This isn’t going to be an inspirational post where I tell you about all the pain and suffering I endured to get to the finish line of my first marathon. It’s going to be a post about the night before my first marathon. All the experienced marathoners and coaches said, “You’ve put the miles in, you’ll do great!” That didn’t help the nerves.
I spent a lot of time on my feet on Friday. We flew into Orlando early Friday morning for the Disney Marathon. My room wasn’t ready, so I had nowhere to take a nap. We went to the Expo to pick up our race packets, and I made the mistake of walking all over the convention center. My legs and feet were dog tired by the end of the day. I spent Friday night in bed with my feet propped on a pillow.
Saturday, I did as little as I could. The hotel was so spread out that you had to walk for 10 minutes just to get to the restaurant or anywhere else in the hotel. I tried my best to rest and relax, but I was still exhausted. I thought it would be a good idea to go straight to my room after dinner, put my feet up and drink some Gatorade. I laid out my clothes and put my racing bib on my shirt. I made sure everything was ready because the alarm was going to go off at 4:00 AM. I then went to bed while watching TV and tried to fall asleep. It was about 10:00 and I think I fell asleep by 11:00.
When I heard my alarm, I jumped out of bed, turned off the alarm I set on my phone, and started making the coffee. I went to the bathroom and then started getting dressed. I was like a well oiled machine and all my planning was going to pay off! That was when I looked at the bedside alarm clock only to realize it was 1:00 in the morning! I swore I heard my phone alarm go off, so I checked it out. It was still set for 4:00. I only dreamed it went off!
So now it’s 1:00 and I have all this adrenaline flowing through my body. It took a while, but I fell asleep eventually. When the real alarm clock went off, I started the process all over again. I was kind of pissed the coffee was now cold, so I did a 5-Hour Energy drink instead. I then took the long walk to the room where we were supposed to gather.
I won’t bore you with the details of the race. After the race, I went to the Team in Training tent with Gina and Jodie, with whom I had trained for months. That’s when I found out that Jodie, who ran a ½ marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday, beat my marathon time. I was okay with that until I found out she stopped to take pictures with all the Disney characters that were out on the course! I was whining about walking too much during the Expo and she ran a ½ marathon the day before running the same marathon I ran! And she stopped along the way to enjoy the scenery!!!
Finally, in the tent Judy Perkinson was doing her best to make sure I was okay and that I had everything I needed. She followed me as I walked toward the edge of the tent and asked if I was okay. I said, “I just need to get rid of a little gas.” The look on her face was priceless as she turned immediately around and walked away!
The experts say you should just concentrate on finishing the marathon when it’s your first. I have to agree with that, although I had a time goal in mind. I wasn’t quite as nervous before running the Flying Pig for my second marathon. I ran it ten minutes faster than Disney and Cincinnati has hills! I’m about to run my 3rd marathon and I’m even less nervous than before. Even so, you never forget your first time!