Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Marathon Recap - The Good

On Sunday morning I was up and ready to rock at 5:30am. I had been thinking about this day and this race for months. I was so ready. I wanted to run.

I lined up at the start line feeling strong and loving life. The gun went off at 8:30am. Albeit in an anti-climatic fashion because the elites were in the first corral, so the rest of us were just left milling around in the rain, in a giant line, waiting for our start time.

Once the race actually started for me though, probably 10-15 minutes later, it was exciting. All I could think was "This is it! This is what you have been waiting for. You are running a Marathon today. You are running a Marathon right now"

I was buzzing along through the neighbourhoods of Toronto just generally feeling like a rock star. I was running strong and feeling so good. I was loving the crowd, the energy, and the excitement. And I was comfortably keeping ahead of the 4:30 hour marathon bunny. I was having the time of my life.

yay that guy thinks I am a werido
My lovely and always amazing friends Morgan, Robyn, Brad, and Sam were waiting for me at the Princess Gates (aka 9km) with signs in hand. I was so happy to see them.


I was feeling great! And seeing these girls gave me an extra boost of energy, as I kept plugging along to the first turning point. There were bands, dance troops, cheerleaders, and a ton of volunteers keeping us hydrated and up beat along the way. I felt like I could run all day long.

We turned around and heading back toward the downtown core. And there were my lovely girls again, this time at kilometer 17. There were highfives and cheers as I powered on ahead.


Just a few more kilometers down the road, and this is where things got really real. Half marathoners to the left, and Marathoners to the right. I past under the Marathon chute and said to the guy next to me "guess we are really doing this, eh?". "Yes, we sure are" he replied as we plugged along past the half way point.

I took a moment to reflect at kilometer 22, because that is the farthest I have ever raced. I was feeling proud and excited for all that was to come as ran past that distance marker.

Things started the get a little lonely after about kilometer 25. The pack had really spread out. And the spectators were few and far between for the next few kilometers. The seriousness of running this type of distance began to set in. My legs were feeling tight, but I was still on point. I was happily running at the 4:35
pace, and generally feeling happy and well hydrated.

Things began to change dramatically around kilometer 33. My knees were aching. My chest and my back started spazzaming. I could feel the bruises forming around my ankles, and the blisters taking shape on my feet. My legs were on fire and screaming at me to stop. Oh and I wanted to. I wanted to stop so badly.

Tears were streaming down my face on and off for the last 9 km of the race, as I willed myself to keep running. My pace was getting slower and slower as my legs locked up tighter and tighter. I sadly watched the 4:55 pace bunny and his crew pass me at kilometer 35.


And then like little marathon angels, my rubber boot clad cheering section appeared beside me. "I am dying" I cried. "I don't think I can do this".

"YES YOU CAN!!" they said.

"Think about the finish line. Think about dinner and wine. Think about how far you have come. Just keep going". They kept chanting their positivity at me as I cried and kept shuffling for 4 kilometers.


At kilometer 39 they left me to carry on to finish this beast of race by myself. I could see the downtown and I wanted this race to be over.

I saw my family cheering section at kilometer 41 and I could not even muster a proper smile at this point. I wanted to see the finish line and sit down.


I dragged my sad, tired, sore booty across the finish line with an official chip time of 5:20:03. (yep, that is almost a full hour longer than my ideal goal time of 4:30) I then promptly found a patch of sidewalk to sit down on and sobbed.

So, the Good...Where is the good in all of this blood, sweat, and tears?

The fact of the matter is I said I would run a Marathon this year and I did. I said genetics, a few measly surgeries, a shiny robot heart, and several setbacks would not hold me back from achieving this goal - and they did not.

I can say with all honesty that running a Marathon is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life. But even with my less than ideal time, I can still say that I did it. I am a marathoner. A slow marathoner, but a marathoner.

It wasn't easy, but I did it.

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

57 comments:

  1. This is amazing... The post made me cry! You're such an inspiration krysten!

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  2. Congratulations!!! You ARE a marathoner! And it doesn't matter how slow or how fast you are...you still DID it! And that's more than a lot of people can say! And hey...you still finished 8 minutes faster than me!!! I'm slower! ;-)

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    1. It is all about crossing that finish line right?! We are marathoners!

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  3. Absolutely amazing story and recap. Congratulations. You are a kick ass marathoner!!!!

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  4. Congrats! This is a great recap. I am so proud of you. That 5:20 is only a starting point. (My first marathon was 5:12 so I know how it feels.) You are a marathoner and no one will be able to take that from you. Enjoy that medal and I can't wait to hear when you go from here!

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    1. and this year you ran boston?! Ok I feel better haha

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  5. Krysten - you are an inspiration to all of us out here, you rocked the course, the time doesn't matter, the fact that you did it is what counts - you didn't give up when the going got tough and plowed through to the end. Great job and for what it is worth, I am proud of you and your accomplishment.

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  6. Oh heck yeah you did! I love that you fought through the tough parts--that's what makes you a marathoner. And I am not surprised that you did it, either!

    And love that Oiselle top--I wear mine like that ALL the time!

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  7. I am teary eyed reading this post. You are so inspiring! I ran the Scotiabank 5k, and thought that was a pretty big deal. I honestly can't even imagine running a full marathon but with a post like this I want to ! You are amazing!!!

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  8. It IS one of the hardest things. And on top of that, you have come SO far this year. But what makes you a marathoner isn't that you finished the race but that you fought for it. It takes so much heart and you have an abundance of that. I love love the first few pictures. Your enthusiasm is flying off that page!

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  9. Great work! Congratulations!!

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  10. So funny how we doubt ourselves and others believe in us for us!

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  11. You did a FABULOUS job, slow or fast, you're a marathoner! You muscled through the good, the bad and the ugly. You've been through so much in the recent past, and you kicked its butt!

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  12. Congrats!!! And tears are ok in running :)

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  13. Nothing easy is ever worth it. Congrats again!!! My first was 5:10 and my goal was under 5. I was so sad to see it go; however, the ultimate goal is finishing. You are a MARATHON finisher! You fought through and completed your goal. Amazing!

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  14. You did it! Yes, you were slower than you'd like to have been but, YOU DID IT! You ran a marathon!

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  15. Yuu have me in tears Krysten! You are such an inspiration! Congratulations on becoming a Marathoner!!! You are so strong and you pushed through it ALL! You rock my world!

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  16. oh man, i know that feeling. when you HIT THE WALL and all you want to do is stop. But you didn't! You finished and strong!!!

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  17. *tears* doing my first in 12 days! I'll be thinking of you!

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  18. You rock - the first marathon is just getting to the finish and you DID IT! So proud of you!

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  19. You are absolutely amazing and an inspiration. The good of it all is that you committed to the marathon and through the pain, the tears, and the sweat, you accomplished it. You ARE a marathoner! :)

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  20. Congratulations and some of my tears for you! You did it and darling, my first was much slower than I wanted too but you finished! Be proud!

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  21. I got shivers reading your recap. Your marathon experience is similar to mine! It hurt so bad but saying that you ran a marathon, no one can take that away. CONGRATS! You did it!

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  22. Though I realize you're bit disappointed by your time, you are a marathoner, girl! A tough, awesomely fabulous one. Way to be FIERCE, K. I'm so happy for & proud of you.

    P.S. Could you *please* fly to the States and do a running clothes makeover on me?? Your running cuteness is almost intolerable ;)

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    1. Oh my gosh! That would be so fun!

      But seriously visit my girls at oiselle tell them I sent you and use the TOTALLYTRAILS and they will hook you up with cute stuff and 10% off weeeeeee!

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  23. "Think of dinner and wine" - now that's a great mantra!

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  24. YOU ARE A MARATHONER!!!!! The distance is no joke but you did it. Congrats! I hope you enjoyed LOTS of wine afterwards!

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  25. Just found my way to your blog! CONGRATS MARATHONER!!! :) I'll be thinking of you when I do my first in 3 1/2 weeks (yiiiikes).

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    1. YOU CAN DO IT!!! Parts of it are gonna suck, but you can do it!

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  26. Girl you kicked butt! Way to go! Thanks for recapping all this, I'm excited to read more!

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  27. Wow, amazing. You did it, Completely one of the hardest things physically, anyone can do. So so impressed. congrats!

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  28. Congratulations to you! I ran my first half marathon that day and I tip my hat at you. I was exhausted after half. You are an inspiration!

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  29. You are amazing - simply amazing and such an inspiration! I loved reading this one and can't wait for the other recaps.

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  30. Amazing! Congrats! You DID it. It isn't how long it took that really matters, it's that you stuck with it and beat all your mental and physical demons holding you down! :)

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  31. SO PROUD OF YOU! Beautiful post! I am so glad that you finished and succeeded in accomplishing your goal. I hope you enjoyed wine, dinner, and some well earned R&R. High-Fives to you ROCK STAR! xo

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  32. GOOD FOR YOU! Such an accomplishment no matter the pace. Races don't always go as we hope but the fact that you pushed through and ran that race is amazing! I ran the Scotia Bank half and have the exact same sentiments that you have about running :) CONGRATS again!

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  33. If it were easy, you'd be suspicious. And less proud. And definitely less sore! The extra hour was added on to your life so that you'd get more time to reflect upon how much you've done and how far you've come, literally and figuratively. It's great to be YOU!

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  34. Woooohooooo! You did it! So inspiring!! Laylaruns

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  35. My first marathon was a 5:20:17. WAY TO ROCK IT GIRL.
    I remember lots of those moments...the pain...the last 6 miles (so about 10km) were downright AWFUL for me. And then it was over. And now, miss Krysten, you are a MARATHONER. So congratulations. :)

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  36. My first marathon was a 6:45, so you KILLED my debut time. A marathon is a LONG freakin way and no one truly understands that until they get out there and do it. So many miles for something to happen. But you DID IT!! I'm so proud of you and I hope you'll keep your focus on how awesome you are!!

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  37. Congratulations! You are a marathoner! Believe me though, I definitely understand how it feels to come in well above your goal time, it just happened to me 2 weeks ago at my first marathon. I had a hard time accepting that I was even a marathoner, but we are!

    Congratulations again! Be proud!

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  38. congrats on your first marathon, but I bet you start looking for another soon to "get back". Have completed 13 myself...under four hours for road marathons and under six for hard trail/mtn. marathons. Two Ironman finishes and I certainly don't believe any of that running/tri-athloning is important or the greatest thing I have ever done. I don't think it will be for you either. At least I don't hope so.

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  39. congratulations!!!! You did amazing, and sure you may not have hit your goal time... But you finished a freaking marathon. You started and finished something .5% of people do. POINT FIVE.

    genetics be damned!
    xoxo

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  40. I was seriously jumping for joy over your pictures on instagram! You are a rockstar! I am so proud and you look so happy and fantastic :) WAY TO GO GIRL!

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  41. This is an amazing story and once you should be proud of!! You inspire ME to consider running a marathon. I wouldn't even worry about the time because you did it. I think you did great considering how tough that must have been. I have NO idea, which is why I think your time is pretty darn fantastic! Represent it girl!

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  42. Congratulations on a HUGE accomplishment. Running a marathon has been the hardest thing I have done too--but not many people can say that! And now you can!! CONGRATS!

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  43. Congrats again. Your report sounds a LOT like my experience running the Scotia full in 2010. There was a lot of crying and walking from about 26km on. I was so dehydrated that I had NO tears. None. I totally crashed and burned but I finished. And truthfully if it wasn't for that awful experience, I wouldn't have turned my athletic life around the way I have. Every race is a journey and a learning experience, some just take longer than others, ha ha. Congratulations again, you are a wonderful inspiration!

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  44. Never slow. "Marathon Finisher" should be your only thought. Hell ya! 26.2 FREAKIN miles... what is that in K? Oh well. YOU DID IT. You fought through the pain, the tears, the ups, the downs and your RAN YOUR FIST FULL MARATHON. That is something. Your first one should never be easy. If it were, you wouldn't appreciate the journey, the training, the sacrifices. The long runs, the lonely runs, the hard runs. You did it lady! You overcame EVERYTHING and ran the crap out of that race. Own it and Love it!

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  45. YOU're incredible!!! So excited for you. "No matter how fast or slow you go, the moment you cross the finish line of a marathon you're life is forever changed" quote from -The Spirit of the Marathon
    Congratulations!

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  46. Congratulations! You are amazing. I've loved following your journey. And ... you made me cry. :c)

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  47. Oh. Wow.

    I am so happy I clicked Pavement Runner's link and came over here. Long story short, I spent 10 years with a seizure disorder diagnosis, 10 years with a big shrug from the doctors, 15 years with a longQT diagnosis, and because of some hiccups during training for my first half marathon this year, I am currently back on the big shrug list. Finding your blog? Amazing.

    That this is the first post I've ever read makes it that much better. Thank you. Congrats. On everything.

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  48. Marathons are haaarrrrd! So, so, so hard, and it takes a tough one to finish, especially when you're feeling like you did in the later miles. Congratulations to you!
    I hope that this experiences fires you up to want to go back for more next spring.
    Your finish time is GREAT, don't dwell on it or feel one bit bad about it. You are a marathoner, OWN THAT!!

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  49. This post was amazing and donate you! Congrats!! This brought tears to my eyes. I'm so proud of you for finding strength to keep going. You ARE a MARATHONER!

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