When I woke up yesterday I was totally Zen. It was like I was going for just a normal run. There wasn’t a flutter of one butterfly in my stomach. Of course, that changed as the bus got us closer to the starting line. But even then, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I was more amazed by the sea of people…it stretched on into the horizon.
We lined up and took off…I was excited. I was nervous. I started running. I am not going to give a blow-by-blow of the day, but let me just hit on a few highlights and insights I gained from running 26.2 miles via bullet point list.(I LOVE lists!)
- It didn’t rain. I was prepared mentally for rain, so the beautiful day we ended up with was such a wonderful surprise and gift.
- I veered from my plan a bit and didn’t stick to my intervals as I planned. Sometimes I ran longer than five minutes and sometimes (mostly toward the end) I walked more than one. Did that make a difference in my performance? I don’t know. I feel good about my performance, so I am not going to dwell on it.
- I love that the city of Sacramento is so well measured that they have blocks the actual length of a block, and that each intersection is designated by a stop light. I know this is probably annoying for cars that get caught at every stop light, but when you need something in the distance to focus on to “just get to that light and you can walk”, it is the most beautiful creation ever…The last two miles were literally intersection to intersection.
- One of the best/funniest/most classic things I witnessed during the day was around mile 10. As we turned the corner, there was a little old lady walking along the road right by the runners, completing oblivious to what was going on around her, smoking. I don’t know why, but it was hilarious to me.
- Best sign? “Chuck Norris has never done a marathon.”
- During the race I became Annie, Angela, Julie, Team “Ish”, Mom, Dad, Joe and so many other names. I just pretended that each sign being held up was for me and me alone.
- The spectators at this race are amazing. I don’t think there was ever a moment when there wasn’t someone along the course clapping or smiling and cheering everyone on – not just waiting for “their person” to come along.
- I was emotional all day. I thought a lot about my sister, my grandpa and grandma; I thought about how crazy it is that this is my life, that this is what I love to do. I say that all the time, with each new endeavor I embark on, but it is so true – I could have gone in such a different direction and I am so glad this is the path I have taken. I thought about how lucky I am to have such a great support system – family and friends to tell me I can do anything; friends who remind me when I forget that I am amazing…that I am Determination Diva!
- I think I am going to lose a toenail.
- While the woman smoking was the funniest sight, the truly best sight of the day was at the finish line…yes, the finish line was great, with the capital building behind it, but nothing beats the sight of my daughter on the fence watching, or the group of Jills surrounding my husband and daughter cheering for me. Their smiles as wide as mine.
- I know I have said this before, but I really never want to do that again. Like I told Joy, I will train/coach athletes to run them, but I think I would rather be at the finish line for them than for myself. I like half marathons and triathlons and will focus more on those. There isn’t a part of me wondering if I could do it faster. This is a case of the One and Done…and I mean it this time!
- It doesn’t matter how fast I completed it in; it doesn’t matter that I walked…I hit my two goals (under six hours and not be last), I was always moving in a forward motion…I am a marathoner.