– Signs I particularly enjoyed: “Our government can’t run, but you can.” “Furloughed government employee. Will pace for pay!” “Inspirational sign.” “Run ALL the miles!” <– I think that was my favorite favorite. There were two like that during the 23rd mile, and goodness knows I needed a smile during that mile.
– I have blisters the size of Canada on my toes. I’ll spare you the photographic evidence, but suffice it to say I’ve never had blisters like this before. I had trouble falling asleep on Sunday night because every time anything touched my blistered toes, it hurt.
– My parents sent flowers to me at work on Monday! I can count the number of times I’ve received flowers on one hand (and the number of times I’ve had a surprise delivery of flowers on one finger…haha), so this was just delightful and made me so glad I went to work on Monday. If only I had a way of bringing them home that didn’t involve the CTA.
– An hour or so before I went to bed Monday night, my stomach all of a sudden started to hurt really bad. I figured I’d sleep it off, and when I woke up Tuesday morning I was ravenous, so I assumed it was nothing. Then after I had breakfast, I felt incredibly sick once again. Is this normal for 36-48 hours after a marathon? I don’t know if it’s a all-my-stress-is-over-and-now-everything’s-catching-up-to-me thing, or if it’s an actual reaction from running the marathon, or if it’s something else, but regardless, it was not particularly enjoyable.
– Turnstiles on the CTA are evidence that Satan is real. Good heavens do those things hurt the day after a marathon.
– I got my medal engraved at Fleet Feet on Monday, and wouldn’t you know it, I ran into New Friend Dennis there. Seriously. What even are the chances of this kind of thing happening? But it was nice to chat with him and hear that he finished the marathon strong (even though I already knew this, because I had definitely looked up his results to see what kind of time I would have had if I could’ve hung with him for 10 more miles. Spoiler: I would’ve run a sub-5:00 by a long shot. Alas.)
– I really, really enjoy marathon training. Even though I complained about it and the amount of time it took out of my life, I think marathon training is right up my alley. I like schedules, I like plans, I like order, and marathon training gave me 18 weeks of regimented running bliss. Big fan.
– I actually don’t feel like I made any friends through my running group, but I still loved training with CARA. Part of this was my own fault–skipping long runs with CARA three weeks in a row due to races and being home and my tendency to be quiet in large groups unless I feel extremely comfortable did me no favors–and part of it is probably due to the fact that there weren’t many people like me in my group (i.e.: most of them were decently older than I am), but I was still somewhat surprised that I didn’t leave marathon training with the lifelong friends I expected. Regardless, I still felt a sense of solidarity with my 10:30 Awesomes, and man oh man am I going to miss running with them every Saturday morning.
– I absolutely plan on running Chicago next year. Abso-freakin-lutely. I don’t know what the registration process will look like exactly–no one does right now–but I have every intention of doing whatever it takes to get into the race next year. I’ve been pretty seriously thinking about running the race since early September, made up my mind on the 20 Miler that I’d run it again next year, and fully decided to run when I found out next year’s date is 10/12/14 (it’s a college thing…at my alma mater, your graduation year is a big deal, and there’s this whole even year/odd year thing with classes mentoring each other for various things…2010 was our mentor, I was 2012, and we mentored 2014. aka 10/12/14 is pretty much the second greatest date ever [after 12/12/12, of course]). The only time I considered not running it again next year was around mile 24 or so, where I thought, “I don’t know if I ever want to go through this all again,” but even in thinking that, I also thought, “But then I can’t train with CARA again next year!” Haha. Plus I still desperately want to run a sub-5:00 marathon (ideally a significantly sub-5:00 marathon…like a 4:40 would be ideal, but I’d happily take 4:59:59 or faster).
– Although I really hope they either place in me a corral based on my estimated 2014 Chicago finishing time or will let me move up if they place me based on my 2013 Chicago finishing time, because I do not want to be in Corral K. Part of me also wants to run a 2:05 half marathon so I can qualify for a Wave One start (assuming, of course, that the standards for 2014 are the same as they were for 2013), but that’s probably a *little* ambitious unless I actually start doing things like, you know, speed work. Or working hard in general rather than just casually running. Ugh. Difficulty. Haha.
– This entire experience has been worth every single ache, pain, penny, early morning, short night: all of it. You can keep your physical comfort, your raging Friday summer nights, your weekday happy hours, your ability to have a meaningful relationship with someone other than your running shoes — I will happily trade all of that for what I accomplished on Sunday. I have never felt more loved, I have never felt more supported, and I have never felt more proud of myself than I felt on October 13, 2013.
– No toenails were lost in the making of this marathoner 🙂