A Marathoner’s Weekend (Part 3)
And I’m off! Thousands of feet clattering and stomping on the ground in every direction around me. People started to move quickly in front of the crowds to get their run on and so did I. I managed to get enough of space in front of me to transition from walking to running and I never looked back.
The morning sun was still starting to wake up as I made my way downtown with all the energy and excitement in my bones. I could see people of all shapes and sizes joining me together on this journey to achieve something great on a St. Patrick’s Day. The first downhill was relatively easy but as the race progresses, certain changes made me think otherwise of my abilities.
All throughout my 15-week training schedule, there were rarely times where I had to run up and down hills except for the one on Wilson on the way to Family Video. Other than that, I was running on relatively flat ground most of the time. So, when I encountered multiple hills on the LA route, I had to push myself a little bit more than I planned to just so that I didn’t get left behind. This means that I had to run faster than my original pace, which isn’t always good – especially at the beginning of the race.
After about the sixth or seventh mile, my legs started to wear off a bit. I got scared because this has never happened during my training – but because of the hills, I began to feel it. I kept on running though because that’s what runners do, they never stop for a minor hiccup like that. Reaching closer to the 13th mile mark, I found myself slowing down excessively and felt my legs getting tired. Not to mention a blister that was starting to be apparent on the bottom of one of my toes, which made it uncomfortable to run.
I kept telling myself positive things and assuring myself that no matter what happens, I will be able to finish this race. It was as if my mind was fighting it out with my body. Then, all of a sudden, my right hamstring cramped up. I couldn’t believe it myself. I could tell from a fact that no one in the race but me was experiencing it at that moment.
Luckily enough, there was a medic tent right next to me where two people had to carry me and place me on a bed to massage my legs. I lay face down on the bed while watching people kept running right in front of me. The pain from my legs and the thought of not being able to join back in was a bitter pill to swallow.
“Not right now,” I told myself, “not for my first marathon.”