Signs of the Marathon

June 5, 2015.  I began a training plan for my fifth half-marathon in August.

June 19, 2015.  Tweaked my training plan from a half to a full.  Just maybe I could do this.

July 3, 2015.  I upped it all & officially completed the registration for the Twin Cities Marathon.

October 4, 2015.  Crossed that line & finished my first marathon!

The Twin Cities Marathon is chalk full of spectators.  I don’t know if other marathons are like this {I’ve only run one} but there are people literally every step of the way.  With cow bells, with candy, with bananas, with music, with beer {yes, beer}, with dogs, with high-fives and with loud cheering. And many have signs.  So many signs.  You could completely read your way through these 26.2.  Here are some of my favs:

  • in the early miles I remember seeing Punch to Power Up.  It usually had some sort of bullseye & the holder would point for you to punch the bullseye to get added power to power you through the remaining 21 miles of the race.  This was fun for the first quarter of the race, touching the spot as I flew by {yes, I was flying at that point *wink, wink*} hearing the crowds cheer as I touched their sign & flew on.  This became absolutely stupid at all points past 17 miles.  Stupid.  Not only would I expend a ridiculous amount of effort just getting to where I could actually touch the sign, but to get my arm up to punch the bullseye…shut up! And seriously there was zero power in that sign. Stupid.
  • everywhere along the course was Seems Like A Lot Of Work for A Free Banana.  The first time I saw this sign I chuckled inside.  Clever.  And, gotta tell ya, that banana at the end was the best banana I’ve ever eaten.  As was the fruit cup, the power bar & the chicken broth.  Who knew chicken broth would rock at the end of 26.2.
  • nearing the finish, I saw Because 26.3 Would Be Ridiculous.  And it absolutely would be.  There was no way I was willing to add even an extra step to this thing.  At 26.2, I was done.  Finished.  Complete.  Actually at about 25, I was done.  Thankfully the path to the finish was lined with tons of cheering people.  And I knew my honey and my littles were there somewhere.  I moved forward mostly to get across that line, get some food and love on my family.  With tears and excitement and pain and joy, I was a sweat-mess of emotions.
  • Humpty Dumpty Had Wall Issues Too. Let’s talk about the Wall.  I didn’t know.  No one told me.  The Wall is a thing.  Really.  A big thing.  I had a big wall.  It lasted many, many miles.  It began at about mile 17.  And I think I made my way through it at finally about mile 24.  That, my friends, is a 7 mile wall.  Ugh!  It didn’t help that beginning at mile 20 is a huge elevation change {read:hill}.  Legs like cement do not move swiftly.  Each step is a reminder that this is hard.  And not really all that much fun.  Hard.  Also with each step came pain, which moves me to my next favorite sign.
  • I saw it first at about mile 2.  Blisters are Braille for Awesome.  I laughed when I saw it at first.  I also laughed at the first jar of Vasoline I saw on the course.  Blisters are for babies, I was thinking.  Which pretty much makes me a baby now.  One has no way to know the disastrous way one’s feet will react to 26.2.  I had one blister the entire 4 months of training. One!  But from mile 18-26.2, I added several more, enormous, painful, nasty blisters.  Good thing they’re braille for awesome!
    me on the far right in the orange hat :)
    me on the far right in the orange hat 🙂
  • And the very, very, very best sign I saw on marathon day was FINISH.  It was an unbelievable sight.  To see the actual finish, even as far off as it was and realize that I was going to make it.  All the hours and miles that pounded the pavement over the past 4 months was going to achieve what it had been meant to achieve.  I scanned the crowd to find my loves.  When I heard my name, I looked to the left and could feel the smile take away any fatigue in my body.  I threw my arms up and yelled {quite loud and obnoxiously} “I did it!!!  I actually, actually did it!!!”I was in disbelief that I had made it.  I crossed the finish line, awkwardly received the finishers medal and cried.  Big, huge alligator tears.  Joy, relief, amazement.  It was all there in that moment.  FINISH.

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