Sooo … I did it. I managed to successfully complete my FIRST full marathon yesterday as a participant in the 40th annual Honolulu Marathon. Lord, I’m sure I could go on and on about every tiny detail of my run yesterday but in order to spare all y’all from my rambling, I’m gonna do my best to try and share my experience with you without writing a 40 page treatise. The long and short of it is that the race was difficult but not nearly impossible. I am happy with my finish time but I can absolutely do better … and I plan to next time ;) I snapped some photos from my day yesterday so if you’d like to see and hear more, please click below.
The first thing I want to share is how terribly I prepared for this race. I guess it was kind of dumb for me to attempt a 26.2 mile race with the kind of training I put in beforehand. Before yesterday, the farthest distance I had ever run was 15 miles … and that was MONTHS ago. Last month, I did run a series of 13.1 mile half marathons and I somehow managed to improve my performance with each race. But running 13.1 miles week after week does NOT prepare one’s body for the arduous task of running 26.2 miles for upwards of 4 hours straight. Still, something inside me knew that I could run the race if I took it easy and was smart about the run. I kept myself well hydrated (to the point were I couldn’t even drink anymore water by mile 23) and stopped to stretch a few times. The first half of the run, 13.1, was pretty easy. I ran at a slower pace in an attempt to stretch out my endurance … and I think that helped considerably. After mile 14, I put on my headphones and let the music give me an extra boost. At that point, I was running in uncharted territory. Very upbeat songs by Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Britney Spears, etc. randomly came on at the right times to push me along. At one point, when I was DOG TIRED, Discipline by Nine Inch Nails came on and saved my ass. Near the end of the race, the song Here and Now by Letters to Cleo came on at the perfect time. When I used to run back in high school, my playlist back then (on my Sony Walkman) featured all the hits of 90′s alternative radio including Here and Now. It was a nice bookend from that time to now. I could tell I was getting slower and slower as the race wore on and the final hill up Diamond Head at mile 24 almost killed me. But, I kept my head down and pushed forward. My wild dream of running the race in under 5 hours wasn’t to be … but my official finish time of 5:21:51 was much faster than my prediction of 5:48. I did much better than the very last person to finish the race, this from the official Honolulu Marathon Facebook page:
The Honolulu Marathon does not end until everyone has crossed the finish line. Tonight, after 14 hours 21 minutes and 41 seconds, the last person finished the marathon! Congratulations to all of you who crossed that finish line and took part in the 40th Honolulu Marathon.
Emma has been THE most amazing supporter on this trip. At every step of the way, leading up to yesterday, she wanted to ensure that I was taking care of myself so that I would be as ready as possible … to the point of babying me. At the finish line, I saw her face and I just burst out crying. I was heaving and bawling. It was really weird. Like, a release of just tears and exhaustion. I had done it. It was an amazing feeling. Before I got my medal, Emma gave me a freshly made flower lei that smelled so amazingly wonderful. She watched a man make the lei from flowers he had picked that morning in the mountains. Truly, the lei is more precious to me than the official Honolulu Marathon medal.
After the race, I hobbled to the car and Emma whisked me to the hotel were I cooled my legs in the pool then warmed my muscles in the hot tub. We then made our way to the beach to soak in the healing salt water ocean. We didn’t get up to much last night but I’m happy to say, I didn’t feel any more sore than I do after a half marathon run.
If you can believe it, I have other races coming up very soon BUT I shant speak of them now. The Honolulu Marathon was my last race of 2012 and I’m just going to enjoy the moment NOW and not worry about the races to come (which are soon, as I said, oy!). Today is our last full day here in Hawai’i so we’re planning to go snorkeling in a few hours and take the day from there. My time here in Honolulu has been magical and life-changing. This is a trip I will never forget.
Last thing, I have to send out HEAPS of love and thanks to all y’all for your amazing support all year long. I’ve heard you all loud and clear and your well-wishes and love have fueled me on more than one occasion. I carried you all with me on my race yesterday so I thank you for helping me reach a goal that just a year ago, I never EVER would’ve dreamed was possible. I love and thank you all profusely, from the bottom of my heart … to the tips of my toes ;)