the tendon in my ankle for once, rather it was both quads, both hamstrings, my shoulders, my face, my biceps, and my socks that started aching and yelling profanities at me. It was also at that point that I realized I had 4 miles left to go. Had it been 3 miles? No prob, I could run a 5k in my sleep at this point but 4 miles? Not so much. I trotted along next to a girl who was from Castle Pines, who was going about my speed, then tried to pace with a girl that was being paced by another girl wearing a Boston Marathon shirt (figured I couldn’t go wrong there), until I hit mile 23 at which point it was evident that if I just put one foot in front of the other I would indeed make it to the finish. Which was the plan all along.
And so along I went, finally hitting the mile 25 sign and realizing I potentially had less than 10 minutes to run. So of course, I picked up the pace. The one thing I didn’t realize about this race was that the ENTIRE 26th mile was on a bike path, no cheering fans getting you through those last few minutes, no signs, and no cow bells. Just bike path. And this kid on a bike with a poodle-puff-ball-tiny-dog-mix on a leash biking next to runners pretty much was driving everyone nuts. Finally, at mile 26, with 385 yards to go, you got fans and people cheering. Wow, that would have been nice at miles 22-26. Oh well, it was worth it just to sprint to the finish (actually thought I was sprinting…most likely I wasn’t), heart racing, and feet skimming the ground. And so, I finished.
I didn’t; in fact, collapse as I thought I would, I just stuck out my hand and demanded my medal. The guy looked at me and said “full or half?” Seriously! Do I look like it would take me over four hours to run a half? “FULL!” I said very politely. And I put it on and wore it around proudly. And it was delightfully heavy. Then I ate my weight in Runza fries (they actually have a Runza in Fort Collins!), laid in my bed once I was home, and basked in my endorphins for the rest of the day. It. Was. Wonderful.
So, again, thank you to everyone who came to watch and cheer me on. A HUGE thank you to my sister, who was my training partner and my Co-Runner of the Colorado Marathon. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Garmin Distance—26.16 miles