On May 2nd 2010, I ran and completed my first marathon. It was the COX Providence RI Marathon. The family and I made a nice weekend out of it. It was a great little getaway. We stay at The Westin Hotel where the marathon was being hosted, so it was very convenient. The start/finish was right outside of the Hotel.
So after a few set backs in training, injuries, and barely running the month prior to the race, I managed to run the marathon at an official time of 4:16:31. It was an incredible experience and can’t wait to run another one.
I have to be honest my nerves where shot all weekend, call it nervous energy, I couldn’t wait to line up at the starting line to get it going.
The race started at 8:00am and we are off! Going into this race I still had an IT band issue and Achilles tendinitis in my right foot. My Achilles was sore right from the beginning, I mentally had to block that out, it would be fine. I wore my Vibram KSO’s about the 3 mile mark bumped into another running who also was wearing a pair of KSO’s, we chatted a bit. I saw he was wearing a garmin, I asked what the pace was, it was a 8:30, a bit to fast. I was sticking to my plan of trying to average 9 minute miles.
Fast forward to mile 13, my IT band for the first time is starting to get tight and I know what’s next. By mile 15 I was still averaging a 9:00 pace, and if I kept this up I would be slightly under 4 hours of finishing time. But that wasn’t going to happen, I had to start slowing down, do some walking and stretching.
From mile 15 to the end, it was me trying to battle my IT situation. I did some brief walking, and stopped to stretch it out alot. At one point my I was started to get that feeling when your leg just does not work. Whoever had an IT issue knows this feeling. I was then having doubts of can I finish this race?!
All of sudden from mile 18 -20, I was feeling great, back on a nice pace, IT band not acting up, a bit strange. Did I just run through the pain, and my IT band adjusted itself? Wishful thinking!
Mile 20 made it! Here I am now going to experience the “no mans” land in a marathon. These last 6 miles anything can happen. Hit mile 22 and now the miles start to get real looooong. Mile 23 I start to get that feeling like I am going to cramp up, just slightly. I stop to stretch my leg for a bit, but big mistake, my hamstrings just about to cease up on me, but caught them and started to run again. At this point stopping would be no good, I need to stay in motion. At this point I was battling with my IT pain, but I am so grateful it didn’t get to the point where it would stop me in my tracks.
Mile 24 I pass a barefoot runner, he seemed in really rough shape. I told him to keep it up, we are almost there. At this point it’s in the bag, I just have to hold my pace and keep it going.
Now for the best part. I am entering the finishing chute, people are going crazy, the energy is great. I spot my wife, and out of now where my 3 1/2 year old son runs out from the crowd and joins me on my side running. He didn’t say a word he just looked at me as to say “okay dad lets do this” I held his hand for a bit as we were running, people were going nuts. We ran together for about 40 feet right to the finish line. It was one of the greatest moments in my life. I will never forget it.
Overall it was just an incredible weekend, to be with my family, and have a successful first marathon. I am more than happy with my time. It was an emotional race for me. Through all the setbacks in training and with the good Lord’s grace, and my inner determination, I did it.