Holy Shit – I Ran A Marathon!

Well, it’s true. I finished the 2017 Honolulu Marathon this weekend and it’s every bit as surreal to me as it probably is to you. I’ll be honest, after last year – I really had no desire to do it again and fail. I had mentally convinced myself that maybe I just wasn’t cut out for long distance running and maybe there is a reason I got so sick. THIS IS THE PART WHERE I TELL YOU THAT YOUR BRAIN HAS A WAY OF BEING A CRUEL, CRUEL PLACE! Because guess what? I FREAKING DID IT. I RAN A MARATHON. 26 point mother freaking 2 miles.

Holy Shit - I Ran A Marathon - 2017 Honolulu Marathon - Marathon Tips - Marathon Race - Communikait by Kait Hanson

So this year my tactic was simple – I was signed up for the marathon, but didn’t tell anyone because my subconscious had already lodged in the idea that I wasn’t physically capable of finishing. But I just went with it and let my crazy mind do its thing. For me, I would much rather at least try than always wonder “what if…”. So I just continued to train and my mind continued to tell me it was a waste of time. And I’ll be honest – some people did too. Not that they knew I was training for anything but just the commentary of people that mean well, but maybe don’t come across that way…

Why do you run so much? Because I like it.

Aren’t you afraid you’ll get hurt? Not really.

You’re not doing the marathon again are Β you? Uhhh.

But I just let it all go and ran as many days as I could. When we found out we were going to Tahiti at the end of November, I was kind of like well – this is what will derail me this year. A week of over sunning, over drinking and not training probably as much as I should two weeks out from my run date.

Holy Shit - I Ran A Marathon - 2017 Honolulu Marathon - Marathon Tips - Marathon Race - Communikait by Kait Hanson

The most beautiful rainbow at mile 13 that popped up just as it stopped raining and the sun was coming out!

But even still – I just put my head down and ran when I could, but still enjoyed whatever food and drink I wanted. As soon as we got home, I continued doing what I had been doing before. And then marathon week got here and my brain really started getting to me and I was kind of like well…no one knows I’m even running so maybe if I just don’t do it that’s okay too. I just had to eventually tell myself that if I continued to put doubt in my head it was going to continue to thrive there. So Saturday afternoon (nothing like waiting until the last minute, eh? LOL) I decided that that enough was enough – I was going to make this marathon happen. And I did.

Holy Shit - I Ran A Marathon - 2017 Honolulu Marathon - Marathon Tips - Marathon Race - Communikait by Kait Hanson

Miles 1-20 were awesome. I was keeping a good-for-me pace and I was feeling really, really great. I wasn’t cramping, it wasn’t too hot and I genuinely felt the best I have ever felt while running, which is saying a lot considering how much was on the line! Then I made the curve into the 21-25 territory, which is notoriously the worst on this route and I felt a little part of me die inside. I honestly don’t know what got me through, because even as I type this hours after finishing, I have blacked it out. I know I stopped and stretched at every mile marker and I called my mom to tell her I was running a marathon (like I said – I didn’t tell anyone! Sorry mom!), but otherwise, I think I was running on pure adrenaline at that point. I was so close to the finish line I could taste it. Everything hurt, particularly my left hip, and I was cramping in places I didn’t even know could cramp. My nipples were rubbed completely raw (yes, I had them covered in band-aids, so no – I don’t know what happened) and my fingers were swollen like little mini sausages. My only goal was to cross the finish, but boy my mind was working overtime to tell me to just sit down and quit.

Holy Shit - I Ran A Marathon - 2017 Honolulu Marathon - Marathon Tips - Marathon Race - Communikait by Kait Hanson

At mile 25, I don’t know what came over, but I pushed myself like I had through miles 1-20. Right before I crossed the finish line I saw Dane waiting for me and it was just the burst of energy I needed to push those last .2. That sounds ridiculous, I know. Like .2 – come on Kait! But I am telling you what – I thought it would never finish. I can’t even put it into words. Anyone who has run a marathon before is probably sitting at their computer nodding their head. It’s that last little bit that is such a freaking nightmare!!

Holy Shit - I Ran A Marathon - 2017 Honolulu Marathon - Marathon Tips - Marathon Race - Communikait by Kait Hanson

My 2017 Honolulu Marathon by the numbers:

26.2 race day miles

467 training miles (I started keeping track in June)

2 Stinger Waffles +Β 9 power gels (and a Roo Pouch to keep it all in!)

37 random dogs pet

1 glorious golden medal

More than anything I am relieved to have checked a big box on my bucket list. Your mind can be the absolute devil and sometimes I listen to it way more than I should, but I am SO STINKING HAPPY to have achieved this goal and gotten redemption after last year’s race day debacle. Dane and I have both run this race now separately and it’s safe to say we are both satisfied with the “one and done” rule when it comes the marathons, haha! I hate to say never about things, but I currently want to cut my legs off and the aforementioned chafing is just a special kind of hell. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported all my running endeavors both here and on the social media. Seeing the support from so many of you after I posted my stories yesterday was so special to me πŸ™‚ I’m hanging up my sneakers until 2018 when I make my next crazy fitness goal…stay tuned πŸ˜‰

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  • Lauren Harrelson

    Do I even want to KNOW what a stinger waffle is? big congrats girl – thats a hell of an accomplishment!

    • HAHA! Thank you!! I promise it’s nothing too crazy – they’re like little energy snacks pre-race πŸ™‚

  • Wow, so cool! Congrats to you. I’m not sure if I could ever do this. I jog daily in my neighborhood but feel like I’m going to die doing that.

    • It’s as much mental as it is physical. It’s crazy, but sometimes my shorter runs are harder than my long ones! Thanks for all your support! XO

  • Jen

    I really feel like I could have written this haha! You captured every emotion that comes along with it! You rock, my friend!

    • You and I are kindred spirits, I just know it! You inspire me all the time so major fist bump right back at ya! XO

  • CONGRATS!! I know the physical process of doing this marathon is a huge feat in itself, but even more, the mental process of getting yourself to even show up at race day and conquer your doubts…that’s HARD WORK. And you did it!!

    • Thank you Anne! It really was a huge mental block for me. I would be lying if I wasn’t standing at the start line in that first photo wanting to crap myself. It was so nerve wracking just waiting around for the big fireworks display (thats something kind of cool that they do here) just being like…CAN WE JUST GET THIS OVER WITH YET?!?!?!

  • KAIT!!! This title is a riot. I LOLed when I opened your blog because it’s so you. I am so freaking proud of you. I felt bad that I had no idea you were doing this, but it makes sense now. Nobody can even take that title away from you – MARATHON FINISHER! Boom. You are an inspiration!

    • HAHA!! Thank you!! I felt like if I told people, I was setting myself up for failure so I just kind of put my head down and kept that part of my life hidden for a little while and honestly, for someone who puts herself out there SO MUCH, it was kind of thrilling to just have this for me. I don’t know – it’s weird! Anyway – I am just SO glad to be done with it and checking that box. I’m trying to figure out what fitness feat I can do in 2018 to push myself, but for now I’m content sitting on my butt. LOL!

  • Hats off to YOU my friend!! I could never. I will barely run to the mailbox. I remember Chris’s first full marathon and man, he came away with so many learning experiences that he has applied to his running routine now. I hope you are healing up nicely πŸ™‚

    • THANK YOU! I never thought I could either – clearly! LOL! I feel like I learned so much about myself in this process so I completely agree with Chris here. I just need some miracle balm to get rid of the awful chafing business happening, but I feel like I might be able to walk the dogs today so..progress! HA!

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  • Ericka

    So proud of you!!! That is awesome!!!! You did it! It’s crazy how much of running is mental, but you pushed through and did it! Such a surreal feeling, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

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