What you are about to read is a true story! It is a story about heart and dedication as much as it is about willpower and strength. Motivation comes in many forms, it comes with many faces, it comes with many different lifestyles but there is one thing in common with everyone who is motivated to accomplish something. The will to accomplish what you have set out to accomplish. This is a true story about one woman and her dream of accomplishing something that she set out to accomplish. Her name is Vicky and I don’t know her personally, though I would like to. I would like to know what she has within herself to meet this challenge head on, knowing that she was going to be the last person out there on the course, knowing that she was going to finish “last” on the stat sheet. What drives a person, what drove Vicky to set out on this journey of accomplishment? The bigger question is what drives you? What/who motivates and pushes you? This is a true story about a brand new woman, a woman who can now say that she is a marathoner.
I am a marathoner.
It was a long walk and I was out there a long time BUT I did it.
Months of training, which at times was hard, worked out for me in the end.
I missed a couple of training walks as I had either other races to do or illness that stopped me from working out.
My longest walk to date was 17.4 miles and that was in chilly, rainy weather.
Sunday January 20th 2013 was the day I toed the line to begin my journey to the finish line 26.2 miles away.
Arriving at 5.30am I got my timing chip and then sat nervously in my car until 6.15 when I went and found some friends who I knew were running also.
I started with the early walkers as I knew I would be slow and not meet the 7.05 start cut-off time.
I felt good on the first half of the race and actually had a walking PR. After the halfway point I started to slow down and feel the aches and pains coming on.
Hips, knees and feet started talking to me. I managed to walk through a cramp in my left calf and could feel blisters forming on the soles of my feet.
The volunteers manning the water stops were awesome as were the spectators just out to watch the race.
Around mile 18 I had to itch my foot and tried to do so several times but I could neither bend down to reach it or pick it up to scratch it. There was a bench on the trail an I sat down to make it easier to reach. It was tough getting back up again.
I knew all along that I would finish the race and that I was last and would be outside the ‘official’ finish time but I kept putting one foot in front of the other.
Also knowing that I had a group of friends waiting for me at the end kept me moving forward.
At mile 19.5 two friends one of whom is my walking group coach, Colleen & Tracy met me to walk me in the remaining miles.
I was extremely greatful and appreciative that they were there. Sometimes I didn’t feel like talking so they talked to each other and I listened and jumped in when I felt like it. They both said that I still looked very fresh as I met them and that I was still smiling. They saw several peeps who looked like death warmed over and wondered how they were going to make it to the end.
They were awesome and I think them very much.
Also the Clearwater Police Dept were at my disposal. I was the ‘talk of the town’ as I was the last one on the course and they were there to be sure that I safely made it across all the roads and to the finish line.
I rounded the corner and saw the finish line and heard my friends cheering for me and taking pictures.
I crossed the finish line with my head held high, a smile of my face and my arms triumphantly above my head yelling out myself.
I recieved my medal and bottle of water and a hug from the race director Chris Lauber.
After hugging all my friends and having several pictures taken we went out for breakfast/lunch/dinner to Tony’s Pizzaria and had a good time together. I put my feet up on a spare chair and relaxed. Kept my legs moving while sitting so I didn’t get stiff.
Walked back to my car and headed home for a nice bath in Epsom Salts and bubbles (thanks to my daughter, Emma, for running the bath for me) and talked to my Mum on the phone.
Legs were achy and stiff yesterday. Blisters have been popped several times.
Legs feel fine today. The only oroblem I have are the blisters as they are on the soles of my feet.
Other than that all is well and I AM A MARATHONER!!!
My support crew Colleen & Tracy
My finish line friends
My own personal starfish avatar drawn by Colleen