I ran my first marathon.
I've been trying to put my thoughts in order about this since about an hour afterwards (when I started to feel human again) and I still don't know what to think about it.
How about a recap while I keep thinking about it?
We'll start with Friday.
I had already gotten permission from my archaeology professor to skip class - actually what she said was, "Have you ever been absent? Cause you can be, three times." - so my parents and I left Greensboro about the time I would have been leaving for class.
We left this early so we could go to Mama Dip's in Chapel Hill for lunch. I ate sweet potato biscuits, fried green tomatoes, cornbread, cabbage, turnip greens, and pecan pie. And it was all delicious. Well, the pecan pie could have been darker and made of more pie crust but then that's my criticism of most pies that other people find quite nice, so probably that's more of a 'me' thing and less of a 'pie' thing.
So then we drove to Richmond and checked into the hotel, but didn't actually go into our hotel rooms because we needed to make it to the expo for packet pick-up and then to dinner.
Packet pick-up at the expo... well, I didn't know my number, so I went over to number look-up and the lady was all, "Yeah, you're number 706."
And I was like, "Wait, surely you mean 12706 or 14706?"
And she said, "No, 706. Go get your number over there and let the next person in line go."
So I went over to where she said and said, "Hi, they said 706 and here's my ID but -"
And they said, "Oh! You're in corral 1. Here."
And I said, "No no no. I'm not in corral 1. I said my goal time was 3:50. That's not -"
And THEN they said, "Oh, well. That sounds about right." (The actual corral 1 cut-off time was 3:45, so I dunno what they were talking about.)
So I freaked out for a little while, and was oddly embarrassed about the number and the big letters that said 'Corral 1' under it. But then it was time to put pasta and rice krispies treats in my face and sit around watching the basketball game that they were playing on the ocean.
During half time, we all looked at the maps so my parents could figure out where to stand to see me, and somehow right in the middle of it, it hit me: Miles. There were 26 of them. More than 26 of them.
And though everyone was quick to reassure me that I'd be fine, that I'd trained hard for this, that I was prepared... I was deep enough into my internal panic attack that I figured they were just lying to me so I wouldn't be so nervous.
After we got back to the hotel, I stacked all of my clothes and supplies on a chair and went to bed, convinced I would not be able to sleep at all. I did eventually fall asleep, but I had a dream where I was running a marathon, and even though I thought I was running good, I was the slowest one and was still running when it was getting dark. I got lost on the course because a guy had had time to build a house in the middle of it before I got there, and I had to figure out how to run through it.
I woke up at 6 and by that point just wanted to get running so all of this nervous shit would go away.