Well, in case you are wondering, I survived the 2009 Frederick Marathon. Actually, not only did I SURVIVE it but I did pretty darn good for little ‘ole me. Considering the fact that this is only my second marathon, I was extremely happy to have successfully PRd it. (Is that even a word? Did I use that term correctly? Obviously I have never done it before or I would have some experience with it. Um, meaning, I had a personal record.) Finished the marathon in 4 hours and 41 seconds on the dot. That translates into an average of 10:43 minute per mile. Clearly I run for the enjoyment and I am not an aspiring Boston qualifier. Whatever. I can brag that I ran longer than the winner did. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah.
I should have known that I was in for an interesting day when the first thing my pal Katie asked me was, “Seriously. WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?” and we spent the first couple of miles trying to think up new lyrics to the Backyardigans “Racing Day” song. Know it? “It’s racing day, it’s racing day… it’s not doily lacing day.”
So the most challenging thing about the marathon was the fact that it pretty much poured the ENTIRE TIME. I think we got maybe 60 minutes into it when the heavens opened up. At first it was nice and even refreshing. Then it got slippery. As in, when you rubbed against someone you were all slippery like Vaseline. Ewww…. Then the puddles came. We spent mile 15 on dodging puddles and um, worms. I am actually kinda good at worm dodging, err… hopping. I learned that out on the course. I mean, who knew?
This marathon is pretty much flat until it takes a directional turn through a nice little neighborhood called Spring Ridge. Lovely place. Hellish hills. Mile 16 to 25 pretty much consisted of torturous hills.
In the rain.
With the worms.
Are you feeling me here?
So about mile 23 my knees decide to explode. Gotta give them credit. They were synchronized. (Maybe because of all the worm hopping?) So I alternated chanting the Hail Mary and Our Father and singing the song Put One Foot In Front Of The Other (Yeah, that one. The one from Santa Clause is Coming To Town). Hey, think what you want. Worked for me.
I can’t even explain my excitement when I saw that finish line. Truly amazing. I was overwhelmed.
Now, I don’t want you to think that I got through that race on a couple of prayers and some childish songs. Oh, no. We had TONS of supporters out there. And because this is my blog – I am so totally gonna name them: Katie’s husband Brian and her adorable boys, My husband and my adorable boys, Rani, Kim, Doug, Amy, Tom, Patrick, Priscilla and their adorable girls, Rani (who was a maniac and ran in the rain in her flip flops along with us), Stuart and Thomas, Yvonne, Katie’s parents, my parents, Sheri, Betsy, Lane, Angie, Kim & her kids, Lori & Katie (who were wearing Team Jen and Team Miss Jen G shirts… check out my Flickr photos for proof), John, Sam and Joan, Belinda, Gracie, Leah, Jeanine, Ella and Ethan. (I hope I am not missing anyone. I was delirious at some points.) HOW COULD WE NOT BE INSPIRED?
Thank you every last one of you and every runner, emergency personnel, and volunteer that came out on that day. You were amazing.
As an aside, I just really feel like I need to tell you a little bit about Katie. First – she is wonderful. Second – she is hilarious. Third – she is wonderfully hilarious. She makes running easy, even when your knees are staging a coup d’ etat. (Did I spell that right? I totally need an editor.) And fourth – don’t even try to steal her. She is MY running partner. Back off!
If you are ever thinking about attempting a marathon, or half-marathon or even a 5K, I wanna leave you with this one quote. It is one of my favorites:
“The miracle isn’t that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start.” – John “The Penguin” Bingham