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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!!
My 2017 Honolulu Marathon by the numbers:
26.2 race day miles
467 training miles (I started keeping track in June)
2 Stinger Waffles + 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 🙂 I’m hanging up my sneakers until 2018 when I make my next crazy fitness goal…stay tuned 😉