Team Shelly

Pineland Stiders

Well, the BIG day finally arrived.  We drove up to Scranton, Pa on Saturday.  We went to the Runners Expo to pick up my packet (my race bib number and tech shirt).  I also discovered it would be quite chilly at start time (can anyone say 30 degrees??), so I also bought a long sleeve running shirt to wear under my short sleeve shirt.  The debate of what to wear was quite the topic among us runners.  Then we took the kids to McDonald’s to play in an inside playground and run off some of that energy.  It was a long day in the car.  We met up with about 20 of the Pineland Striders at a small italian restaurant and had pasta and shared our marathon race stories.  All the spouses traded numbers and promised to meet up in the morning to help each other find the various viewpoints.  I was so glad Gordon would have someone to help him around the course.

The start went off well.  I started up a conversation with a lady named Leslie and we ran together the first 8 miles.  She was trying to qualify for Boston.  I saw her after the marathon and am happy to report she qualified!  I got so wrapped up in talking with her and keeping up with her, that I went out too fast those first 8 miles.  I was running around a 730, much faster than the 830 I was aiming for.  Around mile 15 we ran 3 miles on a trail and that’s when my fatigue set in.  I think it was a combination of the trails and going out too fast.  The rest of the race got progressively harder.  My goals became shorter and shorter.  First, I wanted to make it to the 8 mile aid station.  Then to the 16 mile aid station.  Then, every other station.  Then every station.  Then every mile marker.  The last three miles were up hill and that did me in.  I had to walk up a few of those hills.  On the last hill a man came up behind me and told me to get moving, that I had carried him the last 2 miles and we only had a half a mile to go.  He will never know how thankful I was for that.  I needed that so badly at that moment.  I hope to pay it forward one day.  I finished in at 4:06:08.  A little shy of my 4 hour goal, but not too shabby.  I was so thankful to be done!  I now know what everyone means when they say half of the marathon is mental.  It really is.  Four hours is a long time to battle with yourself.  You go through all the emotions.  Pride, excitement, doubt, fatigue, anger, exhaustion. 

I’m now trying to recover.  My quads and calves have never been so sore!  I learned a few lessons….  Don’t go out too fast, get plenty of rest and stay hydrated the whole week before, and have new shoes.  I’m going to start training for the Charleston marathon in January next week.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it, though.  I’m going to train as best as I can and know that I can pull the plug if I feel like it’s too soon or my body can’t do it.


The courage to start

The strength to endure

The resolve to finish