Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Marathon Man

Check another one off the bucket list.

It is now Wednesday and I am STILL hobbling around from Sunday's "San Diego Rock N' Roll Marathon." To say I'm sore would be a gross understatement. To say my legs ache so much that I wish I could go back in time and sucker punch the inventor of the stair, would be slightly more accurate.

BUT, it was all worth it. My goal for my first marathon was to beat 4 hours (a very respectable time...especially for a first-time marathoner). In order to provide you with the full marathon experience, I will breakdown the the day of the marathon and the marathon itself mile by mile for your entertainment:

4:30am - Alarm goes off. I'm utterly confused as to why my alarm is going off, blaring "Mr. Brightside" by the Killers as it's pitch black and drizzling outside...oh yea...I have a marathon today.

4:31am: - Phone alarm goes off playing an annoying midi version of "When the Saints Go Marching In." I learned my two-alarm setting lesson from watching Seinfeld!

5:00am: Arrive downtown with a belly half full of Gatorade, a Cliff bar, and banana. I don't like exercising on a full stomach.

5:15am: Nerves are killing me and I have to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes.

5:45am: Walk 1 mile over to the starting line in Balboa Park. The line at each of the like 30 portapotties is ludicrous so we head over to the canyon with all of the other smart guys and hydrate the vegetation.

6:25am: National Anthem ~ meh...pretty good but I can do better after all of my shower practice.

6:30am: Starting Gun! I start in Corral 2 of like 30 thus avoiding having to bob and weave around people since I'm in the front.

Mile 1: Feeling good, looking good....and the Kenyans are nearly out of sight already.

Mile 2: Heading into Hillcrest...Is that pancakes I smell?

Mile 3: It was Definitely pancakes...mmmm pancakes. I like pancakes.

Mile 4: First encounter with friends on the course. They're cheering, I'm waving and yelling..yea! Feeling good! Marathon Shmarathon!

Mile 5: Heading back into downtown passed the trolley station. Is that urine I smell? Yep definitely urine.

Mile 6: Friend group #2. They don't see me in the crowd but I call out, jump up and down and wave to get their attention. Look how much energy I have!

Mile 7: Passing the Ballpark. I should go to a game this year...oooh, on two for one hotdog night!

Mile 8: Rocking out to a band playing "Old Time Rock N Roll" by Bob Segar...great song!

Mile 9: Heading onto HW 163. Awesome! Never thought I'd have to chance to actually run in the middle of the freeway!

Mile 10: Two attractive girls in front of me are running a pretty good pace. Might as well follow! :)

Mile 11: The novelty of running up the freeway has worn off and I'm now ready for bigger crowds. BUT, I'm still feeling great!

Mile 12: Heading through Mission Valley. Crowds going nuts and I'm feeling great! Still drafting behind two cute girls.

Mile 13: Hit the halfway point at 1 hour, 51 minutes and feeling great! I start having visions of shattering my four hour goal and finishing in the 3:30's.

Mile 14: Cute girls be damned...I'm passing them! I rule!

Mile 15: One of the many Elvis guys on the course is passing me and yet still has the time to stop, pose for pictures, then pass me again. AND he dressed in the full get up! How is he doing this?

Mile 16: Mission Bay is awesome. Beautiful views of the water! My legs are feeling a slight tingle of fatigue but nothing major.

Mile 17: Approaching Pacific Beach. My buddy Chris jumps in to run with me for the last nine miles. Fatigue beginning to set in.

Mile 18: Still feeling a little fatigue but not too bad. People always talk about hitting "the wall" around mile 18 to which I say aloud "Wall Shmall!"

Mile 19: Hi five some more friends who came out to watch. I got this! Only 7 miles to go!

Mile 20: Starting to slow down a bit to which Chris says to me, "Common Arun! Only 6 miles to go!" Then a girl in front of us turns around and says, "Hate to break it to you guys, but it's actually Eight point TWO miles left!" ass.

Mile 21: it was a bit too soon to yell "Wall Shmall." My legs are dying now and each mile seems a lot longer.

Mile 22: I see Lauren cheering me on, but there is no more jumping or yelling. I only have the energy for a little smile.

Mile 23: My left leg is cramping everytime I push off. I grab a salt packet and down it as this is supposed to help cramping. Brilliantly, there is no aid station with water for another 3/4 mile so I'm stuck with this disgusting taste in my mouth!

Mile 24: So close! I feel like I'm hardly moving. My dreams of 3:30 are gone but my goal of under 4 is easily reachable!

Mile 25: Still cramping but pushing through! I can taste the finish!

Mile 26: I enter the military base where the race finishes and start sprinting...the only problem is, the finish line is further than I thought so I have to dial it back again.

Finish: 3:51:22! I beat 4 hours! I'm COMPLETELY whiped out and have nothing left. I go to the medical tent and get ice on my quads while refueling with a banana and chocolate milk.

Later, I get hooked up to the electrical stimulus machine which sends weird pulses through your legs and makes em' jiggle like crazy. Supposedly this facilitates toxin release.

Physically, this is probably the hardest thing I've ever done. Mentally, you truly have to overcome the pain barrier and push yourself to new limits! Not only does this make you physically more fit, but mentally, you become stronger as well.

Will I run another marathon? Not sure, but I would say probably. The feeling with the HUGE crowds cheering you on is amazing!

The feeling now of having to use my shopping cart as a "walker" when I go out because my legs are too sore to walk normally, is not quite as amazing. But it is well worth the accomplishment.

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