Thursday, October 24, 2013

First Thoughts After Finishing

I had anticipated during training how my range of post Chicago Marathon emotions would be.

As I crossed the finish line this year, I teared up a few times.

I remember not getting emotional the first year and then wondering if I was missing out on something by not crying. If everyone else is, shouldn't I? Am I missing out on an experience? I made up for it the second year where I completely lost my you know what in the finisher's corral. A sobbing mess. Come on, can't I get something in between?

The tears were ones of triumph. Though my body and mind have been through a marathon several times, the rush of emotions after finishing is so incredibly unique that I fight to find a word other than triumph.

The running great Frank Shorter once said "You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming." 

Ah ha, Frank, you're a smart man.

A little bit of triumph and a lot of the Marine Corps Marathon Godzilla.

What was I thinking? I just finished a marathon and I'm in pain. I want to do this to myself again in two weeks?

Yep Frank, not forgotten yet. I must give myself some time.

I walked through the finisher's corral and loaded up on water, Gatorade (I can barely stomach the thought of drinking another cup, but my body needs it, so let's do this), bananas, a box from Mariano's and of course, a beer. I skip over the mylar blanket (not really feeling the spaceman post marathon thing) and the finisher photos. I make eye contact with a guy my Dad's age who puts the medal around my head. He says he is proud of me. I start tearing up again.

I walk slowly towards gear check. This has to be the slowest I've walked. Ever. But I try to enjoy it for what it is. It's not running and I'm happy about that right now. I find Jeff at the end of the finisher's corral. He tells me he beat our 2012 PR by 30 seconds. I am so happy he went for it. I'm so happy for Jeff in that moment that I don't care about my time.

We grab my bag and talk for a few minutes. Jeff's heading back to the CARA compound in the Hilton and I'm going to meet up with my Mom, Dave and Kim at runner reunite. I wobble my way to K and see three familiar and very smiley faces.

We pack up and head to the train to go home. We reach the train station at Jackson and the elevator is out of order. Of course it is. The one day I'm willing to use it. I walk down the two long sets of stairs backwards to the platform.

A few minutes later a train arrives. I'm lucky enough to grab a seat. To sit feels glorious.

My mind wanders as we travel back to my place. I find myself thinking of Marine Corps and being excited.

It doesn't take long, does it Frank?

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