My friend, Chrissy, and I ran the A1A Marathon yesterday. I waited for this moment for over 18 months when I first registered back in 2012. In 2013, I deferred the marathon to run the Clearwater Marathon and earn the title, Marathon Maniac.
Eighteen months later after that first mail-in registration entry form, I stood in sunny Ft. Lauderdale hoping to hit my under 5 hour marathon goal.
The flat A1A flat course followed along the beautiful beaches of Ft. Lauderdale. I really enjoyed the race until about mile 22 when I hit my wall. With my body beginning to break down and ache, all the physical pain became mentally pain as all the sadness I endured over the past two weeks came flooding to the surface.
As the Florida sun began to warm me, it boiled up all the sadness I tried to bottle up over the past two weeks. I tried to cool myself down by dumping water on my head at the water stations and fanning myself in a pathetic attempt to chase away the heat, the pain and sadness.
But it was too late; the mental part of the marathon had a grip on me for the next two miles. The emotional rollercoaster that I dealt with over the past two weeks with my friend’s emergency and then my father’s mini stroke hit me all at once. I started to cry which lead to me hyperventilating.
And then, Wake Me Up came on on my MP3 player at mile 24 and I started to sob. I just wanted this marathon to be over.
Normally, this song is my anthem. When it plays on the radio, I turn up the volume, clap along and belt out the words. Yesterday, it had the opposite effect on me. It made things worse as the lyrics rang through my ears.
Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can’t tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start
I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands…
I let the song play out as I tried to push through the physical and mental pain I felt.
So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost
Didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know (didn’t know, didn’t know)
When the song ended, Britney came on next to remind me to “work it out”. That was exactly what I need to hear to kick it into gear for the next mile and half.
When I did make it to the finish line, Chrissy was waiting for me and of course, I cried.
Stay tuned for a full mile-by-mile recap and to find out if I hit my goal.