I can honestly say that the pain I felt during the last few miles of the Fargo Marathon could easily be compared to that of child birth; just how I was able to finish without pain medication is beyond me. It literally took every ounce of my being to get to that finish line. I wanted so badly to stop but I never wavered, I stuck it out and accomplished something I had only every dreamt about.
Let’s start at the beginning shall we….
Saturday morning! I only managed a few hours of sleep because my nerves got the best of me. I was up at 3:30 unable to sleep. I met up with my friends for breakfast at 6:00am, and then we hitched a ride on the hotel shuttle at 6:30 to the Fargo dome. Oh man was I getting nervous!! Getting to the Dome and seeing everyone was such an uplifting experience. I tried to take that moment in.
I was planning to run with my awesome Run Squad: Katie, Olivia and Teresa. We had all trained together over the last 5 months and had planned to run a 4:00 hour time. Our plan was to stick with the 4:00 pace bunny as long as we could.
At 7:30 the gun sounded and off we went. But wait, I had to pee! It was a nagging feeling so by mile 2 we stopped at the port a potty. The good news was that we managed to catch up the pace bunny, however, by mile 8 we had lost Teresa who had slowed down because of a nagging leg injury. Mile 10 hit me hard and I started cramping. We stopped for a gel and some water and I no longer could keep up with my friends or pace bunny. I decided to turn on my music and find my own groove. Crap why wasn’t my music working. I looked down at my phone to discover that all my music was gone. Whelp there’s goes that. Ok no music.
What now?! My worst nightmare, running solo with no music!
Ok at this point I WAS READY TO THROW IN THE TOWEL. The heat sucked, my run wasn’t going as planned, right from the start it was off. I had to regroup, I gave myself a little pep talk and said suck it up. YOU’VE GOT THIS! One foot in front of the other, mile after mile, I ran, not nearly as fast or as easy as I wanted but I did it.
I ran into Olivia around mile 13 and we ran together for a bit. She was feeling quite dehydrated and decided to pull back more. Like I said it was flipping hot out there.
At every water station I grabbed water and poured it down my neck and arms. That definitely helped keep my body temperature down.
One of the best things about the course was the crowd and the bands. I think that’s one of the main reasons I was able to continue. There was a band almost every half mile. It helped keep things interesting.
Then finally at mile 23 I saw my mom. I stopped and gave her the hugest hug! She handed me a big cold bottle of water that I poured all over my body which was such a relief for the heat. She told me that I had missed seeing my dad who was waiting about 400 meters back, he had wanted to run with me to her. It was heartbreaking because I could have really used that burst of energy and support.
3 miles left – 5km!
Kelly you got this! That’s all I kept telling myself. You’re so close. Don’t stop!
Finally the Fargo Dome came into sight. I was almost finished. Just the thought made me tear up. I had come so far and now I was finishing. As I ran into the Fargo Dome something came over me and I sprinted into the finish line. I had done it! I became overwhelmed with emotion and started crying as they handed me my medal. That moment will stay with me forever.
Looking back I have no regrets! I gave it all I had in that moment. Yes I’m disappointed in my time but only because I know I could have done better if the heat hadn’t been so bad. Such is life though and that isn’t something I can change but it is what drives me to be better and try harder. I know I will run another marathon I’m just not sure when.
Getting a homemade golden medal from my boys for running the marathon is icing on the cake to the perfect weekend