I’m having trouble with where to start this post. So, I guess, just like running, I’ll put one word in front of the other and see where it takes me.
My second marathon did not go exactly how I thought it would go. My first marathon was so fantastic. I felt strong. I had lots of energy. I was positive. I didn’t want it to end. This one was different.
I thought I would be faster because I’m older, wiser, and I’ve been running longer. Apparently, I’m slower…and dumber. This marathon seemed to go on and on. It was a loooooong day. I guess, I’ll start at the beginning.
6:00 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 12
After whispering goodbye to my husband, I slipped into my son’s room and kissed his head. He’d been disappointed last night that I would miss his first soccer game of the season. I felt a little bad, but I’ve been at all of them, and all the practices. Moms have lives, too.
On my way! It wasn’t quite light yet, but not too dark. It didn’t seem too cold out either. I listened to College Gameday on XM. I just needed something to distract me. I didn’t really feel nervous, but I felt like maybe I was on the edge of it.
It was so foggy in Fall City, I had trouble navigating the roads to the start. I kept annoying people behind me because I had to slow down near road signs since I couldn’t see them until I was right on them. Why am I always in the front of the line of traffic when I’m somewhere I’m not familiar with?!
Arrived and parked in a lot about a half mile from the start according to Google Maps. I hung out in my car for a little bit as did several other runners who were there too early.
Walked to the start area. This isn’t too bad of a walk. They were just putting up the start/finish arch, and there weren’t too many people around. There were about 50 porta-potties all lined up like soldiers. They were nice, too, with a hook to hang your bag (the check bag I brought) and toilet seat covers. You know you’re a runner when you get impressed by portable toilets.
I picked up my race packet, then wandered over the Temptation and Relaxation Combination Activation Station. Or, it was something like that. Who cares what it was called when there were huge bean bag chairs just begging you to lounge in them. Lounge, I did. I also chatted with other runners in the tent.
A TV show was on to keep your mind off things. Along one “wall,” there was a banquet table stocked with junk food, and in front there was a guy in green velvet shirt passing out pre-race treats: marshmallows drizzled with chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream and bacon. (Actually pretty good.)
I also watched a pudding eating contest. Beat the Blerch has the most fun pre-race activities.
Oh, and as I was just standing there, in walks Mr. The Oatmeal himself, Matthew Inman. I took a picture because I have no shame.
I decided I better put my bib on, go potty one more time, re-tie my shoes, check my bag…and all that stuff.
I got my picture with a giant tub of Nutella. Bucket list item. Check. I did a few warm up moves, but mostly just milled about near the start. I asked an experienced looking couple to take my picture at the start. I did the same for them.
The DJ gave a short speech about playing a most revered pre-race song. We all waited silently, and then laughed when the chanting from the Lion King Circle of Life song came over the speakers. Next, it was a quick count down and we were off. Cue my favorite marathon video of all time:
I’m really doing it!
This is where things really start, but I will save that for my next post because, much like the race, it is long.