Wow. As I sit here in pain and happiness, I don’t know where to begin on my marathon experience.
I’d love to start by saying that it was amazing and wonderful and full of rainbows and Swedish fish… but, being on crutches 7 days prior kind of put the kibosh on that.
I have to say, running 26.2 miles on a sprained and bruised ankle is not something I’d recommend anyone doing. It was one of those things where I thought, “Oh I’ll be fine if I take enough Advil!” but 7 miles in I was cursing myself for even trying.
Okay. Back to the beginning.
Pre- Race Face
Before the race I had half of a plain bagel, 3 Advil and an Imodium. Worked like a charm on the stomach- now I know how to prepare for long runs!
I got down to the race start at about 7:00 and had so much fun watching the half marathoners take off. And then I started to get nervous.
While I was basically pooping my pants waiting for the race to start, I met an old man who bragged about every race he ran in. He obviously could tell I was a newbie. No sir, I don’t think you’re cooler than me.
Miles 1-2: Feeling great. I started off really excited, and checking my Garmin to make sure I wasn’t starting off too fast. I was right on pace with 10:00/miles. My ankle wasn’t bothering me at all. It was really fun seeing Stacy and my fave waiting for me at mile 2. Definitely gave me a little energy!
Mile 3: Saw the old man who saw me fall/ let me use his phone last week when the accident happened. You know, when my ankle was the size of a softball. He must have been waiting for his sweet old wife.
Miles 4-7: Picked up my pace a bit and was running around 9:40/miles. Feeling pretty good and saw my fave waiting at the 10K mark, which was awesome. There was also a huge cheering section which was fun to run through.
Mile 7: Stopped to readjust my ankle brace. This is when the trouble started.
Mile 8: Cursing. Cursing. Cursing. Angry. Sad. Frustrated. And it’s only mile 8.
Miles 9: Thought, “Only 19 left.” This is when I started to freak. No way I was making it 19 more on this sprain. No way in hell.
Miles 10-13: Hurt. Pain. Every bad word that could curse my ankle happened. Saw my fave with a sign that said, “Think Bacchus (my favorite restaurant)! Do it for Judy!” Laughed, got some energy, and kept on. Halfway there.
Miles 13-15: Stopped three times to check my ankle and brace. At this point it was killing me. It was literally killing me with every step I took. I was so angry and upset that I ran last weekend at all. I met a man who had pulled his hammy last week, and we chatted about recovery, terrible pain, how much it sucks to train then be injured on race day…
Mile 15: I decided I was quitting. I decided that at mile 18, where it is 2 blocks from my house, I was stopping. No f-ing way I was going to finish. I’m quitting. I hate a quitter but I obviously have no internal motivation when pain is involved.
Mile 16: Saw my family!!! Definite pick me up there. My mom made a sign that said, “Go KY Judy!” I gave them hugs then tried to keep going.
Mile 17: Bff and Stacy were waiting for me with shirts and signs!! I told them I was quitting. Then I saw about 50 of the hilarious Kathleen signs on the light posts and some girl yelled, “Hey! That’s the girl from the poster!” It was hilarious. They kept running with me, forcing me to move and telling me about all the people waiting up ahead.
Mile 18-19: The fave was waiting for me, as well as my friend Suj, and somewhere we met Amanda and Toast too. They kept me run/ walking through mile 19. At that point I was shocked I wasn’t crying on my couch being sad I quit. There were a ton of runderbykat signs which were amazing. I said I was going to quit. I told everyone I was quitting. I really felt like my entire leg was going to fall off. I was limping. Other than my ankle, my body felt great. My stomach didn’t bother me at all and my muscles felt like they could keep going, but it just seemed like every step I took just dug my brace into my bruised ankle more. It was a constant pain- always there reminding me that I said I was quitting a mile ago.
Miles 20-23: Dying. I was dying because of a sprained ankle. The fave decided he would run with me the rest of the way because there was no way I was completing it on my own. We ran/ walked those miles, and at one point I started crying. I sat down to readjust my ankle brace and I didn’t think I was going to get up. He just kept telling me that we were on the way back into the city and THIS CLOSE to the finish line. He also kept telling me how awesome I’d feel when I was done, and how I could brag and how awesome next week vacation would be. I was miz. After I cried I really didn’t think I’d make it, but it was just as long back to my house as it was to the finish so I might as well run.
Mile 23: I saw Michael and Burns waiting and cheering and was super thankful I was slowly running as I passed them! Then, randomly my brother found us and all three of us kept on keeping on. I kept trying to not focus on the pain, popped more Advil.
Mile 24-25: Run/ Walk/ Run/Walk. This was what I did not want to happen. At this point my time goal and my readjusted time goal had come and gone, so now my goal was just to cross the finish line.
Mile 25: My second wind finally came. I thought maybe it’d come at mile 21, but better late than never. I told Kev and fave to meet me at the finish. They left and I started running. The first full mile I ran since mile 18. I cannot even describe the feeling I had during this mile. I was so happy I was still in the race and not crying in a state of depression; I was so glad to be so close to the finish line; I was so thankful for all of the support everyone gave me the in the last 5 hours.
Mile 26.2: FINALLY across the finish line with a smile that the announcer described as, “The biggest smile to cross so far!”
And boy was he right. I was so happy to finish, I was so happy to be done, I was so happy that I didn’t stop at mile 15 like I wanted to.
I don’t know what to say about my marathon experience, except that it wasn’t what I thought it’d be. I was very disappointed that I wasn’t 100% for the race, because other than my ankle, my body felt good. Of course I got sore and stiff at points, but I had the endurance I needed. So, I trained better than I raced this time, which kind of sucks when I think about how much I put into it… but then I think back to a week ago when I was on crutches and realize that it was such an accomplishment to just complete the race.