First things first:

race_dunzo

I’ve got a marathon medal. Sure, it says “Finisher” which is sort of like “Participant!” or “Great Attendance!” but what the hell, I have a MARATHON MEDAL.

I don’t even really know how to describe the race except that I had two very clear thoughts at two very different parts of the course, and they were as follows:

• This is one of the best experiences of my entire life
• This is the worst experience of my entire life

And it was, really. Both of those things.

I felt pretty good during the first half, strong and in good spirits. Then there was kind of a long dreary stretch along a highway that was boring and grueling, and just after that section, right when I needed it, there were my boys on the side of the road. Riley was waving like mad and holding up a sign for me and Dylan was perched on his grandfather’s shoulders and I totally lost my shit. It was just one of the most amazing feelings ever, being able to run up and hug them and have everyone tell me I looked good and they were proud of me and Dylan squealing and Riley saying “Mommy!” over and over. That was . . . well. I am never going to forget that, ever.

race_kids

race_thumbs

I picked up after that for a while and then there was a really awful section during which I kind of needed to go to the bathroom and then I really needed to go to the bathroom and then I was in dire fucking agony and desperately scouting bushes on the side of the trail and calculating over and over just How Bad Things Were and this lasted from mile 18 to 22 because there were no porta-potties for that stretch and it was totally my worst nightmare come true and I have no idea what my problem was because I never get those kinds of problems and I can kind of laugh about it now but oh jesus it wasn’t even remotely funny at the time.

(PS: When I finally got to a bathroom? No toilet paper. And I’d just like to give a public apology to my handkerchief for its undignified and disrespectful end of life.)

JB’s brother was waiting with JB at mile 21 and for a brief minute Joe ran with me, in his formal funeral-director suit and shoes, and I wish like hell I had a photo of that moment because it was kind of epic in its awesomeness.

Then JB ran with me from mile 21 to 26, which was a lifesaver. Those last four miles or so were . . . man, I don’t even know, it was like my entire body was disintegrating. I felt like the kids in that Stephen King story, The Long Walk, where all I could do was stare at the ground ahead of me and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I saw the boys again at mile 24, which was a slice of pure joy among all the pain, and then the finish was so close, so close I could see the stadium.

race_riley

JB kept pace, pushing me to keep going, and he cut away right before mile 26. There were so many people lining the route, everyone cheering and yelling encouragement, and we ran between barricades which led us onto Hayward Field. The very last bit was on the track, rounding the bend and into the straightaway, and I picked up my feet and sprinted across the finish mat.

With, I will confess, Chariots of Fire playing on my iPod. I KNOW, RIGHT?

race_finish

After the finish I pretty much collapsed in tears and just sobbed openly while some nice college girl put a medal over my head and it was done. Done, done, done, my god.

My finish time was just under five hours. Slow by some standards, but I don’t care. Oh, you guys. I did it.

race_medal

Comments

321 Responses to “26.2: DONE”

  1. jodie on May 5th, 2010 6:27 am

    I have nothing witty to say, just “awesome”. Congratulations, I can’t imagine what a high this must be for you!

  2. Kelli on May 5th, 2010 8:31 am

    GO YOU!

    Super proud and thrilled for you!

  3. Sarah on May 5th, 2010 8:54 am

    That’s f-ing awesome, Linda! Congratulations! You are an incredible woman in so many ways and such an inspiration – thank you for sharing your life with us.

  4. Becky Mochaface on May 5th, 2010 9:03 am

    Congratulations! I’m so proud for you! That is such an amazing accomplishment. And you, yes you, did it. That’s incredible.

  5. Jessamyn on May 5th, 2010 11:45 am

    I just want to say that you are awesome and inspiring, and you’ve moved me all to tears. You rock! Yay, Linda!

  6. Shan on May 5th, 2010 1:53 pm

    *CHILLS* Congratulations!!!!

  7. Susie on May 5th, 2010 5:44 pm

    Congratulations! I’m a long time lurker, and way back when you were first getting into running, I thought to myself “That woman is going to run a marathon.” And you did.

    I don’t even know you and I’m proud of you. I can only imagine how your family feels.

  8. Mom101 on May 5th, 2010 6:37 pm

    Hey now, you’re a rock star. Go Linda.

    (And get away from me with those toned skinny arms of yours. I mean it.)

  9. MommyNamedApril on May 6th, 2010 5:22 am

    i’m quite sure i couldn’t do this in 24 hours, so five? brilliant.

  10. Heather on May 6th, 2010 5:51 am

    I found your site because of the link someone posted to our new site for running moms (www.irunlikeamother.com) Your story has me in tears. I know it’s NOTHING comparable, but I felt much the same way you did after running my first half marathon this weekend. The best and the worst time of my life.
    I’m in awe of anyone that can run a full marathon and I absolutely loved reading your story (and your boys are SO adorble! They look about the same age as my boys so I could really relate to your emotions when seeing them cheering for you)

    Your new faithful reader :)
    Heather

  11. lisa on May 6th, 2010 5:57 am

    Amazing, and wow. I cannot imagine running for five hours straight. Just can’t. You have lots to be proud of!

  12. rachel pomeroy on May 6th, 2010 9:32 am

    Soo wonderful. Nothing like finishing — it’s just the best feeling in the whole world, following the worst.
    On my first one I had bathroom problems as well. Prolly some sort of weird electrolyte imbalance, I’m told. One time it happened during a training run, and it’s famous in our house for my husband to recount the shame with which I approached the back door afterwards. He laugh’s mockingly as he mimic’s me… “Just get me the hose, and don’t look at me. Go away!!”

  13. radioactive tori on May 6th, 2010 1:31 pm

    First of all congratulations! I am doing my first half marathon next month and seeing this was inspiring. Hopefully next year I will do a full marathon and it was so awesome to read about yours!

    Second of all, where did you get your race belt? What brand is it? I have been looking for a good one and haven’t found one that looks as comfy as yours does.

  14. joanneb on May 6th, 2010 3:39 pm

    Can I just say that this is fucking awesome? I am training for a marathon now and this just made me teary-eyed. Way to go, Linda, you rockstar, you.

  15. Annie on May 6th, 2010 8:16 pm

    Aw that made my cry a little. Great job!

  16. Frema on May 7th, 2010 8:49 am

    I’ve read this entry twice this week and have almost teared up both times. I am so happy for you that you were able to accomplish this goal. I am competing in my first half marathon tomorrow, and you have definitely been inspiring to me. Thank you for sharing this journey with us!

  17. caradawn on May 7th, 2010 11:51 am

    You made me cry. Seriously, I’m all sniffly and I never get like that. Except, apparently, when I read about YOU finishing your first marathon. *sniff* I’m so, like, proud of you (and I don’t even *know* you) and, uh, totally thinking I might get back to my own marathon training schedule that’s been on hold since last year.

  18. Kris on May 9th, 2010 1:17 pm

    This made me cry, too; because, Jesus, woman, I am so proud of you. The feeling of accomplishment, and your boys! cheering you on, and everything else.

    It just. Wow. I can’t even come up with the words. My heart literally swells with pride for you.

  19. justmouse on May 9th, 2010 5:57 pm

    wow…you are FUCKING AWESOME! and…godammit…i have something in my eye! *sniff* :D

  20. Kate on May 10th, 2010 12:58 am

    You are amazing!

  21. a&f 台灣專櫃 on February 22nd, 2015 6:04 pm

    做飯芭比。
    a&f 台灣專櫃 http://www.simplifytheinternet.com/dendoutw/AF.html

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