Fail to the max. Are you ready? 4:40. That is, oh, something like FORTY MINUTES slower than my intentions. My third slowest marathon time overall. And pretty much a giant shit bomb.
Grand Rapids, I hate you. We are not friends. I can't even pretend to like you.
I knew by mile 7 it was not happening. I just didn't feel it. I was tired. The pace felt too fast. I quickly resigned to the fact that I'd bomb. But by mile 24 I was limping with blobby tears falling down my cheeks because IT HURTS AND I'M TIRED AND HOLY SHIT, WHAT A FAILURE. I'd let out a little sob, let some tears drop, then try to hobble another half mile or so.
Jesus tried to save me, he did. This little old man, probably 79 years old, wearing a shirt that said "Run with Jesus," would pick me up every time I walked. He'd come up behind me, pat my back and encourage me along. But, Jesus, I want to cry and WALK! He had none of it, so run I did. The last mile was ludicrous. It was long and cold and painful. When I crossed the finish line, the race director gave me a hug. I found AJ and Lena and cried like a little bitch.
FAIL FAIL FAIL.
Marathons are hard, you guys. Even six times later. It truly doesn't get easier. It just is what it is. A good day or a bad day. Today was bad. You can train and you can prepare and you can blog all about how bad you want to break 4 hours, and you can still bomb.
The real test is when you get off your sorry, pitiful ass and go for it again. And I will. That's why this day isn't a complete failure. Especially because there is food and booze in my very immediate future.
Right now I'm curled on Lena's air mattress. She plugged her electric blanket in for me. My medal's still around my neck and my ear buds are still in my ears without music. I haven't even taken off my shoes. I'll take this time to feel bad for myself, then I'll (very slowly and carefully) stand up, shut up and move on.
Thanks for the support. You guys rule. And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to continue thawing.
Marathon No. 6: done.