After my first step into the second half of the marathon, I had run further than I ever had before and, immediately upon crossing the half-way point was an enormous hill. I mentioned earlier that I had developed a strategy to my running. It was to walk up hills and to walk and make sure to get enough water at the water stations. After beginning to walk up the hill I began to feel some immense itching going on downstairs, something that I had never experienced before. And man, it hurt.
After making it over the crest of the hill, I got back into jogging. The searing pain in my crotch region distracted me from the pain that I was feeling in my knees so it was a rather unpleasant, but fortunate distraction. I kept up my jog and was going strong, still stopping at the water stations to grab a drink of water and actually being able to carry on a few conversation with one runner who was from Chino Hills as well. We ran alongside each other for at least a mile or so until I broke away from her.
One of our Twitter followers predicted that I would “hit the wall” at mile 18 or 19 . . . I hate psychics! She predicted correctly that my running ended at mile 19. I tried to run after the water station at mile 19, but my knees wouldn’t let me. I simply could not run. I was not winded or tired, but my legs gave out on me. I ended up walking the last 7 miles.
Two more complaints I had about the Orange County Marathon were:
- The longest stretch without a water station was immediately after mile 19 . . . probably one of the spots where the most water is needed. They should have had one more water station there.
- They had a band playing music, which was cool, but I think it was live band karaoke, because some out-of-tune kid was singing Blink 182’s Damnit. Not that I’m an amazing karaoker myself, but having to listen to his screeching was not something that I needed to here as I’m trying my hardest to complete my first marathon.
- I decided to myself that once I saw the finish line, I would try my hardest to run across it, mostly to impress those that had come to see us. Some jackass at the end of the race was yelling, “You’re almost there, just 200 more yards.” I broke myself into a slow and steady jog, which was amazingly difficult at the time, only to find out that the finish line was not anywhere near where I was. I had exherted all of my energy prior to the finish line.
When I came down the final straight-away, I saw my Mom waving her hands and cheering me on and this is when I broke into my jog. As I ran down that final straight-away, I waved to all of those who came to support me and my brother, Mom, Dad, Lacey, Cindy, Jacklyn, Danielle, Claudia, and Dusty. We had some amazing support and I tried my hardest to run across that finish line and I did, barely passing my 80 year old competitor at the last possible minute. I had completed my first marathon in a little over 5 and a half hours.