“Don’t poo yourself Joel, don’t pee yourself.” “You’re almost there. You can see it!” “It’s so close! Please make it in time!”
I did. That bus of toilets was the the only thing that had been on my mind for 40 minutes. I had been running for about two hours already at that point, slamming water at every station I passed. Something was off, though. Maybe it was the rich thanksgiving foods I had nibbled on hours before, or maybe the water or ice was bad. Who knows. Many a runner was struck with tongsia (guess what that means?) that day, I was a lucky one who survived. Barely.
A little less than a month ago I did something I never thought I would be able to. I finished my first marathon. I did pretty good for my first time. 4:23:42! My only two goals were 1) to finish and 2) to break four and a half hours. Hizzah! I did both! I ended up placing 50th out of 280 in my age group. A pretty solid first showing, if you ask me.
What lessons did I learn from my first marathon? First, it hurts! Like really. My ankles and hips aged 50 years within 3 hours. Second, porta-potties are an amazing and wonderful resource, it would have been nice to have more of them along the route. Third, I start to go a bit crazy when I’ve run for 4 hours without any sleep the night before. And forth, there is no greater feeling (and consequently, no greater display of unnecessary emotion) when you round the corner are confronted with a large crowd of people who are there to cheer you on to the finish just up the road.
It was an awesome experience, one that I will be repeating soon enough. In the mean time, I’m enjoying a little break from the training. Going for runs when I want to, not when I have to. I suspect that I’ll be challenging the Bangkok Marathon again next year. We have unfinished business.
[Update] Here's a link to a review of the race written by my friend and fellow finisher Ashley. 5 Things You Should Know When Running A Race Abroad
Photo credits to Meredith, Ryan, and Carly. Love y'all!
|Peace Corps representing!|
|Preparing to cheer us on!|
|Face of pain or ugly cry?|
|No nipple chafing! A major victory in itself.|
|We did it!|
|All the runners! Jes, Mamie, Ashely, me, Bridgette, and Tricia.|