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26.2

October 14, 2011

Late one Saturday night in February Barberino and I sort of spontaneously signed up for the Chicago marathon. The thought process went something like this. We’re unemployed, childless, in school and young. We should do this while we have time to train. Had we ever run more than 10 miles? Nope. Did we understand the enormity of 26.2 miles? Not so much.

So then Kendall and Jake and Trey signed up. And then Ashley, Howard and Paula jumped on board. And then Garret and Park. And since that was a lot of people we rented a house and this little idea of a thing that we didn’t even really understand became a super fun big reunion of sorts that we had scheduled for October.

So we ran (some of us) all summer. It was hot most of the time and if I ever do this again I’ll probably do it in the spring so I can train through the winter. And then we were a week away (our longest run having been 20 miles) and Barber-runner was all like, “if I can run 20 I can totally run 6 more, no big deal.” To which I replied, “yeah, 6 is almost nothing after 20 but that’s still another entire HOUR of running.”

“Oh, I never thought of it that way.”

So we flew to Chicago on Saturday and met up with everyone awesome in the world. We made pasta and filled a white board with a marathon game plan had an extended discussion of everyone’s running apparel for the following morning. Then we took pictures.

Marathoners — We thought the classic “stairs prom pose” was nice.

Supporters!

With a 5:15 wake up call I was asleep by probably 9:45…. With all my stuff ready to go.

Imagine 13 people in one house with three bathrooms pre-marathon. The morning was sort of an intense whirlwind. I think I put on three D-tags not including my own (which you can see above is already on my shoe!). I ate a bagel with peanut butter and banana and felt ready to go.

Imagine 13 people leaving one house with all their marathon “stuff” to head to the train station. Of course people forgot things and had to go back.

But we made it. And seriously we were kind of giddy and loud and I’m pretty positive all the other sleepy looking single runners waiting for a train thought we were from crazy town.

We didn’t get to the course with a ton of time to spare and pretty much made our way straight to the starting corrals. Note to self for next(??) time — stretch more.

Barber and I had previously decided to run the marathon together unless one of us had to stop at some point. When we crossed the starting line it was 67 degrees, beautiful and I couldn’t believe that this marathon thing was actually happening.

The first 13 miles were a breeze. We made the rookie mistake of speeding up at times to exhilarate around people and I think we burned a little too much energy too early. We saw Allison, Julie and Theresa at mile 11 and I was pretty much ecstatic.

Barber is just out of the photo to my left.

The second half of the race took us outside of the city and there were less fans, support and music (all of which had been all over the first 13.1 miles).

Really I just wasn’t prepared for how much pain I was going to be in… My knees, hips and quads were all hurting pretty bad at about 21 miles. Still together, Barber and I decided that we would walk for about a minute through the remaining water breaks (at this point we hadn’t yet walked). I wanted to punch Barber when he declared at 20 miles that we only had an hour left. In reality I probably it was so emotionally and mentally helpful to have him there the whole time.

The last mile was awesome. We had a beautiful view of the city and everything hurt so bad that I didn’t even feel it anymore. Though there were moments throughout the race when we thought we might have to split up Barber and I crossed the finish line together hand-in-hand and I have almost never been so happy to be finished with something. Official time – 4:30:17. That very moment of knowing you are done and knowing exactly how ridiculously far you have just run is why people run marathons.

For about half an hour afterwards things went downhill before getting better. I had to sit down before we even got out of the never ending fenced-in shoot that took us to the finishers after party area…. This was awful because my legs were so uncomfortable. No matter how I positioned them they hurt and I just remembering thinking that the pain was never going to stop. Finally we hobbled over to some grass where we sat down with ice bags and recovered for a solid 3o minutes.

Yesterday Barber made a comment about how much law school debt he was in because he attended Florida Coastal for the the first 2 years of law school. I pointed out that if he had not gone to that school we probably would not have moved to Florida and who knows what we would have done. We probably would not have just run 26.2 miles with all of our best friends in one of the most fun marathons ever. True story.

So we did it and it was amazingly hard, painful, fun, rewarding and difficult. And somehow it was better because all of our best friends did it with us. Did I love it? At times. Did training ruin every Saturday morning for the past six months? Pretty much. Was it the greatest weekend ever? Almost. Will I do another one? I can probably be talked in to it…..

Post race train station photo (minus Paula & Park).

The next two days involved a lot of hobbling up and down stairs, food ordering and beverage drinking. Who else has friends that make a vacation out of marathon running?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2011 1:20 am

    Nice one Katie! Always good to know your friends are a bunch of BAMFs.

  2. Tracy permalink
    October 14, 2011 3:10 pm

    Loved the marathon recap!! It is such an exhilarating feeling when it’s all over and I am so excited you guys got to share that memory with so many friends! Congrats on finishing 26.2- welcome to the club!!

  3. October 14, 2011 3:45 pm

    “That very moment of knowing you are done and knowing exactly how ridiculously far you have just run is why people run marathons.” AMEN!

  4. October 16, 2011 12:12 am

    What a fun:huge group!! Wish I could have been there! Let me know the next half/full you guys have planned!

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