Now I have.
Sunday, I started (and finished!) the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. It was nothing like I'd hoped for or imagined. I felt pretty crappy most of the time. I didn't come anywhere near maintaining the pace I'd trained for. I had to walk some, starting after mile 18. I was really disappointed after the race. When most people are feeling exhilarated (after they cross the finish line), I started crying. It was just miserable, start to finish. I saw nothing good in it and did not EVER want to run another.
I've had a couple days now to process things (it usually takes me a while), and I'm feeling a lot better. I'm starting to get the "SuperWoman" feeling I expected -- I mean, hey, not everyone can run a marathon! And I'm really excited that the Team in Training raised 1.6 million dollars during the Chicago Marathon (of that, I raised just over $3,800) for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. And I'm really, really thankful that Lucy was relatively not hungry while I was running, and that I didn't spend the race worrying about her. And I'm very thankful that Gerri wasn't hurt any more than she was. And that they actually did get to see me run by, right before the finish.
It's really surprising to me that I'm already looking up races online, thinking, hmm, how soon could I run a half-marathon? So at this point, I'm really pleased with the race. It was NOTHING like what I'd expected, and that's ok.
Some true confessions:
I despise bananas. As in the smell of them makes me gag a bit. It is a true act of motherly devotion that I'm willing to even touch them so I can feed them to my girls. But I felt so bad during the race that I ate half a banana. Ok, so it was part of a half-banana, but I have not eaten raw banana since I was a baby and my mom used to hide stuff (foods I didn't like) in bananas.
At the pasta dinner the night before the race, our speaker John Bingham talked about how exciting it is when you know you're going to finish. Of course, at that point I knew I was going to finish, so I didn't really get it. (I can be so cocky!) But at some point past the halfway mark on Sunday, I realized that I didn't care about whether or not I could finish; I just knew I didn't want to. Whoa. I didn't see that one coming. There were a couple things that kept me going:
- the 49 (or so) people/couples/families who supported me financially (well, supported the LLS)
- the woman I ran with/behind/in front of for 5 miles or so, with the sign on her back "Chemo to Chicago in 149 days"
- my previous total assurance that I would finish
- the fact that I had a hungry baby waiting for me, and the longer I took, the hungrier she'd be
- my fear of failure
Anyway, I survived. I'm glad.