|Taken from the Amica Marathon FB Page - This beach marked the start, half, and finish point - how beautiful!|
|I am smiling, I swear, somewhere inside...|
I read an article last week that I found on Dorothy's blog, about avoiding the wall in a marathon, and I highly believe that consistent fueling and hydrating were the main reason I didn't bonk on Sunday. Starting at 45 minutes, I began taking nutrition, and I continued every 45 minutes after that, and in the second half, I stopped briefly to walk through or slow jog through each and every water station, taking both a Gatorade and one or two waters at each stop (I am now officially on strike from Gatorade due to overdose, kind of like after the relay back in spring).
Mile 21 was about the time I hit the last turn around and I realized from then on out, I was heading home...this was an awesome feeling, and I definitely got a little extra pep in my step, but not for long...my whole second half went in waves of solid, quicker pace, and slower shuffling pace...Tripp, who was meeting me every other mile on his bike up until this point came cycling up towards me with his usual..."you're killing it babe, way to go, you look great! Need some water?" and all I could think about was sitting down. I wanted to stop, I wanted it to be over...I asked him if he could stay next to me for a little while on the bike and just keep me company, I was fading mentally and needed the support.
Whether or not you are opposed to a biker pacing runners during a marathon, I have to say, I am completely for this. Before Sunday, I kind of thought bikers were almost like getting a leg up on those who didn't have support and poo pooed the thought of it...but I have seen the light, and I know for a fact I would have finished a lot slower or not at all, if he was not riding by my side those final 6 or 7 miles. I kept asking him to tell me stories, to watch my posture, to promise me I could have a coveted space blanket at the end, if I looked as strong as the bionic woman that came bounding past me just before the hill at mile 23...
|Did I take a wrong turn?! I thought Broadway was just down the road...|
Mile 25 was the hardest mile of the entire race...it had a short, but pretty steep, uphill...it had very few spectators...it took away the motivation from me for the first time in the race...
I wanted to stop, I kept pleading with Tripp to just stop, I didn't want to take another step...I wanted to sit, I wanted to cry, I wanted to be done...Tripp pedaled next to me, assuring me I was almost done...just a little bit more...I had come so far...
Then I saw a man walking, a man I had just overheard telling another runner he was "so close to his sub-4 goal he could taste it"...I knew we were both close...my hopes perked up...my legs perked up...I ran up next to the guy walking and I told him to get moving....and then I was off....
Tripp told me the mile 26 marker was just around the bend, and I didn't believe him, I welled up with uncontrollable emotions...I was happy, I was sad it was over, I was hurting, was I crazy?!
He was right, the marker was just ahead, and then there was the crowds and what looked like Chris' family as I came sprinting down that final 0.2 stretch (well I felt like I was sprinting...it may not have looked like that)...
|I don't know why, but I gave that awkward thumbs up pose every time I saw the camera|
I crossed the finisher's line, as the announcer proclaimed "and here comes Danielle Marquis of Boston, smiling all the way!". The clock still read out 3:49, my garmin read 3:49:14....my chip time read 3:49:15...
I think Tripp captured how I felt both physically:
|I would describe this as the dry heave of cry...I couldn't get tears out, but my body was just full of emotions trying to get out...|
|Couldn't be happier with my medal and space blanket...|
decided not to race prior to race day)
We hung out for a little bit afterwards and took our post-race glory shots :)
|Laura, me, Chris|
|Chris and I...so freaking proud of us - couldn't have made it to the start line or finish without you buddy :)|
The saying, "a marathon is just a 20 mile warm up with a 10k race" is beyond true...but the 10k race isn't what you would typically think of a sprint to the finish race...it is a mental race, to beat your inner demons telling you stop, to beat your inner negativity telling you you can't do it...it is a race to finish, to conquer and persevere to the end...
My first marathon was one of the most surreal feelings I have ever experienced. I have a hard time describing it, I have a hard time believing that I really went through it, but I also have an overwhelming sense of gratitude that despite my set-backs and the struggles it took to get to the start line...I was able to accomplish something big, something many people can't even fathom, something some people will never be able to even dream of, let alone attempt to do...
Thank you for sticking with my unconventional recap, and perhaps I will provide the hard facts in a later post (good, bad, lessons)...but this story, from start to finish, is my way of remembering this experience, this incredible event in my life.
Thank you, for the support, the love, the motivation and inspirations...each of you, whether it was something good, bad or indifferent, were an immense influence on my being able to go through with this...thank you...
Newport Amica Marathon, October 16, 2011
26/333 female, 14/95 age group
Do you have a special "pose" you do for the camera during races?
I usually look miserable, but I remember looking at each camera, smiling and giving the thumbs up
Do you get really horrible tummy cramps after races?
First time I felt so sick to my stomach, I think it was the amount of GUs and gatorade I inhaled)