First of all, I want to thank you all for joining me on this journey. It was seriously one of the most amazing – and painful – experiences of my life.
As I crossed that finish line on Sunday, my clothes soaked and stained with a charcoal-coloured sweat, I was in a bit of a daze. I was walking through the finisher’s area, and there were people handing me a space blanket, a rose, a Pacific Northwest seedling, my medal and finisher’s shirt, and it took every piece of energy I had left in me to muster up a simple thank you. My stomach felt like it was on the verge of hurling, but I knew I had to eat something. I walked along the food table, and saw bananas and bagels and juice boxes and chocolate and candy, none of which looked appetizing at all. I craved a grilled ham and cheese, but settled for three orange slices, the juice of which seemed to somewhat settle my stomach. I didn’t calculate any insulin for the three slices I had, that’s how low my energy and brain matter were. I then grabbed a thing of Greek yogurt filled with massive amounts of protein (which I ate later at the hotel) and a bottle of chocolate muscle milk, again not bolusing for it. And when I got back to the hotel, my blood sugars were just 5.1. So yeah, I’m pretty sure they went low at some point in the final stretch of the race. And while I’ve known for over 23 years what it’s like to hit “the wall” in regular life with low blood sugars, this was the first time, I think, I’ve actually hit it on a race. And I got to say, I wasn’t such a fan!
It took me about a day to fully realize my accomplishment. No, I didn’t make it in the times that I had trained for, but I did make it. Despite the pain and the nausea and the fatigue and the lactic acid build up, I didn’t quit, I didn’t jump into a pub for a comfort beer, I didn’t fling myself in front of the street car I was running next to for a short while (something I did actually consider … it didn’t even occur to me that I could just jump onto the streetcar and save my life, but then again, there wasn’t much rational thinking going through my head at that point whatsoever), I kept going. And because of that, I am now a part of just one per cent of the population who has ever run a full marathon. And I’m thinking that’s pretty darn cool.
And I wouldn’t have gotten to that finish line without some pretty amazing people along the way. This is as much for all you cheering me on and running with me and supporting me as it is for me. Thank you.
Now, that all being said, I am so seriously paying for that run. For three straight days, my body was stiff from head to toe. I was seriously walking like I’d been riding a horse for 24 hours straight. And even though I’m moving a little bit faster today, every step I take is still pained, and the worst, is getting up from a sitting position! And my body, pretty much anywhere clothes were touching, looks like a cheese grater was scraped over it thanks to all the chafing from the rain. Seriously, I’m scabbed from like my chest to my ankles. Awesome! And my toes, I went into the race with one black toe and came out with three = ouch!
And now that it’s all said and done, it’s time for my reward (well, the reward on top of the $200 super-cute, tax-free, perfect-for-the-fall jacket I bought in Portland ;)) In just a couple of hours Mario and I will be boarding a plane for Europe, en route to Paris, then Belgium, then Berlin. Mario wanted me to wear my race bib to the airport, and that combined with how I’m walking, he figured the airline would take pity on me and bump us up to first class. I couldn’t possibly shatter his dreams, so I compromised and wore my finisher’s shirt 😀
The blog may be a little neglected over the next few of weeks … sorry guys, but Paris, Belgium and Berlin might just take up all my time. But we are bringing the laptop, so you never know. And I promise, upon my return, you’ll all be getting full updates of my trip and my new goals. And if you read yesterday’s posting and my declaration of “Never Again!” well, a girl should never say never now should she 😉
What are your best and worst race day experiences?