Wooooo baby, where do I even begin with this one? I guess I’ll start off by saying that when I finished the 2017 Honolulu Marathon I was confident I never had to do another marathon in my life. I was so proud of finishing after a DNF in 2016, but my body was tired. I didn’t run any races in 2018 and so by the start of this year, I was ready for a new goal. Enter: The 2019 Honolulu Marathon. Dane and I decided to do the race together and so began this third marathon journey. Here’s how it went…
2019 Honolulu Marathon Recap
Dane and I had trained together and unfortunately, due to some work conflicts, he was unable to actually participate with me. When that happened, I sort of felt like — maybe I’ll just back away from this slowly and forget it.
All during the week of the race, I had some nervous energy building up and the closer Sunday got, the more I felt on edge. It didn’t help that I woke up two days beforehand with a completely unplanned period, but I decided I was just going to go for it. Female athletes deal with this all the time, right? I’ll be fine!
My alarm went off at 2:45AM on marathon morning and I think I shot out of bed thanks to nerves, energy and severe cramping. My friend Julie was running the marathon too, so we had decided ahead of time to carpool since we live pretty nearby and parking can be a nightmare. She got to my house around 3:30AM and soon enough, Dane was dropping us off at the start line.
I loved hanging with Julie beforehand, because chatting with her meant my mind wasn’t wandering into dark places of “HOLY CRAP YOU ARE ABOUT TO DO 26 POINT 2 MILES YOU CRAZY PERSON!”
Soon enough – we were off! Just as I crossed the start line, my shoe lace came untied and I honestly just should have known at that point that a bunch of little things would eventually lead to one hugely trying day, but I tied it and moved along.
If you are not interested in all the details that made this day difficult – back out now. Consider yourself warned!
I felt like I was keeping a pretty good pace all things considered, but by mile 8, I had gone through every tampon I packed and I was in so much endometrial pain, I could only feel relief when I put my hands on my hips, applied pressure with my fingers and bent over. Obviously that is no way to carry on during a marathon, so I tried to make sure I was only doing it at the mile markers.
At mile 11, my Airpods died unexplainably. Even now, I have no idea what happened. They had charged overnight, I had just removed them from the case at the start line. Again – no clue – but I was super frustrated.
In pain and without music, I texted my friend Katherine who I knew was waiting for me somewhere between 16-18 to ask if she could bring me headphones. Thankfully she had some and agreed right away (A FREAKING SAINT!), so I knew I just had to make it to her.
At mile 14, I wiped what I thought was sweat off my face, only to realize I had a bloody nose. WTF?! Thankfully, there was an aid tent in sight, so I went over there and asked them to help me get it stopped. They got it stopped right away (A MIRACLE!), but when I went to stand up, I had blood everywhere. I gave the super sweet woman a quick rundown on what was going on and she handed me what I thought were some feminine hygiene products. I tucked them in the race belt I was wearing and headed back out with plans to stop at the next bathroom.
I finally got to Katherine, who showed up with her fiancé, brother, sweet pups and lots of cold water. It was the energy boost I needed for sure and the headphones were perfect. She was truly a savior to me on this race and I am so grateful!
When I found the next porta potty along the route, I quickly realized that I hadn’t been given a pad, but an adult Depends. I was well past the point of caring, so it was onward. At this point, I was in so much pain, it was blazing hot (nearly 90) and my goal was survival.
I had about 8 miles to go and I knew it was going to take every ounce of mental and physical energy I could muster. This is how I know marathons are mental — my body was completely wrecked and I crossed that finish line. I stopped when I needed to, took every opportunity for water/Gatorade and even sat at the top of Diamond Head coming around the last curve.
Dane was standing right at 26 and I burst into tears, because I wasn’t sure if he would be able to be there or not. He was holding the sweetest homemade sign and I just felt overcome with happiness. Hearing them announce my name as a finisher felt surreal.
After the marathon, I got quite a few “I didn’t even know you were doing this!” And I have to be honest, one of my mantras since the end of 2018 has been “Build In Silence”. A mentor of mine always talks about how you don’t always need to share your goals or broadcast what you’re doing, especially when it comes to social spaces, and I suppose this is just an example of that.
It’s safe to say this day was exactly the opposite of how I imagined it going, but I think sharing the real deal behind these sorts of things is important, because the big reality is that life throws curve balls. Even the most well-laid plans can get foiled no matter how much we train or plan or visualize. I’m grateful for a body that carried me, friends and family that cheered me on (near and far!) and a super supportive spouse through the whole process!