A Marathoner’s Weekend (Final Part)
As the minutes started to pass by quickly, I was determined to finish the race in any way I could and wouldn’t allow myself to be transported to the finish line via a vehicle. That was not how I wanted to run my first marathon. And so, with my legs all massaged, sprayed and taped with very bright blue checkered sports tape, I walked back out, joining the crowd of masses en route to Santa Monica beach where the finish line was.
It was hard to swallow the fact that I had to resort myself to walking and not running, which is something I vowed not to do in a race. But, with my legs feeling unsure I just couldn’t take the risk. And mind you, it was a long 12-mile walk to the finish line.
I kept watching people run past me in every single direction while I was feeling helpless. The onlookers on the sidewalks were noticing this young, naïve runner with the blue-checkered taped legs walking his race with his head facing down. I’ve never felt such an overwhelming feeling of disappointment and failure in my life. It was not pleasant.
And so, I kept walking on and ignoring all the amazing Californian sights I could’ve enjoyed if I’d actually run the rest of the race. Volunteers and people holding signs were cheering everyone up including me, but it was just too hard to feel motivated when your body doesn’t want to comply. In the back of my mind, I was sure that everything I did in my training would suffice for the race but I was wrong. My heart was literally breaking on the racetrack.
I did talk to some people and making them feel encouraged when they dropped down to my level. I knew that they needed to hear those words even though they came from a failed runner. I figured that it’d be better to cheer someone up than to pity myself to death. I even met a nice gentleman who resorted to walking as well and we talked for quite a bit.
As the morning slowly changed to a windy afternoon, I managed to squeeze out any sort of energy and willpower left to run to the finish line because I’d rather die than to walk it. It was a feeling of joy mixed with despair to know that it was finally over but in an excruciating fashion.
No one said that it would be easy, especially for a guy who’s never done serious running before until less than a year ago. But the one thing I learned is that life throws curve balls like that everyday and the only way to learn is to fail big and learn from the mistakes. I was determined that my next marathon will be a tremendous success indeed. Until then, I shall look at my marathon medal hanging on my wall with some slight feeling of satisfaction.