My pup and I post-marathon
It was 3:30 in the morning, and I gave up on sleep. The anticipation of an event that I had spent months training for and visualizing kept me from sleeping until my 4:00 alarm sounded. For the first time, I didn't mind waking up prior to my alarm. I was ready. Out of bed I went, and into my running attire. Then there was the pre-race rituals, oatmeal, stretching, and packing my SPEEDO bag until it was jammed full (I have this thing about leaving space in bags). I was ready. It was marathon day.
My dad is the best in the world. I am sure of it. Only he, would wake up at the same time as me, to meet me at my apartment and drive me into Pittsburgh for my big race. He is my biggest fan and best friend. He also knows exactly what to/what not to say at all the right times. I can't remember a single race throughout my life that my father wasn't at cheering me on. That alone says so much about the amazing person he is.
He knows my race rituals. He also knows I don't talk very much before races. So, for the most part we remained mutually quiet during the drive. A past marathoner himself, he knows exactly what I am about to endure. He told a few stories that eased my nerves...and gave me a ton of encouragement as we parted ways at the starting line.
Here we go...
Pre-race you get corralled into different sections based on your seed time. I made it into my corral and waited with 25,000 other people for the starting shotgun sound. Away we went...
I had spent months training for this. Today was the day to accomplish something I had dreamed about for years. I couldn't help but smiling as I fell into my pace and let my feet do the cruisin. Over bridges, up hills, winding everywhere throughout Pittsburgh, I was proud. I had so much pride for what I was doing, and for my city. Running through the towns of Pittsburgh, and having the incredible support of so many people was emotionally moving for me.
Every so often I would glance at my watch to check my pace, but was nervous when I passed mile 8, and my pace was right on track with what my dad had thought I should be running (I thought it was too fast). I had a slight freakout moment.
"Am I going to fast? What if I die at the end?"
I started playing mind games...but listened to my body, and my heart, and kept pushing my pace. I wasn't going to let the psychological part of the race beat me.
The course started heading down into the South Side of Pittsburgh, and there he was. Mile 10.2. My stink bug flushing, supportive, gentleman was there to cheer me on.
"Come on Kalyn, your ahead of pace...keep it up! You look strong!"
I blushed as I glanced back down at my feet after making eyes at him. No slowing down, no giving up.
Part of the reason I decided to run the marathon was to work through my past. I run through my problems, and I signed up for the marathon after a break-up. Months of training, and recovering, and there I was, running the race that helped me overcome emotions, a damaged heart, and the limits I had previously placed on myself.
Never in a million years did I think I would have the guy who "made me blush" for over a year at the gym supporting me as I was running my big race. It is so funny how life works, and how much running alone has given me. I look back on the past few months, and running is what really has saved me. I am a much happier person now, and I thought I was happy before.
Mile 15 came...there was my loving father. Taking pictures and running along the road next to me.
"Great pace KK you are killing it!"
What a great dad.
I kept pushing. I was beginning to feel the pain, my muscles ached, they cramped, but I kept going.
Mile 22...pushing through the wall
Mile 22. The wall came. Every muscle in my legs felt fatigued, my pace started to fall...then all of a sudden, I see my dad, running along the sidewalk next to me. He ran the whole mile uphill with me until the 23 mile marker. He knew this is where I would be struggling, and he was there to help me through it.
Do you have amazing people like this in your life? That will help you work through any adversities, heart break, and pain you may endure? Who support you and your passions? If so, appreciate them. They don't come along very often.
I slowly worked through the pain and worked back up to my pace. Mile 25 came...ONE MORE MILE, and of course it was uphill. I pushed myself. I somehow found the strength to kick my stride into full gear as I sprinted into the finish. I clocked out three minutes before my goal...and the second I officially crossed the finish line, every muscle in my body stopped working...and I peed my pants. Yep. couldn't even hold my bladder. Always have to make a grand entrance.
I peed my freaking pants.
There I was. Wet pants, sweaty, exhausted, and incredibly happy. I did it. 26.2 miles. I had overcome pain (both emotional and physical), stereotypes, psychological negativity, and had done something I had always wanted to do.
There is nothing like setting a goal, working hard, and achieving it. What are you going to achieve that you have deemed impossible?