26.2 miles. Check.
We did it. We really did it. My niece and I, along with 998 other people, ran the Newport marathon yesterday. And we finished!
I am so proud of my 23 year old niece who ran basically the whole thing, just a few seconds-long walks towards the end. I would not have done this without her, or without knowing she was training too.
So the first 14 miles felt great! The view was beautiful from the start and the weather was amazingly perfect for the coast. Even getting up at 5:15 am didn't affect me. I met up with another friend who was running too, and so our chat helped the miles go by quickly.
But by mile 14 my legs were starting to hurt. There were some downhills that I guess I wasn't quite prepared for. Well, my knees weren't anyway. I tried to take them slowly, but I guess not enough. And the run was all on the road - which meant I was running a little crookedly. Roads are made to slant down from the middle, so water runs off and not necessarily for legs to run straight on. Even though I trained on the road (no treadmill for me) I was on sidewalks the majority of the time. So I alternated walking and running from then on.
My wonderful husband met up with me around mile 17. I was so mentally beat by then I nearly cried when I saw him. But he got me going, and kept me moving through those last 9 miles. He ran alongside me and coached me as best as he could through that tough part. I found that even though I wanted to walk, it hurt worse, and to jog along wasn't as bad. The Mr helped me set small goals: Make it to that corner and then walk; or, get to that post and you can have this drink. He carried my water bottles and phone for me. He didn't have the Glide I needed for chafing on my arms, but other than that, he was the best thing for me at that point.
As I came down that hill (whose idea was that!?!) into the finish line chute everyone around was cheering for the finishers, and I just about cried. I bet my official finish line photo is a messy one! It was surreal that I had done it - that I had actually finished 26.2 miles.
It's still pretty surreal. I think if we were to go back and drive the course, and I could see where I ran ... then it might seem more real. Although, the pain in my knees which makes me shuffle around like an old lady, that makes it pretty real.
Yesterday afternoon, even after a soak in the jacuzzi tub at my sister's, I was having a hard time walking. Today once I get going, I do okay shuffling. The hardest part is steps; mainly because I know it is going to hurt, and I have to get over the mental hurdle also.
But I am so glad we did it, and even happier that it is over!