On Saturday i ran my 5th marathon. i had bib #5. Aaaaand, it was my absolute hardest and slowest marathon. i thought that in order to keep up with my 5, 5, 5 thing, it would mean i would finish 5th. Hahaha. i did keep up with it...by barely squeaking by in under 5 hours.
i learned the hard way that it might not be the best idea to run a marathon 20 days before getting married. On top of all of the wedding/marriage/moving stress, it was one of the most stressful work weeks i've had in a very long time. Then, when adding the physical and emotional and mental stress of a marathon, a complete meltdown ensues.
i started off just fine! i was running the Teton Dam Marathon, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Teton Dam breaking. When it broke, it flooded the towns of Teton, Newdale, Sugar City and Rexburg. So, us runners were "flooding" the streets of those same towns. We started up at the old Teton Dam site.
Before we started running, i stripped down to my tank and shorts....and i wasn't even a little bit chilly. i hadn't started running, wasn't in the sun and it was 6:15am. i knew right then that i was in trouble.
i ran the first 10 miles or so with an amazing gentleman from Australia (who also happened to be a "marathon man" and was therefore running in a super hero costume, complete with blue spandex and red cape). He took these shots of me as we ran and talked our way through the countryside.
By the time i parted ways with him, i could feel my face totally flushed already and realized that i had been chatting more than paying attention to hydrating. i knew that i needed to drink water at every subsequent aid station.
Like i said, the physical, emotion and mental stress finally became unbearable. i fell apart. This is what it looked like:
1- Texting Mr B at mile 23 (TWENTY THREE! Just 3 miles to go!) begging for him to come get me because i couldn't finish.
2- When i finally did finish, curling up in a ball on the grass and sobbing because i finished much slower than last time and WAY slower than my fastest time. So that must mean that i'm fat and lazy and a snail could have beaten me.
3- Throwing a temper tantrum when Mr B wouldn't let me eat the ENTIRE extra large pizza (even though i had just burned over 3,000 calories!), but made me stop at half.
This is me pretending that i'm happy i ran all those miles:
This is me pretending that i'm not furious at Mr B that
1- He made me finish
2- He got 3rd place in his age category in the half marathon when i felt like i failed
Once i got lots of water and some food in me, got out of my running shoes, took a bath and a short nap, i was feeling much more reasonable.
i realized that i was so glad for Mr B for helping to get me across the finish line. Sure, he didn't pick me up in his car like i wanted, but he was right there with me the last three miles, driving alongside, giving me water and telling me that he was proud of me. He told me it was ok if i had to walk. He supported me in all the best ways.
i also am super proud of him for placing! He ran hard and it was hot. His success doesn't make my race any more or less.
i know that i'm not lazy or fat (although i was slow) and i know it was not a failure. As one of my running buddies said "Running a marathon is never ever failing. It is a huge accomplishment and it never ceases to be a huge feat, emotionally and physically." i just needed to redefine what success for me was. i can learn from this race and improve. Even if my TIME doesn't improve, my attitude sure could :)
Lastly, i DID eat more pizza....but i am glad i waited a bit (because of Mr B) and let some of it settle. i probably would have made myself sick otherwise.
And so i survived that dam marathon. Good riddance.