Six months ago, I ran a marathon in 3 hours. Today, I walked the same distance in 6. At the beginning of this year, I would’ve never imagined 2018 to end this way… this year, the highs have just been higher; the lows, lower.
But, other than my injury, this experience was no low. Like my DNF two months ago, I knew that I’d walk a marathon some day. Again, I just didn’t think it’d come so, so soon. And, now that it’s over, I’m still incredulous that (1) I even did it, and (2) that I actually finished!
Of course, some observations:
- There seemed to be more camaraderie, and possibly purpose, in the back (versus what I’ve seen near the front). People ran with people they knew. Friends repeated motivational mantras to each other. Husbands ran their wives (with varying success — some couples almost got into fights). So many were running their first marathon. And so many were running for someone else, or for a cause. Sadly, I didn’t get to chat with anyone during the race.
- There was so much trash on-course. At first, I thought it was poor trash management by MCM. But now, I think it’s partly because I’ve just not seen the aftermath of thousands of runners before (versus the early hundreds). But still, I was just appalled by people just throwing trash on the ground without a second thought. Ugh!
- On the “race” experience itself — walking 26.2 miles felt surprisingly similar to running 26.2 miles! The start was hard. Dropping out at 9 miles crossed my mind. But as soon as I crossed the half-marathon mark, with the clock reading whopping 3 hours 22 minutes, I had settled into my usual middle miles groove. I wondered if I might actually bonk, just by walking, after 20-22 miles. 😛 Fortunately, I didn’t. Now I can claim another marathon with a negative split! Hahahah.
- There were people on-course that I would’ve stereotyped as “not a marathoner.” They finished. Some progressed forward seemingly on sheer force of will. They also finished. It’s crazy how often I hear people tell me that they don’t think they’d ever be able to finish a marathon. Now I can tell them, from experience, that they absolutely can, if they’re courageous enough to try.
Chip Time: 5:50:07 (13:21 min/mile)
Overall: 17198 of 20682
One last thing — While I didn’t anticipate injury at Chicago 3 weeks ago, I’m glad to have experienced this year’s MCM today. But I wouldn’t have even had the opportunity to do so without Roger. When he found out he couldn’t make MCM last month, he was kind enough to transfer his bib to me. Thanks Roger!