Tuesday, April 19, 2011

our view at the start of the marathon - good morning Gateway Arch!

Running a marathon is sort of like turning a year older.

Something about you is different...but you don't necessarily feel different.

Tired, yes. Smelly, oh absolutely.

But different?

No, I'm just as dull as I was before.

I returned to the real world, not happily, last Tuesday, a "marathoner," having completed my first 26.2 in Saint Louis two days prior. I have to say that it was an amazing experience. The first 18 miles flew by and were filled with exciting, memory-inducing scenery (view of the Arch, Soulard - which smelled delicious - WashU, Forest Park, downtown Clayton, the Loop). Passing mile 20 I exited the famed "Loop" area and finished out the run on Delmar Boulevard and Forest Park Parkway. Like running on a highway. With hills. In the sweltering heat. And zero fans.

I take that back, I did have one fan, and that was the best kind of fan - the kind of fan who runs with you! For various reasons (shin splints, being an idiot, etc.) my brother did not complete the full marathon as planned, but he did graciously offer to run with me for a portion of the race. I don't think that when he joined me just before mile 20 that he realized he would be stuck with me for the duration, but alas, there we were, in a non-existent neighborhood on Forest Park Parkway and he had nowhere to escape to. Heh.

Honestly, the end of the marathon was so hilly and so morbidly boring that had he not been there, I likely would have started walking the uphills like the runners around me. So, many thanks to my brother for making sure that despite the undesirable weather and difficult terrain, I reached my goal of a sub-4 marathon and I am so excited to get out there and try another, hopefully even more sub-4 than the first. Selfishly, I'm glad that he did not run the marathon. If he had, we likely would not have run together and during those last 6 miles, I would have thought at least 1,000 suicidal thoughts and may have even acted upon one. Or two...I would probably be too tired to be successful the first go-around. But since he was able to run alongside me at the end of a grueling race, he did much more to support me running, and not offing myself. Win-win.

the finish line - as seen before the race began when I was a lame non-marathoner

Anyway, I really appreciated his support and family is invaluable and blah blah blah. It was fantastic hanging with the whole gang last weekend and I am so thrilled that I will be heading back this upcoming weekend to celebrate Easter. I gave up animal products for Lent so there are more than a few Easter sweets haunting my dreams...and Imo's pizza, which will undoubtedly be consumed in a frenzied state on Monday.

enjoying my free beer & marathoner-status...you just thank your lucky stars this photo isn't scratch & sniff!

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